Graduate Research Opportunities

Considering graduate study in Geography?

The Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University provides opportunities for advanced study in human geography, earth system dynamics and spatial and geographic information science. Students attending SFU receive instruction in theories and methods appropriate to their field of study. Our program offers the chance to interact with a diverse group of fellow students from across Canada and around the world, and to live and study in greater Vancouver, a cosmopolitan city renowned for its scenic beauty, urban amenities and endless opportunities for outdoor activities in super, natural British Columbia. Our graduates go on to further advanced study, university faculty positions, and government and private sector employment.

Click here to learn more about our graduate program.

If you’re interested in graduate research, please feel free to contact faculty members for information on their programs even if they have not explicitly posted for recruitment on this page. The following faculty members are actively recruiting students for enrollment in their graduate programs:

Sociology-Anthropology - SSHRC Project

Feng Xu (Political Science, University of Victoria) and Kendra Strauss (Labour Studies, Simon Fraser University) have been granted five-years of funding under the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (the SSHRC) Insight Grants scheme for a project entitled ‘Workers in the aging city: Eldercare labor markets in Vancouver and Shanghai’.

The investigators will be recruiting two MA or PhD students (one for University of Victoria, one for Simon Fraser University) to start work on the project in the Fall of 2017. We are particularly interested in hearing from students with a background in feminist political economy and/or migration studies. Fluency in both Chinese and English are desirable for at least one of the roles. The RA positions are for 10 hours per week over three years, with the possibility of partial funding for a fourth year. Interested students will need to be enrolled in an MA or PhD program in Political Science (University of Victoria), Geography (Simon Fraser University) or Sociology and Anthropology (Simon Fraser University), and must apply through the usual route. Interested students can contact Feng Xu ( or Kendra Strauss ( in the first instance.  For detailed information, please visit here.

Climate Science

The Climate Research Lab in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University is seeking Masters and Doctoral students interested in pursuing research on climate change using Earth System models. Potential projects include the investigation of the effects of emissions of a range of greenhouse gases and aerosols on long-term climate change, the greenhouse gas emissions reductions that are required to avoid “dangerous” levels of global warming, and the effects of climate change on the global carbon sink.

Prospective students interested in this area of research are encouraged to send an inquiry with a Curriculum Vitae and transcripts to Dr. Kirsten Zickfeld ( Strong quantitative skills and background in climate or atmospheric science, oceanography, earth science, physical geography, physics or related disciplines is required. Further information is available here

Paleoglaciology, Paleohydrology and Quaternary Environmental Change

The SFU Paleoglaciology Group conducts research aimed at 1) enhancing our understanding of past ice sheet dynamics and hydrology in order to better predict the behaviour of present day ice sheets, 2) building our knowledge of Quaternary environmental change in Canada, and 3) applying this knowledge to assist in the inventory and management of Canada’s natural resources (e.g., groundwater, aggregates, minerals). Graduate student projects typically combine geomorphology, sedimentology, topographic surveying, shallow geophysics, geochronology and GIS. There are a number of specific research projects available but students are also encouraged to develop their own projects within the broader thematic areas of my research program: paleo-ice sheet hydrology, paleo-ice sheet dynamics, and paleoenvironmental change.

Prospective students interested in this area of research are encouraged to send an inquiry with a CV and transcripts to Dr. Tracy Brennand ( High academic standing and a Bachelor’s (for MSc) or Master’s (for PhD) degree in physical geography, earth sciences, environmental sciences or a related discipline is required. For further information on the graduate program, including application instructions, please click here.