Click (or scroll) to navigate to Opportunities for Undergraduates, Graduate School, Other Opportunities. Availabilities were last updated 02/10/2019.

Opportunities for Undergraduates

I am very keen to provide undergraduate students opportunities to be exposed to research first hand. Undergraduate students work in the lab as Co-op students, project/thesis students (as part of their program) and summer students. These positions generally involve work on an existing line of inquiry where established protocols are in place. Despite these constraints, the students have room to take initiative in emphasizing aspects of the project that interest them more. 

  • Volunteers: I do not take on volunteers.

  • Co-op students: I can currently only consider co-op students that are able to bring in some external funding support I can complement (e.g. SWILP, NSERC: USRA).

  • Project/Thesis Students: The lab is currently at capacity until Fall 2020. Thesis students are encouraged to reach out to me in early October, and I schedule interviews in late October. With new departmental guidelines prioritizing thesis students, project students are encouraged to reach out to me a little later, in early November.

  • Summer Students: I can only consider summer students for 2020 that are able to bring in some external funding support I can match (e.g. Farncombe Studentship, NSERC: USRA, BHSc Research Scholarships). These applications are commonly handled in Jan-Feb of 2020.

Photo from McMaster University


Graduate School

The earliest opportunity for me to take an un-funded graduate student would be May 2020.

Graduate school is a great opportunity to perform research and experience firsthand every step of the scientific process.  In addition to this familiarity with science, you build core skills that are among a scientist's most transferrable: the ability to rapidly become knowledgeable in a new field, communicate that knowledge, and adapt to changes in that field. Graduate students are the core of the lab. They are expected to take ownership of their projects, work (largely) independently, think critically, actively seek out opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills, and be engaged in the projects of their colleagues as well as the academic community of their discipline. 

Potential graduate students are encouraged to reach out to me, but must keep in mind that in order to be accepted they must meet all the requirements of the program they are applying to. I can currently take on students through the programs of Medical Sciences or Biochemistry, although some interdisciplinary research programs may also accomodate your application. As a general rule, graduate programs at McMaster absolutely require a BSc, with a B+ average in your last full-year's worth of relevant courses (e.g. science/research). Some exceptions may apply for applicants with 5+ years of relevant work experience.

  • MSc: A 2-yr program with a light courseload (~2 courses over two years) and heavy emphasis on research. An MSc student is guaranteed an annual stipend of ~$24,000, but is responsible for their own tuition & fees (~$8000). Due to the extremely high costs of tuition for international students ($17,096) relative to funding for MSc students, I cannot in good conscience consider applicants who are not Canadian or Permanent Residents unless they bring with them sufficient additional funding to ensure a reasonable standard of living.

  • PhD: A 4-yr program with a light-to-non-existent courseload (0-2 courses over 4 years) and heavy emphasis on research. Typically requires an MSc, although exceptional students with lab research experience may apply directly to a PhD program in Biochemistry from their BSc. A PhD student is guaranteed an annual stipend of ~$25,500 , but is responsible for their own tuition & fees (~$8000). Note that PhD students on a visa at McMaster now pay domestic tuition fees (Source).

Other Opportunites

Visiting Student/Researcher/Sabbatical/Phage Workshop: If you already have a position but would like to come work in the lab, as part of a short training session to work on phages or a longer-term stay, feel free to get in touch with me. 

Post Post-Graduate:
- Postdoctoral: I now feel the lab has the infrastructure and expertise in place to support a Postdoc. I am willing to consider applications on a case-by-case basis. That said, my expectation of a postdoc that they have some projects/interests of their own they also want to explore while working with me - a postdoc position is typically a stepping stone towards a more independent research carreer. I want to ensure I give a postdoc the opportunities to build up their CV, take the lead (and do a lot of intellectual heavy lifting), and spread their wings while spending some of my grant money on their pet projects, insofar as they fit within the broader scope of the lab. Please consider, before you apply, what do you think you could bring as a project in the lab that my lab/McMaster would be ideally suited to support?
- Technician: I am not currently considering a staff position at this time.

Primary School: I've previously been involved with programs aimed at fostering participation in science, such as the Sanofi-aventis BioTalent challenge, and offered educational sessions for high school students on bacteria or phages. If you're a primary school student or educator and want to get in touch, by all means - reach out to me!