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Liu Scholar Program

***** Awarded a 2010 AMS Just Desserts Award for its “outstanding contribution to UBC students.” 
here to read more." *****

The Liu Institute offers a unique Program to bring together exceptional PhD students from across UBC to facilitate issue-based research on global issues and strengthen global networks.

The Institute’s current areas of research are in sustainability, security, and social justice. The Institute is particularly interested in emerging issues that affect large groups of people in different places and need concerted action and new knowledge to find solutions.

The Liu Scholar Program is designed to create a synergistic environment for students from various disciplines. Scholars will have opportunities for mentorship and co-authoring; web-publishing their research; attending workshops/conferences developed by other Scholars and UBC Faculty; interacting with world-renowned Visiting Scholars, Practitioners and Activists; and expanding their professional networks.

Funding will be provided to support Scholar-initiated projects that advance the Institute’s mission. Scholars will have access to meeting rooms, conference facilities, staff support, and some logistical support (such as business cards) and are also eligible to compete for Liu Institute scholarships, such as the Olav Slaymaker Scholarship and the James and Setsuko Thurlow Scholarship in Peace and Disarmament Studies.

This program is designed to support doctoral research and enhance the interdisciplinary learning environment at UBC. We expect to develop, in collaboration with Scholars, at least one annual event with all Liu Scholars (e.g., a retreat or conference with multiple global themes) and hope that each Scholar will join a research group (such as human rights, climate change, science and technology, transitional justice, food security, migration, water security, etc) that offers an activity (e.g., workshop or summer institute) to other Scholars/Faculty/Students each year.

Only current UBC doctoral students are eligible for the Liu Scholar Program. The Institute is looking for a diversity of disciplinary approaches and topic interests, and encourages students from the natural sciences and humanities to apply, as well as those from the social sciences. Students can remain in the Liu Scholar Program for a maximum of 5 years or until graduation, whichever comes first.

Application Process

The application deadline for the 2014-2015 intake of Liu Scholars is September 26th, 2014 at 5pm. The application consists of two parts:

·         Online application form

·         Submission of transcripts for all graduate course work completed (unofficial is fine) and a 1-2 page CV via email to

The online application form cannot be saved and returned to at a later date so please have the following prepared before starting the form:

1.     Your PhD program information including start date, faculty, department, and supervisor names.

2.     Short essay questions (max 2000 characters each)

a. Description in layman's terms of your research and how it fits with the mandate of the Liu Institute for
Global Issues

b. Why do you wish to be a part of the Liu Scholars program?

c. If admitted to the program, how will you contribute to the Liu Scholars program?

d. Description of your involvement with the Liu Institute to date. If this is your first semester at UBC please indicate.

3.     List of major awards you have received.

The online application form is hosted on the International Relations program website and can be accessed here.


Applications will be assessed on academic excellence, answers to the questions above, and how the applicant's research contributes to the diversity of topics represented within the program. Applicants will be emailed mid to late October with the results of their application.


For further inquiries, please contact 

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