Each student’s course selection is decided upon by the student and the supervisor together with the student’s thesis advisory committee and is tailored to the student’s planned research area and course requirements of the graduate program. Formal course work is usually completed during the first year of study, followed by a comprehensive examination, for PhD candidates, in the specific discipline being pursued. Students can then devote their full attention to research.

Students with a first class honours (or equivalent) BSc degree may register directly in a Doctoral program. Students registering in a Masters program are encouraged to transfer directly into a Doctoral program after one year if their course work is of sufficient standard and if transfer is approved by their thesis advisory committee.

Given the Terry Fox Laboratory’s translational activities as well as a strong foundation in basic research relevant to cancer, individuals with an interest or background in medicine can also pursue MSc or PhD degrees, including applicants interested in the combined MD/PhD program.

Scientific Interactions

Attendance and participation in seminars and scientific meetings are an integral part of the student’s training program. Mastery in oral presentation and a broad experience in modern molecular and cellular techniques are major benefits of training in a large interdisciplinary setting.

To facilitate this, students and postdoctoral fellows present their research once a year in a weekly Work-in-Progress seminar within the Terry Fox Laboratory, and often in other seminar series, depending on the graduate program. In addition, a seminar course is part of the academic requirements of most graduate programs.

Students also play an active role in various small journal clubs and group meetings. Opportunities exist to attend many seminars by outstanding scientific visitors to Vancouver, including a weekly seminar series on cancer-related basic and clinical research topics.

More advanced students are also encouraged to attend and expected to present their own findings at international scientific meetings for which financial support is available.

Fees and Financial Support

Graduate students accepted for training in the Terry Fox Laboratory receive an annual stipend which could come from a combination of independent Studentship awards .

These could include various scholarships or awards (from UBC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research – CIHR, or the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council – NSERC), the supervisor’s research grant, or partial teaching assistantships. MSc students are normally supported for up to two years, and PhD students for up to 5 years, assuming satisfactory progress in the training program. Individuals with MDs who are pursuing PhD degrees are generally supported at a higher level, depending on their previous extent of training.

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