ECOSCOPE provides experiential training in the conceptual understanding and application of microbial ecology, biological engineering, and entrepreneurship enabling real-world, data-driven problem solving at new disciplinary interfaces to undergraduate & graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Although emanating from the Life Science Institute (LSI), ECOSCOPE defines a collaborative network between multiple departments on the UBC campus spanning basic and applied science (Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Forestry, Microbiology and Immunology, Mining Engineering, and Statistics).

ECOSCOPE requires that all trainees develop the skills that are part of our ‘4 Training Pillars’ which include 1) science communication 2) leadership, teamwork & integrity 3) mentorship & knowledge transfer, and 4) entrepreneurship by participating in the core course, internships, seminars, workshops and retreats. Trainees will work closely with ECOSCOPE faculty to develop a customized learning experience that supports their career objectives.

1. Classroom Components

Workshop series

Open to the public

The workshop series focuses on providing trainees skills on information design, scientific writing, “R” statistics, coding, and Data-Driven Documents (D3) graphic display. Read more.

Seminar series

Open to the public

The seminar series alternates between student “work-inprogress ” presentations to their peers & mentors and guest lecturers from other universities and industry professionals who will expose trainees to cutting-edge technologies and research developments, to industry insights and strategic priorities, and to human practices and the legal and ethical dimensions of synthetic biology. Read more.

Core course

ECOSCOPE students are expected to take two three credit courses related to the four program pillars. These courses include MICB 505 Ecological and Synthetic Microbiology (Fall Term) and BAEB506 Technology Entrepreneurship (Winter Term). In addition to court courses, ECOSCOPE students have the opportunity to participate in R and python workshop series throughout the academic year to enhance their data wrangling skills.

2. Experiential Learning

Team internships

ECOSCOPE increases trainees’ problem-solving potential through real-world experience in start-up environments. We offer five- to ten-month team internships with local biotechnology companies. Teams consist of three or more trainees with different degrees of bench, computational, and information design experience. Emphasis is placed on exposing interns to start-up environments where they will work together to solve specific problems in environmental monitoring, metabolic engineering, or scale-up production. Read more.


ECOSCOPE Undergraduate Research Awards (EURAs) are competitive opportunities available to highly qualified undergraduates enrolled at UBC wishing to participate in UBC’s International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) team,  UBC’s International Bio-Molecular Design Competition (BIOMOD) team, or BioDesign Challenge competition. ECOSCOPE  provides programmatic support for UBC teams, assist in fund-raising and logistics, and encourages ECOSCOPE trainees to participate in the competitions either directly as team members or mentors. Read more.


During Module Five of the core course, trainees will be exposed to entrepreneurial education that will include online curriculum and in-class activities, problem sets, and seminars relevant to both scientific and business development objectives.  Trainees interested in starting businesses based on research outcomes will be able to participate in e@UBC’s Lean Launchpad program in their last year in the program, where trainees work with experienced mentors to explore intellectual property models, market ecosystems, test commercialization hypotheses, and develop business plans. Read more. 

ECOSCOPE retreat

The ECOSCOPE annual retreat brings together trainees and partners to share scientific and entrepreneurial progress and to assess the effectiveness of the training program. More information coming soon.

Other opportunities

We provide annual competitive travel prizes ($1000 each) for two successful ECOSCOPE trainees who are selected to present at national or international conferences providing another avenue for developing presentation and communication skills.


Photo by Martin Dee, UBC Communications & Marketing