Research Excellence

The University creates and advances knowledge and understanding, and improves the quality of life through the discovery, dissemination, and application of research within and across disciplines.

Research is to see what everybody else has seen and to think what nobody else has thought.
Albert Szent-Györgyi

UBC is responsible for a quarter of all research conducted in British Columbia. Our strengths—including our interdisciplinary approach, commercialization record, and distributed medical program—point the way forward. Our challenge lies in asking ourselves again: How may we best think what nobody else has thought?

Emerging areas of research excellence at UBC reflect some of the world’s most insistent themes in science, technology, social sciences, and the humanities. Finding answers to questions in these and all fields lies in improving the conditions for discovery: Increased knowledge exchange. Partnerships both local and global. A resilient infrastructure grounded in freedom and responsibility.

UBC’s research excellence is a key economic driver, a draw for the world’s greatest minds, and an impetus for societal transformation—all that the University’s founders foresaw. We must now think what even they did not, and become more.


  • Support and enhance UBC researchers’ grant funding competitiveness and success
  • Enhance infrastructure to support leading edge research
  • Foster UBC’s globally influential areas of research excellence
  • Collaborate with faculties to measure research outputs and impact
  • Expand recruitment and retention of top ranked graduate students and postdoctoral fellows


  • Given UBC’s increase in Tri-Council grants over the past 3 years, two additional Canada Research Chairs were redistributed to UBC
  • UBC was awarded a Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Quantum Materials and Devices, valued at $10 million over 7 years
  • 2 Centres for Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) received additional funding (CDRD - $8M; PCTRIADD - $11.3M)
  • Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health opened in February 2014
  • An agreement was signed with the City of Chongqing, designating UBC as its principal academic partner.
  • The Surviving and Thriving Research lab (STAR) was established at the Okanagan campus
  • Research and innovation infrastructure was strengthened at the Okanagan campus via enhancements to research administration and partnerships with the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services


  • Increase the impact of UBC research through strengthened knowledge mobilization capacity and effectiveness (technology transfer, technology mobilization and knowledge transfer)
  • Facilitate access of UBC personnel and alumni to entrepreneurship programs
  • Facilitate engagement of external communities in research and graduate training at UBC
  • Develop a system for making UBC research accessible in digital repositories, especially open access repositories


  • Over 7,500 ISI-indexed journal articles were published, with 63% published in the most influential scholarly journals in the world and 44% with international collaboration
  • The Library was ranked 14 in North American libraries and 2nd in Canada; and has over 7M volumes, including 1.5M e-books
  • Policy 88 was updated and renamed from Patents and Licensing to Inventions and Discoveries; it focuses on the impact university research and inventions has on society
  • In partnership with Genome Canada and Genome BC, genomics.entrepreneurship@UBC develops programs with a learning, Knowledge Network, Intern and Accelerator program to advance business and policy based opportunities in genomics