How To Apply

Overview of the DFP CREATE Application and Completion Process

Apply first to a participating UBC academic unit (your "home" UBC department or school’s PhD or Master's program). After receiving that offer, identify a DFP faculty sponsor who will supervise your research thesis (or major project) on a DFP-related topic; then apply with your sponsor to the DFP CREATE (an enrichment of your home unit's program). Within the first 1-2 years of your home grad program, complete the DFP CREATE's program elements, and receive a certificate documenting this which you can list on your CV. Continue to be an active DFP Alum for the remainder of your time at UBC, and afterwards. 

NEW: Graduate Entrance Grants (GEG)
Apply by March 1, 2019  to be considered for a competitive $5,000 DFP Entrance Grant (notification by March 15).  Read more


Timing and Deadlines: DFP CREATE and GEG

Each DFP Training Program cohort begins in September of a given year. We recommend that you contact potential faculty supervisors 2-4 months before the relevant graduate application deadline (i.e., for a September 2019 program start, then October ’18 to January ’19). In some case, due to a home program's requirements, you'll take the DFP Core in your second year, but can still apply in your entrance year - just indicate this in your application.

Apply to the DFP CREATE between receiving your UBC admission and FAll 2019. This can be before you decide on your UBC offer; and in time to benefit from the program elements.

Applications will be processed as they come in, with responses given within 30 days. 

  • February 15, 2019: DFP CREATE Applications for the 2019 DFP cohort open (to be processed and applicants notified within 30 days of receipt)
  • March 1, 2019: Deadline to submit your DFP CREATE Application to be considered for a DFP Graduate Entrance Grant 
  • March 15, 2019: DFP Graduate Entrance Grant awards are announced to applicants and their faculty sponsor
  • October 30, 2019: Final deadline to submit applications to the 2019 DFP CREATE cohort. 
  • November 2019: 2019_20 DFP Project Kickoff (exact date TBA)

The DFP CREATE Program is cross-disciplinary and designed to accommodate diverse backgrounds, so there are no specific incoming degree or prior course requirements. Students from disciplines not represented in the list of currently participating UBC academic units who plan DFP-related thesis research are encouraged to inquire about possibilities for them. All prospective students require a DFP faculty sponsor prior to their application to the DFP program.

All applicants must:

  • Satisfy the admissions requirements of UBC Graduate Studies as well as their home department.
  • Have at least a Bachelor’s degree meeting competitive standards (prior to starting at UBC)
  • Hold or have accepted an offer to a graduate program in a participating UBC Unit..
  • If applying from countries where undergraduate degrees are not taught in English,  take an English-proficiency exam, and submit the results by the application deadline [Further information for international students]

Detailed Process: Applying To and Completing the DFP CREATE

1. Identify a Faculty Sponsor

The  faculty member's own requirements are the most important factor to satisfy in your application; the sponsorship is for a committed research relationship. You must directly contact your potential faculty supervisor well in advance of applying to UBC or DFP. To maximize success, carefully consider your research and training interests and target your contact to the most appropriate individuals, explaining your motivation for approaching them. We highly recommend including your curriculum vitae in your initial inquiry. If interested, the faculty member will follow up and tell you what other information they require to evaluate you.

2. Apply to a Graduate Program in your Home Department or School

With a tentative sponsor in mind, apply to your natural participating UBC home unit following their regular procedures. Consult application information available at that unit's website. 

View participating units

3. Apply to the DFP CREATE Program

Once admission to a participating home unit has been offered and a faculty sponsor identified, complete a formal but lightweight application explaining your motivation and the general area of thesis research you plan to undertake, as well as documentation of past academic excellence. This application will be reviewed, along with a sponsorship letter from your faculty supervisor, for admission to the DFP CREATE.  

Application Link

4. Complete the DFP Graduate Training Program

Students generally are expected to complete all of the DFP CREATE's program elements by Year 2 of your graduate program, regardless of PhD or Master’s designation

5. Get Certified

Upon completion of the Program, you will be awarded with a DFP CREATE Certificate, and are encouraged to list this designation on your curriculum vitae and other documentation of your training.

6. Be an Active DFP Alum

As you continue in your home degree program, and even following it, we strongly encourage DFP CREATE alumni to participate in the DFP community — e.g., mentoring junior students, participating in summer schools, networking with sponsors and community at the Design Showcase


UBC units vary by discipline in how they fund graduate students. Funding is available through the DFP CREATE program to supplement DFP Faculty supervisors’ research grants for DFP trainee research assistantships. Please discuss funding with your faculty sponsor.


DFP Graduate Entrance Grants 

The DFP will competitively award five Graduate Entrance Grants (GEG) of $5,000, to early DFP CREATE applicants. Recipients will receive the grant upon arriving at UBC in September 2019, with the expectation that they will complete the DFP CREATE Program within one or two years.
Apply for a GEG by applying to the DFP Create before the GEG deadline.

Pre-Application Checklist
  • Familiarize yourself with the DFP program requirements (above). These include a commitment to take DFP Project (CPSC 554K) in either the first or second year of your UBC graduate program.
  • Apply to and receive acceptance from your home UBC graduate program.
  • Obtain the consent of a DFP faculty to sponsor your application. 
  • Collect your original UBC application materials: UBC ID, transcripts, research statement, and, if applicable, results of your English Proficiency exam. If your original UBC application did not require a research statement, please compose a brief (<1 page is fine) statement about your objectives for your UBC graduate studies more broadly.
  • Prepare a brief statement (500 chars) about your interest in the DFP CREATE Program, to be entered into the online application form.

Application Link

Apply to the DFP CREATE only after receiving an offer from your home UBC program.

DFP CREATE 2019 Online Application