Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answers you need

(The previous MathNet IT FAQ may have answers to your IT questions.)
Q: What are statutory holidays and when are they?

On statutory holidays the University will be closed; the complete list of days for the current year can be found at

Q: How do I get my UBC employee ID?

When you arrive at UBC, you will be given your UBC employee ID from the Executive Coordinator in the Math Office.

Q: Where is the library?

There are several libraries on campus, see for more information on locations and opening hours. The mathematics collection can be found in the Music, Art, and Architecture Library which is located inside the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre on the third floor.

Q: I’ve locked myself out, what do I do?

In the event that you are locked out of your office:
- When the Math Office is open (8.30am – 4.30pm Monday – Friday), please come to the Math Office to
obtain the lockout key from reception.
- If the Math Office is closed and nobody inside your office is able to let you in, please call Campus
Security on 604-822-2222.

Q: How do I apply for a postdoctoral fellowship at UBC Mathematics?

Postdoctoral fellowships at UBC are normally advertised via Mathjobs, at All application information will be detailed in the link. See also the page Join our Department.

Q: How do I get my UBC Card?

Once you have obtained your Employee ID from the HR and Administrative Coordinator, you can apply
online for a UBC Card at You’ll be notified as soon as your card is ready to be
collected, and you can then pick it up at the UBC Bookstore (for identification purposes, you must bring
a piece of government-issued photo ID for the collection). Alternatively, you can apply in person at the

Once obtained, bring your new UBC Card back to the HR and Administrative Coordinator, and they will
program your card for keyless access to the mail room, computer rooms and the front door outside of

Q: I need to send a fax, how should I arrange this?

The departmental fax machine, 604-822-6074, is in the Math Office. If you would like to send a fax, see
Ann Artuso in the Math Office. Cover sheets are available beside the fax machine and the original cover
sheet is used for invoice purposes. The sender is responsible for any long distance charges related to
faxes. Research related faxes are usually charged to an NSERC operating grant; personal faxes will be
billed to you directly.

Q: Where should I get my mail sent to?

The mailroom is currently housed in the Mathematics Building, Room 125. Your mailbox will be set up
in this room. Mail can be sent to:

[Your Name]

Department of Mathematics
The University of British Columbia
1984 Mathematics Road
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6T 1Z2

Campus Mailing Services distributes mail to all department offices at UBC and consolidates
outgoing mail for off-campus recipients. In the math front office there are separate trays for outgoing
on-campus and off-campus mail. Please use the correct tray, and put a clear return address on everything
you send. The department pays the postage on work-related correspondence, but you should put stamps
on outgoing personal mail.

Please contact Marlowe Dirkson, the receptionist, to discuss anything to do with the mail at

Q: What is a Campus Wide Login and how do I get one?

Your Campus Wide Login, or CWL, is a UBC online account that enables you to use the Faculty Service Centre (FSC), and make use
of the UBC wireless network, amongst other things. To find out how to set up your CWL, go to: You will be able to set up your
account once you have received your Employee ID and CWL PIN from the HR and Administrative
Coordinator. Please note that there are different set-up instructions depending upon your UBC affiliation
(faculty, visitor, etc).

Q: I would like to apply for a Village Gate Homes apartment – who should I ask to confirm my status at UBC?


Q: I’ve missed the MathJobs deadline listed on the advert, can I still apply?


Q: When will I hear back about my application?


Q: Who should I contact if I have a problem with my office?

For any issues arising with your office, please contact our HR and Facilities Manager Gareth O’Sullivan at 604-827-2528, or at

Q: As a postdoc in the department, do I need a Canadian bank account?

Yes, earnings will be deposited directly into the account specified by your Payroll Direct Deposit form. For direct deposit, you will require an account at a Canadian bank, credit union or trust company. Each offers several types of accounts and services; interest rates and service charges vary.

To open an account you will need two pieces of identification, one of which must be picture ID. A passport is generally accepted along with a major credit card, driver’s license, BC Medical Care card, or birth certificate. Several financial institutions are located in the UBC & Wesbrook villages near campus, and at West 10th Ave and Sasamat just off campus, including the Royal Bank, Bank of Montreal, TD Canada Trust, CIBC, HSBC, Scotiabank, and Vancity. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) can be found in the AMS Student Nest and at various other campus locations.

Q: I will be bringing children with me – how do I arrange childcare/schooling?

