Student contributions and opportunties



Students from a wide range of disciplines and universities build success at the BC Centre for Palliative Care (BCCPC). Working side by side with the BCCPC’s palliative care and system change experts, students have the opportunity to gain impressive experience and do meaningful work with real-world impact.

Our Student Training Program aims to help students to gain up-to-date knowledge about the current state of palliative care in BC and acquire hands-on experience and skills in research and knowledge-to-action activities. Students can join a project in progress, propose one of their own or be paired with a team who needs some extra help.

How to apply for a training opportunity 

Because we want your practicum experience to be the best fit for you, our application process is flexible: tell us about yourself and we’ll help make the match. Let us know:

  • How long is your practicum and when you are available to start
  • What is your field of study and, what you are interested in
  • What’s your skill set (and send a copy of your CV)

To apply or to get more information on practicum opportunities, contact Rachel Carter, Ph.D, Research Manager at You can connect  with us directly, or through your practicum coordinator.

Not sure how your skills and interests will fit in to the work we do here? Read on for a full list of past student projects, placements and publications.

Briar Mayoh

Master’s Student in Public Health at UVic

Briar is a BSc student from UVic with big future plans, including a Master’s in Public Health followed by medical school. As a Distance Education Program Coordinator, Briar facilitates the smooth running of our Palliative Care ECHO sessions. What started out as a part-time job in September, originally slated to last until February, Briar has been extended for an additional six months with the Centre.

Ellie Siden

Medical student at UBC

Ellie did research with the Centre investigating non-profit organizations’ perspectives on the barriers and facilitators to adopting advance care planning in British Columbia. Ellie’s research was presented at the annual conference of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, and was published in the Health Expectations Journal.

Gabriella Low

Nursing student

Gabriella worked with a palliative Social Worker and to develop the learning activities for the psychosocial components of the Strengthen Your Core Modules. Her perspective as a student and member of the modules’ target audience was invaluable. Gabriella was 4th year nursing student at Trinity Western University and was partially supported by the Canada Summer Jobs Program for a paid position with BCCPC in the Fall of 2021. She said “This opportunity fit me on many different levels. It was a chance to take what I’ve learned in school (I’ll graduate nursing in the spring) and put it into a learning module that I would want to take.”

Jasper Yoo

Medical Student at UBC

Jasper completed a literature review for the Compassionate Communities in BC project, which  focused on compassionate communities and the public health approach to palliative care. Jasper conducted research to identify the current compassionate community activities in BC, successes achieved, existing resources, supports needed to overcome challenges, and inspiring ideas for new compassionate community initiatives.

Jessica Loewen

Nursing student

In the Fall of 2021, Jessica was a 3rd year nursing student at Trinity Western University. She had a paid position at BCCPC, partially supported by the Canada Summer Jobs Program. She said “The teamwork and collaboration have been fantastic, and it’s great to come into a workplace with people who want to teach and mentor you.” She worked closely with a palliative Clinical Nurse Specialist to design learning activities for 4 of the Strengthen Your Core modules, including those related to collaborative care planning and ethical practice.

Jody Monk

Masters of Clinical Social Work student from UBCO

Jody was a key member of the research team for the BC Bereavement Project. Jody drafted a grant application and presented an overview of the study to a group of funders and experts in the field. She was given the ability to be a part of different research processes, such research development and data analysis. She gained new knowledge of grief and bereavement by reading research and attending talks and workshops.

Katie Green

Medical Student from UBC 

Katie’s project was to make core competency modules for health care professionals who are not palliative care specialists. Aimed at nursing, medical, social work, counselling and health care assistant professionals, the modules offered a basic approach to palliative care symptom management. Katie spearheaded a province-wide survey of health care professionals about how they prefer to learn online, then brought the results back to an interdisciplinary team of colleagues to design and test the module content and design.

Liz Geum

Medical Student at UBC

Liz worked with the research team on the Bereavement Project. Liz performed an environmental scan of the bereavement services offered in BC, and developed material that identified gaps to grief support.

Madix Thorn

Public Health and Social Policy Program Student at UVic

Madix was an integral team member planning BC’s campaign for National Advance Care Planning Day 2022. In addition to direct awareness initiatives and media outreach, the Centre creates a full “campaign in a box” for stakeholders from across BC so they can run campaigns in their own communities.


Maria Mezilas

Nursing student at UVic

Maria assisted with a post-training survey to gain insight into how clinicians are moving the Serious Illness Conversation initiative forward within their communities. Maria participated in focus groups with FNHA to better understand the cultural appropriateness of using the SIC Guide with First Nations’ people. Maria also helped analyze the surveys.

Mar’yana Fisher

Nursing student at UVic

Mar’yana is an experienced palliative care nurse, who was working on her Master’s of Nursing degree at UVic. She was offered a paid position at BCCPC to support two nursing students to create a new resource for health care assistants to manage palliative symptoms and the Symptom Management Guide for Health Care Assistants (2023).  Mar’yana is a bright mind and is now registered in the PhD Nursing program at UVic. She plans to research the needs of and ways to support vulnerable people with palliative care needs.

Maya Bennett

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student at UVic

During her 4th year nursing practicum, Maya wrote a background paper on the role of healthcare assistants in various care settings, and effective ways to support their care of people with palliative care needs. Then, she worked together with another nursing student to examine the BCCPC symptom management guidelines and a practice support tool for health care assistants (HCAs): Symptom Management Guide for Health Care Assistants (2023). This guide is currently being tested with HCAs in various settings and will be released by BCCPC.

