Prospective Students

Lab at trapeze class


Thank you for your interest in our department and in this lab. (updated Dec 4 2023): The deadline has passed for applications for study beginning in Fall of 2024. See details in FAQ 1 below. 

More information about the clinical program can be found here and a description of the graduate program in psychology at UBC can be found here, including information about how to apply. The application process is a formal one, meaning that you need to send a set of specific materials to UBC, and I cannot make a decision about whether to accept you unless you formally apply.

To increase equity and transparency, I strive to give every prospective applicant the same information. For these reasons, I try to provide lots of information on this webpage, and I keep this website well updated. I understand that applying to graduate school is quite a process, so I have listed below the answers to the most common frequently asked questions. I encourage prospective students to look carefully at this site in order to gain information about the work in this lab. You are welcome, but not required, to email me to introduce yourself; however, unfortunately I cannot give you feedback about your application before you apply or other feedback that is not on this webpage. This is because again, I am aiming to provide all applicants the same information and to do so in a public way (i.e., on my webpage). However, if you have questions that are not answered on this webpage, please feel free to ask.

  1. Will you be accepting students to begin study in Fall of 2025 (application deadline Dec 1 2024)?

(Updated Dec 4 2023): The deadline has passed for beginning study in Fall of 2024. I do not know yet whether I will be accepting students for Fall of 2025. I will update this website closer to the date.

Yes I am likely to be available to be listed as a co-supervisor. You are encouraged to apply to whoever would be the best fit for you as a primary supervisor. It is possible to apply to the clinical psychology graduate program with a primary supervisor who is not in the clinical psychology area, however, the faculty in the clinical psychology area have first priority (over faculty not in the area) when it comes to accepting graduate students in the clinical program.

The graduate students for whom I am primary supervisor are typically in the clinical program. If you are interested in being a grad student in a different area of psychology that is not clinical, you are encouraged to apply to work with a faculty member who is in that area of psychology, and you may list me as a co-supervisor if that makes sense given your research interests. It is most likely that this would fit if you are applying to the developmental program.

Boba mentorship of Jenn, Adri, and Sophie
  1. What are the current projects in your lab in which graduate students can become involved?

Please see this website under “Current Research”. Graduate students are involved in all of the projects listed in this section.

  1. What future studies will you be doing in this lab?

Future studies will continue to look at social context influences on peer relationships and peer interventions among children and adolescents with and without ADHD. At the moment we are completing the PRISM study involving online social interactions among teens/emerging adults. Please see the Current Research tab. We are also starting some new projects to examine perceptions of ADHD and treatment decisions among Asian Canadian families, as well as Asian Canadian university students, to help understand services gaps for these groups.

There are also descriptions of existing datasets, such as the Parental Friendship Coaching study, and the MOSAIC study, on this tab. I continue to be interested in social functioning in children as well as parent and teacher interventions for social problems, so if you are interested in these topics this is also a good match.

  1. Can you tell me more detail about the research studies you have listed on the website?

Please read the articles that are bolded in the Publications section of this website. In addition, if you come to interview on zoom or in person, this will be a great opportunity to learn a lot more about the various studies going on. If you have specific questions about any study that would determine whether or not you want to apply, then please go ahead and ask!

  1. Do you interview candidates?

Typically a short list of finalists are interviewed over zoom and then a smaller number come to in-person interviews (which last year we also held over zoom, but we are hoping to do in person this year). This process does not occur until late December through February.

  1. What are you looking for in a prospective graduate student?

This program and my lab are best suited for students who are predominantly interested in research careers (which could include research about intervention efficacy); students who are predominantly interested in clinical practice would not be happy here. Therefore, an important criteria for judging prospective students is research match. Students who are most prepared for this program have completed an independent research project, such as an honors thesis, manuscript, and/or a conference poster, about an issue related to what we study in lab (and related to what the student is proposing to study in graduate school). It is helpful for the student to demonstrate in their personal statement (a) good knowledge of the specific research literature in the proposed field of study; (b) past experience in that line of research, in the form of an honors thesis, independent poster, or other options; and (c) what projects they want to do in graduate school to build on this literature. In addition, this program offers clinical training so it is useful for applicants to have some clinical experience. This helps students know that they like clinical work, and to be the most prepared to go into our practicum training.

Of course, this is just a list of many ideal qualities. In reality, not all students who apply, or who get interviewed, have done all of these things. Everyone is an individual, and will have had different opportunities in their education and personal life. There is also a place on the application where you are invited to explain any life experiences or hardships you may have had, which will allow us to better understand the rest of your application. You are not required to complete this section of the application. If you do complete it, we will use it to evaluate your application holistically (because we will hopefully better understand the context of the other things on your application).

