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Intro & Program Requirements

Why did we initiate this program?

Some of the largest gains in life expectancy in the last century resulted from primary prevention of disease and injury using engineered solutions reinforced by progressive policy decisions (e.g., potable water distribution, sanitary sewage systems, changes in vehicle and heating fuels, automotive engineering, improved conditions in workplaces). Despite this, there is often a disconnect between health researchers who study the mechanisms and risk factors of disease; engineering researchers who design systems, machines, and structures; and policy makers who contend with scientific evidence and political realities. We aim to bridge this divide by producing a new generation of researchers and research users who will be productive partners in developing innovative prevention measures.

How is the program structured?

The Bridge Program is a fellowship-funding program. It has academic requirements, but it is NOT a degree-granting program. Students who want to join the program must apply to both the Bridge Program and existing masters and doctoral programs associated with one of the 8 participating units in UBC's Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Applied Science, or College for Interdisciplinary Studies:

The proposed thesis supervisor must be a current Bridge mentor listed on our website, see PEOPLE > Faculty Mentors. Prior to submitting an application, students should contact their proposed thesis supervisor and obtain a confirmation from him/her that they are willing to act as the thesis supervisor. See OVERVIEW > Academic Units for more information on each participating unit.Accepted MSc and PhD students receive fellowships and must fulfill the academic requirements of their underlying degree program and of the Bridge Program.

What funding is available?

The Bridge Program provides fellowship stipends to masters and doctoral students entering the first year of their graduate program.  Masters students may be funded for up to the 2 first years of study, and doctoral students may be funded for up to the first 3 years of study, subject to annual review of academic performance.

We require all Bridge graduate students to apply for other awards for their second and subsequent years of graduate studies.  For graduate students who are successful in receiving other awards, the Bridge Program offers the possibility of top-up funding.

Post-doctoral fellows who have base fellowship funding from other sources and private/public sector practitioners or visiting scholars with salary support may receive supplementary stipends to participate in the Bridge Program.

Graduate students are allocated a small amount of research / travel funding.

All funded personnel are designated "Bridge CIHR Strategic Training Fellows"

For more information, see FUNDING > Bridge Program Funding.

What are the academic requirements?

All Bridge Fellows submit an Annual Progress Report and participate in two Bridge courses:

  • Bridge Research Grant Development course (BRDG 501/601)
  • Bridge Thesis and Journal Seminar (BRDG 500/600)

Graduate students in the program have the following additional academic requirements:

  • The Bridge Internship (BRDG 590/690)
  • The thesis supervisor or co-supervisor must be a UBC Bridge faculty mentor
  • The thesis research should involve components from each of the three Bridge areas (public health, engineering, policy)
  • The thesis committee should include at least one faculty member with expertise in public, occupational, or environmental health, and at least one in engineering or policy research

Bridge Fellows must invite Bridge Mentors and Fellows to their thesis defense and provide the Bridge Program a bound copy of their thesis.

When choosing electives in consultation with their supervisory committee, Bridge graduate students are encouraged to select courses that expose them to graduate level training in the three Bridge areas. A list of potential electives is provided in the COURSES > Overview of Courses webpage.

Undergraduate Course Development: Teams of doctoral students and faculty mentors, as well as interested masters students, post-docs and private/public sector practitioners, develop problem-based learning modules to train undergraduates about the intersection of the public health, engineering, and policy sciences to prevent disease and injury.

What organizations sponsor the program?

The Bridge Program is housed at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and is funded by UBC and the following organizations under the CIHR Strategic Training Initiatives program:

The Bridge Program is associated with two CIHR institutes:

Institute of Population and Public Health (IPPH) & Institute of Infection and Immunity (III)

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

The Bridge Program
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