About Us

The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC) provides funding opportunities and an intellectual environment where scholars are free to collaborate beyond disciplinary boundaries. The research we support makes important advances in knowledge that are shared through our ongoing 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.


The Institute's goal is to stimulate creative, innovative research in a highly collaborative environment at UBC where the scholars have sustained opportunity to exchange ideas with national and international scholars, develop new thinking and engage in intellectual risk-taking.


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.