The Erich Vogt First Year Summer Research Experience (FYSRE)

The Erich Vogt First Year Summer Research Experience (FYSRE, pronounced phyzzer, as in physics) is a program offering summer research experiences to budding academic stars after their First Year Physics courses. Awardees will receive an opportunity for paid work experience in Physics or Astronomy research at UBC or TRIUMF.

This award honours Dr. Erich Vogt (1929-2014), one of the most distinguished Canadian nuclear physicists of his generation. For over thirty years, Erich Vogt taught bright and eager First Year Physics students.  The FYSRE awards give outstanding first year students an opportunity to gain work experience in paid summer research positions.  Other such research opportunities usually give preference to second and higher year students.

First Year students will apply to a FYSRE selection committee in January for subsidized summer research positions analogous to the NSERC USRA program: if approved, the student's summer salary will be shared between the supervisor and the FYSRE grant. This program requires a student to work at least 14 weeks between May 1st to August 31st and to be paid a minimum of $5,316.50.

Information for Supervisor

This program requires a student to work at least 14 weeks between May 1st to August 31st and to be paid a minimum of 5,316.50. The subsidy is $2,500. The rest of the costs can come from any source that permits such expenditures. All wages are paid out of the project supervisor’s account and a portion of the cost will be reimbursed at the end of the student’s tenure. 

Potential supervisors will be encouraged to propose projects appropriate for first year students around the December prior to the application deadline.


As a requirement for the program, you should have completed 2 semesters of first year physics including labs by the time you start the summer position, and plan to enter a Physics or Astronomy (or a combined degree including Physics or Astronomy) or Engineering Physics program in your second year of study. You must obtain a cumulative average of at least A- over the first year of university study. If you plan to take summer courses, the program will allow for AT MOST one 3-credit summer course during summer working hours. The internship selection process includes an interview.

Applicants must have first-class standing (an average of 80% or above).

Before submitting an application

We encourage you to take a bit of time to look into research in our department and drop in on faculty members with whom you might like to work with. You can explain that you are interested in applying to FYSRE and would like to find out if they do have possible summer research projects (This is excellent practice for future job searches!). If they do have a project available and are interested in hiring, make sure to mention this in your personal statement (part of your application package). It is, however, not a requireent; if no potential supervisor has been identified by the time of application, we will help match you with potential supervisors if you are awarded.

General information on the Physics and Astronomy research being carried out at UBC can be found on the departmental Website:

Application Process

To apply, submit the following components in your application package by Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Application related questions should be directed to Theresa Liao at (Henn 327).

  1. The application cover sheet
  2. An unofficial copy of the transcript
  3. A curriculum vitae (CV)
  4. A personal statement indicating your research interests and the names of three UBC faculty you would be most interested in working with during the summer (please indicate clearly your first, second, and third choice). Confirm whether you have initiated contacts with these professors. This statement should not be longer than 1 page.
  5. Two letters of reference. At least one should be from a UBC faculty member. The other reference letter could be from a supervisor in a previous job or volunteer activity. This letter should be sent directly to us by email, mail or fax, or in a sealed envelope accompanying the application.

Completed application package should be submitted to :

Theresa Liao
UBC, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Rm. 327, 6224 Agricultural Road Vancouver, B.C. (can also drop off application in the main office, room 325)
Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel: (604) 822-3675

For more information, contact Theresa Liao, Communications Coordinator, UBC Physics & Astronomy.

List of Recipients



  • Linh Phan "“Mass spectrometry analysis for the electron beam ion trap at the TITAN experiment at TRIUMF” with Dr. Jens Dilling at TRIUMF. A TRIUMF interview of Linh.
  • Esther Lin "Measuring myelin water fraction and inhomogeneous magnetization transfer in white matter tissue” with Dr. Carl Michal and Dr. Alex MacKay.



  • Walter Wasserman (inaugural recipient) "Passive and active damping systems for vibration isolation in a Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy Lab." Walter later worked in TRIUMF and talked about the FYSRE award in this video.


More about Erich

Erich W Vogt, the Canadian nuclear physicist and UBC professor who helped found Canada's national nuclear and particle physics lab and Science World BC, passed away on February 19, 2014. 

He was the recipient of the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

"As one of the pioneering founders of the lab, Erich was a huge part of the TRIUMF family as well as that of UBC and the broader physics community around the world," said Jim Hanlon, head of TRIUMF’s Business and Administration Division, in a statement.

"He contributed to each and every person he met with warmth, advice, and a wry joke or story that put everything into perspective. I expect that many people will be affected by this loss and will want to pause and reflect on the ways that Erich touched their lives." Vogt was born in Steinbach, Manitoba on November 12, 1929 and received academic degrees at the University of Manitoba and Princeton University. From 1956 to 1965, he was on the staff of the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratory as a theoretical physicist where he published a large number of papers on nuclear reactions and was heavily involved in the creation of the first CANDU reactors for Canada.

In 1965, Vogt became a professor at the University of British Columbia, and was a founder and one of the prime movers behind the TRIUMF project -- Canada's National Meson Sciences Research Facility located on the University’s Vancouver campus. From 1975 until 1981, he served as Vice President, Faculty and Student Affairs at UBC. In 2006 he was appointed to the Order of British Columbia and in the same year received the UBC Faculty of Science Achievement Award for Teaching. He continued to teach first year physics until his 80th birthday in 2009, and in 45 years taught more than 5,000 students.

Vogt was president of the Canadian Association of Physicists from 1970 to 71, earning the 1988 CAP Medal for Achievement in Physics. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 1977, the Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Medal, and the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. In 1978, Vogt was appointed as the first Chairman of the Science Council of British Columbia, a position which he held until 1980.

In Memoriam page was set up for Erich - please visit the page to share your memories of Erich, or to contribute to Erich's First Year Student Research Experience Endowment Fund. Dr. Alan Poon, who was Erich's student and now at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA), presented on Erich's contributions to student edication during the 2014 Canadian Association of Physicist Congress (presentation available via UBC cIRcle). In addition, PHAS Professor Emeritus Jesse Brewer put together a website dedicated to the memories of Dr. Erich Vogt, with a good collection of photos of Erich on the Gallery page, and links to other relevant information.

For more information, contact Theresa Liao, Communications Coordinator, UBC Physics & Astronomy.


Website development by Checkmark Media. Designed by Armada.

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

Faculty of Science
Department of Physics and Astronomy
6224 Agricultural Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Tel 604.822.3853
Fax 604.822.5324

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia