We are grateful to receive several dozen enquiries per month about joining us as graduate students. Emails vary greatly in their effectiveness, a reflection of fit and communication style. Please consider the following:
Fit: Do you really want to conduct research? Or do you really want to be in wonderful places to safeguard animals and their habitat/resources? We receive many emails that primarily or exclusively express an intention to participate in research that might help conservation in general or particular taxa. Often, people are really keen about working in the Great Bear Rainforest. Often missing is a statement of any conceptual/scientific interest. This is problematic because your success in graduate school is focused on research. Accordingly, we would like to hear about your scholarly research interests (and not illustrated by Rainforest Wolves or Spirit Bears, but rather grounded in ecological or evolutionary theory). If this is a challenge or unappealing, then graduate school might not be a good fit for you. The good news: if you focus on doing good science, this opens the door to spending time in special places and contributing towards positive change. In fact, we support the engagement of our team with communities, the media, and in conservation debate.
Communication Style: Please know that we manage a great many emails in any given week. If the fit is good, your approach will particularly capture our attention if you express yourself well. Please write clearly, professionally, and concisely. Attach a CV (with file name that starts with your last name, so that we can easily save it), undergraduate transcripts, and any other evidence of your scholarly performance (eg. Honours Thesis, peer-reviewed papers, etc).
Other information: There is no application deadline per se, but those received before 15 January are considered for departmental fellowships. Again, your previous scholarly performance matters; only those with GPAs more than 7 (on UVic’s 9 point scale; ~A-) are considered for fellowships. Additionally, those who have applied for external fellowships (eg NSERC, NSF) the fall before projected entry will be given special consideration.
We hope this helps, and we look forward to hearing from you.