XiaLab at University of Ottawa

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PhD and MSc Studies in XiaLab

  • You will be interacting with a brilliant group of students, working in the following projects:
    • Evolution and optimization of translation in bacteria and phages
    • biomedical and biopharmaceutical sciences involving protein interactions
    • molecular phylogenetics (of deep phylogenies)
    • Phylogeography and DNA barcoding
    • bioinformatics: algorithms and software development
    • mathematical modelling in biology: how natural selection increases efficiencies of biological processes
    • microbial genomics: why different prokaryotes often do things differently, and how phages and plasmids adapt to their hosts and become specilized.
  • Graduate students registered in Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, will have a salary of $19,500/year (more for PhD students) which is made of research assistantship from my research grant and teaching assistantship from the department. If you decline the offer of TAship, your salary will be only about half.
  • All scientific research focuses on solving problems. You can demonstrate your research experience by submitting a research proposal in which you identify at least one biologically significant problem and outline how you will solve it. This proposal is to show your scientific maturity and may have nothing to do with your actual research project once you are accepted.
  • All applicants will be ranked based on research experience in molecular biology, bioinformatics, evolution and phylogenetics, solid reference letters, grades and, in particular, your skills in oral presentation and scientific writing. Those ranked high will be offerred admission first.
  • My program DAMBE is used extensively in research and teaching worldwide in genomic and phylogenetic data analysis. I include links to scientific publications that have cited various versions of DAMBE. You need to know DAMBE to serve as teaching assistant in my course, so familiarlity with DAMBE will improve your ranking.
    • List of papers that have cited the first version of DAMBE (released in 2000)
    • List of papers that have cited DAMBE5 (released in 2013)
    • List of papers that have cited DAMBE6 (released in 2017)
  • Formal application should be submitted to our grad office which will contact me once all required documents have been received.
  • Here is a flow chart of the application process.
  • Local info:
    1. Our Biology Department
    2. University of Ottawa
    3. Ottawa: the Canadian capital

Canadian and permanent residents:

Canadians or permanent residents with a GPA > 8/10 typically will get a tuition waiver in addition to some scholarships on top of the annual salary. Those top-ranked ones will have a chance to compete for the prestigious NSERC graduate scholarship or OGS (Ontario Graduate Scholarship).

International Applicants

Our university offers tuition reduction to PhD students so that they pay the same tuition as Canadian students.

Applicants from Latin America

The University of Ottawa is a member of the CALDO Consortium and has a number of agreements with sponsoring agencies in eight countries in Latin America (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay). These agreements allow students in these countries to apply for funding to cover their tuition and living expenses during their graduate studies at uOttawa.

Type of studyCountry and sponsoring agency
PhD scholarships  Brazil (CNPq)
Masters scholarships  Chile (CONICYT)
Masters and PhD scholarships  Colombia (COLCIENCIAS)
Masters and PhD scholarships  Colombia (COLFUTURO)
Masters and PhD scholarships  Ecuador (SENESCYT)
PhD scholarship (and maybe MSs) Mexico (CONACYT)
Masters and PhD scholarships  Paraguay (BECAL)
Masters and PhD scholarships  Peru (PRONABEC)
PhD scholarships  Uruguay (ANII)
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