Whether you are a prospective PDF looking for a position at UBC or a current UBC PDF seeking the next step in your career, this section provides valuable information to help you advance.

Becoming a PDF at UBC

Eligibility

Postdoctoral research fellowship eligibility can be found in UBC Policy #61, Postdoctoral Fellows. In order to be eligible for a postdoctoral fellowship, a postdoctoral fellow generally must be within 5 years of being awarded a PhD or within 10 years of being awarded a M.D. or D.D.S. degree.

First Steps

The first step in finding a PDF position at UBC is to search the research interests of individual faculty members to locate a potential supervisor. Faculty members can be contacted directly to discuss potential PDF appointment opportunities, and applications can be made directly to faculty members.

Postdoctoral appointments at UBC are managed through individual faculties and departments. The Postdoctoral Fellows Office does not accept applications nor are we involved in the hiring process.

UBC PDF Postings

While most PDF positions at UBC can by found by contacting a faculty member directly, some positions may be posted on individual faculty websites. Please visit Faculty Career Opportunities for a comprehensive list of links to UBC's faculties. The following faculty members have indicated to us that they are actively looking to attract Postdocs.

Research Interests: Quantum materials, Materials design and discovery, Magnetism

Potential project areas:

Materials innovations have sparked most of the major technological advances across the millennia – from the stone, bronze, and iron ages through to the current silicon age. Science now stands on the precipice of a new era: the age of quantum materials – materials with extraordinary electronic and magnetic properties that rely on quantum mechanical effects. In the Hallas group, we use state-of-the-art crystal growth techniques to discover new quantum materials that could unlock these future technologies. 

 

Crystal growth of new materials

Our group uses a wide range of synthetic methods to grow samples of the materials we study. Conventional solid state methods (shake-and-bake) and flux crystal growth are ideally suited to exploratory synthesis in the pursuit of exciting new materials. The optical floating zone image furnace is a powerful tool that allows us to grow pristine large single crystals. High pressure methods allow us to capture metastable phases that cannot be grown under ambient pressure conditions, an excellent route to finding new structural phases with the potential for exotic new properties. By using this diverse set of synthetic techniques, we are able to explore the periodic table in an unconstrained way, applying the most favourable method for the material we seek to grow.

 

Structure and the role of disorder

Understanding the crystallography of our new material provides the foundation upon which all other characterizations rest. First and foremost, the crystal symmetry and the connectivity of our lattice informs which theoretical models may be applicable to our material. Furthermore, it is often the materials with the most interesting ground states that exhibit the most profound sensitivity to disorder. Thus, it is crucial to determine what types of disorder are present, and attempt to modify the crystal growth recipe to obtain the highest quality samples. To accomplish these structural characterizations, our starting point is always x-ray diffraction. From there on, we can expand to other tools such as neutron diffraction and electron microscopy.

 

Magnetic and electronic phenomena

Quantum materials can have remarkable magnetic and electronic states, ranging from superconductors to spin liquids to topological semimetals. These states often emerge under extreme conditions, very low temperatures and high magnetic fields. We have the ability to measure a wide range of physical properties, including magnetic susceptibility, heat capacity, and electrical resistivity, down to 0.05 K (1/20th of a degree above absolute zero!) and magnetic fields up to 14 T. 

 

Seeing deeper with neutrons and muons

While we can perform many measurements in our very own lab, some experimental techniques require us to travel to beam lines at large user facilities. We are lucky that Canada's only muon source, TRIUMF, is conveniently located on UBC campus. We can use muon spin relaxation experiments to understand whether our magnetic material is frozen or dynamic or to determine the penetration depth in our superconductor. To access neutron beams we have to travel further; Canada does not currently have a major neutron source. Neutron scattering experiments can tell us the arrangement of magnetic moments in a magnetically ordered material or to map out the the spin excitations. Muon and neutron experiments provide critical insights into the behaviors of quantum materials, that in some cases cannot be accomplished with any other experimental probe. 

Research Interests: Addiction, Cognitive Control, Treatment

Research Interests: magnetic resonance imaging, physics, quantitative susceptibility mapping, myelin water imaging, brain

Potential project areas:

MRI of multiple sclerosis, modelling of the MRI signal, quantitative susceptibility mapping, MRI physics

Research Interests: Cancer biology, Genomics, Epigenomics, Bioinformatics, Genetics

Potential project areas:

Biomarker / gene signature discovery / Personalized genomic medicine / Cancer evolution / Cancer genome landscapes / Functional genomics

Research Interests: Huntington disease, Disease progression, Diabetes, Neurodegenerative disorders, Gene therapy, Drug development

Potential project areas:

Hayden Lab Research Projects

Huntington Disease (HD) is a devastating incurable neurodegenerative disease that affects about 5,000 Canadians. Inheriting a single mutant copy of the Huntingtin (HTT) gene from either parent is sufficient to cause HD. The mutated HTT gene codes for production of the toxic, mutant huntingtin protein (mHTT) that is responsible for killing brain cells in HD. Importantly, the other, non-mutated (or normal) copy of the huntingtin protein is critical for the health of brain cells. Consequently, our research goals are to reduce mHTT through multipronged approaches that specifically target the mutant gene and also develop approaches to enhance the clearance of mutant protein.

