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 and Postdoctoral 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:

Scott Lear

Dr. Lear is actively looking for students wishing to purse a doctoral degree (PhD) in areas of prevention and management of cardiovascular diseases. A range of projects are currently underway including investigations of the built environment, the use of technology to support patients in their homes and global health. Applicants with interest in one or all three areas will be considered and must have a recent MSc with evidence of publications in a relevant field. Statistical analysis experience is an asset. The applicant should also demonstrate the ability to work independently and have excellent verbal and written communication skills.

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 on HERU’s website.

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 Lab is seeking bright and highly self-motivated students wishing to pursue a doctoral degree (PhD) in vaccine immunology. Current investigations in the lab focus on understanding antigenic presentations impacting the ontogeny of glycan- and CD4bs-specific neutralizing antibodies to HIV-1 and cross-neutralizing antibodies to the stem of flu HA. Applicants must meet minimal requirements for admission to the PhD program in the Faculty of Health Sciences, have demonstrable training in microbiology, immunology or a closely related discipline and hands-on research laboratory work experience beyond laboratory courses.

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:

Shira Goldenberg

Dr. Shira Goldenberg is currently recruiting for a PhD or Postdoctoral trainee to join their research team at the Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity and the SFU Faculty of Health Sciences. They are seeking someone with expertise and interests in social and spatial epidemiology to support spatial research with the An Evaluation of Sex Workers’ Health Access (AESHA) project, and the Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS: Longitudinal Women’s Needs Assessment (SHAWNA) project. More information can be found here.

The team is seeking applicants with either a Master’s (for PhD applicants) or PhD (for Postdoctoral applicants) in public health, geography, health sciences, or a related discipline. Those with intermediate or advanced skills and interests in social epidemiology and spatial methods in health research (i.e., using ArcGIS) are strongly encouraged to apply.

Interested applicants can send an email with a one-page statement of academic/research interests, academic CV, contact information for three academic references, and academic transcripts for the most recent degree completed/in progress to:;

Lawrence McCandless

Dr. Lawrence McCandless's research team seeks to recruit a student for admission to the MSc or PhD program in the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU in Fall 2021. The student will work in the field of epidemiology and biostatistics for public health health.  Specifically, they will join his team to analyze environmental health data from the Ulaanbaatar Gestation and Air Pollution Research (UGAAR) Study, which is a randomized controlled trial of the health benefits of HEPA air purifiers conducted in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (principal investigator Dr. Ryan Allen).

The MSc/PhD applicant should be keenly interested in epidemiology and biostatistics, and have some knowledge of R/SAS/Stata or related statistical software. They should have a grade point average >3.33 (B+) with previous coursework in science, including any of the following: calculus, biology, chemistry, physics, statistics or computer science. Interested applicants should email their CV and academic transcript to Lawrence McCandless ( Suitable candidates may be invited to submit an online application to Graduate Programs on the SFU Office of Graduate Studies website.

The deadline for applications to the MSc program in the Faculty of Health Sciences at SFU is January 15, 2021.