Research Associates


1. Appointment Types

1. Research Associates: these are full-time or part-time term appointees who primarily conduct research with no formal teaching duties. Appointments of Research Associates are governed by University Policy 42. This title is available only to those persons who hold the PhD degree or other equivalent qualifications or work experience in their field of research. Such appointments do not lead to a tenured appointment.

2. Honorary Research Associate: Where no salary is provided, an appointment at this rank can be made. Honorary Research Associate appointments are made in recognition of services rendered to a Faculty, Department, or School.

Other classifications of research staff are available for those not meeting the eligibility requirements of a Research Associate. Please contact your Human Resources Advisor/Associate for more information.

to the top

2. Recruitment

1. Research Associate positions must be advertised in accordance with UBC’s advertising policy. If the appointee is a not a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, please review the requirements for Foreign Academic Recruitment.

2. Advertising is not required for Honorary Research Associates.

to the top

3. Applying for Positions

Available positions will be posted on UBC’s website. Please visit our Career Opportunities page for more information.

to the top

4. Offer Process

Every Research Associate must receive an offer letter, which must be signed by the Research Associate accepting the terms of the offer. Offer letters are important in verifying the verbal contract between the Research Associate and their department, as well as detailing expectations and commitments of both parties.

to the top

5. Immigration Process

Foreign Research associates are required to obtain a temporary work permit in order to be employed and perform work for UBC. Please review the Immigration Process for Foreign Academics which outlines the steps involved and provides details on obtaining a temporary work permit and Social Insurance Number (SIN), and also provides information on what is expected after the foreign Research Associate arrives at UBC.

to the top

6. Appointment Process

1. Research Associate appointments can be made one year at a time and can be renewed indefinitely. Please review our checklist for required documentation. In addition, please submit proof of advertising.

2. Honorary Research Associate appointments can be made for 10 years at a time and can be renewed. Please review our checklist for required documentation. If appointed with an end-date of June 30th, the appointment can be renewed through the annual renewal process that occurs every spring that omits the requirement for an appointment form.

to the top

7. Salaries

Salaries and benefits of Research Associates are paid from research grants or contracts. Starting salaries are negotiated between the new Research Associate and their department and normally only change as per the mandated increases approved by the Board of Governors. Salaries may also increase if the initial offer letter contained language that specifically allowed for a salary increase upon reappointment.  There is no salary scale for Research Associates but there is a minimum per annum salary required for full-time appointments which will be pro-rated for part-time appointments:

  • July 1, 2015: $53,739
  • May 1, 2016: $53,981
  • July 1, 2016: $54,251
  • May 1, 2017: $54,983 (includes both 1% GWI & 0.35% ESD)
  • July 1, 2017: $55,258

A minimum salary is also required for benefit eligibility.

to the top

8. Benefits and Pension

Research Associates may be eligible for pension and benefits. The normal eligibility requirements for pensions and benefits are:

Note that fellowship earnings do not attract pension and benefits.

For those Research Associates ineligible for pension and benefits, the Province of BC requires enrolment with the BC Medical Services Plan and we also recommend that you have private coverage where necessary.

to the top

9. Vacation and Leaves

Vacation entitlement is subject to negotiation with your supervisor but is at minimum 2 weeks per year with salary and benefits.  Refer to the Vacation Entitlement page for full details.

Research Associates are eligible for the following types of leaves:

to the top

10. Research Support

Research support is available through the Office of the Vice President Research.

to the top

11. Professional Development Expense Reimbursement

The Expense Fund for Research Associates is administered by Human Resources.

to the top

12. Teaching

Where a Research Associate is given formal teaching duties, a concurrent teaching appointment will be given.

to the top

13. Conflict Resolution

The best way to handle a problem between a Research Associate and his/her supervisor is to identify it while it’s small and manageable, and collaborate on finding a solution. Unresolved problems may be brought in confidence to the attention of the Department Head. If an issue cannot be resolved by the Department Head, it may be brought in confidence to the attention of the Dean. Faculty Relations can also be contacted at any time for assistance.

to the top


[i] An Employer Benefit Cost Calculator is available on the Payroll website for individuals determining how much money to budget for salaries and benefits when applying for research grants.