Distinguished University Scholar Program

The Distinguished University Scholar (DUS) program recognizes exceptional members of faculty who have distinguished themselves as scholars in research and/or teaching and learning, or who have the potential to demonstrate such leadership.

The designation is conferred by the President on the recommendation of a review panel chaired by the VP Research & innovation. DUS awardees receive an annual salary stipend of $20,000 and a one-time research allowance of $20,000.  The appointment is a five-year term, renewable once. 

Up to 10 Distinguished University Scholars are expected to be named in the 2016 competition cycle.

This program is intended to aid in the retention of faculty, and also provide a step towards significant external prizes and awards. It is especially, but not exclusively, aimed at faculty in the humanities, social sciences, and creative and performing arts. This emphasis is intended to help balance the impact of the Canada Research Chairs program, which has disproportionately benefited the medical, natural and physical sciences, both in retention and in recruitment. 


Nomination Process |  Selection Criteria  |  Review Process  

Timeline  |  Submit Application  |  FAQs

Nomination Process

Nominations are submitted by the Deans and must be received by the VPRI Office by 11:59pm on December 12.  

We expect at most one nomination be brought forward from smaller faculties and up to three nominations from larger faculties.

The following elements must be included in the nomination package:

  • A brief description prepared by the nominee describing her or his current work and in particular her or his scholarly plans for the next five years (max. 1-2 pages).
  • The nominee's current CV.
  • Three letters of reference from arms-length referees commenting on the scholarly excellence of the nominee.  Promotion and Tenure (PAT) letters should not be used.  A brief description of the referee is essential.
  • A letter from the Dean with rationale for the nomination, and a particular mention of instances where the nomination is put forward as a retention priority (max. 1 page).
  • The review panel’s work would be facilitated by a short description of the international stature of journals or publishers in the nominee’s field.

The nomination package is to be organized into a single bookmarked pdf file and submitted below.

Selection Criteria

Nominations are based on an assessment of the quality of the nominee and her or his proposed scholarly program.   DUS holders may be of any academic rank, and it is expected that judgements about potential will be required for more junior colleagues.  Nominations will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Distinguished University Scholars should be outstanding and innovative scholars whose accomplishments have had a major impact in the field;
  • They should have received international recognition as leaders in the field;
  • Their record in attracting and supervising students and trainees should be superior, taking into account the practices and standards of the field;
  • Their proposed scholarly program should be innovative, original and of high quality;
  • Distinguished University Scholars should be at the level of scholarly excellence demonstrated by our Canada Research Chairs (either Tier I or II as appropriate);
  • More junior colleagues ought to have demonstrated creativity and innovation in scholarship, with the promise of emerging international distinction.

The Review Process

Members of a Review Panel will assess the nominations to the DUS program. Based on the reviewers' assessments expressed as their ranking of each nominee, the panel will make a recommendation to the President on which nominations should be named as a Distinguished University Scholar. 

Review Panel

The following will sit on the review panel:

  • The Provost & Vice President, Academic, UBC-Vancouver
  • The Provost & Vice Principal Academic, UBC-Okanagan
  • The Vice President, Research & Innovation (Chair)
  • The Chair of the Senior Appointments Committee
  • Up to three current Distinguished University Scholars
  • Up to three Professors Emereti who were awarded the Distinguished University Scholar designation
  • The Director, Office of the Vice President Research (ex officio – Secretary)


Deadline for nominations: December 12

Panel review meeting: December, 2016

Announcement: January, 2017


Please contact Greg Martyn (604-827-1439 / greg.martyn@ubc.ca) if you need additional information.



Nominations are now closed.