Tips To Improve Application Success

What does a successful application to the ISGP look like?

Strong applications generally tend to have:

  • Strong Academic record (high GPA) meeting/exceeding UBC minimum requirement
  • A well-developed, original and interdisciplinary SPRT Form
  • A clear research question, methodology and/or theoretical grounding
  • Relevant professional background and/or strong publication record that shows breadth in knowledge
  • Demonstration of solid research ability and experience in more than one area
  • Demonstration of personal qualities and leadership skills that ensure successful academic achievement
  • Proof of language proficiency for academic writing (at university-level) and communication
  • Strong commitment of two co-supervisors in different disciplines

Why was my application to the ISGP rejected?

Complete applications are evaluated and subsequently adjudicated based on the following four categories:

Academic Excellence (Competitiveness)
  • Grades are adequate, but not excellent
  • Grades are too low to meet UBC’s minimum admission requirement
  • Applicant’s previously completed program(s) deemed not demanding/competitive and, as such, do not provide an accurate assessment of their academic ability
Research Ability/Potential (Fit for Interdisciplinarity)
  • Research background or work experience not relevant for intended study
  • Insufficient research background or work experience
  • Little to no publications and/or presented work (for PhD applicants)
  • References’ ratings of the applicant are lukewarm or too low
Interdisciplinarity/Originality of Research Topic (Fit for Interdisciplinarity)
  • Research proposal (SPRT Form) does not provide sufficient evidence of interdisciplinarity, or research appears to be better suited for a disciplinary program
  • SPRT Form is underdeveloped or is too broad, does not provide justification as to why research must be undertaken and/or does not explain how research will be carried out (research methodology)
  • Research lacks originality: some version of the topic has been seen/studied before (no innovation)
Academic Writing/Language Proficiency and Leadership Experience (Communication and Interpersonal Skills)
  • Spelling and grammatical errors noted in Cover Letter of Intent and SPRT Form
  • Heavy use of jargon in SPRT Form
  • References have indicated challenges in academic writing
  • References have indicated applicant’s insufficient leadership experience in their intended field

If your application has been rejected from the ISGP, please note that for confidentiality reasons we cannot provide specific feedback from the adjudication committee.