Choose a supervisor

MSc and PhD students are required to have a confirmed supervisor prior to application. Please note that MPH applicants are not required to select a supervisor.

A supervisor must be a continuing SFU faculty member at the rank of assistant professor or above. Please note that lecturers cannot supervise students. 

In your application, explain how your educational, research, and/or career experiences prepared you for your selected area of research and align with your senior supervisor’s research interests. You are required to describe the general area(s) of research interest, but a full research proposal is not required.

You can find more information about applying for graduate studies, finding a supervisor, and what supervisors look for in their students on the Graduate Studies website.


• Determine research area you would like to investigate
• Identify a faculty member who is conducting research related to your area of interest
• Reach out and see if they are available to supervise you


• Evidence of academic performance
• Research potential
• Evidence of ability to perform at the graduate level
• Leadership skills


Select a supervisor you would like to work with and send them an email including:
• A resume or CV
• A brief statement of research intent
• Your academic transcript

Actively recruiting supervisors:

Bohdan Nosyk

The Health Economic Research Unit (HERU) at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, led by Dr. Bohdan Nosyk, is seeking quantitatively-oriented MPH, MSc and PhD students with interests in health services research, health economics, and the analysis of linked health administrative databases. BCCfE-HERU is a multidisciplinary team of health economists, statisticians and public health researchers. Our program of research focuses primarily on statistical and cost-effectiveness analysis related to health service delivery in HIV/AIDS, substance use disorders and viral hepatitis. More information can be found here.

Applicants must meet the minimum requirements for admission to the MSc or PhD program in the Faculty of Health Sciences; have strong quantitative experience, and preferably experience using SAS, R or similar; have a strong academic record; and have excellent oral and written communication skills.

Interested applicants can send an email with CV and transcripts to

Ralph Pantophlet

The Pantophlet Laboratory invites applications from dedicated and driven individuals seeking to undertake graduate studies in the field of vaccine immunology, with a focus on SARS coronaviruses, HIV-1, and influenza. Prospective candidates must satisfy the entry criteria for the Doctoral program within the Faculty of Health Sciences. Additionally, candidates should have a robust background in microbiology, immunology, or an adjacent field and possess practical research experience in a laboratory setting, extending beyond that acquired in routine laboratory coursework.

William Hsiao

Dr. Hsiao’s group combines semantic web technologies with genomics technologies to address infectious disease challenges and improve public health practices. His team is currently leading the data harmonization effort for the national SARS-CoV-2 genomic epidemiology initiative to ensure genomic data and relevant contextual information are efficiently managed for public health surveillance and for downstream epidemiological and virology research. They apply text-mining, ontology, and other “knowledge engineering” technics to achieve this goal. His team also applies high-throughput sequencing technologies to study microbes and their environments. His team is always looking for self-motivated and friendly students and postdoctoral fellows to join their diverse team. Students with backgrounds or interest in public health, infectious diseases, bioinformatics, genomics, microbiology, and computer science are encouraged to apply.

Interested applicants can send an email including a cover letter (introduce yourself, your academic background and interests), transcripts, and CV to

Kanna Hayashi

Dr. Hayashi is looking for students wishing to pursue an MSc or PhD degree or postdoctoral research in her program of research that primarily focuses on observational research on illicit drug use and seeks to inform public health-oriented and evidence-based approaches to drug policy and programming. Areas of particular interests include harm reduction, decriminalization of drug use, substance use treatment, substance use and social epidemiology, human rights, community-based research, and qualitative research. Applicants must meet minimum requirements for admission to the MSc or PhD program at the Faculty of Health Sciences, have a strong academic record, and have excellent oral and written communication skills.

Interested applicants can send an email including a cover letter (including a brief introduction of yourself, your academic background and relevant experiences, and research topics of your interest), transcripts, and CV to:

Graeme Koelwyn

The Koelwyn lab is looking for motivated and enthusiastic graduate students with an interest in translational research in exercise and disease pathogenesis. Our lab specifically studies how exercise induces adaptations across the metabolic and inflammatory-immune axis to improve outcomes in individuals at risk for, or diagnosed with, cardiopulmonary disease and cancer. We utilize a variety of experimental tools from molecular to systems biology, across mouse models and patients, to determine the mechanisms through which exercise protects from these diseases.  See here for a list of publications to date.

The lab is uniquely positioned across the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation (HLI) and SFU to maximize translational impact. HLI, where our lab is located, is situated within Providence Health Care’s St. Paul’s Hospital, a UBC teaching hospital in downtown Vancouver. HLI is a world-leading research centre that connects basic science and clinical research across heart, lung and critical care disease. The lab also has access to SFU and UBC’s research and educational infrastructure, enabling cutting-edge approaches, specialized coursework, and diverse collaborative opportunities for trainees.

Applicants should demonstrate strong critical thinking ability and communication skills. Special consideration will be given to applicants with previous experience in immunology, preclinical model systems, exercise physiology and/or computational biology.

Interested applicants can send an email including a brief introduction of yourself, academic background and research topics of interest, as well as transcripts and CV to:

Elizabeth King

Dr. King is an Infectious Diseases physician and Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. She is looking for motivated and enthusiastic graduate students with an interest in quantitative research in women’s health outcomes. Dr. King’s research program seeks to understand and diminish health inequities experienced by women living with HIV with a specific focus on aging. Areas of particular interest include menopausal care for women with HIV, including use of hormone therapy, pharmacotherapy of antiretrovirals and impact of aging, and aging-related comorbidities. Applicants must meet minimum requirements for admission to the MSc or PhD program at the Faculty of Health Sciences, have a strong academic record, and have excellent oral and written communication skills.

Interested applicants can send an email including cover letter (include introduction of yourself, your academic background, relevant experiences and research interests), transcripts, and CV to:

Scott Lear

Dr. Scott Lear is accepting applications for a PhD student in areas of exercise/physical activity epidemiology, built environment or digital health research fields within The Community Health Assessment Research Team (CoHeART). CoHeART is a multi-disciplinary, energetic team focused on the prevention and management of chronic diseases spanning from individual to population level.

Exercise/physical activity epidemiology: To investigate the role of physical activity in improving health and preventing disease using data from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE- study and possibly accelerometers. Experience with statistics such as linear/logistic regression, mixed-effects models, spline curves, survival analysis (or a foundation on which to build on).

Built environment: In the PURE Vancouver cohort (about 2500 participants), we have built environment data from 17 communities collected in 2009 and reassessed ten years later. Projects may consist of exploring the association of the change in the built environment with change in health behaviours and/or health outcomes. In addition to the statistical methods outlined above, experience in visualization and analysis of the built environment data using GIS software (or a foundation on which to build on).

Digital health: Projects related to the design and evaluation of digital health interventions either in the prevention or management of chronic disease. This may consist of text messaging, web or mobile-based apps, wearables and/or the telephone. Experience in lifestyle interventions (or a foundation on which to build on).

Applicants should have a recent MSc/MPH with evidence of publications in a relevant field. PhD students are expected to publish at least 3-5 papers during their degree, mentor junior students, engage and/or collaborate with other students and support student peers in their projects, attend monthly team meetings among other activities that will support student growth and development.

Please send a CV, cover letter with an expression of interest and transcript to Dr. Scott Lear at