Research associates professional development funding

UBC research associates can access professional development funds to support career growth at the university.

Funding details for research associates

Current funding year

2021-2022 (April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022)

Fund Status 

Open and accepting claims in Workday for the current funding year.

Receipts must be submitted within 60 days of the original purchase date to qualify for reimbursement. 

Please also note that you cannot split the cost of a PD related expense between two funding years. 

Eligible Expenses

The funds are to be used for expenses associated with professional development activities and not any other purpose.

The funds aren't intended for job-required expenses such as job-required training, professional memberships or ongoing accreditation. These expenses should continue to be paid by your department. 

Examples of eligible expenses for research associates 

  • resource books and professional journals 
  • registration fees for courses, workshops, exams, webinars, and conferences
  • professional memberships and certifications that are not required for your job
  • one-on-one career coaching fees, when provided by an ICF – credentialed coach
  • travel and accommodation for out-of-town conferences, as per Policy FM8 – Business Expenses (pdf) and related documents

Examples of ineligible expenses for research associates

  • activities or travel to fulfill required work-related responsibilities
  • local travel expenses
  • academic student fees
  • application software or licensing
  • home phone, data or internet plans
  • electronics such as  laptops, ipads, mobile phones, e-readers,
  • professional insurance
  • office equipment or supplies

The professional development funds provided to you through this program are not taxed and as such, should not be used towards an educational tax credit on your personal tax return.

Your maximum yearly claim amount

As of April 1, 2020, the RA PD Fund  transitioned from a 2-year funding cycle to a 1-year funding cycle. Administrative guidelines include:

  • The one-year funding cycle aligns with the UBC fiscal year April 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022.
  • The annual maximum amount per year is $1,000.
  • Receipts must be submitted in Workday within 60 days of the original purchase date to qualify for reimbursement. 

Guidelines

Eligible Employees:  Research Associates in paid appointments are eligible to access this funding program as of date of hire. Honorary research associates are not eligible. This funding is non-transferable.

Maximum Claim Amount: You will be reimbursed up to a maximum claim amount of $1,000 each funding year (April 1 through March 31) for eligible PD expenses. There is no proration of the funding amount for part time employees. 

Once you have reached your individual yearly maximum, you must wait until the next fiscal year to apply for reimbursement for eligible PD activities. You are not able to borrow funds from future years.

If you have an unused individual balance at year-end, it will not roll over into the next fiscal year.

Eligible Expenses: For examples of eligible and ineligible claims, refer to the list above. 

Timing of Claim Submission: PD Fund claims, including receipts, must be submitted online through Workday within 60 days of the original purchase date (as shown on receipt) to qualify for funding. After 60 days a receipt is no longer eligible to submit for reimbursement. Please note that a PD Fund claim may be submitted as soon as purchase has been made and can be before the activity start date.

Leave of Absence: You are eligible for funding during a maternity, parental or adoptive leave. Eligibility during other leaves of absence will be considered by Human Resources on a case-by-case basis.

Term Appointments: Your professional development activity must occur (or have occurred) while you are actively employed as a research associate at UBC. If you’re submitting a claim for an activity that’s scheduled to occur after your current appointment term end date, you need to include a note from your supervising faculty member confirming your department’s intention to extend your term appointment as a research associate.

End of Employment: If your employment with the university is ending – either voluntarily or involuntarily – you are not eligible for funding once you have given notice of resignation or received a notice of termination. If you receive notice that your employment will be ending but you are in a period of working notice, you will remain eligible for funding during the notice period.

Fund Administration: The fund is centrally administered by UBC Human Resources at the Vancouver campus. Your PD Fund has a set pool of money for each fiscal year; funding comes from a centrally budgeted source and your use of the PD Funds will not be charged back to your unit or department. Funding is dependent on the ongoing availability of annual provincial funding.

Funding is available on a first-come, first-serve basis: If all of the funding within the PD Fund pool is utilized in any given year, Human Resources will stop processing claims for that fund until the next fiscal year.

Fund usage will be reviewed on an annual basis: The maximum annual claim amount may be adjusted from time to time to ensure an equitable distribution of this new pool of money.

Non-taxable reimbursement: The professional development expense reimbursements provided to you through this funding program are not taxed and as such, should not be used towards an educational tax credit on your personal tax return.

How to submit your claim

Submit your PD fund claims directly through Workday. For step by step instructions, as well as general resources and help with Workday, visit the Integrated Service Centre. After logging in with your CWL, you can search the knowledge base for instructions on how to submit a claim. Please search for the following knowledge base articles:

Your manager or supervisor will check your claim as it related to your current role and career growth, and approve directly in Workday.

Your claim will also be reviewed by a PD Fund Expense Partner within 15 business days, however the processing time may take longer if you submit an incomplete claim or if information is missing. You will receive the claim back if the PD Fund Expense Partner requires additional information or if your claim is ineligible for reimbursement.  

About your reimbursement

Funding is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once your claim is processed you’ll receive confirmation in Workday. 

  • If you paid out of pocket, you'll be reimbursed by direct bank deposit.
  • If you paid with a UBC credit card (card in your name), your expense will be reconciled directly from your PD Funds. 
  • If your department paid on your behalf, your department will be reimbursed directly by general ledger credit. 

PD funds and taxation

The funding provided is not included as taxable income on your T4 slip. This means that  you cannot claim the value of any funds received through this program as part of a tuition tax credit or for any other credit on  your annual tax return. Please refer to Canada Revenue Agency – Eligible Tuition Fees for more information.

What managers need to know

As a manager or supervisor, you are accountable for reviewing the relevance of your faculty or staff's PD Fund claim as it relates to their current role and career growth. 

View more information on the page for managers and administrators

Questions?

If you have questions about these funds or how to submit claims, please contact Integrated Service Centre.

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