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

Members of the Queen’s Community:

Summertime is upon us and I eagerly look forward to travelling to a tranquil location where the sight of rock, trees and water awaits. I do hope you will also have your retreat to focus on family and friends, refresh, rekindle old dreams, and be inspired to imagine new possibilities.

In many respects, the renewal of the Strategic Research Plan (SRP) is one aspect of our collective retreat to recalibrate, refresh and to perhaps dream of new possibilities.

Since my first update, a number of activities have occurred, including two town hall meetings, and the third meeting of the Research Community Committee (RCC).   I am delighted to report that both town hall meetings (May 25 & June 7) were very well attended by staff and faculty, with representation from across the campus.

Framed around the five questions developed by the RCC, the town halls provided an open forum for Queen’s community members to share their ideas, questions, and concerns about the SRP process.  I also shared the comments have been posted to the SRP Blog, and opened them up for further discussion. The highlights from the town halls were provided to the RCC at their third meeting on June 16.

Notes from both town halls, as well as minutes from the RCC meeting, are posted to the Strategic Research Plan Review Process page.

With this feedback in mind, I will begin writing an initial draft of the Strategic Research Plan this summer, focusing on the introduction and examining the processes and mechanisms for setting strategic priorities, metrics, and supporting collaborative and interdisciplinary initiatives.

This draft will be available by late summer or early fall for review by the RCC, as well as the Associate Deans (Research).  I also anticipate intersecting with the Senate Academic Planning Task Force before the fall.

As discussions unfold around Queen’s research strengths and up-and-coming research areas, feedback from the community will be incorporated into a second draft. At that time, the document will be posted for consultation and review.  The entire process is expected to be complete by late fall or early winter.

The SRP discussions to date have not extended to defining particular research clusters or institutional foci in terms of research areas or themes.  Faculty plans will be examined in more detail and discussions around research foci will begin to take place in the fall.

It is important to understand that the SRP will be focused within the framework of an institutional plan. Its themes will not be a list of everything we do, nor will areas of foci reflect the particular research activities or interests of everyone. It will not diminish the role and value of departmental/school or faculty plans nor will it preclude individual pursuits.  It will nonetheless be focused on our key priorities for the next 5+ years and how we get there.  Of course this will be an important guide for all to understand where our investments and efforts are to be placed.

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the town halls, and I encourage you to continue to participate in this process and contribute to the discussion by visiting the SRP blog and providing your comments, by attending future town halls or by contacting me directly at I would be more than pleased to receive your feedback.

Yours sincerely,

Steven Liss

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