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Queen's University

Office of Institutional Research and Planning

  • What is IR?

What is Institutional Research?

Although IR offices vary in specific function from institution to institution, generally institutional research can be defined as "a range of activities involving the collection, analysis and interpretation of information descriptive of an institution and its activities, including its students and staff, programs, management and operations. The findings of such 'institutional research' can assist institutional leaders (in both academic and administrative domains) through informing their planning and decision making."

Zimmer, B; JIR, Vol.4 No.1, May 1995, pg.74, "Achieving quality within funding constraints: the potential contribution of institutional research"

Five general areas of activity make up institutional research work:

  • Collecting data about the performance of the institution, e.g. surveys, budget, enrolment, research activity, etc.
  • Collecting data about the environment of the institution, e.g. space planning, diversity, scholarships, etc.
  • Analyzing and interpreting the collected data on a project, ongoing or ad hoc basis.
  • Disseminating information to internal and provincial government groups in order to support planning, set policies, and make academic and management decisions for the institution.
  • Conducting research in areas related to the mission of the institution.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000