In 1991, Peter Wall donated 6.5 million shares in Wall Financial Corporation to establish the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies with a clear goal to “generate ideas, research and initiatives that wouldn’t otherwise happen”. Originally valued at $15 million, the donation of shares and accumulated dividends are worth over $200 million today. It is the largest private donation in UBC’s history.

The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC) provides opportunities for world-class scholars to explore innovative research questions in a vibrant, collegial milieu spanning all disciplines. Our programs draw together scholars from UBC and around the world to engage in deep and unconstrained research into some of the most profound questions and challenges facing humanity.

We seek highly innovative, creative and unexpected research outcomes that come from a wide-ranging exploration between disciplines, including the creative and performing arts. We engage in primary research, and also in community outreach and knowledge mobilization through public programs and collaboration with non-academic community partners around the globe.

The activities of the Institute also contribute to the cultural enrichment of UBC and the wider community through regular lecture series and artistic events. Since its founding in 1996, the Institute has created a community of scholars at UBC and beyond, including partner institutions. For more on the history of the Institute, see our timeline.




Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies

University Centre, University of British Columbia, 6331 Crescent Road, Vancouver, BC Canada V6T 1Z2
Phone: 604 822 0199 | E-mail:


The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies is committed foremost to excellence in research; its goal is to stimulate collaborative, creative, and innovative interdisciplinary research that makes important advances in knowledge.


To create collaborative, interdisciplinary, basic research programs for scholars at all stages of their career.