Graduate Student Research Networks

Solomon & Students

Liu Institute for Global Issues

The Liu Institute for Global Issues is home to a dozen research networks that support interdisciplinary and collaborative exchange on pressing global issues.

Created and managed by Liu Scholars, these networks strengthen ties between faculty and students, host conferences and events, and facilitate field research and dialogue on key themes. New members can join a network at any time, for any length of time, from anywhere in the world.

Global Networks

Supporting interdisciplinary and collaborative exchange on pressing global issues.

The Liu Institute global research networks support interdisciplinary and collaborative exchange on pressing global issues. Created and managed by Liu Scholars, with faculty support, these networks strengthen ties between faculty and students, host conferences and events, and facilitate field research and dialogue on key themes.

The Beyond Text Collective encourages critical conversations and projects that explore digital technologies and the audiovisual realm to creatively express academic research. The collective invites scholars from diverse disciplinary fields to share experiences, collaborate, and enhance understandings of working with the non-textual.

Contact Emily Amburgey at for more details.

The Comparative Urban Studies Network critically examines the emerging challenge of comparison in urban studies, discussing what can be compared, in what ways and to what end. The network includes scholars from diverse disciplinary fields, including urban and regional studies, architecture, visual arts, geography, sociology, anthropology, history, engineering and environmental studies.

Contact Rohit Mujumdar at for more details.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Network shares leading-edge research and encourages lively debate among academics and practitioners regarding corporations and global sustainability. The network sponsors a range of activities, including panel discussions, guest speakers, film screenings, workshops and conferences.

The Economic Change, Politics, and Society Network is comprised of graduate students and postdocs at UBC whose research analyzes processes of economic and societal change (globalization, (de-)industrialization, technological innovation, migration) and governments, businesses and other societal actors’ (NGOs, trade unions) responses to them in different countries throughout the world.

We welcome other graduate students and postdocs who have similar research interests to join our network.

To get involved or for more information, please contact Alexander Held at

The Energy Systems in Transition (EST) network comprises of graduate students and early career researchers at UBC who are interested in research pertaining to energy transitions. Changing energy systems have triggered the need for collaborations across disciplines – to explore and explain different dimensions of energy transitions – from technological change to energy planning, from changing business models to end-use behavior.

The network aims to encourage reflection over current state of research and explore potential avenues of collaborative research.

To get involved or for more information, please contact Sandeep at or Vikas Menghwani at

The Food Systems Network (FSN) is comprised of students, faculty, and community partners whose research/work focuses on one of the many aspects of the food system. The overall goal of this network is to increase collaboration and interdisciplinary conversations about critical problems facing our food system locally and globally.

To get involved or for more information, please contact any one of the network’s Co-Founders below.

Amber A. Heckelman:
Ph.D. Candidate, Integrated Studies in Land & Food Systems

Dana James
Ph.D. Student, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability

Laura Castrejon Violante:
Ph.D. Student, Interdisciplinary Studies

Victoria Ostenso:
M.Sc. Student, Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems

The Global Indigenous Politics and Settler Colonial Studies Graduate Student Collective (GIPC) provides a space for Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars to engage in issues related to Indigenous self-determination and decolonization. Our goal is to generate collective and critical thinking around topics such as:

  • Indigenous rights
  • Resistance and resurgence
  • Settler colonialism
  • Social and environmental justice on Indigenous lands

With the goal of fostering a deeper engagement with these issues at the Liu Institute and at UBC more broadly, we plan and hold workshops, conferences, reading groups, and community events for both academic and public audiences. We also aim to respond to pressing issues by collaborating on op-eds, reports, and community-led initiatives. In this, we engage critically with questions around building academic-community alliances and the role of research in advancing self-determination.

As a multi-disciplinary network, we approach decolonization from a local and global perspective, and prioritize activities that have a public impact.

The Working Group on Latin America and the Global explores the relationship between Latin America and broader global forces. In addition to examining how large-scale processes have shaped and even constituted Latin America, the group considers how Latin America has influenced and inspired events elsewhere in the world.

Contact Juan Felipe Hernandez at for details.

Africa is transforming as the continent addresses various global issues. Stakeholders continue to discuss and shape this transformation through diverse platforms.

