Healthy Workplace Initiatives Fund Program

The Healthy Workplace Initiatives Fund Program is an annual fund available to UBC departments and units to support grassroots activities that promote wellbeing in the workplace.

About the Healthy Workplace Initiatives Fund Program (HWIP)

Guided by the Focus on People (FoP) Framework, Strategy 1: “To develop a sustainable, healthy workplace”, the purpose of this initiative is to develop a program, supported by funding, to which departments can apply to support healthy workplace initiatives and share examples of good practice, The program provides start-up funds and support for health-related, sustainable initiatives. You can apply for funding for programs that include yoga or fitness classes, building a community garden or investing in mental health training in your workplace.

Purpose of the funding

  • Provide a de-centralized approach to promoting health and wellbeing 
  • To enable units and departments to create and maintain healthy work environments
  • Intended to build capacity and knowledge within units 
  • To support the introduction of healthy initiatives intended to be adopted long term by the department

Funding Criteria

  • Endorsement(s) from the departmental director(s) or head(s) of unit(s) is required, 
  • Focus on the promotion of healthy behaviours to reduce or prevent long-term illness, chronic disease, or injuries;
  • Effective health initiatives involve more than one-time workshops or programs. They encompass a multi-pronged approach aimed at reducing barriers and increasing opportunities for UBC staff and faculty to implement healthy behaviours.
  • Initiatives should be inclusive of a range of abilities and perspectives;
  • Are accompanied by a long-term plan to sustain the initiative on a continuing basis after the funding period.  Applicants should outline how they expect this initiative to continue after the one-year HWIP funding period has finished.
  • Activities that benefit faculty and staff, postdoctoral fellows (e.g. non-salaried students);

Funding exclusions 

  • Operational expenses (Hiring of faculty/staff as instructors or to coordinate the program, items that fall within the responsibility of the department to provide)
  • To conduct primarily research-oriented activities; 
  • For building renovations, furniture, or large-scale fitness equipment.

*Departments/units who have received HWIP funding previously can apply for funding multiple times, however, priority is given to departments that have not received HWIP funding before


Any Vancouver or Okanagan UBC department/unit or UBC recognized operational committees that represent various departments/units are eligible to apply for funding.

Spring 2022 Application period is now closed

application Process 

Successful applications will be selected using a lottery system. All applicants will be notified within two weeks of the application deadline.  Priority will be given to departments and units that have not received funding in previous rounds.

Each department may submit one application per year and successful applications are selected on a lottery basis until the available funding has been used up.

If your department is approved for Healthy Workplace Initiative funding, you must use the funds within one year.

The fund is based on a reimbursement model.  All successful departments will need to cover the cost of the initiatives upfront and then submit receipts for reimbursement.

Three Steps to apply:

Step one: Review and select one of the eight funding areas below

 Step two: Sample application form
Step three: Submit senior leader sign-off (you will receive a confirmation email containing instructions)


Making the case to your department?

If you are looking for information for supervisors or managers to support an application for a healthy workplace initiative, we’re here to help!  See below for helpful tools and resources.

Investing in workplace health is a sound investment. Studies show the following benefits of workplace health initiatives:

  • Physical exercise, actively working on time management and increased social time help improve occupation stress (particularly among faculty). [1]
  • Active promotion of physical activity and health-related activities in the workplace reduces absenteeism and increases the overall mental health of employees. [2] [3]
  • In Canada, the majority of workplace health programs aim to improve outcomes related to employee stress, work-life balance and depression. [4]
  • Top priorities in Canadian workplaces include 1) developing workplace cultures where individuals are responsible for their health and 2) improving the mental health of employees. [5]

Making the Case for Managers (to help senior leaders understand the benefits of participation)
Evidence to support workplace health initiatives
Access your units Workplace Experience Survey data

2022 Funding Recipients

Congratulations to the 36 departments and units rolling out health and wellbeing programs in 2022!