My current research projects include:

Silencing the gene that causes Huntington disease– Mutant huntingtin protein is the cause of Huntington disease (HD) and engages in a variety of aberrant interactions in neurons. Preventing generation of this toxic protein by gene silencing, the process of switching off a gene, should prevent all subsequent pathology and prevent or delay the onset of HD. Everyone has two copies of the huntingtin gene. In HD, one of these copies carries the mutation while the other copy is normal. The normal huntingtin protein is important for maintaining neuronal health and long-term reduction of this protein may not be well-tolerated. We are developing a strategy of silencing only the mutant copy of a patient’s huntingtin gene using antisense oligonucleotides targeted to HD mutation-associated single nucleotide variants as a treatment for HD.

Modulating mHTT post-translational modifications (PTMs) to enhance its clearance – Huntingtin (HTT) undergoes a myriad of post-translational modifications (PTMs) including phosphorylation, proteolytic cleavages and fatty acylation that influence the protein function, localization and clearance. Those PTMs are essential for neuronal viability, but are altered in HD. We have shown that promoting or preventing specific HTT PTMs can either dramatically improve or exacerbate HD symptoms. There is also evidence that HTT PTMs work in concert and may regulate one another. However, the interactions between the networks of HTT PTMs remain mostly unstudied. Our objectives are therefore to identify new rate-limiting PTMs, characterize the interrelationship of the HTT PTM network in vivo and understand how it relates to HTT function, stability and clearance. This project will allow us to determine and validate molecular targets for therapeutic strategies that could be used in synergy with HTT gene silencing.

Discovery of novel therapeutic targets for neuroprotection in Huntington Disease – Glutamate excitotoxicity and mitochondrial dysfunction are critical, closely-linked pathogenic mechanisms in several acute and neurodegenerative brain disorders, including HD. Together, these processes contribute to altered intracellular calcium dynamics, bioenergetic defects, cell death signaling, and synaptic instability. We are investigating novel therapeutic targets involved in these pathways with the goal of improving mitochondrial health and normalizing synaptic function in HD.

Population genetics and epidemiology of the Huntington disease mutation – The HD mutation is associated with specific sets of genetic variants in the surrounding HTT gene, known as haplotypes. We are performing detailed investigations of haplotypes HD mutation in different populations around the world. Haplotypes of the HD mutation allow for identification of new targets for therapeutic gene silencing and offer insight into the origin of the HD mutation in different ethnic groups. We additionally study how many people have the HD mutation, how often this mutation results in HD symptoms, and how often unstable new mutations for HD occur in the general population.

Research Interests: Hormone Dependent Cancers, Prostate Cancer, Endocrine Regulation, Gene Regulation and Expression, Prematurity

Potential project areas:

1) neuroendocrine prostate cancer; 2) AR driven castrate-resistant prostate cancer 3) drug screening novel DNA topoisomerase II inhibitors 4) cell free nucleotide biomarkers from liquid biopsy

Research Interests: Experimental Particle Physics

Research Interests: Agri-food Transformation Products, Nutriceuticals and Functional Foods, food processing, novel non-thermal processing, functional foods, pulsed light, high pressure, cold plasma, pasteurization, sterilization, heat transfer, mass transfer, food engineering

Research Interests: Intercultural and Ethnic Relationships, Cultural Exchanges, Migrations, Populations, Cultural Exchanges, Media and Society, Media Ethics, Media and Democratization, Migration Studies, Mobility Studies , Postcolonial Studies , Gender and Masculinity Studies, Race Theory, Film and Media Studies, Rhetoric and Communication Studies , Cultural Theory, Italian-Chinese relations , Italy's global networks , Modern and contemporary Italian literature and culture

Potential project areas:

Migration, postcolonial, and tourism studies relating to Italy and Europe;
Networks between Italy and China, and Europe and East Asia;
Italy's international past and present;
Transnationalism and globalization in Italy;
Media, filmic, and literary depictions of minorities;
Italian and comparative male and gender identities.

Research Interests: Epigenetics, Social Epigenetics, Molecular Biology , Chromatin Biology

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UBC Faculty Careers

For current PDFs looking to embark on the next phase of their academic career, please visit Faculty Career Opportunities for links to UBC faculty websites. Faculty positions are are posted within their specific faculty.

Online Career Resources

After your first position at UBC, you may move to a PDF or faculty position at another university. Postings external to UBC may be found at the following websites:

Current Postings

Position Title Employer/Institution Application Deadline
Tenure-Track/Tenured - Assistant or Associate Professor, Mechatronics Engineering Ontario Tech University Sunday, 15 September 2019
Postdoctoral Fellowship - Low Carbon Resilience: Theory to Action Simon Fraser University Saturday, 31 August 2019
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Opthalmology and Visual Sciences University of British Columbia Friday, 20 September 2019
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Gene Therapy Available University of British Columbia Saturday, 31 August 2019
Postdoctoral Recruitment Event Ohio State University Monday, 9 September 2019
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Data Science for Neurological Diseases University of British Columbia Saturday, 31 August 2019
Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Research Centre of the Montreal Geriatric Institute Université du Québec à Montréal Saturday, 31 August 2019
Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Economic Evaluation of Precision Medicine for Genetic Disease University of British Columbia Saturday, 31 August 2019