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University releases research recommendations

Queen’s Senate and Board of Trustees will have the opportunity to provide feedback next week on the general themes and specific recommendations outlined in the external review of research.

Principal Daniel Woolf initiated the review of Queen’s research programs, platforms, and structures at the request of Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). The process began in summer 2016.

The research enterprise has been guided by a Strategic Research Plan, developed in 2003 and revised and renewed in 2012. Seeking external perspective to inform the roadmap for research at Queen’s was timely given the Strategic Research Plan’s scheduled renewal in 2017. The university has experienced momentous success over the past few years, including exceptional strength in garnering national and international awards, a boost in research income and intensity, the appointment of a Canada Excellence Research Chair and, most recently, a $63.7-million federal government investment to form the Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre. An external review was believed to offer perspective on how Queen’s can continue on a trajectory of success and position itself for the future.

“The thoughtful advice from the esteemed review team outlines a path for strengthening research at Queen’s, and we have already acted on several of the recommendations that have clear and unambiguous early support,” Principal Woolf says. “I have asked for input from Senate and Board, as well as the senior administration team, deans, and associate deans of research, in order to prioritize further action based on the recommendations.”

The summary report appears on the external review of research webpage. The external review team’s 13 recommendations fall into eight themes:

  • Intensifying and enriching the research culture
  • Supporting the research mission
  • Aligning financial incentives to support research
  • Supporting undergraduate student research
  • Strengthening community connections
  • Transforming innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Advancing international research
  • Enhancing research marketing and communications

“As we renew the Strategic Research Plan and the Academic Plan over the next two years, there are certain actions we can take in the meantime to ensure we best support research at Queen’s and continue to make progress toward the university-wide objectives set out in the Strategic Framework,” Principal Woolf says.

All members of the external review team have significant experience leading organizations at the forefront of research and discovery. Indira Samarasekera, President Emerita of the University of Alberta, chaired the review team. She was joined by: Chad Gaffield, Professor of History and University Research Chair in Digital Scholarship at the University of Ottawa; Thomas J. Marrie, former Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University; and Dan Sinai, Senior Executive, Innovation, IBM Canada and former Associate Vice-President (Research) at Western University.

Simultaneous to the external review of research, Dr. Liss commissioned an external review of the university’s support for technology transfer and commercialization. Based on similar recommendations in both reviews, a process is currently underway to integrate PARTEQ with the VPR portfolio.