Application Information


The main purpose of the ISGP is to enable qualified graduate students to pursue advanced interdisciplinary research exceeding the provisions of existing departmental programs. It facilitates neither the avoidance of academic requirements nor the pursuit of a particular definition of interdisciplinarity.


Applicants must meet the minimum admission requirement outlined by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.


Tuition cost, student fees, and cost of living can be calculated here. As per UBC-V Senate policy, all PhD applicants to the ISGP will be considered for Minimum Guaranteed Funding packages from the ISGP. Full/partial funding commitments from UBC supervisors or other confirmed UBC-sourced funding may increase the chance of an applicant being admitted, in the event an applicant is not qualified to receive one of ISGP funding packages.


Online applications open on November 1. Complete applications are due every year by January 15 @ 11:59 pm PST, for program start in the following September. All required application materials must be uploaded to your online application by the deadline. The ISGP office will not consider incomplete applications.

Applicants are evaluated by the ISGP Faculty Advisory Committee, and notified in March. If admitted, students may postpone program start date for up to one year. Students are also required to reside in Vancouver for the first year of their degree.

Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 (complete application including all supporting documents submitted online)


Application to the ISGP program is a lengthy process. Successful applicants often begin the process months in advance of the application deadline. If you are considering applying to the ISGP, the first steps are to to start approaching potential supervisors and to work with them on finalizing your research proposal, and after that to consult with the ISGP Program Chair for feedback on your SPRT. For more information on the recommended timeline, please visit our Recommended Timeline page.

  1. Reach out to faculty with your preliminary research proposal
  2. (Optional) With the help of potential co-supervisors, fine-tune and finalize your two-page Statement of Proposed Research Topic (SPRT) and submit it to well in advance of the application deadline for a final review. The Program Chair will provide feedback (once) on your research proposal. This step also ensures that the ISGP program is suitable for you. Please note that this is for consultation purposes and is not part of the formal application process. Since you will only receive feedback on your research proposal once, it is crucial to ensure the version you send to the ISGP is well-developed close to its final iteration. For more information on SPRTs, go to Application Materials.
    • File name (Word .docx) – “SPRT: YourName Date”
    • Must include your name, email and date within the Word document
    • Sub-headings and a clear title of your research topic
    • Two-page maximum (not including a bibliography)
    • NOTE: The ISGP will only review and provide feedback on SPRTs before December 1, prior to formal admission application.
  3. The online application comprises of:
    • Within the online application, you will be required to upload the following attachments
      • Statement of Intent (cover letter explaining your interest in the program)
      • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
      • 2-page Statement of Proposed Research Topic (SPRT)
      • ISGP Co-Supervisors Agreement (signed)
    • Three (3) references must be submitted through your online application either as eRef (for referees with institutional email), or as a “Report on Applicant” form / free-form letter in letterhead bearing signatures (for referees with non-institutional emails e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo…etc.).
  4. Two (2) sets of official transcripts (in sealed and endorsed envelopes) from each of the post-secondary institutions you have attended. One set will be opened and scanned by you to upload to online application. The 2nd set will be kept sealed and sent to Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies only if you are offered admission.

Transcript submission guidelines are found here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All required documents must be submitted through the online application portal as document uploads. Documents emailed or submitted in person will not be accepted.