Work Study

Working on campus is an excellent way for students to learn through doing, create strong connections within the UBC Community, and develop professional skills required for life beyond their degree.

$400,000 is available through the Work Study Program each year in minimum wage subsidies to enable faculty and staff at UBC’s Okanagan campus to create outstanding student employment opportunities. Funding is awarded to eligible employers via a competitive application and adjudication process.

Apply for Work Study funding

Next application period: December 2022

Application instructions

Attend an information session

Information sessions are recommended for any faculty and staff who are considering applying for Work Study funding. Even if you have applied in previous years, info sessions are helpful to keep up to date with any changes to the program. At each info session we will review:

  • the terms of the program,
  • the process of application and adjudication, and
  • steps for hiring students if awarded funding

Info sessions will be available in November each year. If you have questions about the upcoming Work Study period, please contact Michele Gabourie

Key dates

Summer program Winter program
Session dates May 1 to August 31 September 1 to April 30
Call for proposals December 1 2022 – January 13 2023
Hourly reimbursement $15.65
Applicant maximums Two proposals, each for max 680 summer hours and 816 winter hours.
Student weekly hour limits and maximums 20 hours per week or 340 hours total 12 hours per week or 408 hours total
Funding announcements Late February
Positions posted March August
Hiring deadline April 29, 2022 September 16, 2022
Waitlist review Early July Mid October
Site visits July January

Required Employer Contribution

The Work Study Program provides a flat minimum wage subsidy ($15.65 per hour starting June 1, 2022). Employers are responsible for paying the 14% employer paid payroll expenses (CPP, EI, etc.) plus any discretionary salary top up via an authorized UBC cost center according to payroll deadlines.

Program goals

The Work Study Program provides a minimum wage subsidy to faculty and staff at UBC’s Okanagan campus who are committed to providing enriched, educational on campus employment opportunities for students. Work Study positions should focus on the student experience and provide opportunity for intentional reflection throughout the experience.

To be considered for funding, employers must clearly identify how their student position fulfills the following Student Learning and Proposal Outcomes. See the Scoring Rubric (PDF) for further details.

Student learning outcomes

Throughout the course of a Work Study position student(s) will gain the following:

  • Personal and professional growth
  • Workplace skills
  • Career exploration
  • Hands on learning – opportunities to learn through doing
  • Mentorship and support – safe and supportive workplace environment for students to learn and grow

Proposal outcomes

Work that is funded through the Work Study program must contribute to the goals and priorities of the faculty/department, campus, and/or university as a whole.


Alex with Work Study supervisorRole: Research Assistant, Institute for Healthy Living & Chronic Disease Prevention

Supervisor: Dr. Gayl Sarbit

Alex’s reflection:
During my time as a work study student with the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention (IHLCDP), the learning never stopped. I learned how to use a wide variety of programs, like NVivo for statistics, Hootsuite for social media, and Adobe InDesign for creating resources. I learned about managing qualitative data, writing manuscripts, and creating resources for research-based programs. I was also given the chance to present on what I learned in a talk sponsored by the IHLCDP. But most importantly, I learned about the bigger picture: the world of research. ‘Research’ still seemed like a big, scary word when I was first hired. I was nervous about working in an academic setting, surrounded by highly intelligent people. I was scared to make mistakes. I think the most valuable lessons that I will take away from my time at the IHLCDP is that research and professional academics aren’t that scary at all! Yes, research is hard work, and one must be prepared to continually learn, re-evaluate, and revise – but that’s just part of what makes it exciting. My work study experience taught me that research is about solving mysteries, telling stories, and discovering connections. It taught me that research is for me.

Hear what Dr. Gayl Sarbit has to say about working with Alex:
As a Knowledge Broker at the Institute for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Prevention, I had the distinct pleasure of guiding and supporting Alex’s personal and professional development in her work study role as a research assistant at the Institute.

Alex was an integral part of our research team, and we were committed to affording her the hands-on experience she needed to gain a thorough understanding of the research process, and evidence-based program development and evaluation. Alex assisted our team with manuscript preparation, website development, graphic design, and social media knowledge translation. In implementing study activities, Alex’s strong interpersonal skills enabled her to undertake leadership roles and to

Alex brightened our office with her enthusiasm, intellectual curiosity, can-do attitude and eagerness to learn. She was always respectful and reliable and strove consistently for excellence in her work. Alex proved to be a very valuable asset to our team with her creative ideas, high level of insightfulness and attention to detail. Although we met regularly, Alex accepted responsibility for her own learning through continuous reflection and self-assessment.

We are very fortunate at UBC Okanagan to have a work study program that gives us the opportunity to involve students in our research projects for mutual benefit. And we were indeed lucky to mentor such an outstanding student as Alex.

Role: Research Assistant, Southern Medical Program

Clara-Marie’s reflection:
My Work Study position has provided me with many amazing experiences that have not only allowed me to learn and shape my career path, but to engage with the community in a meaningful way. The simple act of talking to someone for just a few minutes can have such a great impact. It can visibly brighten that person’s day because they have been acknowledged, listened to, and valued. As for me I get to learn about the world and how to move beyond talking about the weather! Taking the time to talk also provides better perspective on the importance of the research, as well as the direction it could or perhaps should take.

Sometimes it feels as if all you have learned to do in university is write multiple choice exams, and it can be hard to imagine how the knowledge you acquire could ever be useful or meaningfully applied in the real world. This can be discouraging, but having the opportunity to connect my studies to something tangible and real gives value to the time and effort put in, perspective to what I am studying now, and motivates me to continue.

Role: Eco Art Assistant, Faculty of Creative & Critical Studies

Hear what Professor Nancy Holmes has to say about working with Sarah Megan:
Megan was an outstanding work study student who took the initiative and helped us complete a  wonderful community project in Peachland- the Yellow Schoolhouse Project- in the summer of 2014. This was an exhibition held at the newly opened Peachland Primary School, the culmination of a year’s work on a community eco art project. Megan took charge of  ensuring this final exhibition was a huge success. She advised the artists on their presentation and contributed her own creative input, found a local graffiti artist to add to the theme of the show, designed key elements of the show such as the community poets’ posters,  helped with the installation of all the pieces, organized signage and PR, refreshments and design of the space, and was a wonderful liaison person with the Peachland artists involved. Wow! She was amazing! We couldn’t have done it without her. The community of Peachland was delighted by the creative attention and meticulous care of the exhibition, the very first art show in the Primary School under the aegis of the Peachland Arts Council. Everyone felt it set a high standard of work for the future. Mostly, for us as researchers, Megan significantly helped us finish off this research project (funded by SSHRC and the Okanagan Sustainability Institute) with a bang! She was artistic, enthusiastic, efficient, reliable, and a real joy to work with. She elevated the UBC “brand” to an even higher level and ensured that Peachland will want our research team back in the community! Wow! Megan was a star!