Internal Funding

These internal funding opportunities support the growth and development of research at UBC Okanagan and help attract and retain top scholars.

The Offices of the Vice-President and Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation sponsor several internal funding programs designed to support the university’s strategic goals.

Our research facilitation team can assist UBC Okanagan researchers in identifying additional internal and external funding opportunities.

Send your questions and applications to


The Aspire program supplements the one-time start-up funding provided by Faculties to new professorial recruits. Over 90 start-up funding packages have been offered since the program was launched in 2017, resulting in the successful recruitment of top scholars to UBC Okanagan. Funding for the Aspire program is provided from the central budget and from the Excellence Fund.

The Aspire program has two goals: to ensure that UBCO can offer competitive start-up packages to recruitment candidates and to provide new faculty with the resources required to develop a robust research career at UBC Okanagan.

Key Dates:

  • Application deadline: No later than 30 days after an offer letter is signed
  • Funding start: First day of UBCO employment


Aspire Program Terms
Aspire Application

The Campus as a Living Lab project is a unique initiative aimed at partnering researchers with campus operations staff to help design and implement innovative solutions to on-campus challenges. Between two and three projects that show impact in one of four priority areas—climate action, resilient systems, sustainable places and communities, and health and wellbeing—will be selected for up to $50,000 in funding.

Project leads must include at least one UBC Okanagan faculty member and one UBC Okanagan operational staff member.

Key Dates:

  • Call for proposals: September 5, 2023
  • Notice of intent (NOI) deadline: September 28, 2023 (11:59 pm)
  • Full application deadline: November 27, 2023 (11:59 pm)
  • Funding start: April 1, 2024


Campus as a Living Lab Program Terms
Campus as a Living Lab Notice of Intent
Campus as a Living Lab Full Application Form
Campus as a Living Lab Activity Template
Campus as a Living Lab Budget Template

Questions about the program can be directed to Miranda Hart.

Climate impacts are being felt around the world with increasing frequency and intensity. The Campus as a Living Lab Grand Challenge invites applicants to envision how BC and Canada can respond and adapt to the climate emergency and how UBC can play a role in realizing a sustainable future in our communities, cities and regions.

The Grand Challenge is one-time opportunity, supported by funds from the President’s Priority Fund. It will provide seed funding totaling $100,000 over a two-year granting cycle for one project at UBC Okanagan.

As a Campus as a Living Lab project, this challenge requires researchers to partner with campus operations staff to design and implement innovative solutions to an on-campus climate challenge. Researchers for this challenge are encouraged to seek community partners and interactions between campuses. Projects should explicitly connect with one or more priorities identified by the UBC 2021 Climate Emergency Task Force. We invite proposals from across all academic disciplines and across operational areas at UBC Okanagan, and projects must have both a Faculty Lead and an Operational Staff Lead.

Researchers may apply to both Campus as a Living Lab and the Grand Challenge, but with different projects.

Key Dates:

  • Call for proposals: early September
  • Notice of intent (NOI) deadline: September 28, 2023 (11:59 pm)
  • Full application deadline: November 27, 2023 (11:59 pm)
  • Funding start: April 1, 2024


Application Forms and Submissions

Questions about the program can be directed to Miranda Hart.

The City of Kelowna and UBCO established the Partnership Fund in 2022. The fund supports projects that leverage UBCO’s demonstrated excellence in research and knowledge creation and maximize the City’s strengths in the areas of service delivery, planning and infrastructure development.

Teams must include a UBCO faculty lead and a City of Kelowna operational staff lead. Proposals may request up to $30,000 a year for a one- or two- year term.


The 2022 competition was a special call. Any future competition dates will be announced as applicable.


2022 Special Call – Program Terms 

UBC Collaborative Research Mobility Awards (CRMA) are designed to support research collaboration between UBC researchers in Vancouver and the Okanagan to:

  • initiate new or strengthen existing research partnerships;
  • enable access to unique infrastructure/core facilities at each location or to hold research meetings;
  • support travel, per diems, and accommodations for UBC researchers

Key Dates:

There are two application deadlines each year. Applications will open approximately six weeks prior to each deadline.

Application deadlines:

  • May 5, 2023
  • November 3, 2023


The CRET program supports the acquisition, development, repairs, replacement or creation of critical research infrastructure at UBC Okanagan. Through this program, we aim to improve the range and quality of our research infrastructure, keep pace with technology and provide opportunities for student research training.

Applications may request between $2,500 and $100,000 to support specific research activities and projects that require critical equipment not currently available on campus. We encourage faculty in all research or knowledge-creation fields to apply.


Dates are subject to change.

  • Application deadline: January 17, 2024 (12:00 p.m.)
  • Funding start: March 15, 2024


2023 CRET Program Terms
2023 CRET Cover Page

NEW: Submit your application through the UBC VPRI Research & Innovation Apply with your CWL.

The Office of the Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation established the Eminence competition to support the development of Clusters of Research Excellence at UBC Okanagan.

