Funded PhD Positions (Young People, Substance Use, Harm Reduction/Substance Use Care)

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    The University of British Columbia (UBC)
    AnthropologyCultural anthropology
    AnthropologyMedical anthropology
    AnthropologySocial anthropology
    GeographyHuman geography
    Medical sciencesMedicine
    SociologySocietal behaviour
    SociologySocio-economic research
    SociologyUrban sociology
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    20/06/2021 22:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Canada › Vancouver


Dr. Danya Fast is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and a Research Scientist at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, where she co-leads the Youth Health Research Program. She is a medical anthropologist who has been doing critical qualitative health research with young people who use drugs since 2008.

Dr. Fast is currently recruiting 1-2 incoming PhD students for Fall 2022 with a strong background in qualitative AND/OR community-based participatory action AND/OR anthropological AND/OR arts-based methods who is passionate about doing research broadly focused on young people (<30 years old), substance use and harm reduction/care in the city. This position would be particularly suitable for those with a background in anthropology, sociology, or human geography. Those with a nursing AND/OR harm reduction background are also encouraged to apply. 

These are funded PhD positions ($22,500 per year guaranteed for 4 years). Students will be expected to apply for additional funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and other relevant organizations.  

Students will apply to the PhD programs in Experimental Medicine or the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program at UBC. Alternatively, students with previous graduate training in anthropology can apply to the PhD program in the Department of Anthropology at UBC.

Students will carve out an independent qualitative, mixed methods or arts-based project that is encompassed by one of the following studies:

The Treatment Trajectories Study explores young people’s substance use treatment trajectories and outcomes in the context of Vancouver’s expanding efforts to address the current overdose and COVID-19 crises, including the introduction of safe supply measures. 

The Care Pathways Study focuses on the experiences of younger youth (ages 14-18) as they navigate multiple systems of care and supervision in Greater Vancouver, including the substance use service, criminal justice, government care, paediatric care and mental health care systems. 

Both of these studies include an exploration of how experimental, arts-based methods can be used to tell stories about young people who use drugs and the city. 

More information can be found at:



Interested candidates should send a one-page cover letter (detailing relevant educational background, experience and research interest as aligned with the studies described above), CV and writing sample to Cathy Chabot at cathy.chabot@bccsu.ubc.ca. ***Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.*** 


This posting is for the UBC Vancouver campus in British Columbia, Canada.

Please refer to reference number EU-54522 during correspondence about this position.

To express interest and initiate contact to the principal investigator applicants are encouraged to follow the instructions as provided in the position description or to submit an enquiry form on the position posting. Please note that shortlisted candidates will have to complete an online application to the University of British Columbia and gain admission as a graduate student to the university. Please visit the researcher profile of the supervisor for this position to learn more about their research.

About UBC
The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Since 1915, UBC's entrepreneurial spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. UBC encourages its students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world.

Doctoral studies at UBC Vancouver
UBC is a public university with a comprehensive program offering - covering all major academic disciplines and degree levels, with both research- and course-based program options. More than 50,000 students attend UBC Vancouver. As a PhD student at UBC Vancouver you'll be part of a diverse community of over 3,600 doctoral scholars at an institution that recognises and rewards the significant contributions of doctoral research. UBC is at the forefront of responding to and building on the extraordinary changes happening in our societies and our world, through reimagining approaches to research graduate education and exploring flexible methodologies for learners to develop needed expertise. UBC's Public Scholars Initiative for example is a pioneering program designed to encourage and support doctoral students to reimagine the PhD, contribute to the public good, and with their doctoral work rise to the challenges that increasingly define our times.

At UBC, you will be supported with a range of professional development workshops and services, and we'll partner with you to ensure you have a graduate game plan for academic and professional success.

You are encouraged to review the awards and scholarship database to determine funding opportunities for your doctoral degree. UBC Vancouver guarantees a minimum of CAD $22,000 of funding to eligible students for your first four years of PhD study with many programs offering higher funding packages. Funding highly varies by program and will be commensurate with qualifications, experience and awards secured. Most international students benefit from the International Tuition Award and PhD students usually qualify for the President's Academic Excellence Initiative PhD Award.

About Vancouver
Vancouver is a dynamic, cosmopolitan and progressive city, consistently ranked as one of the top cities to live in the world. Canada's third largest city has it all: sea, parks, mountains, beaches, and four seasons per year, including beautiful summers and mild, wet winters with snow in the mountains. It's the perfect backdrop to your academic research.

More Information

Offer Requirements

    ENGLISH: Excellent
Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
The University of British Columbia (UBC)
British Columbia
V6T 1Z4
2329 West Mall

EURAXESS offer ID: 604268
Posting organisation offer ID: 54522


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