UBC Public Scholars Award

Updated: about 8 hours ago
Deadline: 01 Jun 2021

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Likely June 2021
Annual Value
Up to $10,000
Permanent Resident
Degree Level


COVID-19 notice: We appreciate that, like all of us, students and their research plans face unprecedented uncertainties. Rest assured that your application and proposal will be evaluated accordingly. If you are awarded PSI funding, it could be kept untouched until it is needed, or extensions granted to funds already activated..

applications for the PSI scholarship 2021/22 are now accepted. the application period will run until 4:00 pm, friday, june 4.
general information sessions for the psi are now complete. Other information sessions are being held across departments and faculties. please reach out to your department to arrange a session for your department. 

This award is part of the UBC Public Scholars Initiative  (PSI) which intends to build connections, community, and capacity for doctoral students who are interested in explicitly linking their doctoral work to an arena of public benefit and integrating broader and more career-relevant forms of scholarship into their doctoral education process.

Up to $10,000 twice, for a total of $20,000 per student is available to support innovative/collaborative scholarship which the student would otherwise be unable to pursue. Funding can be used for:

  • A research allowance (including allowance for professional development or travel relevant to the scholarly work)
  • Student stipend, if the student’s current funding source would not allow the alternative project(s)

Every year funding is available for up to 30-40 new students. Students may be eligible for renewal for a second year (pending new PSI funding).


  • UBC Vancouver doctoral students (PhD, EdD, and DMA) in years 1-5
    • Applicants must have completed no more than 48 months of doctoral study as of 31 August 2021
    • Applicants must be registered in a UBC doctoral program as of 1 September 2021
    • Applicants in their 6th year (48 to 60 months of doctoral study) will be accepted only in the most exceptional circumstances

Requirements for all funded students:

  • Submission of a report at the end of their first (and if applicable, second) year of funding
  • Presentation of their work at a Network event PhDs Go Public

All students, faculty, and collaborators will be asked to complete a questionnaire at the end of their funding/involvement. Student dissertations and student completion and career outcomes will also be reviewed as part of the assessment of this pilot initiative.

Evaluation Criteria
  • Student’s past accomplishments and future promise. Breadth of interest and accomplishment will be important, as well as an indication of the student’s fit with the proposed project.
  • Project’s relationship to PSI goals, which is to encourage and enable a broadened conception of doctoral education, such that:
    • Students' work extends beyond the academia and beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries; 
    • Students gain experience in the environments and types of scholarship they may productively engage in post-graduation;
    • Students’ work is evaluated as part of the degree, ensuring it is of the highest quality, and signaling that the university considers these diverse forms of scholarship worthy of recognition;
    • Students gain enhanced career opportunities and they foster positive public perception of the value of the doctorate;
    • Students can contribute to the public good in diverse ways through rigorous scholarship;
  • Quality of proposed scholarship. The following factors will be taken into account:
    • The work requires a high level of expertise in a discipline(s) and/or methodology;
    • The goals are clearly defined, realistic, and identify important questions;
    • Adequate preparation for and understanding of the subject is indicated;
    • Appropriate methods are proposed to achieve the goals;
    • Plans to document and disseminate the work are appropriate and effective;
    • The work has significance and is likely to contribute positively to the public good;
  • Need for alternative funding sources
  • Consideration will also be given to breadth of the initiative across disciplines

Application Procedures

The applications are now open. 

(1) Download these 2 files from the link below (under the 'Further Information' section): PSI Fellowship Application 2021-2022; and PSI Fellowship Application Instructions 2021-2022

(2) Following the guidelines, complete the Application form. Please note that each section ("Outline of Proposed Scholarly Work" and "Relationship of Proposal to PSI Goals") is individually capped at 4000 characters and 1 page. 

(3) Upload the completed Application form and your Canadian Common CV as one pdf file (see instructions for details) to this link .  

(4) Once the form is downloaded you can edit and save the form by renaming it

(5) For the mandatory supervisor letter of support and the optional letter(s) of support from collaborators, your letter writers should go to this page . You can open the page, and share the link with them. 

(6) This will complete your application. 

Adjudication Procedures

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies will convene a multi-disciplinary adjudication committee to review eligible applications and select funding recipients. Funding decisions will be announced in the second half of July.

Previous Award Winners

For profiles of all existing and graduated scholars, please check the profiles section of the Public Scholars Initiative webpage .  

Meet Award Holders

Keith Dormond

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies (PhD)

Understanding Honour Related Violence and Oppression in Ways that are Helpful for Victims, their Communities and Canadian Society

Kate McLeod

Doctor of Philosophy in Population and Public Health (PhD)

Evaluating the Integration of Health Care in Provincial Correctional Facilities Under the Ministry of Health

Áurea Vericat Rocha

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies (PhD)

Braiding Lived Experiences: The Making of a Collaborative Inquiring Community of Indigenous Early Childhood Educators

Emily Amburgey

Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology (PhD)

The “condition” of migration: a multi-sited ethnography of belonging and transformation in Nepal, Northeast India, and New York City

Saori Ogura

Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)

Devising Strategies for Food Security and Responses to Climate Change in Indigenous Villages in Zimbabwe and the Himalayas: Folding Visual Art into an Evidence-Based Project

Courtney van Ballegooie

Doctor of Philosophy in Interdisciplinary Oncology (PhD)

Patient Understanding of Modern Chemotherapeutics: Has the increasing complexity of chemotherapy impacted patients quality of life and understanding?

Michael Schwan

Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics (PhD)

Gitksan Neologism Formation: The Future of Gitksan With Roots in the Past

Jaime Semchuk

Multiple Stakeholder Perspectives on School-Based Mental Health Literacy Interventions: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)

Taeh Haddock

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD)

Testing the Efficacy of Parental Intervention Workshops on Children's Social Cognition and Social-Emotional Health

View All Stories

Further Information

For questions about the Public Scholars Initiative and application procedures, contact Public Scholarship Coordinator Serbulent Turan: serbulent.turan@ubc.ca  

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