What is a program trainee?

SBSP trainees are accepted undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows that have been first admitted into home-department programs.

Trainees may receive funding, and a certificate, from SBSP, but will graduate with a degree from their home units.

To achieve an interdisciplinary learning environment, SBSP draws faculty from the School of Environmental Health and Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, the Faculty of Applied Science (Engineering and Architecture), Science (Physics) and Forestry at UBC, as well as from the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).

Rights and Responsibilities

As an SBSP trainee, you have full access to the resources and benefits of the Program. These include the expertise and academic activities of the Program researchers and collaborators, stipend funding (through your supervisor), a workspace in the CIRS building if required and available, access to funding to attend conferences and to undertake an internship during your studies and, most importantly, access to the sustainable-building-science community that is evolving at UBC and in the surrounding professional community.

However, you also accept certain responsibilities. As a student  in your home department, you must satisfy its graduation requirements. In addition, you are expected to take the SBSP Topics and Project courses, and to attend the SBSP Seminar series and other SBSP events. You will be asked to present a seminar on your research. You must submit an annual progress report, and inform us annually about funding you have received, conference and journal papers that you have published, and your expected date of graduation. Most importantly, you are expected to contribute to the sustainable building-science community and to help the SBSP to evolve.

Program Details

SBSP does not grant degrees, but rather enhances existing graduate-degree programs to provide a curriculum and environment conducive to training in sustainable-building education and research. Trainees will apply to a graduate-degree program suitable to their background skills; once admitted they will be eligible to apply for a fellowship in SBSP.

Admitted masters and doctoral trainees must comply with the academic policies of their home units and with the requirements of SBSP. Home departments will accept SBSP courses for degree credit.

Trainees will receive funding from SBSP, but will graduate with a degree from their home units. Trainees will maintain the specialization of their field of study for thesis research, but will have that experience framed, enhanced and focused by the interdisciplinary SBSP framework.


Trainees will work in industry for 4 months (Masters) or 8 months (PhD), applying their education and research skills to realistic design problems and their solutions. At the end, they will prepare internship reports for evaluation, and present seminars to industry, faculty and fellow trainees on their experiences. Supporting organizations Stantec and Haworth, for example, have agreed to host internships for the SBSP, and funding will be provided by them and organizations like MITACS.

Career Possibilities

The SBSP team has collectively trained several hundred students in different aspects of building science and design. Based on this experience, we expect that graduates will find careers in the four sectors listed below, with sample Canadian organizations in brackets.

  • Building Architecture and Engineering (Stantec; Busby-Perkins-Will; Smith-Carter; Reid-JonesChristofferson; Cobalt Engineering; Omicron Engineering)
  • Building Technology Suppliers (SunCentral Inc.: solar lighting; D-Point: heat-recovery ventilators; Pulse Energy: energy-management software; Honeywell: building controls and sensors; Haworth: building interior components)
  • Research and education (e.g. U. Toronto; Concordia U.; Inst. for Res. in Construction, NRC; BCIT)
  • Public Sector (Public Works Canada; City of Vancouver; UBC Sustainability Office)

On Campus

Projects through the SEEDS program are a great opportunity to get involved in sustainability and make an impact on campus.

The UBC Emerging Green Builders Group is a great way to get involved with other students interested in green buildings. This is a group of undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of disciplines interested in topics on a sustainable built environment. Various events are put on by students, for students. This year they will be hosting a LEED and Living Building Challenge Workshop, a Materials lecture (involving LEED, LCA, and LBC), as well as networking events.