The Clinical program employs an apprenticeship approach to research training. Each student is selected for his/her compatibility of research interests with a faculty member. The major theoretical perspectives represented in faculty interests are behavioural, cognitive, social learning, interpersonal and psychophysiological.

The student will work closely with that particular faculty member throughout his or her graduate program on faculty and/or student research projects. The system is designed to expose students to clinical research early in their graduate training and to equip them with the necessary research skills for conducting the Master’s thesis and developing a program of research. The M.A. thesis should be completed by the spring of the second year. All research conducted at UBC must be approved by the UBC Behavioural Research Ethics Board.

In addition to the apprenticeship training, a firm academic background in clinical research design and methodology will be made available in first year coursework including Clinical Research Design and Advanced Statistics. Students orally present the results of their first research efforts (typically the MA thesis) at a departmental mini-conference (known as PsychFest), which usually occurs during the first week of May.

It is quite possible that students’ research interests may change through the course of their graduate training. If students would like to switch research advisors or become involved in additional research with other faculty members, they should discuss this with all parties concerned. Students are also encouraged to explore the possibility of collaboration with faculty in other areas of the Department who may have interests that overlap with the students’ areas of interest.

To provide a sense of research in the clinical program, below are some examples of titles of recent graduates’ dissertation titles:

  • How parent and child Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms predict parenting behaviours in mothers and fathers: Self-Report and observational measures
  • Coping, information preferences, and treatment choice in men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer
  • Mechanisms that underlie cultural disparities in women’s sexual desire: The role of sex guilt and its treatment
  • Characteristics of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder traumatic stressor: A study of rural and northern first responders
  • From affect to action: Daily emotions and non-suicidal self-injury
  • Metacognition and cravings during smoking cessation
  • The modulatory role of selective attention on P50 sensory gating and event related beta activity in schizophrenia
  • Perfectionism, social exclusion, and anorexia nervosa symptoms
  • Better safe than sorry? An examination of safety behaviour reduction interventions in social anxiety disorder