The Liu Institute for Global Issues is an interdisciplinary research hub for emerging global issues in the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs in the Faculty of Arts at the University of British Columbia (UBC). At the Liu Institute, we strive to catalyze innovative thinking and positive change, bridging the gap between academics and practitioners to transform research into actions. Our policy-led approach encourages examination of economic, social and environmental interactions and solutions that advance sustainability, security and social justice, particularly in lower income communities.
Our current focus embraces issues related to Development, Environment, Conflict (and Post-Conflict) and Emerging Forms of Politics. Delve into our faculty’s research on these areas by accessing our Research Finder.
Founded by Professor Ivan Head in 1998, we officially opened our doors in 2000. The Liu Institute is named after Dr. Jieh Jow (“JJ”) Liou, a distinguished international businessman, political figure and philanthropist, whose generous contributions through the Liu Foundation played an instrumental role in the research hub’s creation. On February 5, 2016, Dr. Liou Jieh Jow passed away at the age of 88. The Liu Institute is honoured to pay tribute to Dr. Liou. Please read our tribute here.
The Liu Institute for Global Issues brings together top faculty and scholars from around the world, all of whom share an interest in examining pressing global issues.
Get Liu news and updates in your inbox! Subscribe to Liu Institute: Global Connections.
The Liu Institute conducts research and seminars in an award-winning space on the UBC campus in Vancouver, Canada. Designed by Architectura in collaboration with renowned architect Arthur Erickson, the Liu building sits at the edge of a lush second-growth forest that provides cooling shade and beautiful views. The structure’s design incorporates a number of sustainable features aimed at maximizing use of recycled and salvaged materials, minimizing energy and water consumption, and reducing waste.
Host your next conference, meeting, or corporate retreat at the Liu Institute. Discounts are available for UBC staff and faculty. Find details at Rooms at the Liu Institute.
Interdisciplinary PhD students
If you are interested in pursuing research on global issues, consider applying to the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program (ISGP), offered in collaboration with UBC’s Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. As an ISGP candidate, you will have the opportunity to conduct advanced issue-based research that not only crosses disciplines and departmental boundaries, but also cultivates new interdisciplinary methods and techniques.
How to apply: For details on admission requirements and application deadlines, visit the ISGP website.
*ISGP students who also apply and are admitted to the Liu Scholars program receive priority for student space at the Liu Institute.
Liu Scholars are exceptional PhD students from across disciplines who help to strengthen the Institute’s networks and facilitate collaborative, issue-based research on global issues. As a Liu Scholar, you will have access to funding and opportunities to publish your research online, attend workshops and conferences, exchange knowledge with world-renowned visiting fellows, and co-author and mentor with faculty and other scholars.
The Liu Lobby Gallery, a space for creative dialogue and expression about global issues, has been curated by various Liu Scholars over the years. The current curators are Blake Smith and Jonathan Taggart.
How to apply to the Liu Scholars program: If you are a current UBC doctoral student, you are eligible to apply. Submissions are reviewed every fall. For details on admission requirements and application deadlines, contact Andrea Reynolds at the Liu Institute.
Liu Scholar profiles are listed on our website on the Connect page under “People.”
The research contributions of our postdoctoral fellows are indispensable to the UBC community and their chosen fields of study. As a postdoctoral fellow, you will work under the general supervision of a Liu Institute faculty member and may assist in supervising graduate students.
How to apply: If you have completed a doctoral degree and are seeking further training in a particular area of research, speak to a Liu faculty member directly about the possibility of a postdoctoral fellowship.
Postdoctoral fellow profiles are listed on our website on the Connect page under “People.”
Our visiting fellows are influential scholars, activists, artists, leaders and practitioners who represent a range of disciplines and backgrounds. Their role at the Liu Institute is to facilitate interdisciplinary, problem-based research on global issues and provide a supportive learning environment for Liu Scholars and postdoctoral fellows. Together, UBC’s Liu Institute and Green College also welcome one Visiting Fellow in Residence at Green College each year.
How to apply: The Liu Institute invites visiting fellowship applications throughout the year. For details on admission requirements and application deadlines, contact Andrea Reynolds at the Liu Institute.
*Please note that we have now completed the application cycle for the position of Liu Institute Visiting Fellow in Residence at Green College for the academic year 2016-17. Our next call for applications for a Visiting Fellow in Residence will go out in Fall 2017 for one term of the academic year 2018-19.
Visiting fellow profiles are listed on our website on the Connect page under “People.”
A number of scholarships, fellowships and awards are available to individuals who are interested in joining the Liu Institute for Global Issues. Qualified candidates can apply through the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies to be considered for the Olav Slaymaker Fellowship in Environment and the Thurlow Fellowship. All other awards require nomination.
Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships
The most prestigious postdoctoral award in Canada, this fellowship is presented to the very best postdoctoral researchers nationally and internationally. These individuals not only enrich the UBC research community, but also contribute to Canada’s economic, social and research-based growth.
Killam Postdoctoral Fellowships
If you recently earned a PhD from a university other than UBC and you are interested in continuing your studies, consider applying for the Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship. Open to candidates in all fields of research from around the world, this award provides funding support for up to two years.
Olav Slaymaker Fellowship in Environment
Endowed by the Simons Foundation and UBC in recognition of Dr. Slaymaker’s contributions to environmental research, $12,000 is available for one or more incoming PhD students who are pursuing environmental studies and affiliated with the Liu Institute. Fellowships are awarded at the time of admission by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies on recommendation of the Liu Institute.
Past fellows include:
• 2014: Abhishek Kar, Resource Management and Environmental Studies
• 2013: Michiko Namazu, PhD Student, Environmental Engineering
• 2013: Miriam Matejova, PhD Student, Political Science
• 2011: Sophie Webber, PhD Student, Geography
• 2011: Charles Roger, PhD Student, Political Science
Simons Award in Nuclear Disarmament and Global Security
The Liu Institute for Global Issues in the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs offers the award to UBC students intending to undertake research on topics related to nuclear disarmament and global security.
Students selected will produce a research paper. They will also be expected to attend any seminars, workshops and other activities related to nuclear disarmament and global security organized by the Liu Institute for Global Issues or the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs. Upon satisfactory production of the paper, undergraduate and graduate students will receive awards of $1,000 and $1,500 respectively.
The James and Setsuko Thurlow Scholarship in Peace and Disarmament Studies offers a $5,000 scholarship for a graduate student who is pursuing studies in peace and disarmament or weapons of mass destruction. The fellowship is awarded at the time of admission on recommendation of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
Past fellows include:
• 2011: Justin Alger, PhD Student, Political Science
Although they are very competitive, Tri-Council Awards provide significant support for full-time graduate students. If you are an eligible master’s or doctoral student with a first-class average (minimum of 80 percent), you are encouraged to apply to the relevant granting council:
• Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
• Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
• Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Yale-UBC International Fox Fellowships
The Yale-UBC Fox International Fellows Program promotes international scholarly exchanges and collaborations among the next generation of leaders. Funded through Yale University, the program supports UBC students who are interested in spending up to a year at Yale, and Yale students who are interested in spending up to a year at UBC.