First update from Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research), on the progress of the SRP Review

The beginning of May marks completion of my first academic year and the first eight months since joining Queen’s University as the Vice-Principal (Research).

One of my main goals and priorities has been the launch of the review of the Strategic Research Plan (SRP).

I have chosen to frame this review around Evolving in a shifting landscape: finding our balance, which provides a perspective on shifts within the granting councils, changes in both provincial and federal government priorities, and globalization. For Queen’s, we must address the balance across various challenging and complementary areas of emphasis including research intensity, excellence, reputation, size and scale, excellence in both graduate and undergraduate education, foundational research, applied research, major research programs and facilities, international presence, and local social advancement and economic growth.

I am delighted to report that we have concluded the initial meetings of the Research Community Committee.  These have provided an opportunity for members to engage in discussions about the direction of research at Queen’s, in addition to developing questions for the broader Queen’s community.  I invite each and every member of the university community to continue to visit the SRP blog and share your thoughts on these questions. Your feedback will form the basis of our first town hall meeting on May 25th. A second town hall meeting is scheduled for June 7th.  For information on the timelines and future meetings please go to the link above.

It has been a pleasure to facilitate a robust and positive discussion amongst a diverse range of representatives from the community.   There is considerable passion for research and the defining role it plays at Queen’s.

The initial discussions have largely concentrated on the framework for the SRP, and not on the thematic content. A number of issues have emerged from these discussions and include:  distinguishing ourselves from other institutions, and what makes us unique; interdisciplinary collaboration; respecting all areas of research (i.e. social sciences, humanities, natural/applied sciences, health, and applied and basic research); valuing and supporting the role of post-doctoral fellows, undergraduate and graduate students, junior faculty, and visiting scholars; commercialization and knowledge transfer as emerging measures of impact; and, balancing the thematic focus of the SRP with increasing attention to the processes and mechanisms by which the university can collectively enhance research.

More focused discussion has revolved around questions on how we better describe, within the plan, our research impacts (present and future), and new ways to define research clusters that encourage linkages within Queen’s and globally.

I encourage you to participate in the discussion by responding to the questions posted, attending the town hall meetings, and following the progress of the review. I would be more than pleased to receive your feedback and or specific comments you wish to make directly to me at research@queensu.ca.

Yours sincerely,

Steven Liss

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