These clusters are interdisciplinary teams of researchers focused on addressing key challenges facing society.

Successful clusters leverage existing strengths to transcend traditional boundaries. They are aligned with the strategic plans of the units, faculties, campus and university.

The Eminence Program funds each cluster for three years. The cluster lead(s) must be UBCO faculty, but clusters may involve UBC researchers from both our Vancouver and Okanagan campuses, in addition to collaborators from other institutional, industry and community partners.

This initial investment is designed to catalyze research and knowledge creation initiatives at UBC Okanagan and to attract further external opportunities, such as partnerships, grants, trainee support programs, corporate sponsorship, NGO collaborations, etc.

Key Dates:

Eminence Program Information Session:
June 23, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (registration closed)

Eminence Program Information Session for NOI Teams:
July 27, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (registration closed)

Notice of intent deadline: July 25, 2023 (4:00 p.m.)
Application deadline: September 11, 2023 (4:00 p.m.)
Funding start date:

  • Renewed clusters: November 1, 2023
  • Newly funded clusters: April 1, 2024


2023 Eminence Program Terms
2023 Eminence Program Notice of Intent (NOI) Form
2023 Eminence Program Budget Template
2023 Eminence Program Full Application Cover Page

Teams who would like to discuss approaches to incorporating EDI can reach out to Denise Maines.

The Principal’s Research Chairs (PRC) program provides financial research support for UBC Okanagan faculty engaged in outstanding research or creative scholarship. UBCO PRCs are expected to be, or have the potential to be, leaders that will build and intensify the research ecosystem at UBCO.

The goal of the Principal’s Research Chairs program is to:

  1. Retain our top researchers
  2. Enable recruitment of outstanding new faculty
  3. Promote research intensification
  4. Generate international recognition of research achievements

Tier 1 PRCs (recognized leaders) receive an annual honorarium of $10,000 and annual research allowance of $25,000.

Tier 2 PRCs (emerging leaders) receive an annual honorarium of $7,500 and annual research allowance of $20,000.

Each PRC term is for five years.

Key Dates:

  • Nomination deadline: May 23, 2023 (4:00 pm)
  • PRC allocations confirmed: July 1, 2023
  • Funding available:
    • July 1, 2023 (for retention stream)
    • prior to June 30, 2024 (for attraction stream)
  • Recruitment deadline: June 30, 2024 (for attraction stream)


Deans may submit multiple requests for Principal’s Research Chair allocations but are required to provide a ranked list to accompany the submitted application packages.


The Provost and Vice-President, Academic & Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation review nomination files and make recommendations to the Principal and Deputy Vice-Chancellor for final approval.


2023 PRC Program Terms

The Pritchard Graduate Student Grant Program provides stipends for UBC Okanagan graduate students undertaking health-related research projects with local clinical collaborators. The goal of the fund is to strengthen collaborative research activity between UBC Okanagan, the Interior Health Authority and BC Cancer (Kelowna).

Applications must include a UBCO faculty member and a clinical collaborator.

Key dates:

  • Application deadline: July 17, 2023
  • Funding start: September 1, 2023


2023 Pritchard Program Terms
2023 Pritchard Cover Page

Established in 2009, the Researcher of the Year awards celebrate excellence in research and creative scholarly activity at UBC Okanagan. The awards recognize faculty who have made highly significant contributions to knowledge, society, culture or innovation.

UBCO Faculties and Schools are welcome to nominate up to three individual faculty members in these award categories:

  • Health
  • Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering

For details on the nomination, application and selection process, see the Program Terms.

Key dateS:

  • Nominations by Dean: November 22, 2023
  • Nominations forwarded to VPRI Office: December 8, 2023
  • Nominations confirmed by VPRI Office: mid-December, 2023
  • Full application: January 17, 2024


2024 Researcher of the Year Program Terms
2024 Researcher of the Year Nomination Form

Through the SSHRC Institutional Grant Fund (SIG), this award is designed to strengthen research excellence in the humanities and social sciences by offsetting costs of research activities.

The “Explore” grant supports faculty who need seed funding to develop research projects or conduct pilot work. The “Exchange” grant supports sharing research results through funding small-scale knowledge mobilization activities as well as helping researchers attend or present research at conferences and similar venues.


  • Application deadline: August 31, 2023
  • Funding start: October 15, 2023


Through its annual budget, the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation has allocated a limited amount of funding to provide financial assistance to the UBCO faculty research community, outside of the current internal funding opportunities.

Contingent on the level of funding, the VPRI may offer the following types of support:

  • matching funds
  • letters of support
  • cost-sharing funds (events/conferences/workshops/seminars)
  • other funding requests (to be individually considered)

Key Dates:

The PI must submit a Request for Support at least six weeks before the application deadline and/or date the funding is required.

Justification for abbreviated review period may be submitted with the request if the nature of the opportunity does not allow for a full six weeks’ notice.


Request for Support from the VPRI – Program Terms
Request for Support from the VPRI – Application