Department Campus Funding Area
Integrated Service Centre (ISC) Point Grey Art and Creative Expression
Internal Communications Point Grey Art and Creative Expression
Alex Fraser Research Forest Other Community Garden
Arts Academic Advising  Point Grey Community Garden
Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries Point Grey Community Garden
Civil Engineering Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Counselling Services Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Division of Palliative Care/Department of Medicine  Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Exceptional Workplace Team - UBC Library Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Sauder School of Business, Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Inclusive Education (SOGI UBC) - Faculty of Education Point Grey Innovative New Idea
UBC Arts Co-op Point Grey Innovative New Idea
UBC Okanagan Equity & Inclusion Office Okanagan Innovative New Idea
University-Industry Liaison Office - VP Research and Innovation Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Division of Respiratory Medicine, Centre for Lung Health VGH/Diamond Centre Mental Health Training
Centre for Teaching and Learning Okanagan Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Development & Alumni Engagement - Faculty of Medicine Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Faculty of Medicine-Evaluation Studies Unit Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Financial Operations Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Mathematics Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Athletics & Recreation Okanagan Team Health Challenge
Athletics & Recreation - Aquatic Centre Point Grey Team Health Challenge
Department of Medicine - Centre of Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research  VGH/Diamond Centre Team Health Challenge
Faculty of Medicine-Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute VGH/Diamond Centre Team Health Challenge
French, Hispanic and Italian Studies Point Grey Team Health Challenge
Human Resources  Okanagan Team Health Challenge
Robert H. Lee Graduate School - Recruitment and Admissions Team Point Grey Team Health Challenge
School of Audiology and Speech Sciences Point Grey Team Health Challenge
Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies, Faculty of Arts Point Grey Yoga/Fitness Classes
Asian Library Point Grey Yoga/Fitness Classes
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia Point Grey Yoga/Fitness Classes
Learning & Talent Development, Human Resources  Point Grey Yoga/Fitness Classes
Michael Smith Laboratories Point Grey Yoga/Fitness Classes
Postgraduate Medical Education VGH/Diamond Centre Yoga/Fitness Classes
Strategy and Decision Support Point Grey Yoga/Fitness Classes

Sign up for the monthly Healthy UBC e-Newsletter to stay informed about HWIP criteria and application deadlines.

    For more information please contact Truelove Twumasi, Workplace Wellbeing Programs Specialist:

    [1] Arabia, S., Kokash, H. & Arabia, S. Faculty Perception of Stress and Coping Strategies in a Saudi Private University?: An Exploratory Study. Can. Cent. Sci. Educ. 4, 137–149 (2011).
    [2] Bhui, K. S., Dinos, S., Stansfeld, S. A. & White, P. D. A Synthesis of the Evidence for Managing Stress at Work: A Review of the Reviews Reporting on Anxiety, Depression, and Absenteeism. J. Environ. Public Health 2012, 1–21 (2012).
    [3] Chu, A. H. Y., Koh, D., Moy, F. M. & Muller-Riemenschneider, F. Do workplace physical activity interventions improve mental health outcomes? Occup. Med. (Chic. Ill). 64, 235–245 (2014).
    [4] Buck Consultants, Working Well: A Global Survey Of Health Promotion And Workplace Wellness Strategies. 2009. Print. Executive Summary.
    [5] Towers Watson, Trends And Directions On Workforce Health And Productivity. 2014. Print. 2013/2014 Staying at Work Survey.




    UBC Crest The official logo of the University of British Columbia. Urgent Message An exclamation mark in a speech bubble. Caret An arrowhead indicating direction. Arrow An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Arrow in Circle An arrow indicating direction. Time A clock. Chats Two speech clouds. E-commerce Cart A shopping cart. Facebook The logo for the Facebook social media service. Home A house in silhouette. Information The letter 'i' in a circle. Instagram The logo for the Instagram social media service. Linkedin The logo for the LinkedIn social media service. Location Pin A map location pin. Locked A locked padlock. Mail An envelope. Menu Three horizontal lines indicating a menu. Minus A minus sign. Pencil A pencil indicating that this is editable. Telephone An antique telephone. Play A media play button. Plus A plus symbol indicating more or the ability to add. Search A magnifying glass. Settings A single gear. Speech Bubble A speech bubble. Star An outline of a star. Twitter The logo for the Twitter social media service. Unlocked An unlocked padlock. User A silhouette of a person. Vimeo The logo for the Vimeo video sharing service. Youtube The logo for the YouTube video sharing service.