Wall Scholars Program

The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (PWIAS) Wall Scholar Research Award provides support for full-time, tenured or tenure-track UBC faculty members to spend one year in residence at the Peter Wall Institute, in a collaborative, interdisciplinary environment.

Wall Scholars are chosen among leading UBC researchers from all academic disciplines, with the objective of creating a dynamic and diverse intellectual community at the Institute. We seek to foster sustained and transformational intellectual engagement among UBC researchers and visitors at the PWIAS. The program benefits the participants in various ways, including:

  • Enhancing opportunities for world-class scholars to have regular and meaningful exchange of ideas across traditional academic disciplines, fostering new research directions and serving as a catalyst for innovative research collaborations.
  • Creating a supportive and stimulating environment for intellectual risk taking and experimentation, encouraging ongoing serendipitous interactions that can extend the frontiers of research.
  • Providing UBC Scholars with the sustained opportunity to exchange ideas with influential national and international visiting scholars at the PWIAS.
  • Increasing integration of multimodal and expressive arts as an important component of research across all disciplines.
  • Providing support in the mobilization and showcasing of research to diverse audiences.
  • Providing seed funding for innovative projects that have the potential to make a significant contribution to the global research community and to society at large.

The Institute will appoint up to ten UBC scholars per academic year, with representation from all Professorial ranks. Successful applicants will be individuals with exceptional research records (as appropriate for their career stage), and a strong interest in and/or demonstrated capacity for interdisciplinary exchange across a range of academic fields.

The call for applications for 2021 will be announced in September 2020.

Wall Scholars are provided with office space and funds to support full administrative and course release.  This support is intended to enable scholars to focus on research activities while in residence at the Peter Wall Institute. The extent of release is to be negotiated with individual scholars’ departments. Full release is possible and encouraged.

The Wall Scholars Award is available to full-time tenured or tenure-track UBC faculty members who have not previously held an award in residence at the Peter Wall Institute.
Appointees must be able to meet the Terms and Expectations for the Wall Scholars program.

The expectation is full commitment and involvement in the Institute community of scholars. We ask Scholars to limit their travel to a minimum during the year in residence, as extended absences from campus will detract from one's contributions to the Wall Scholars cohort.

Wall Scholars will be in residence from August 1 to July 31. “In residence” means spending a minimum of 3 full days per week at the Institute during the academic year. Wall Scholars have weekly lunch meetings on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to discuss research ideas and topics of interest. All Wall Scholars will be expected to give a seminar at the Institute, and attend off-campus overnight research retreats in late August and May. The Wall Scholars will also be strongly encouraged to attend the PWIAS Associates Events and play an active role in the broader intellectual life of the Institute.

Individual Scholar Criteria

  • Demonstrated interest in research and/or experience in scholarship that transcends usual disciplinary boundaries.
  • Proposal for research activities at PWIAS that have the potential to enrich the intellectual environment at the Institute.
  • Strong research record.

Cohort Composition Criteria

  • A diversity of experience, knowledge and methodology.
  • A wide range of disciplines across the Sciences, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Performing Arts.
  • Different career stages including, Assistant Professors, Associate Professors and Professors.
  • Potential for synergies and interactions between applicants.
  • Ability of cohort to interact constructively through conversation and intellectually challenge each other.

We recognize the legitimate impact that leaves (e.g. parental leave, leave due to illness) can have on a candidate’s record of research achievement and that these leaves will be taken into careful consideration during the assessment process.


Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence, and the Institute is committed to promoting these values in its programs. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

The call for applications for 2021-22 will be announced in September 2020.

The application procedure for the Wall Scholars Program has two stages: a written application and an interview stage for short-listed applicants. Interviews will be conducted at the Peter Wall Institute in November, and final selections will be announced shortly thereafter. Applicants who do not make the shortlist for the interview stage will be advised via email.

The Adjudication Committee does not provide feedback on its decisions.

STAGE 1: Submit Application

Please submit with your application a short CV summary (5 page maximum) describing your academic expertise and contributions to scholarship. The onus is on applicants to convince an interdisciplinary evaluation committee of the significance of their work and potential synergies / interactions with a variety of research disciplines. Applicants will also be expected to demonstrate their commitment to program activities and ability to fully engage with the PWIAS diverse community of scholars during the residency year.

STAGE 2: Applicant Interviews

Applicant interviews will occur in mid-November. Applicants should plan on being available for an in-person (strongly preferred) or video conference interview that week. Interviews will be conducted by a committee comprising the PWIAS Director, Previous Wall Scholars, Distinguished Professors and the Wall Scholars Senior Program Manager.

For more information, please contact the Program Manager: NationalPrograms (at) pwias.ubc.ca.