NSERC CREATE–AAP is a collaborative research and training program on atmospheric aerosols. It is funded by NSERC through the CREATE program, where CREATE stands for "Collaborative Research and Training Experience." This atmospheric aerosol program (AAP) is a unified training and fellowship-funding program designed to develop interdisciplinary skills for atmospheric aerosol researchers ranging from undergraduate students to post-doctoral fellows. UBC has many outstanding researchers investigating various aspects of atmospheric aerosols and their effects on climate, air quality, and health as well as outstanding infrastructure to carry out this research.

Our goals are to bring this excellent group of researchers and educators together, offer a well-defined training program on atmospheric aerosols, and facilitate interdisciplinary research on this topic.

Students are able to enter this training program from a number of departments including those of Chemistry, Earth and Ocean Sciences, Geography, Mechanical Engineering, Medicine, and the School of Environmental Health. At the end of the training program, graduating students will receive their normal degree from their respective departments but, in addition, they will receive a certificate from the Program Committee of CREATE–AAP indicating that they have participated in this interdisciplinary and value-added training program.

Impetus for the Program

Atmospheric aerosols and their relationship to climate, air quality, and health constitute a challenge that requires a multi-disciplinary approach in both research and training. The borders between traditional disciplines are prohibitive when addressing these new scientific challenges. For example, the effect of atmospheric aerosols on climate alone encompasses chemistry, physics, engineering, atmospheric science, and public policy. Yet students studying atmospheric aerosols are currently being trained in traditional disciplines with very little interdisciplinary training or exposure. Students do not receive the broadly-based training or exposure that is necessary for these new challenges and hence they are not well-prepared to respond to some of the most important environmental and health challenges we are currently facing. Students are also not well prepared for careers with environmental consulting firms, Environment Canada, or Health Canada, to name a few institutions where interdisciplinary training and exposure in key areas related to atmospheric aerosols are critical. CREATE–AAP will help solve this deficiency.

Program Structure

CREATE–AAP is a fellowship-funding program. It has academic requirements, but it is not a degree-granting program. Students who want to join the program must apply to both CREATE–AAP and an existing masters or doctoral program associated with one of the CREATE–AAP affiliated academic units:

  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences (EOS)
  • Department of Geography
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Department of Medicine
  • Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES)
  • Liu Institute for Global Issues
  • School of Environmental Health

Accepted MSc. and PhD. students will receive fellowships and must fulfill the requirements of their underlying degree program and of CREATE–AAP. The length of funding for an MSc. and PhD. fellowship in CREATE–AAP will be two years. The remaining portion of the salaries for the MSc. and PhD. students will be paid for by their respective mentors (i.e., faculty advisors) using other sources of funding.

Undergraduate students are also supported through summer research internships and co-op placements in a CREATE–AAP mentors' laboratories. These awards are available to undergraduate student enrolled in a degree granting program (nationally and internationally).

Available Funding

CREATE–AAP provides fellowship stipends to masters and doctoral students for the first two years of their graduate program. Graduate students are also allocated a travel stipend.  Undergraduate students are also supported through stipends.  Amounts to be paid are based on NSERC scholarships and fellowships.

Group Level Undergraduate Masters Doctoral
Stipends from CREATE–AAP Funds $4,500 $17,300/yr $21,000/yr
Mandatory Supplement for each Student and Fellow $1,125 (25%) from other sources such as a supervisor’s NSERC research grants
Minimum Total for each Student and Fellow $5,625 $17,300 $21,000
Duration 16 weeks Annual (max. 2 years) Annual (max. 2 years)
Travel Stipend
$1,500 $1,500
External Internship Funding $6,000 $6,000




CREATE–AAP is funded through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) CREATE program. The University of British Columbia (UBC) also provided funds and in-kind contributions.


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Department of Chemistry
2036 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1