Undergraduate Research Fellowships
About the gift
Stober Family Foundation will help students in every discipline succeed
With the physical and mental well-being of UBC Okanagan students and the community top of mind, the Stober Family have donated $1 million to support student scholarships, research and community health initiatives over the next five years. The gift comes during a pivotal period of growth for the campus and opportune timing. More than half of the generous gift will be matched by Aspire, a fundraising initiative, which will create a total of $1.9M of opportunities for students. The donation will create needs-based and merit-based scholarships and will immediately provide critical funding for student support. Within the School of Health and Exercise Sciences, a $500,000 gift will establish the Stober Foundation Health Fund, which will help recruit the next generation of health scientists. The fellowships will support an unprecedented number of students at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels.
About the STOBER Foundation HEALTH FUND
Stober Foundation PhD Fellowships
The Stober Foundation PhD Fellowship Program has been established as a catalyst for excellence in health-related research and student training within the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at UBC’s Okanagan campus. The Stober Foundation PhD Fellowship program funds four, four-year PhD Fellowships within the School of Health and Exercise Science. The Fellowships will begin in 2021 with the generous support of $25,000/year for four years for four exceptional trainees in the PhD in Kinesiology program at UBC Okanagan. The Stober Foundation PhD Fellowship is designed to strengthen world-class health research taking place in the Okanagan.
- Brian Dalton, Determining the effects of cannabis consumption on sensory, motor, and cognitive function.
- Jonathan Little, Determining the impact of nutritional ketosis on individuals affected by COPD
- Mary Jung, Testing the efficacy of a community-based diabetes prevention program
- Chris McNeil, Understanding neuromuscular fatigue to help individuals with chronic lung disease
Stober Foundation Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURFs)
The UBC Stober Foundation Undergraduate Research Fellowships have been established as a catalyst for excellence in health-related research and undergraduate student training within the School of Health and Exercise Sciences. This program will fund 7 SURFs each year from 2021 through 2025. The novel $11,000 fund is designed to support unique research opportunities for undergraduates students. The SURFs will be awarded to students to complete 12 weeks of research training, typically to be performed over the spring / summer months but could be used at any time during the year of the award. With the goal of attracting highly-talented undergraduate students from around the world, the novel fellowships will introduce undergraduate students to world-class research opportunities taking place at UBC Okanagan.
Stober Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
A unique opportunity will be available to an exceptional postdoctoral trainee in the Pediatric Inactivity & Exercise Physiology Research Lab under the supervision of Ali McManus.
Enhanced Community Work Placements
From 2020-2025, the Stober Foundation Health Fund will strengthen community partnerships to create enhanced placements for students and unique health programming for Okanagan residents.
Dr. Chris Willie Graduate Prize for Excellence in Research
The Dr. Chris Willie graduate prize was established to honour an incredibly talented young scientist and educator. The Centre for Heart Lung and Vascular Health presents the prize annually to an exceptional trainee who embodies these key values: Scientific articulations, passion, and excellence in science.
Testing the efficacy of a community-based diabetes prevention program
One in three Canadians is living with diabetes or prediabetes. Regular exercise and a healthy diet give people living with prediabetes their best chance of avoiding type 2 diabetes (T2D). Many people living with prediabetes know this, but lack the support to bring behavioural changes into their lives already packed with obligations. Past interventions have failed to respond to diverse regional needs. Small Steps for Big Changes is an evidence- and community-based diet and exercise counselling intervention that has demonstrated positive, potent effects that are maintained 12-months after program completion. The Stober Foundation Fellowship directly funds a 4-year research study that will determine which factors support or inhibit implementation and scale-up of Small Steps for Big Changes to Canadians at high risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Understanding neuromuscular fatigue to help individuals with chronic lung disease
Approximately 3 million Canadians are affected by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is characterized by shortness of breath, which dramatically reduces health-related quality of life for those affected by the disease. Up to 80% of individuals with COPD report fatigue during activities of daily living that is of a much greater severity compared to age-matched controls and this enhanced fatigability may affect females more than males. The 4-year Stober Foundation Fellowship will investigate sex-based differences in fatigability in individuals with COPD and will examine how adverse cardiopulmonary function contributes to neuromuscular fatigue and exercise intolerance in these individuals.
Determining the effects of cannabis consumption on sensory, motor, and cognitive function
Passage of the Cannabis Act in October 2018 provides Canadians lawful access to cannabis for medicinal purposes, without the previously required medical documentation. With increased access and promotion of cannabinoids to treat a variety of conditions (e.g., as an alternative to opioids for pain relief, as an anti-inflammatory drug, as a treatment for anxiety, etc.) but only limited or unclear scientific evidence, there is a pressing need to evaluate the acute effects of cannabis use. There are two primary compounds in cannabis, THC and CBD, and, while considerable research is still required, the compounds likely cause different physiological effects and impairments to overall human function. The Stober Foundation Fellowship funds research which will break new ground by investigating the influence of acute cannabis use on sensory, motor, and cognitive function over the adult lifespan in females and males.
Determining the impact of nutritional ketosis on individuals affected by COPD
A ketogenic diet is an emerging therapeutic option for individuals with COPD with potential to reduce inflammation, slow disease progression, limit comorbidities, and enhance functional status. Ketones are produced naturally by our bodies during periods of starvation or carbohydrate restriction. In addition to providing our tissues with an alternative energy source, ketones possess signalling properties that may act to favourably alter cellular processes involved in COPD pathophysiology. The Stober Foundation Fellowship will measure molecular, cellular, and clinical outcomes to comprehensively determine if nutritional ketosis is a viable therapeutic option for those affected by COPD.