UBC Faculty of Forestry seeking world’s best and brightest applicants for $280,000 Future Forests Fellowship

Future Forests Fellowship logo
The Faculty of Forestry is proud to announce that the Future Forests Fellowship has been renewed for a second 4-year period beginning in September 2018. This prestigious award is the largest in the world for an incoming PhD student, providing $280,000 over 4 years.

The Future Forests Fellowship is made possible by a private Canadian foundation, which created it to draw attention to how forestry research impacts global issues. The Faculty is deeply grateful to the private foundation that made this landmark contribution.

The first (and so far only) recipient of the Fellowship is Sara Barron, whose research looks at how future urban forests can be designed and planned to be climate-ready, support local ecosystem services, and improve the health and well-being of local residents. In 2013, Sara’s research proposal beat out applicants from a number of countries including Poland, India, Iran, Brazil, the US and the UK.

How to apply

Applications open August 1, 2017. Deadline to apply is November 24, 2017 for September 2018 start date. Visit future.forestry.ubc.ca for eligibility guidelines and how to apply.

The impact

Sara recently spoke about the impact of the Fellowship on her work:

The award has given me confidence in my research, and freedom to explore both academic and volunteer pursuits related to our field. The confidence shouldn’t be overlooked. You aren’t just giving students financial support, but adding a boost to their step, a validation that their research is important.”

“The award has allowed me to attend conferences and build relationships internationally in places like Sweden, Manila, Australia, and the United states. These conferences and the people you meet at them are so important and inspiring for young academics.”

Being offered financial freedom to pursue my studies also allowed me to volunteer for our Faculty. I thought of this award as a call to service, and volunteered with my supervisor Dr Sheppard to help shape and create our Faculty’s new undergraduate program in urban forestry.”

Through that experience, I discovered a personal passion for teaching. I was fortunate to have the chance to create and co-teach the new urban forestry program’s second year course on urban forests and human well-being. I now realize that teaching is something I would like to pursue, and hope to continue to find opportunities to engage with our students in the years ahead.”

Sara is also clear about the impact of the award in practical terms:

“Like many of my fellow students, I paid my own way through my undergraduate and masters degrees. I often worked 20-40 hour weeks to pay my tuition and living expenses while studying during those years, so I have a very strong appreciation for the opportunity to study without those constraints.”

“It is difficult to put into words the gratitude that I have for the donors in providing this award. It is a true honor.”

Media Inquires

For media inquires, please contact Susan Watts at sue.watts@ubc.ca or 604-822-6316.