Research match is more important than is GPA, but better scores can sometimes help an applicant to be more competitive and also to qualify for scholarships. The GRE is optional so if you do not have GRE scores to submit, please do still apply. I take a holistic view of applications and understand that all sources of information have bias.

We are also looking for people who sincerely care about the well-being of children and families, and their fellow lab members. In all our work, we strive for it to have a positive impact on the lives of people. We also aspire to approach our research and treatment with cultural humility, and to break down the structures in society that have resulted in inequity and health disparities. Students who are similarly committed to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in our program, and in our society, will best fit with our lab.

I jumped first
I jumped first

7. What is the culture of the lab?

This is a great question. I would describe us as definitely food and fun loving, with a hearty sense of adventure. Every member has something unique about them. Check out the other pages on the website to see the zoo in action. Also see the tab where we talk about why and how we value diversity, equity, and inclusion (marked “Diversity” on this website).

8. I want to do research in graduate school that is about (autism, homeopathy for ADHD, social problems of children of refugees, etc.); will this be okay?

It is impossible to give a definitive answer without seeing your entire application, but in general, the MA years (first two years) are quite packed with courses and the thesis, so it is more important that you can complete your project on a topic that I know well, and a population where I already have an existing dataset (or data coming in). In the PhD years (after the MA is completed) there is more flexibility for you to branch out in terms of building your own program of research interests. In fact, I encourage you to develop your own study ideas further at that time.

9. Do I need to apply for funding? 

There is a minimum funding guarantee for graduate students in this department, and in addition, I typically top up that amount. Vancouver is a lovely, fun, and tasty place to live, but it is quite expensive if you haven’t noticed. If you are admitted, then you will receive this minimum funding regardless. You will also be considered automatically for internal department awards. However, it can help you to have more funding if you receive external awards. For Canadian citizens and permanent residents this is typically tri-council funds (usually SSHRC or CIHR is the best fit for my research). For international students, please apply for the UBC affiliated fellowships. When you get an offer of admission, I will be able to talk to you in detail about your specific financial package.

10. What if I am an international student?

You are eligible to be a grad student here regardless of your citizenship. Right now in my lab, I have both international (Malaysia, United States) and domestic students (Canadian citizens and permanent residents, although some are citizens of another country as well). One thing that is not obvious to United States citizens is that despite the way that funding and admissions are explained, UBC does not have a terminal master’s program in psychology. Rather, for the typical student applying with a BA/BSc degree, you apply to the “MA program” not the “PhD program”. For your first 2 years you are called a “MA student” and then you will apply to the PhD program here to become a “PhD student”. However, this is a formality because we only accept MA students who we expect to transition directly into our PhD program (and who intend to continue on to our PhD program). The links here describe funding for international students. Although you will not qualify for the tri-council fellowships, I advise you to apply for the affiliated fellowships.

11. Is it required that I am willing to go skydiving or bungee jumping to be in your lab? 

No really you don’t. I swear, they all wanted to go. They did make me jump first though, answering the age old question, “if your advisor jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?” with a resounding “YES”.

However, if you do come here, you will have to get yourself an animal onesie.


I am full for paid positions for lab coordinators for the 2024-25 academic year. My paid positions are almost always given to students who have been a volunteer research assistant in my lab for at least 1 year first; however, it never hurts to apply because perhaps there will be an exception. Ideally, lab coordinators should have their BA/BS in psychology and significant experience working on research studies and working with children, very strong organizational skills, lots of enthusiasm, and much patience.

We built a fort


I am full for honors students to work in my lab for the 2024-25 academic year. I accept one honors student every year and typically I accept the first student who applies after February 1 of the previous year. For the upcoming academic year (2024-2025), this has already happened. In practice, this almost always means that the slot goes to someone doing 4th year honors because the 3rd year honors students do not yet know they are in the program.

Regarding directed studies students, I almost always give these positions to students who have been volunteering in my lab for at least 1 year previously, because I get so many inquiries. However, it never hurts to ask. Thank you for thinking about us!

Please see the section under “for prospective undergraduate volunteer research assistants” for what materials I need from you if you are interested in applying.


At this moment, I am full for volunteers for the 2023-2024 academic year. However, we are starting some new projects so I could see these needs changing by Summer of 2024.

Thank you for considering our lab! If you are really interested, it never hurts to ask, because sometimes there just happens to be a way to squeeze you in. A good time to check in is often around March or April for openings in the summer or fall. I also save slots for students applying through the PSYC 240 program.

I ask for a copy of your transcript (unofficial is fine) and CV or resume, along with the contact information of 2-3 references who can speak about your work. Research assistants during the academic year will work for up to 10 hours per week  and work in lab for a minimum of two semesters.