Dr. Vibert Douglas was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1894. She and her brother, George, grew up with their grandmother after their parents died in 1904. George helped out his sister when she wasn’t allowed to join the science club in high school because she was a girl. George left the door open so she could sit outside and still listen to the lectures. She received a scholarship for McGill University after graduating at the top of her class.
She attended McGill for physics and mathematics until her brother was enlisted in World War I. When her brother was enlisted, she moved with him to England, where she worked as a statistician in London. She received a Silver Cross of the order of the British Empire for the work she did—she was only twenty-three years old! After the war ended, she continued her studies at McGill and got her Undergraduate degree in 1920, and her masters in physics in 1921.