Vivien M Srivastava memorial endowment

Remembering a pioneer, supporting future leaders in science with the Vivien M Srivastava Memorial endowment.

Back in 1961, when Vivien Srivastava discovered that cod grunt, there were questions in the British parliament, a poem in Punch magazine and a CBC interview with Bruno Gerussi. Srivastava's interest in animals and their behaviour created quite a stir.

Vivien Srivastava was a science pioneer. Against countless odds, she achieved many firsts as a woman in science. She was the first woman to receive a PhD in Zoology at UBC in 1964, and the first woman scientist to be hired by both the Fisheries Research Board of Canada and the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. Despite the significant barriers to women in science in her day, she had a full and varied career, combining research, teaching, and service to her community. Among her roles, she worked in academia (University of Alberta), for government labs, and on CBC radio and TV.

As a mother, Srivastava was also very familiar with the challenges of balancing an academic career in science with the demands of family life.

Current Vivien Srivastava Initiatives

This fund sponsors the following initiatives for women graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in UBC Science:

Past Career-mentoring Events

2015 Women in Science: Data and Software Carpentry (Programming) Workshop

This two-day programming workshop is in collaboration with Software Carpentry, whose mission is to help researchers to “get more done in less time, and with less pain” by teaching basic concepts, tools and lab skills for scientific computing. This event is an opportunity for acquiring skills to advance work with data (structure, visualize and summarize), improve the reproducibility of their research (automate repetitive tasks), and improve research collaborations (track and share data). Participants are encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to the problems in their research field. Building on the growing number of successful Software Carpentry events for women, this workshop was set up for women graduate students and post-doctoral fellows across UBC Science.

The 2015 Women in Science: Data and Software Carpentry (Programming) Workshop (March 5-6) was generously sponsored by the Vivien M Srivastava Memorial Endowment Fund in collaboration with UBC Science (Dean’s Office), and ComputeCanada.

2013 Creating Connections Conference

Creating Connections is a bi-annual regional conference focusing on gender diversity in science, engineering and technology in BC and Yukon. In 2013 (May 10-11), "Creating Connections: Working Together to Transform Our World" brought together over 250 people from diverse backgrounds for a full day of workshops and café sessions such as on mentoring and finding a mentor and planning for your future career in academia and beyond. There were many other sessions of interest, and key note speakers included Dr. Roberta Bondar, the first Canadian woman astronaut in space!

In partnership with the Vivien M. Srivastava Memorial Endowment Fund, the Dean of Science sponsored women science graduate students and women science post-doctoral fellows to participate in this conference.

2010 Vivien M. Srivastava Career Mentoring Workshop

The Vivien M. Srivastava Career Mentoring Workshop is designed to increase the participation and success of science graduate students and increase gender diversity in research careers.

The 2010 workshop aimed to help participants develop strategies to set, manage and balance career with personal life goals. From professional networking to family planning, role models share their insights into a successful and enjoyable work–life experience. The workshop was an excellent opportunity for those in the later stages of their degree to start developing ideas and skills necessary for their own career paths. For those early in their graduate career this workshop highlighted opportunities in both industry and academia and focused on the importance of building your networks.

This full-day event featured keynote speaker Dr. Cecilia Aragon and noted panelists in the morning session. Participants networked with peer graduate students and speakers over a catered lunch before attending the afternoon breakout sessions with topics that ranged from improving presentation and grant writing skills to strategies for a successful career and work–life balance.