Research Resources

Learn how to stay informed about research opportunities, view links to sources of support, and find out about orientations for recently hired faculty.


Taraneh Sowlati

Dr. Taraneh Sowlati, Associate Dean Research and Innovation

Dr. Sowlati provides leadership in research and innovation within the Faculty of Forestry. She promotes the Faculty’s research and innovation agenda inside and outside the university. Moreover, she identifies and coordinates research award nominations for our faculty members. She is the liaison with the UBC office of the VPRI, and liaises with the federal funding agencies through UBC’s Research Advisors.

Dr. Pia Smets, Research Development and Awards Officer

Dr. Smets provides individual support to faculty members in two areas. The first is research grant development. This includes providing information about potential funding sources and competition requirements. It also involves editing grant proposals at various stages of development. The second area is that of award nominations. She helps to identify opportunities for nominations and assists with the preparation of nomination packages. She introduces newly recruited faculty to the Canadian landscape of research funding. If you have a question about research funding, she will try to help you find the answer.

Faculty of Forestry Research Support Available

Pia Smets

Dr. Pia Smets, Research Development and Awards Officer, Faculty of Forestry / SPARC.

I provide faculty members with grant and award nomination support, including advising on and editing grant proposals; identifying and providing information about potential funding sources and competitions; identifying research award opportunities; and assisting in the preparation of nominations.


Contact me directly for questions specific to your planned proposal, internal deadlines, eligibility issues, overhead, review procedures, etc. I will point you to the right sources or liaise with people who know answers, either inside UBC or in the funding agencies.

The SPARC office (Support Programs to Advance Research Capacity) is my part-time home base and provides workshops to support the preparation of your grant, online guidelines, signup for grant review, internal peer review, and access to the grant library (using campus-wide login or CWL).


A written review will be provided for logic, coherence, and alignment with competition criteria. Please contact me to arrange a review. Hearing about your planned proposal early allows me to provide better assistance.


Where can you learn about new funding and award opportunities on an ongoing basis? Subscribe to the UBC Research Digest, a monthly summary of opportunities, deadlines, workshops, and news from the UBC research community.


Units within the Vice-President Research and Innovation portfolio (VPRI) support faculty through the research project cycle, from finding funding through to mobilizing knowledge.

Below I list some of the units you will interact with at the early stages of establishing your research program.

The Office of Research Services (ORS) will help submit your grants and set-up an account when you are funded. RISe (Researcher Information Services) is the online research administration tool used by researchers and administrators to manage applications online from application to status tracking, approval, certification and awarding of funds.

The RPIF (Research Project Information Form) is a vital UBC administrative form for every research project and requires signatures from your department and faculty. Your CV is likewise an important component of the funding application: different funding agencies have very different and strict templates.

Ethics approval can be obtained from the Office of Research Ethics.


Contact me if you are interested in being nominated for an Award, and check out the tips and resources on the Research Awards page.   

I look forward to setting up an individual consultation with you to discuss the most common avenues for funding, where your research fits with regard to the major funding agencies, and answer any questions you may have about research or awards.

UBC Sources of Support

We encourage you to visit the website of SPARC – Support Programs to Advance Research Capacity, a unit in the Vice President Research and Innovation (VPRI) portfolio that provides strategic research development services and resources to faculty applying for Tri-agency (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) funding. VPRI offers this excellent overview of the research project cycle.

The Office of Research Services (ORS) provides administrative support, as outlined in this roadmap.

  • Various open access discounts are available through the UBC library, after you have exhausted Faculty resources, but the easiest way to publish open access is to deposit a copy in UBC cIRcle (free).
  • Indigenous Strategic Initiatives (ISI) funding: is not for a research-driven project, but seed funding for new initiatives that will be sustained by your unit long-term. The initiative must advance the UBC ISP (indigenous strategic plan).

Acronyms used in Research Funding

Listed in alphabetical order

Alliance – Grant for teams with a cash-contributing partner, for projects based in the NSE
ARC – Advanced Research Computing: large computing infrastructure already present at UBC
ADRI – Associate Dean Research and Innovation in the Faculty of Forestry.
BREB – UBC’s Behavioral Research Ethics Board
cIRcle – UBC’s open access digital repository, via UBC library
CFI – Canada Foundation for Innovation: infrastructure and equipment grants
CUES – Community-University Engagement Support: for charitable organizations to build partnerships with UBC
CTLT – Centre for Teaching and Learning Technology at UBC
CWL – Campus-wide login
DG – Discovery Grant (NSERC): program grant
DH – Discovery Horizons (NSERC) : project grant for interdisciplinary research based in the natural sciences
IDG – Insight Development Grant (SSHRC)
IF – Innovation Fund (CFI) for infrastructure
IG – Insight Grant (SSHRC) [Committee #24 for interdisciplinary research based in the social sciences]
IPO – Institutional Programs Office at UBC: support for infrastructure funding applications (e.g., CFI funds)
JELF – John R. Evans Leaders Fund (CFI) for equipment and infrastructure
Mitacs – nonprofit national research organization, graduate student internships, PDF training programs.
NFRF-E – New Frontiers in Research Fund (SSHRC) – Exploration stream (interdisciplinary)
NSE – Natural Sciences and Engineering
NSERC – Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
ORPA – Office of Research Prizes and Awards at UBC
ORS – Office of Research Services: competition internal deadlines, RPIF forms, etc.
PDG – Partnership Development Grant (SSHRC)
PEG – Partnership Engage Grant (SSHRC)
PG – Partnership grants (SSHRC)
RISe – Research Information Systems: online research administration tool. You will access it via Workday, the UBC software suite for Human Resources and administration.
RPIF – Research Project Information Form: UBC administrative form required for all research grant applications
RTI – Research Tools and Instruments grant (NSERC)
SSHRC – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
UILO – University-Industry Liaison Office (UBC): enables research and innovation partnerships with industry, entrepreneurs, government and non-profit organizations
VPRIO – Office of the Vice President Research and Innovation at UBC

Here is a list of acronyms used by the UBC Board of Governors:

National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) 

UBC has an institutional membership with the NCFDD. It provides professional development, training and mentoring opportunities to faculty members, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and administrators.

Many of these programs are free of charge, and people within Forestry who have taken some of the NCFDD courses speak highly of them.  The programs are available to anyone with an email address ending in “”.