UBC Child Care Services ( provides childcare through 12 centres designed for the
children of students, faculty and staff at UBC. The 12 centres include one infant centre, one combined
infant and toddler centre, three toddler centres (18-36 months), five centres for pre-school children (3-
5 years), and two after-school centres. In total, the centres provide some 250 places, but due to the
extraordinarily high demand, waiting lists tend to be long. We suggest you inquire early about available

Westcoast Family Information & Referral (FIR) provides information about Licensed Family Child Care
centres in Vancouver. Many are located close to campus. You can contact them at 604-709-5699 or by
email at: Their website is

School-Age Children

If school-age children accompany you, it may be necessary to obtain either a visitor record or a study
permit for them before they attend classes in Canada (for more information, please contact UBC’s
immigration consultants at These permits may be issued either by a Canadian
Visa abroad or, following your arrival in Vancouver, they may be issued by the Case Processing Centre,
Végreville, Alberta. There is a processing fee for both kinds of permits. We suggest that you contact the
Vancouver School Board ( prior to your arrival at the University of British Columbia
to ensure that your children will be eligible to attend elementary or secondary school. The Vancouver
School Board has a web site with further information.

Q: How do I set up a department computer account (MathNet)? Where can I print?

The department has a network including Unix, Linux, and Windows computers. Account applications
and the related usage policy and guidelines are online at The HR and
Administrative Coordinator will give you a MathNet application form upon your arrival, which you can
fill out and take to the IT staff in MATH 222B. You will need to see them in person to get your password
set up.

There are several printers in the department in different locations; they are accesible from the Unix command line via the "lpr" command, or from the Windows print window, and from various applications that handle their own printing. These printers are only accesible from the local network; if you are in an external network such as the UBC wireless, you will have to remotely log in to a local computer and submit your print job from there.

Q: Can I get funding for conference travel?


Q: Where can I go to eat at UBC?

Meals, snacks, and beverages (of varying quality) are available all over campus; it is practically
impossible to walk for more than 4 minutes without falling over a Starbucks. The sources for takeout or
sit-down meals nearest to the Math Department are Triple O’s (White Spot), Bento Sushi (sushi and
noodles) and Tim Horton’s (coffee and pastries). See the Food Services website at for
more information and more choices on campus.

Q: As a postdoc in the department, how can I access a landline telephone?

Your office will be equipped with a telephone. For on-campus dialing of numbers beginning with 822-
you need only dial the last 5 digits, e.g., 2-2666 for the Math Office. For off-campus calls, dial 9 - followed
by the 10-digit number (includes area code). Charges for long distance calls made from your number are
your responsibility.

Q: What is Vancouver’s public transport network like?

Vancouver has an extensive transit system of buses, trains, and ferries, serving Metro Vancouver and beyond. In particular, several bus routes serve UBC; see for more information.

Q: How should I find housing?

UBC’s Housing and Relocation Services are an excellent resource for finding accommodation both on- and
off-campus. They offer a variety of resources designed to help you find short- and long-term
accommodation when you arrive in Vancouver, as well as offering free consultations on housing issues.
For short-term accommodation:
For longer-term rentals:
For consultations:

Q: What is the Instructional Skills Orientation (ISO)?

All postdoctoral fellows teaching for the first time at UBC are required to attend the Instructional Skills Orientation. Other postdocs are welcome to attend. The purpose of this session is to learn basic skills in lesson planning and delivery, as well as the fundamentals of reflective practice and peer review. There will also be a discussion of common standards and student expectations at UBC.

Specific information about the date/location for the current orientation session will be sent out via email. Please contact for further information.

Q: What paperwork do I need to fill out for the start of my appointment?


Q: I am bringing my spouse/common-law partner – can they work?

If you will be bringing in a spouse or a common-law partner, he or she is permitted to apply for an open work permit. This work permit is not job-specific, meaning that the holder is able to apply for positions and take up employment without requiring a Labour Market Impact Assessment(LMIA) or an IRCC Offer of Employment:

There may be some restrictions on the type of employment the holder is permitted to take up; for example, some positions require specific qualifications and/or professional training (such as teaching and medicine), certain work environments require a medical exam to have been undertaken as part of the work permit application (, and all work permits have standard conditions that cannot be contravened (

For more information about spousal work permits, please contact UBC’s immigration consultants at

Q: My application was unsuccessful this year – can I reapply next year?


Q: I’ve received an informal offer from UBC Mathematics - when can I start my postdoctoral fellowship?


Q: Does UBC have orientation events for newcomers?

Yes, there are campus-wide orientations specifically for new UBC postdocs, see for more details.

In addition, when you first arrive you will be shown around the Math Department!

Q: How much vacation am I entitled to?