Liu Institute Network for Africa (LINA) has been formed to be a diasporic, scholarly platform, operating from UBC that contributes to the discussion from a multidisciplinary perspective. We aim to create an active forum for research on global issues as applicable to Africa and the rest of the world. Relevant activities will include among others facilitated dialogues, (conferences, workshops, seminars, etc.) and print (working papers, periodic volumes, etc.).

Hopefully, this initiative will contribute to shaping Africa’s transformation through high-impact academic and community research that has relevant policy significance.

Membership is open to both African and non-African graduate students and faculty members with similar research interests.

To be a member, please send your (1) name, (2) field, (3) affiliation (student or faculty, and the department) and (4) primary contact email to Tebby at and/or Temi at

The Liu Migration Network is a network of graduate students working in the field of migration studies at the University of British Columbia. The network, formerly called the Graduate Student Migration Network (GSMN), has been in existence since 2004. It is now affiliated with the Liu Institute, an arrangement that provides more resources and opportunities for all members.

The Liu Migration Network is built on two important local migration-related projects. The first is an earlier inter-faculty initiative in migration studies (IFIMS) which sought to institutionalize the interdisciplinary study of migration at UBC. The second is the network’s important connections with Metropolis British Columbia. Although Metropolis BC ceased its research activity in 2013, a wealth of migration-related resources remains accessible on its website.

Like IFIMS and Metropolis BC before it, the Liu Migration Network aims to provide space for dialogue and discussion among scholars on important issues of migration theory, policy, and methods.

Please email the Chair, Saguna Shankar, at to join the mailing list. All members will receive email announcements of events as well as notice of migration-related funding, conferences, and employment opportunities.

The MRSR-WG provides a synergistic and un-censored space for students and faculty to discuss works in progress, read relevant texts and engage with politically engaged aesthetic practices to explore new ideas, theoretical trajectories and conceptual frameworks relevant to the working group’s areas of interest.

The MRSR-WG hosts invitation only sessions for graduate students and faculty members and aims to advance conceptual thinking on memory, resistance and social repair in relation to conflict, historical injustice, and natural disasters. In the past two years, these closed sessions have taken the form of tertulias, which are informal and regular gatherings of a group of critical intellectuals and/or artists to engage in a lively discussion and share ideas and viewpoints, as practiced in Latin America.

As a result of these tertulias, working group members have successfully assisted each other in the publication of peer-reviewed journal articles, organize collaborative workshops at international conferences such as the International Studies Association, successfully win competitive field research grants as well as experiment with art installations and other politically engaged, aesthetic projects.

The Philippine Studies Series: Academics, Action, Art is a Vancouver-based network of scholars and community members who are interested in discussing Philippine issues, promoting multiculturalism and supporting the integration of the Filipino community into Canada.

Humanity is facing the existential challenge of improving the wellbeing of populations while simultaneously avoiding the erosion of Earth's supporting systems. Although we have experienced great improvements in human health, the unprecedented degradation of the environment that ultimately supports life on earth threatens to reverse recent humanity’s public health achievements

The Planetary Health Network is a motivated group of interdisciplinary graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and staff at UBC who are interested in topics related to the planetary health field, and other integrative approaches to understanding the links between human well-being and ecosystems health. Our vision is to further strengthen our interdisciplinary network to foster discussions around this emergent field, and to explore pathways to promote changes towards a more healthy, sustainable, and just campus and community. We hold events to discuss new advances in the field at UBC and elsewhere, share member’s projects, and explore tools to translate knowledge to action. We are also exploring the opportunities to develop the field of Planetary Health by learning from Indigenous Science and different ways of knowing and being. In addition, we are connected to the Planetary Health Alliance, which is a large consortium of universities, NGOs, and other partners supporting the planetary health field.

Membership is open for any graduate student, postdoc, faculty, or staff at UBC who shares our interests on the planetary health field. Our group is currently comprised of people with a wide variety of backgrounds, such as arts, social sciences, biology, ecology, engineering, medical sciences, geography, and forestry.

To get involved or for more information, please contact Verena Rossa-Roccor at or Federico Andrade-Rivas at

The Post/Colonial, Critical Race and Feminist Theory Group is a monthly interdisciplinary study group focused on contemporary theoretical and methodological advances in global scholarship as it relates to: violence, displacement and social suffering; empire, race and sex; neoliberalism, the state and trans/nationalisms; Orientalism, modernity and Islamophobia.

Contact Professor Sunera Thobani at for details.

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