Funded SIF Projects

We acknowledge that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam).


Investing in our people and ideas in order to achieve our strategic priorities and improve our world through science.

To advance the objectives of Improving our World Through Science, UBC Science has allocated a strategic innovation fund (SIF) of up to $300,000 per year. Each year, priority areas are developed by the UBC Science community to guide SIF investments. The following 2021/22 SIF projects have been selected and funded.

2021/22 SIF Projects

LEAD

Dr. Adele Ruosi (Skylight)

TEAM

Dr. Christine Goedhart (Department of Botany), Dr. Sarah Bean Sherman (Skylight), Dr. Jaclyn Stewart (Department of Chemistry, CTLT)

AWARD

$5,000

SUMMARY

This project is a guest speaker series that features prominent and influential thought leaders in inclusive STEM education. The series will feature guest speakers who will address topics relating to their expertise in inclusive STEM education that are of interest to the UBC Science teaching and learning community. Speakers will represent various disciplines (biology, chemistry, physics, geology, etc.), identities (IBPOC, 2SLGBTQIA+, etc.), and specialties (curriculum, pedagogy, research).

LEAD

Dr. Cinda Heeren (Department of Computer Science)

TEAM

Dr. Tiffany Timbers, Dr. Gaby Cohen (Department of Statistics), Dr. Warren Code (Skylight), Dr. Mike Gelbart (Department of Computer Science)

AWARD

$40,000

SUMMARY

This project is focused on the development of strategic, integrated marketing intervention aimed to increase and diversify the applicant pool to the Data Science Minor. Through the production of visual assets, and targeted dissemination and communications, the team will spread the word about the Data Science Minor to every student at UBC, and specifically includes populations that are typically underrepresented in the mathematical sciences. This campaign, combined with the Data Science Minor’s established innovative and inclusive admissions processes, will produce a community of scholars that represents the diversity of students on campus.

LEAD

Dr. Biljana Jonoska Stojkova (Applied Statistics & Data Science Group (ASDa), Department of Statistics)

TEAM

Dr. Carolyn Taylor, Dr. John Petkau, Dr. Nikolas Krstic, (ASDa, Department of Statistics)

AWARD

$23,880

SUMMARY

The overarching goal is to build capacity for research and to enhance the research experience for graduate students in the Faculty of Science in the areas of advanced statistical modeling and reproducible research. To complete this project, ASDa will undertake three activities: i) develop and deliver live hands-on webinars on advanced statistical modeling, ii) deliver live webinars on reproducible research and best practices/tools, and iii) launch a pilot advanced Statistical Opportunities for Students (SOS) program that offers free follow-up consultations to Faculty of Science graduate students focused on assisting with analysis and interpretation of results.

LEAD

Dr. Laura Lukes (Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences)

TEAM

Dr. Shandin Pete (Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences)

AWARD

$71,117

SUMMARY

This initiative will produce a performance measure toolkit for instructors and unit leads across the Faculty of Science to measure progress towards ISP goals. A key part to successfully designing and implementing an Indigenized curriculum is having the ability to determine the impact on student learning and experience. This initiative will develop tools that instructors and units can use to measure impact on student learning. The data produced from toolkit utilization will inform efforts to redesign courses or graduate research traineeships. It will also assist the broader faculty of Science community in identifying evidence-based practices for indigenizing the curriculum.

LEAD

Dr. Tara Moreau (UBC Botanical Gardens)

TEAM

Brad Marsden (Gitksan Nation), Chris Balma (Faculty of Science Dean’s Office), UBC Botanical Garden Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility (IDEA) Action Team

AWARD

$8,600

SUMMARY

This project will host Truth and Reconciliation workshops to support UBC Science faculty, staff and students to deepen their intercultural understanding of First Nations in Canada. The workshops will be facilitated by Gitksan Nation community member, Brad Marsden. The goal is to increase the collective understanding of the UBC Science community on the lived experiences of Indigenous Peoples as well as to learn about colonial Canadian narratives that impact Indigenous communities.

