There is no fee for applying or participating in this program. For students accepted to participate in person, all costs, including travel, will be paid by the program. For in-person participants we will waive application fees for UBC Physics and Astronomy graduate school for the years 2023 and 2024.


This program is open to students who are interested in applying for graduate programs in physics and astronomy and meet all of the following criteria:

  • Students from equity-deserving groups in physics and astronomy including students, who are women or non-binary, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), 2SLGBTQ+, living with disabilities, and/or are in the first generation in their family to attend university.
  • Students who will be eligible to enter a UBC Physics, Astronomy, Medical Physics or Engineering Physics graduate program in 2023 or 2024.
  • The in person-participation is restricted to students from Canada, the US and Mexico. The online participation is open to students from anywhere.

Relevant deadlines and dates

  • The application for Launchpad 2022 is open on February 1. Application deadline for in-person participation is on April 11, 2022 at 11:59pm PDT; that for remote participation is on May 16, 2022 at 11:59pm PDT.
  • Selected students for in-person participation will be notified by April 21, 2022.


Additional documents required for upload when completing the online application:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV): see this UBC Student Services web page and the IOP’s The physicist’s guide to writing your CV to learn what should be included in a CV. Here are two sample CVs for your reference: sampleA and sampleB
  • Your transcript or grade sheet (unofficial or a screenshot is fine). If this is not in English, please provide a translated copy (you can do this yourself).
  • (North American applicants from Canada, US, and Mexico who would like to attend in-person) The name and email address of a referee who will complete a reference form to recommend your participation. This can be a professor or a supervisor who can speak to your academic performance, research skills, passion in physics & astronomy, or volunteer/leadership/work experiences. The referee should be aware that you are providing this information to us.

Evaluation Criteria (click to expand)

Teamwork and community building

  • Leadership or impact on a person, group, or organization
  • Evidence of past work  fostering engagement between colleagues or classmates within a collaborative environment 


  • Capability to overcome challenges or hardship
  • Demonstration of resourcefulness, creativity, and/or tenacity in solving problems

Skills, lived experiences and passions

  • Academic, work, volunteer, and personal accomplishments
  • Evidence of motivation to engage in physics and astronomy
  • Capacity to bring lived experiences that are under-represented in science currently


  • Independence to define a problem of interest and to develop the best strategies to address it.