A program for prospective graduate students in psychology
The Diversity Mentorship Program at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Department of Psychology provides mentorship and professional development support for students from diverse, under-resourced, traditionally underrepresented, and/or marginalized backgrounds. This program is geared towards advanced undergraduates or recent graduates who are interested in pursuing research-oriented graduate studies and research careers in psychology.
I spent all of my undergrad wondering if people who looked like me can really make it into a good graduate school and have a great academic careers, and this program opened my eyes to that possibility. It’s tremendously changed my mental health and confidence in my abilities for the future.
“I felt really inspired by the speakers at the event and I reflect on their wisdom when I face adversity.”
“The benefit of the program is that I received a mentor that I can relate to. She listens and gives me resources and helps me when I am stuck. I am thrilled to have been a part of this program.”
“I spent all of my undergrad wondering if people who looked like me can really make it into a good graduate school and have a great academic careers, and this program opened my eyes to that possibility. It’s tremendously changed my mental health and confidence in my abilities for the future.”
“It was nice to know that through the whole process I had someone to talk to, someone who had been in my situation. Having a mentor made me realize that there are different outcomes and different times for everyone's goals. It made me reflect about what I wanted to pursue in my life, My mentor serve as a compass that guided me during a time I did not know what I 'truly' wanted.”
“It was inspiring and hopeful to talk to my mentor, and it provided me with clarity and a sense of not being alone in the very confusing landscape of grad school applications. I also did not have to worry about whether my identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community would get in the way of my mentorship. That helped ease my mind and allowed me to focus on how to get into grad school!”
“My experience in this program was invaluable. I really appreciated the opportunity to have conversations with a fellow LGBTQIA-identifying scholar about the experience of being a part of the margins of the academic community. My mentor helped me bolster my CV and statement of purpose for my Ph.D. applications, prepare for interviews, and was incredibly supportive of my admission to my program.”
“My mentor was extremely helpful! I initially felt a lot of uncertainty on pursuing higher education, and my mentor shared with me his personal experiences in his journey. In applying for the programs, he helped me with my personal statements. During the interview process, he provided tips and questions I should ask. Despite not getting accepted into any programs this cycle, he still helped me after the cycle had ended.”
“As a first-gen student, having someone to turn to when navigating various systems was super beneficial. Also having a reference point when formulating my applications (something I would otherwise have no guidance on) was very helpful.”
About the program
This yearlong program will consist of hybrid professional development workshops on topics related to academia, such as the graduate school application process. Mentees interested in more individualized guidance, such as receiving feedback on graduate application materials, will be matched with a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow from UBC psychology for one-on-one mentoring.
The program is offered in a hybrid format (with the option to participate online or in person), and it is open to people anywhere in the world. Workshops will be held throughout the academic year on topics such as:
- Career options in psychology
- Planning your unique academic and professional path /li>
- How to apply for graduate school, funding, and the interview process
- Diversity in academia
- Psychology research on issues related to equity, diversity, and inclusion
Based on extensive feedback from last year’s mentees and mentors, we will be offering a two-track system for this year’s mentees.
- Unmatched: Mentees interested in participating in professional development workshops on topics related to graduate school and academia, but who are not currently seeking individualized support, may choose to engage in our unmatched track. Workshops will be followed by small-group activities facilitated by graduate student and postdoctoral mentors. Although individuals in this track will be able to interact with graduate student and postdoctoral mentors in a small-group format, they will not have a one-on-one mentor.
- Matched: Mentees interested in more individualized support may choose to participate in one-on-one mentorship as well as the workshops. At the start of the program, the organizing committee will match mentees interested in one-on-one mentorship with a mentor.
For mentees applying to the UBC Psychology graduate program, a limited number of vouchers will be available to offset the UBC graduate application fee for the 2023-24 cycle.
Equity & Inclusion Office: Case Study
Who is eligible to participate?
You are eligible to participate if you meet ALL of the following criteria:
- You come from a background that is diverse, under-resourced, marginalized, and/or traditionally under-represented in psychological science. This includes but is not limited to students who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, from low-income backgrounds, living with disabilities, and / or are in the first generation in their family to attend university.
- You are a 3rd or 4th year undergraduate student or have recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in the past few years.
- You are interested in pursuing research-oriented graduate studies in Psychology
Apply for the program
Applications are due Tuesday, September 12th. Apply here.
Improvements to the program
We have made changes to the program this year based on extensive feedback from last year’s mentors and mentees:
- Two-track system: Mentees interested in participating in the program may choose to participate in hybrid workshops involving professional development followed by small-group activities facilitated by a graduate or postdoctoral mentor. Mentees interested in more individualized support may choose to further participate in one-on-one mentorship. At the start of the program, the organizing committee will match mentees interested in one-on-one mentorship with a mentor.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, this program is not restricted to Canadians. People both within and outside of Canada are welcome to apply!
Yes! We absolutely encourage applications from former mentees.
No, you are welcome to submit an application for this mentorship program even if you do not intend to apply to UBC for graduate admission. We anticipate that participants will benefit in many ways (e.g., professional development, strengthening graduate application materials, networking), regardless of where they apply for graduate school.
Please note that this program is separate from graduate admissions decisions for UBC Psychology. Participation in this program will NOT give you priority for admission to graduate school at UBC.
Applications will be reviewed in a holistic manner that considers the applicants’ personal backgrounds and lived experiences, as well as academic & research experience and interests. Applicants who identify as part of an under-represented group in higher education (for example, on the basis of their race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual identity, first-generation university student, living with disabilities, etc.) will be eligible. We will prioritize applicants with past research experience and a strong interest in pursuing research-oriented graduate studies in Psychology. We will strive to have a variety of different backgrounds and areas of interest in psychology (i.e., clinical, social, developmental, cognitive, health, behavioural neuroscience, and quantitative) represented among the program participants.
There is no minimum GPA requirement for this program. As described above, we will review applications in a holistic manner.
No! This program is completely free of charge for mentees.
This program is geared towards research-oriented graduate studies in psychology, including clinical psychology. While our program provides mentorship on topics that may be relevant for a range of graduate studies (e.g., how to reach out to faculty, writing personal statements, applying for graduate scholarships), mentees interested in research-oriented careers will be prioritized.
In the application, you may indicate that you wish to be considered for either track.
Matched-track mentees are welcome and encouraged to come to our professional development workshops to connect with other mentees and mentors in our program!
Interested in being a mentor?
Are you a current UBC Psychology graduate student or postdoctoral researcher? Mentor undergraduate students!
Joelle LeMoult: Program Director
Victoria Wardell: Program Manager
June Brown: Program Assistant
Yes! We are happy to meet with you to chat. We can share resources such as Canvas course materials for training mentors, application forms, and survey questions for program evaluation.