The Institute

Since its founding in 1996, the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies has created a community of scholars at UBC and beyond. The Institute seeks to encourage highly innovative, creative and unexpected scholarship through wide-ranging explorations between disciplines, including the creative and performing arts.

The activities of the Institute also contribute to the cultural enrichment of UBC and the wider community through regular lecture series and artistic events.

Wall Institute to meld best minds in research, 1996.


The governing body of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies is the Board of Trustees, as specified under the Deed of Trust for the Establishment of the Peter Wall Endowment, 1991. For administrative purposes, the Institute falls under the portfolio of the UBC Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation.

Board of Trustees

The role of the Board of Trustees is to “govern and manage the Peter Wall Endowment” (per Deed of Trust, 1991). The five Trustees are the UBC President (or designate), two UBC-appointed Trustees, and two donor-appointed Trustees.

  • Moura Quayle, Vice Provost and Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs, UBC (Chair)
  • Jennifer Berdahl, Professor, Sociology, UBC
  • Sathish Gopalakrishnan, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, UBC
  • Sonya Wall, Donor Family
  • Bruno Wall, Wall Financial Corporation

Official Observers to the Board of Trustees

  • Director, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
  • Brett Finlay, Peter Wall Distinguished Professor
  • Gail Murphy, Vice-President Research & Innovation, UBC
  • Andrew Szeri, Provost and Vice-President Academic, UBC

Finance Committee

The finance committee reviews financial statements and endowment reports, including investments, before the information is submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval or information.

  • Moura Quayle, Chair, PWIAS Board
  • Karamjeet Heer, UBC Comptroller (pro tem)
  • Yale Loh, UBC Treasurer
  • Sonya Wall, Donor Family
  • Bruno Wall, Wall Financial Corporation
  • Director, Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (ex officio)

Academic Advisory Board

The Academic Advisory Board provides advice and makes recommendations to the Institute Director and the UBC President on various matters relating to the Institute, including its academic governance and mandate.

Adjudication Committees

If you would like to serve on a PWIAS adjudication committee, please contact us. 

Wall Scholars Program Adjudication  2021

Kalina Christoff, Psychology, Interim Director, PWIAS (Chair)
Helen Eastman, Artistic Associate
Hoi Kong, Law
Anita Palepu, Medicine
M.V. Ramana, Public Policy and Global Affairs (Physics)

External Review

The Office of the Vice President Academic and Provost commissioned an external review of the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies in late 2019. The report of the external review committee was submitted in January 2020. A joint response from the Interim Director of the Institute and the Board of Trustees outlining specific steps that have been taken, are planned or are in discussion to address the recommendations was completed in November 2020. 


Report of the External Review Committee

PWIAS Response to Report of the External Review Committee

Institute Timeline

COVID-19 response

As UBC continues to navigate the situation regarding COVID-19 and to take direction from the BC Provincial Government, we encourage you to visit for the latest updates regarding COVID-19 and UBC’s response.


Is PWIAS open?
The Institute’s programs are critical in bridging the activities of many faculties and departments across UBC. As the University plans for a resumption of on-campus activities, PWIAS is planning a gradual re-opening of the PWIAS facilities. We will also be evaluating and planning for the future.

PWIAS is currently open with restricted access to the Institute’s Wall Scholars and Staff. PWIAS staff and faculty are working a partly remote schedule.

The PWIAS office remains closed to visitors and public at this time. We are working towards resuming other on-site programming and workshops later this Fall.

Are people required to wear masks at the Institute?

Non-medical masks must be worn in all shared indoor spaces.

What safety measures are in place?

Mandatory training: Prior to coming to PWIAS all faculty and staff working at PWIAS must complete the mandatory online training module UBC Go Forward COVID-19 Safety Planning.

Daily health self-assessments: A daily self-health assessment is required before attending PWIAS.

Stay home if you are sick: If you feel sick stay home use the Thrive Health self-assessment tool for guidance. Follow the advice from Public Health.

Signage: Please follow all signage in the building and adhere to staff directions.

International Travel: Anyone who has travelled internationally may only return to UBC Premises after complying with all Canadian border entry and quarantine and testing requirements, in force at the time of entry. Additional information is available here.

UBC Campus Rules: PWIAS faculty and staff must adhere to the UBC Campus Rules.

Does PWIAS have a Safety plan?

UBC COVID-19 Safety Plans are applicable UBC-wide. The following UBC Safety Plans apply to PWIAS at this time:

If you have questions about PWIAS Safety Plans please contact: