Wall Scholars Catalyst Program

Application Window Closed: Friday, April 29, 2022

Theme: Climate and Nature Emergency

Applications are invited from leading scholars across career stages from UBCV and UBCO to the 2022-23 Wall Scholars Catalyst Program. Successful scholars will participate in regular sessions at the Institute focusing on the broad theme of Climate and Nature Emergency. Up to 10 Wall Scholars will be appointed in this selection process.

The program will uphold the Institute’s mandate to provide a platform for associated scholars, fellows and partners to engage in research that transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries and that explores innovative ways of thinking and knowing to address the biggest challenges of our time. Selected applicants will build connections, cultivate relationships and initiate collaborations that will continue beyond the program year.

The 2022-23 Wall Scholars Catalyst Program places emphasis on the role of scholars as change catalysts in society and of PWIAS as an incubator of inter- and trans-disciplinary collaborations that engage with the urgency, scale and complexity of the program theme.

The theme proposed for the 2022-23 cohort is Climate and Nature Emergency. The recent devastating environmental disasters in BC are indicative of the immediacy of climate crises, the complexities of bringing about systemic change and the urgent need for coordinated efforts to address climate change, climate justice and biodiversity loss both locally and globally. The program will complement and connect faculty and student led initiatives.

We encourage applications from all disciplines and from scholars whose work may be vital to understanding the climate and nature emergency, but who may have not previously conceived of their scholarship in this frame. For this call, we hope to expand the ways of knowing and acting in this challenging socio-ecological moment.

The Wall Scholars Catalyst Program will run September 1, 2022 to August 31, 2023.



Applicants are required to hold a faculty position at UBC (including UBCO) at the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, or Clinical Faculty.

UBC Faculty who have previously held a Wall Scholars award and Professors Emeriti are also eligible to apply.

Individual Scholar Criteria

  • Interest and/or experience with interdisciplinary and/or transdisciplinary research in areas directly or indirectly related to the program theme.
  • Quality, innovation, ethics and interdisciplinarity of Wall Scholars Catalyst activities proposal:
    • Proposals should demonstrate an understanding of the complexity of the problems being addressed and an awareness of different analyses of those problems (e.g. culturally distinct understandings of sustainability and prosperity).
    • Proposals that include engagements with historically and systemically marginalized communities should demonstrate that these collaborations are or will be rooted in respect, consent, reciprocity, trust and accountability.
  • Demonstrated leadership and expertise relative to their career group at their career stage.
  • Able to meet the program expectations (see section “Program Expectations”).
  • The selection process also considers how the applicant’s profile and proposal fit with the composition of the cohort.

Cohort Composition Criteria

  • 2 preferential places will be reserved for Indigenous scholars.
  • Best practices in EDI will inform the selection process.
  • A diversity of experience, knowledge and methodology.
  • A 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.

Scholars will receive a grant* up to $45,000 that can be used within two years for research, conference organization, TA/RA support, towards course buy outs (with department approval), and also as match funding for larger grant applications. The funds cannot be taken as salary stipends. We encourage the use of the funds with research and knowledge mobilization involving students and with communities that have been directly affected by climate change and biodiversity loss.

*The funds will be disbursed to Scholars in two instalments (September and January), the second instalment is contingent upon sustained program participation.

  • Wall Scholars are expected to participate in a two-day planning retreat at the Institute August 29-30th 2022 and to dedicate at least 6 hours a week to the activities of the Institute during the academic term (Sept-May) beginning Wednesday September 14th 2022, from 10am to 2pm, plus 2 additional scheduled hours per week for online special interest group weekly meetings.
  • Wall Scholar Catalyst sessions will take place in-person at the Institute on Wednesdays from 10am to 2pm during term time, excluding reading weeks. These sessions will focus on supporting inter- and trans-disciplinary conversations, networking and collaborations within the cohort and beyond. Applicants must have this availability in their teaching and service schedules. Funding is contingent upon participation in this time slot.
  • Special interest groups will also meet online every week for two hours according to the schedule of participants.
  • Coordination of a PWIAS public forum.
  • Participation in reporting requirements and check-in meetings with the Institute Interim Director each term.
  • Scholars should be willing to limit their travel to a minimum for the year, in order to maximize their interactions with other Wall Scholars.
  • Office space will be reserved for UBCO scholars and visitors to the Institute. UBCV Scholars may apply for shared office space.

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 Peter Wall Institute is implementing the UBC Indigenous Engagement Strategy across its activities. As part of this process, we emphasize the importance of ethical engagement with Indigenous persons and communities based on trust, respect, consent, reciprocty and accountability.

We have reserved 2 preferential spaces for Indigenous scholars and we particularly encourage Indigenous applicants to apply.

PWIAS has appointed the first Wall International Indigenous Scholar, Chief Ninawa Huni Kui. At the Institute, Chief Ninawa will be focusing on the climate and nature emergency in the Amazon region.

The deadline for applications is April 29th 2022.

Applications will be adjudicated by an interdisciplinary peer review process and should be written for non-specialists (i.e., avoid technical or field-specific jargon).

Interested applicants should submit:

  • A complete Application Form describing your expertise and contributions to the thematic area.
  • UBC C.V.
  • A two-page summary of your most important contributions over the last 5 years related directly or indirectly to the program theme, including, for example, publications, collaborations, community outreach, presentations, knowledge mobilization initiatives, media communications and contributions to research training.

Short-listed applicants will be notified by May 20th 2022 and will need to be available for a video conference interview between Tuesday, May 24th and Friday, May 27th 2022.

Awardees will be notified by June 3rd 2022.

Applicants will not receive detailed feedback on their applications.

Questions should be directed to: catalyst.program@pwias.ubc.ca.