UBC and Indian government commit about $2 million to support new science and engineering scholarships

Arvind Gupta Official photo
Arvind Gupta
Official photo

THE Indian government has committed $1.92 million to support PhD students in science and engineering research programs at the University of British Columbia.

The new program, developed in partnership with India’s national Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), will offer 20 students from India scholarships of $96,000 to support living expenses while they study at UBC. The program will run from 2016-17 to 2020-21 and will strengthen academic links between India and Canada.

“This scholarship will bring some of India’s bright, young talent to UBC,” said UBC President Arvind Gupta. “I hope this is the first of many collaborations with the Science and Engineering Research Board to create new opportunities for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and young scholars in both of our countries.

UBC is the first Canadian university and only the second university in the world to sign an agreement of this nature with SERB, an offshoot of India’s Department of Science and Technology.

“SERB is very pleased with this collaboration with UBC, which will enable a select group of Indian students to pursue research and training opportunities at one of Canada’s leading research universities,” said Professor T. K. Chandrashekar, Secretary of SERB. “We also hope that over time the PhD mobility will result in a more vibrant academic relationship between UBC and its counterparts in India.”

The idea for the scholarship program was developed by Gupta on his trade mission to India last fall. A memorandum of understanding was signed last week by Chandrashekar and John Hepburn, Vice President Research and International at UBC.

This new scholarship will broaden and deepen UBC’s academic and research relations with India. UBC already works closely with India as part of its international engagement strategy. India is UBC’s third largest source of international students with more than 540 undergraduate and graduate students studying at its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. UBC has more than 20 strategic partnerships with institutions in India and UBC is home to IC-IMPACTS, a Canada-India research centre that brings together researchers to improve water quality, civil infrastructure, and health across both nations.