Grad Training

The Designing for People Research Cluster is concluding in April 2024. Please note that we are no longer accepting new students, and the information provided here is for archival purposes.

What is the DFP CREATE?

The DFP Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program (CREATE) is a unique graduate training opportunity developed at UBC that fosters cross-disciplinary coaching in human-centered design of interactive technologies. Masters and PhD students from participating units across campus bring their disciplinary knowledge and work together in a variety of program elements, including hands-on project experience with external partners, to develop research and professional skills and holistic design understanding.


DFP graduate students will learn to transcend disciplinary boundaries to work in teams that advance new products and services through user research and product development. They will fill high-demand and leadership positions where technology design and people's need converge, in areas such as health, architecture, urban planning, robotics, learning, policy, and many more.


How to Apply

The DFP CREATE Experience

DFP students apply to and receive their degree in the graduate program of their UBC home unit (department or school), completing its requirements. The DFP CREATE is an enrichment to that training, and can be completed anytime during the student's home program. The DFP CREATE’s program requirements include two core courses, a suite of professional skills modules, and a selection of DFP-recognized elective courses. The core courses are:

  • DFP Fundamentals: Cross-disciplinary foundations for the human-centered design of interactive technologies.
  • DFP Project: A team-oriented design project course in which student teams work on a partner-supported project, where the partners come from industry, government, not-for-profit and research groups.

Students generally take DFP Fundamentals in the Fall, then take DFP Project immediately after in January. Students can continue to work on completing their DFP CREATE program requirements even after completing DFP Project, as long as they haven't yet graduated from their home program. 

After completing program components, students receive DFP certification and become DFP Alumni, continuing to participate in and benefit from the DFP community and activities, including an active grad group, a student-run summer school, the DFP seminar series, and exposure to DFP’s large network of partners. Annually, current and alumni DFP students present their projects and research to prospective employers and other end-users during an annual Design Showcase. 

For more information about both applying and completing the DFP CREATE, see How to Apply.


You may apply to the DFP CREATE if you:

Individuals first apply to a home department (a participating academic unit), then upon an offer of UBC admission (and as late as one year into certain programs), you can apply with your faculty supervisor to the DFP CREATE.

Having a DFP faculty supervisor is the most important aspect of DFP CREATE eligibility, and must be secured in advance of applying to the DFP CREATE. The faculty supervisor must agree to supervise your research or major project on a DFP-related topic. This student-faculty relationship should be based on mutual research interest, the potential for excellence, and evidence that you will thrive when working on complex, interdisciplinary DFP problems.

See How to Apply for more details on the application process.

NSERC logo


We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
Cette recherche a été financée par le Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada (CRSNG).