Q: Do I need a work permit or visa for my postdoctoral fellowship?


Q: I need to make a long-distance call from my office telephone, will I be charged?

Charges for long distance calls made from your office number are
your responsibility.

Q: How do I find out about special events at UBC?

For events happening at UBC, visit to connect you with a wide range of events happening on UBC’s campuses. For events specific to the Math Department, check out our Events Page.

Q: I’ve completed my postdoctoral fellowship and left UBC – how do I find my T4 slip for last year’s taxes?


Q: What should I do if I am having problems with my teaching?


Q: I’ll be travelling outside of BC for work – does my health insurance cover me for this?


Q: I haven’t been paid / I think I may have been paid the wrong amount. What should I do?


Q: Where will my office be?


Q: What is the postdoc teaching survey for?


Q: Can I make requests about my course assignment / lecture times?


Q: A student has approached me seeking a medical exemption – what should I do?


Q: Is UBC Mathematics hiring in my research area?

Please see Join our Department and the links therein, for more information about faculty and post-doctoral research positions in our department.

Q: I need some office supplies, does the Math Department have any available?

Envelopes, pens, chalk, notepaper, etc., are located in the central island cupboards in the Math Office.

Q: Can I get help with relocation costs?


Q: How do I find out about my tax obligations in Canada?


Q: I have to complete a wait period for health insurance – what should I do while waiting?

You are strongly encouraged to apply for interim health insurance to cover the wait period:

Q: How do I enroll for my healthcare benefits?

As soon as you have received your Employee ID Number and CWL login details from the HR and Administrative Coordinator, you'll need to complete your benefits forms to enroll for your benefits package, which you can do online by visiting You’ll need the enrolment code found on your offer letter (LOI), which will automatically select the forms and enrolment checklist required for you to complete your paperwork. If you need help printing out your forms or you've lost your copy of your offer letter with the enrolment key, contact the HR and Administrative Coordinator.

Q: What professional development opportunities does UBC have for postdoctoral fellows?


Q: How do I get access to my office / other areas of the Department?

For office allocations, keys and card access to the building and any maintenance issues, please contact
our HR and Facilities Manager Gareth O’Sullivan at 604-827-2528, or

Q: A student has told me they want to transfer into my class – what should I do?


Q: Do I need health insurance?

All BC residents must have medical coverage through the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP), see

You must enroll for MSP directly with Health Insurance British Columbia:

MSP has a waiting period for all newcomers to the province before the enrolment becomes active and coverage under the scheme starts.

You are strongly encouraged to apply for MSP coverage as soon as you arrive and to apply for interim health insurance to cover the wait period:

Q: How do I get a library card?

Your UBC card is your library card; further details on obtaining your UBC card can be found by following the link. A valid UBC card is required to borrow books and use library services. A valid UBC CWL account is required to access library eResources.

Q: How do I find out more information about what living in the different Vancouver neighbourhoods is like?

UBC Housing and Relocation Services can provide more information about what living in the different Vancouver neighbourhoods is like.

Q: I might need to change my start date, what should I do?


Q: I’d like to drive in BC, what do I need to do?


Q: I’ve been offered office space at another UBC Department and would like to take it – may I keep my Math Department office as well?


Q: I have questions about a computing-related matter, who should I ask?


Q: How do I find a healthcare provider in Vancouver?

There are several doctors’ and dentists’ offices on or near campus, and many more close by. Local health services include:

Q: Where can I get help with questions about immigration?

For questions about immigration, please contact UBC’s immigration consultants at

Q: When will I get paid?


Q: I’m teaching a course this year – when will I receive the teaching salary?


Q: Does UBC offer any services to help with housing issues?

Yes! The UBC Housing and Relocation Services Centre can connect you to faculty/staff rental programs, faculty loan programs, off-campus neighbourhood information, realtors and more.

Q: I’m filling out my Canadian tax return – how do I find my T4 slip?


Q: I may not have graduated before the start date of my postdoc offer – is this a problem?


Q: When will I hear about my teaching assignment/s for the year?


Q: What health insurance is offered by UBC?


Q: How do I apply for a work permit?


Q: I will be away from UBC for a long time to participate in a program/take up an opportunity at another university – what do I need to do?


Q: I am bringing my child – what documentation do they need?


Q: I need to do some photocopying, where should I go and how do I get access?

The photocopiers are located in Mathematics Annex Building Room 1108, which can be opened with
you general department key (3N-8). For personal photocopier use, please contact HR and Facilities
Manager Gareth O’Sullivan at 604-827-2528, or

Q: What is there to do for fun at UBC?