About Us

The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC) provides an intellectual environment where leading scholars address fundamental research questions through collaborations that transcend disciplinary boundaries. Our work stimulates new thinking and intellectual risk-taking, leading to important advances in knowledge that are shared through community engagement programs.

Since its founding in 1996, the Institute's achievements include the creation of a significant community of scholars—more than 450 Faculty Associates in total—at UBC and an even wider global community of individuals and partner institutions, including the University-Based Institutes for Advanced Study network. For more on the history of the Institute, see our Institute Timeline.


To create interdisciplinary, basic research programs for scholars at all stages of their career.


The Institute is fully endowment-funded. The founder is Peter Wall, a visionary Vancouver business leader responsible for the iconic Wall Centre. Mr. Wall’s donation of 6.5 million shares of Wall Financial Corporation stock was motivated by his desire to give something back to the country that admitted him as a refugee and facilitated his success. The donation, worth $15 million, was at the time the largest single private donation in the UBC’s 75-year history. The shares generate dividend income for the Institute’s annual operations. The Institute also received a separate endowment from UBC.