CMS Fellows Program

The Centre for Migration Studies Fellows Program recognizes outstanding graduate and advanced undergraduate students who are pursuing migration and mobilities related studies and research at UBC. The program provides an interdisciplinary community of support for UBC students with a demonstrated academic interest in migration, broadly defined. All graduate students, as well as advanced (3rd or 4th year) undergraduates, are eligible to apply. Fellowships are awarded for the academic year.

Meet our 2022-23 CMS Fellows Cohort here!

Program Overview

The CMS Fellows Program supports promising UBC graduate students and advanced undergraduates with an active interest in migration and mobilities related studies.

CMS Fellows are a vital part of our academic community, contributing to CMS research excellence, programming and initiatives, and community engagement and outreach, in line with the Fellow’s areas of knowledge and interest.

CMS Fellows are provided opportunities to collaborate with other cohort Fellows and support Centre-sponsored initiatives and programming. Fellowships are awarded for the academic year, after which fellows may reapply to the program.

Benefits of the CMS Fellows Program 

  • $500 Academic Award to support research (details below) 
  • Shared desk space in the CMS Community Room (328, C.K. Choi building)
  • Mentorship by a CMS affiliate:
    • For CMS Graduate Fellows: mentorship by a CMS Faculty Affiliate with shared research interests; possible opportunity to develop mentorship skills by mentoring a CMS Undergraduate Fellow
    • For CMS Undergraduate Fellows: mentorship by a CMS Graduate Fellow
  • Invitation to monthly CMS Tea Hour and Community Luncheons 
  • Opportunity to join CMS Research Groups
  • Opportunity to support/organize CMS-sponsored events and graduate student programming. Each cohort of Fellows will be able to invite and host one visiting (non-UBC) speaker
  • Potential to benefit from additional CMS graduate student opportunities, such as funding competitions, research internships (as available) 
  • Immersion in an intellectually stimulating and supportive network of faculty and graduate student affiliates from more than 30 units across campus, as well as Metro Vancouver community partners

Academic Award

CMS Fellows are provided a $500 Academic Award to support their research experience at UBC. The award will be claimed via reimbursement requests for eligible purchases. Requests should be submitted to with receipts.

  • Funds may go towards conference travel, research equipment, books, professional development activities, and other expenses that would support their research and/or professional goals
  • Funds may not be used for tuition
  • CMS Fellows will report on the use of the Academic Award and how it supported them to achieve research goals during their fellowship. This forms part of the final fellowship report in May 2023
  • During the fellowship period, CMS Fellows may have opportunities to apply for additional funds to support research, collaborative research, and travel to conferences


CMS Fellows are expected to engage actively with CMS and other CMS Fellows and to serve as an ambassador for CMS. Fellows are expected to be present in Vancouver for the duration of the fellowship.

Over the course of the year, CMS Fellows will:

  1. Participate in the CMS Student Caucus. CMS Fellows will play an active role in the Grad Student Power Hour series, which provides students with the opportunity to share their research with colleagues and network with CMS-affiliated researchers. Fellows are expected to attend no less than 4 Grad Student Power Hours and 2 professional development sessions. Graduate Fellows will also present work in progress once at a Migration Grad Student Power Hour.
  2. Participate in the life of CMS. Attend no fewer than 6 CMS-sponsored research events and/or research group meetings. This includes CMS or CMS Research Group talks and workshops; it does not include Migration Grad Student Power Hours or professional development sessions.
    • At least 4 research events/meetings must be attended in-person (subject to pandemic-related restrictions, as per UBC guidance). For remotely attended events, students will submit a 1-page synopsis and reflection.
      Please note that remote attendance will not be possible for all CMS-sponsored research events. Fellows are responsible for ensuring they meet in-person attendance requirements. Accommodations can be agreed with CMS.
  3. Mentorship: CMS Fellows will meet each term with their assigned mentor.
    • Graduate Fellows only: some Graduate Fellows may be approached to be a mentor to an Undergraduate Fellow, in line with research interests. This is not a compulsory element of the fellowship but is an opportunity to develop mentorship skills.
  4. Submit a one-page report in May 2023 outlining the Fellow’s activities at CMS to date, including reporting on how the Academic Award has supported research.


  • Graduate students enrolled at UBC for the 2022/23 academic year and not graduating before May 2023
  • Advanced undergraduate students (3rd or 4th year, by standing) who have an active interest in migration and mobility as part of their degree program (e.g., have taken migration-related courses) and/or are actively involved in migration-related initiatives (including, but not limited to, policy advocacy, volunteering, public writing with a focus on migration or migrants

Selection Criteria 

CMS Fellows are selected via a competitive process. The evaluation of applications is conducted by members of the CMS Executive Committee and the CMS Mentor-in-Residence. Graduate and undergraduate applications are adjudicated separately.

Applications are evaluated based of the following criteria: 

  • Academic excellence (transcript-based)
  • Demonstrated interest in migration-related research 
  • Contribution to disciplinary diversity of the CMS Fellows cohort and potential to foster relationships and collaborations across disciplines 
  • Contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion and Truth & Reconciliation/decolonization
  • Prospects for future impact concerning migration policy and/or community engagement
  • Expected personal development outcome as a result of access to CMS resources

The program welcomes applications from all disciplines across the social sciences, humanities, professional schools, and applied sciences. The Centre for Migration Studies is committed to the pursuit of decolonization, equity and inclusion, and encourages applications from candidates from historically underrepresented groups. 

How to Apply 

Students must complete the online application form and submit a 500-word statement of interest. The statement should include the following: 

  • A brief summary of your research interests 
  • Motivations for becoming a CMS Fellow, including how it will help attain your research and/or professional goals and enrich your student experience 
  • How your research agenda intersects with the Centre, noting if you have any relevant experience including previous research, professional expertise, community engagement, and/or relationships to any of the CMS Research Groups or CMS Faculty Affiliates
    Note: previous experience or relationships are not required
  • What you would hope to accomplish as a CMS Fellow, including intentions to:
    • engage with any of our community partners
    • contribute to diversity, equity and inclusion, Truth and Reconciliation, and the decolonization of migration and mobilities related studies (for example through respectful, relevant, accountable and reflexive research and engagement practices)
    • engage in broader CMS programming and initiatives.

If you are interested in applying but want more information: CMS held two open information sessions via Zoom in 2022.

Key dates for 2022/23

  • Applications open July 21, 2022
  • Applications close September 19, 2022 
  • Notifications sent October 4, 2022 
  • CMS Fellows program starts October 11, 2022 
  • CMS Fellows program ends August 31, 2023 (or date of graduation, provided it is not sooner than May 2023)