LEAD

Drs David Oliver & Marcia Graves (Department of Microbiology & Immunology)

TEAM

Dr. Steven Hallam, Dr. Evelyn Sun, Dr. Stephan Koenig, Dr. Michael Murphy (Department of Microbiology & Immunology), Elizabeth Vaz (Department of Microbiology & Immunology Students Association)

AWARD

$20,000

SUMMARY

This project will build a digital hub to improve equitable access and enhance capacity for undergraduate student research experiences across the Faculty of Science. The team will consolidate information about undergraduate research opportunities, improve dissemination to students to allow equitable access to opportunities, and build an interactive tool for students to chart and reflect on their unique research pathways at UBC. The goal of this project is to establish a persistent framework supporting continuation and equitable access to undergraduate research opportunities across Science. Consolidation of information about undergraduate research opportunities will also reduce workload for faculty who currently field a broad range of questions from students interested in research.

LEAD

Dr. Shandin Pete (Department of Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences)

TEAM

Dr. Andrea Reid (Institute for the Oceans & Fisheries), Dr. Ashley Welsh (Skylight & CTLT), Dr. Maï Yasué (Skylight & Equity & Inclusion Office), Frances Butterfield (Undergraduate Student, BSc Program), Adam Lukasiewicz (Interim Indigenous Academic Advisor, UBC Science Advising), CTLT Indigenous Initiatives

AWARD

$19,300

SUMMARY

This project aims to engage and partner with Indigenous undergraduate and graduate students in UBC Science to learn more about their experiences, needs, and desires with respect to curriculum, pedagogy, research, educational programming, and advising. This project stems from the interests of Indigenous faculty and students in UBC Science who crave more opportunities to engage with one another, to share their ideas and concerns, and to advise on decolonization and reconciliation work in UBC Science.

LEAD

Dr. Lacey Samuels (Department of Botany)

TEAM

Dr. Jeannette Whitton, Alice Liou (Department of Botany)

AWARD

$10,000

SUMMARY

This project will enhance recruitment and support mechanisms for students in the Botany Graduate Program, with emphasis on lowering barriers for diverse and underrepresented students. With the Botany Graduate Student Association, the project team will improve recruitment strategies by lowering barriers for diverse students through a new website, recruitment program and mentorship matching program, and progress portal.

LEAD

Dr. Diane Srivastava (Department of Zoology)

TEAM

Dr. Jeannette Whitton (Department of Botany), Dr. Stella Lee, Kaleigh Davis, Melody Salehzedah (Department of Zoology), Dr. Michelle Tseng (Departments of Botany & Zoology), Mannfred Boehm, Tommy Kuo, Jan Xue (Botany Graduate Student Association (BSGA)), Libby Natola, Lydia Fong (Zoology Graduate Student Association (ZGSA)), Harleen Khillon, Vyshu Manohara (BIOSOC)

AWARD

$25,408

SUMMARY

The BUDR project proposes to pilot an innovative, evidence-based program to lower barriers to undergraduate research experience in UBC Botany and Zoology research labs and collection facilities. There are four elements to this program: a mentorship and coaching network, a micro-experience program, online resources guiding students to opportunities, and a monthly workshop series. The goals of the BUDR program are to ensure that a wider diversity of UBC undergraduates obtain research experience and employment through Botany and Zoology research labs, to provide critical first employment in research labs, to level the playing field for succeeding in science at UBC, to increase biology-specific employment among undergraduates, to increase undergraduate success in obtaining and succeeding in research positions by providing mentorship, and to increase mentorship skills among graduate student, postdoctoral and faculty population.

LEAD

Dr. Rachel Fernandez (Department of Microbiology & Immunology)

TEAM

Morgan Alford, Mihai Cirstea, Maria Tokuyama (Department of Microbiology & Immunology), Dr. Anna Blakney (Michael Smith Laboratories), Dr. Manish Sadarangani (Department of Pediatrics & Vaccine Evaluation Centre, BCCHRI), Kelli Kadokawa (Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies)

AWARD

$16,985

SUMMARY

The project’s overarching goals are to share information with the public on all stages in the life cycle of vaccine development, from early-stage Research and Development, to pre-clinical and clinical trials, manufacture, and regulatory approval, with the ultimate goal to increase vaccine confidence. Project activities include: a public research talk, a Q&A session with an international expert panel, and an information fair and reception where there will be activities geared towards people of all ages.