Michael Arget

Palliative Medicine Residency (Public Health Rotation) at University of Ottawa

–Under the supervision of Dr. Eman Hassan, Dr. Arget reviewed the BCCPC’s community mobilization work such as the seed grants funded projects to understand the application of public health approach in the palliative care context and identify community-led interventions that have been successful in improving outcomes among palliative and end-of-life populations.


Michelle Ouimet

Master’s of Social Work Student at UBCO

Michelle assisted with the coordination of two federally funded projects at BCCPC: the Advance Care Planning Cultural Adaptations project and Advance Care Planning Dementia project.


Nicolas Starkes

Masters of Clinical Social Work Student at UBCO

Supporting the BC Bereavement Project, Nicolas drafted a series of documents needed for the ethics approval process including the ICF, questions for the survey and interviews, cover letters for the bereavement survey, key informant interviews and interviews with those who have experienced bereavement. He also did the initial drafts of recruiting material aimed at people who have experienced bereavement, including creating social media ads and posters. Additionally, he created the survey as well as the spreadsheets for some of the initial data analysis.

Queenie Tsang

Masters of Nursing Student at UVic

Queenie supported the Quality Improvement Evaluation on the Serious Illness Conversation Initiative. She captured the level of evidence reported in the literature related to patient and family outcomes in the SIC Program and drafted a patient interview guide and survey to be used in a pilot project with BC Cancer. The pilot will include conducting patient interviews, collating and analyzing data from patient interviews and reporting on the findings.

Simon Anderson

Masters of Public Health Program Student at UBC

Simon supported two different projects during his time at the Centre. He performed an evaluation update from facilitators for the Advance Care Planning (ACP) Dementia and Cultural Adaptations projects, and took part in a province-wide project to create a comprehensive definition of hospice care using the Dephi process.

Sophia Ly

Medical Student at UBC

Sophia’s project at BCCPC aimed to compile a database of self-management guides that are available online.  Good self-management support has been shown to improve patient dignity and quality of life for people living with serious illness. Sophia’s role was to identify resources and rate them on whether they are accessible for a lay person to understand, and whether they offer practical recommends about actions the patient can take to improve the quality of their life.

Tamar Swartz

Master’s of Social Work Student at UBCO

Tamar assisted with the coordination of two federally funded projects at BCCPC: the Advance Care Planning Cultural Adaptations project and Advance Care Planning Dementia project.

Tiffany Varcoe Smyth

Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student at UVic

Building on the focus groups with healthcare assistants done by Katie Green, where HCAs requested a quick reference guide specifically for them. After researching and writing a background paper on the role of HCAs, Tiffany and another nursing student examined the BCCPC symptom management guidelines and created an HCA resource: Symptom Management Guide for Health Care Assistants (2023). This project was part of her 4th year nursing practicum.

Winston Cheung

Medical Student at UBC

Winston supported the Serious Illness Conversation (SIC) Initiative by evaluating how SIC had been integrated and implemented at BC Cancer. The evaluation used clinician surveys and interviews to collect data on the effectiveness of the training and on clinician experience in using the SIC guide in practice, and to identify enablers and barriers. Winston co-wrote a white paper with BC-CPC and BC Cancer entitled: Enablers and Barriers to Using the Serious Illness Conversation Guide: A Quality Improvement Initiative with BC Cancer Clinicians.

“BCCPC was a wonderful organization to work with for the research component of my degree. I was supported through designing a project that felt meaningful for stakeholders, the BCCPC, and my own learning. The experts at the BCCPC are so welcoming and generous with their knowledge and time- I cannot recommend it enough!” Ellie Siden, UBC Medical Student

“My practicum with the BCCPC gave me firsthand experience in research that promises to be useful in my career going forward. BC-CPC provided me the support to challenge myself to complete tasks I had not done before and the guidance to succeed at these tasks.” Nicolas Starkes, Masters of Clinical Social Work student from UBCO

“I was looking for opportunities for my FLEX project, and connected with BCCPC’s research manager, Joshua Black. Joshua and Eman could not have been more supportive. Often with other research projects, it can be really difficult to get feedback, but Joshua and Eman were always responsive and helpful. I felt connected to the practice of palliative care after a recent elective and I’m now looking at it as a possible career path.” Sophia Ly, UBC Medical Student.

“I enjoyed working with the BCCPC for my research practicum. My supervisors were very helpful and supportive, and they offered me a lot of autonomy over my project, which was great for my learning. The practicum helped me gain more exposure to the field of palliative care, and this was enriched by the organization’s support for their students presenting at conferences. I would recommend working with the BCCPC for any students looking to learn more about palliative care or interested in gaining research experience in the field.” Jasper Yoo, UBC Medical Student

“Doing my placement with BCCPC opened the door to a lot of new possibilities and highlighted that social work can be used in a variety of settings.” Michelle Ouimet, Masters of Clinical Social Work student from UBCO

“Working with an interdisciplinary team was such a valuable experience. In med school, you can get very siloed and not have the chance to work closely with other disciplines. Talking to – and learning from – people in other fields was incredibly helpful; both to the project, and to me and my education.” Katie Green, UBC Medical Student

“Working with the (BCCPC’s) bereavement project, and being privileged to share people’s lived experiences through the interviews has been a catalyst to a lot of introspection, including coming to terms with my own impermanence.” Jody Monk, Masters of Clinical Social Work student from UBCO

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