Graduate Student Initiative Fund

Be creative. Be innovative. Be a leader.


There are two competitions per year; deadlines are November 15 and April 15. Late applications will not be accepted.


The purpose of the Faculty of Medicine Graduate Student Initiative Fund is to provide opportunities for graduate students in the UBC Faculty of Medicine to improve and enhance their learning environment, and to lead to effective change. Initiatives related to teaching and learning are encouraged, however all ideas that seek to improve the graduate student experience in UBC’s Faculty of Medicine will be considered. Eligible applications will be reviewed and selected by the Faculty of Medicine Graduate Student Committee, comprised of students from each graduate program. Up to $1000 per initiative will be awarded.

Example Initiatives:

  • Design an initiative that advances translational science and clinical applications.
  • Create online learning modules that promote professional development for non-academic health careers.
  • Develop an initiative that fosters global collaboration between UBC and graduate students from other countries.
  • Deliver an educational workshop that engages community partners.


  • The proposal must be submitted by a registered graduate student in the UBC Faculty of Medicine. Groups of students are encouraged to apply, but one student must be the primary applicant.
  • The proposal must have a Faculty Sponsor who is responsible for reviewing the proposal prior to submission, providing a letter of support for the proposal, and being available to students for consultation if the proposal is successful.
  • The proposal must have clearly stated goal(s) to fulfil a student need and/or improve student learning.
  • The proposal must be innovative and cross disciplinary boundaries.
  • The proposal must engage with communities within and/or outside of the UBC campus boundaries.
  • The proposal must provide a credible timeline and budget.
  • The project cannot be already completed, or be carried out for course credit.


The eligible applications will undergo adjudication by the Faculty of Medicine Graduate Student Committee, comprised of graduate student representatives from each graduate program. The committee will have oversight from the Faculty of Medicine Assistant Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral studies. Applications will be evaluated based on the eligibility criteria.


The application form is available online here. A complete application includes:

  • A detailed proposal for the initiative (Maximum 2 pages). The proposal should indicate how the proposal fulfils the Graduate Student Initiative Fund objectives and eligibility criteria, and what impact it will have.
  • Two to four letters of support from faculty, staff, alumni, students or community members. The Faculty Sponsor for the initiative must provide one letter of support (see eligibility criteria for definition of the Faculty Sponsor).
  • An itemized breakdown of expenses (1 page maximum). The budget should also indicate any other sources of funding, including requests for matching funds such as department donations or fundraising initiatives


  • The Graduate Student Initiative Fund is limited to one-time-only and cannot be used to support an ongoing (e.g. annual) activity. Sponsors of annual events (e.g. conferences, symposiums) who are applying for this one-time-only funding should demonstrate the innovative components of the event for which they seek funding (e.g. beyond annual changes in event themes).
  • Applicants for activities intended to be on-going or annual should demonstrate plans to become self-sustaining. The Graduate Student Initiative Fund should be viewed only as start-up assistance for such activities.
  • Funding of successful applications is available for one year. A final report must be submitted to the Assistant Dean, Graduate and Postdoctoral Education within 4 weeks of the conclusion of the funded initiative. The report must include the following components: a summary of the initiative, the benefits of the initiative for graduate students, and a summary of expenses.
  • The Graduate Student Initiative Fund will not cover the costs of alcoholic beverages, charitable donations, past initiatives, initiatives for academic credit, or initiatives that do not have a faculty member sponsor.


Please contact the Graduate & Postdoctoral Research Coordinator at if you have any questions regarding the Graduate Student Initiative Fund.