Professional Development and Support

The University and the Faculty place high value on professional development and personal growth. In order to encourage these activities, the University offers faculty members a variety of services and support arrangements:

Start-up Support

At the time we offer you an appointment, we will endeavour to commit to a start-up funding package to cover the initial cost of research-related equipment and associated expenses.

The amount varies depending on your discipline and the arrangements in place at the time, but your Head or Director will be able to discuss this with you in greater detail. Associated with this, new faculty members may be in a position to apply for more significant start-up funds through such organizations as the New Opportunities Program of the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Graduate Student Support

Faculty members are frequently aided in their research through collaboration with the graduate students that they supervise. At UBC, the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies is the home Faculty of all research-based graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and deals with certain administrative aspects of the associated graduate programs.

Financial support for graduate students is available most commonly through research grants secured by a faculty member, Teaching Assistantships, University Graduate Fellowships, granting councils (NSERC, SSHRC, CIHR) scholarships, and other support through granting agencies or industry collaborators. Students who hold an NSERC scholarship may be eligible for supplementary financial support through a Scholarship Supplement Program.

Finally, we are able to attract the best international students, in part on account of UBC's comparatively low tuition fees for foreign graduate students and the associated International Partial Tuition Scholarship.

University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO)

UBC's University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO) provides an avenue for achieving the full potential of the technology transfer and commercialization activities of our faculty members. Thus the UILO will be helpful with respect to disclosures, patents, licenses and establishing agreements on royalties.

The UILO's responsibility is to evaluate, protect, market and license those inventions and technologies that are likely to be viable and successful in the marketplace. The support activities of the UILO include:

  • assessment of technology and invention disclosures for feasibility and commercial potential
  • a Prototype Development Program, which produces proof-of-concept and working models of promising technologies
  • intellectual property protection, through a patent, copyright and trademark registration program technology commercialization, whereby the UILO markets a portfolio of technologies ready for licensing, collaborative research and joint development
  • development of spin-off company opportunities.

Overall, technology transfer activity has helped the University hold to its goal of sharing the benefits and value of research with the wider community, while at the same time bringing tangible returns in the form of royalties, equity and contract revenue that can be used to fund further research.

Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT)

The Centre for Teaching, and Learning Technology (CTLT) offers a wide range of programs, services and resources on teaching and learning, which may be useful in furthering your personal and/or professional development. Some of the most popular CTLT services include support for new faculty, instructional skills workshops, and seminars for the teaching community:

Support for New Faculty

The Centre for Teaching, and Learning Technology organizes annual events and activities for new faculty to meet colleagues and discuss topics of special concern.

Faculty orientations, one-on-one mentoring, start-of-term coffee welcomes, and special e-mail announcements are just a few of the activities CTLT coordinates to introduce new faculty to the people, places and material necessary for success at UBC.

Instructional Skills Workshops

Throughout the year, the Centre for Teaching, and Learning Technology offers three-day workshops led by trained facilitators. In a supportive, peer-based atmosphere, faculty members practice teaching short lessons and receive constructive feedback. The group discusses new approaches and techniques to sharpen existing teaching skills. A special workshop in August focuses specifically on new faculty members.

Seminars for the Teaching Community

Twice each year – in early September and in April, the Centre for Teaching, and Learning Technology offers a suite of interactive seminars on teaching, learning and technology.  These seminars address a variety of teaching and learning themes such as teaching larger classes, evaluation and assessment, motivating students, and incorporating research into teaching.

Instructional Support

The Applied Science Centre for Instructional Support can help you improve your teaching and student learning by the effective use of educational technologies. A host of resources are available, including hardware and software, interactive media, WebCT training and course design. To learn more, visit Centre for Instructional Support.


The UBC Library, the third largest research library in Canada, is a system of 8 libraries on campus and two off-campus, each specializing in a particular group of subjects. Together the libraries house over 7 million items (print and electronic), over 1.4 million e-books, more than 229,000 journal titles, over 5.3 million microforms, and more than 890,000 other items such as maps, sound recordings, videos, and graphic materials. The Library also serves as an official depository for Canadian, British Columbian and Japanese government publications.  It’s collections of rare and unique books and archival materials support researchers from around the world.

In addition to these general collections, the Library maintains specific collections for science and engineering, nursing, and architecture. In each case, the collections are extensive, including information organized by journal databases, reference tools, electronic journals, conference papers, societies and associations, listservs and newsgroups, and web sites.

Knowledgeable library staff provide a variety of instructional classes to help students and faculty members improve their research and information technology skills, allowing you to make the most of available resources. Class topics range from the essentials of searching the UBC Library web-site to subject-specific research at advanced levels.

Engineering faculty and students also have access to three engineering reading rooms, which maintain subscriptions to a great variety of engineering journals and house valuable reference collections and reserve materials.

Study Leave (Tenure Stream Faculty)

After the completion of four or more years of full-time service at UBC since appointment or previous study leave, an eligible faculty member may be granted a study leave for the purpose of pursuing study or research of benefit to the member and the University. When on study leave, faculty members have access to university resources to support their work.  You may be eligible for study leave as follows:

  • For twelve months, with 60% of salary for the period of study leave if it is taken before six years of full-time service since appointment or previous study leave, with 80% of salary if it is taken after six years of full-time service or previous study leave and before eight years of full-time service or previous study leave;  and with 100% of salary otherwise. (Subject to certain approvals, a 12-month leave may be divided into two six month parts, with the second part commencing no later than two years from the conclusion of the first part.)
  • For six months, with 75% of salary for the period of study leave if it is taken before six years of full-time service since appointment or previous study leave, with 90% of salary if it is taken after six years of full-time service or previous study leave and before eight years of full-time service or previous study leave; and with 100% of salary otherwise.

See the Faculty Association website for more information on study leave.

Professional Development Leave (Lecturers)

After the completion of six or more years of consecutive service at UBC since initial appointment or previous professional development leave, an eligible lecturer may be granted a 4-month professional development leave with 80% salary for the purpose of pursuing educational projects or activities that will enhance their teaching-related development at the University.

See the Faculty Association website for more information.

Professional Development Reimbursement

The University offers a professional development reimbursement in order to assist faculty members in meeting professional development expenses that relate to activities enhancing their performance, ability, or effectiveness in their work at the University. As of 2020, the annual entitlement is $1,700 for most faculty members. The unused balance may be accumulated for up to five academic years, including the current year. Some of the expenses that may be covered include travel, books, and home computer equipment used for professional activities. For the most up to date and complete information, visit: Professional Development Reimbursement Fund.

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