B.C. Advanced Education, Skills and Training announces new post-graduate scholarship initiative for UBC at the UBC Okanagan campus Wednesday morning. Photo: Barry Gerding/Black Press

New scholarships for UBC grad students

Province kicks in $6 million for post-graduate studies support

A $6 million scholarship fund to help UBC recruit and retain the province’s brightest graduate student academic minds was unveiled today at the UBC Okanagan campus.

The merit-based graduate student scholarship funding will be administered by UBC, making 400 awards of $15,000 each available for eligible domestic students.

The potential for UBC to match those scholarships has also been undertaken through the university’s Blue & Gold fundraising campaign.

The graduate scholarships are research focused with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, along with professional, indigenous and regional programs.

“Graduate level research pushes the boundaries of human knowledge. UBC’s position as one of the top research universities in the world is due in large part to the talent of its masters and doctoral students at both UBC campuses,” said Santa Ono, UBC president and vice-chancellor.

“These scholarships encourage our most innovative and creative researchers to excel without limits.”

Melanie Mark, B.C. Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, says the provincial investment in graduate students is long overdue, and helps counter competitive funding initiatives offered by other provinces to draw B.C.’s top graduate students away.

Mark said it’s important that groundbreaking research is supported here because it leads to evolution changes in how B.C.’s economy can grow and prosper.

Examples of that were cited by two UBCO grad students. Matthew Noestheden has developed a new test to detect wildfire-tainted wine grapes, helping wine producers better manage their crops during the wildfire season. Sydney Morgan is doing research on wine microbiology.

“I’ve always been passionate about applied research, but without the support of graduate-funding agencies, the financial realities of supporting a young family would have precluded this opportunity for me to pursue post-graduate education,” said Noestheden.

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