$30M gift will advance ground-breaking research

$30M gift will advance ground-breaking research

A transformative investment from Bruce Mitchell (Sc’68, DSc'20), will support the university in increasing research intensity, graduate student recruitment, and creating an environment for bringing scholars together to make life-changing discoveries.

By Communications Staff

February 21, 2023


[Collage of Queen's Art of Research photos]
Queen's Art of Research photos: [Clockwise from left] Inside Concord Floral by Naseem Loloie, Love Under the Microscope by Dalila Villalobos, Using Fire to Create Order by Gregory Jerkiewicz, Polypyrrole by Danesh Roudini, and Learning from the Land by Sarah Flisikowski. 

Bruce Mitchell, Sc’68, DSc'20, is helping Queen’s, one of Canada’s leading research universities, bolster research capacity and volume to make groundbreaking discoveries that will deepen our knowledge of people, the planet, and universe.

The business leader and philanthropist is making a transformative gift of $30 million to his alma mater with the goal of increasing research intensity and supporting graduate student recruitment.

"The Queen’s community is grateful for Bruce’s generosity and his commitment to research," says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. "This generous gift provides us with the resources to help achieve our bold research goals in part, through the support of top researchers. With these additional funds, we are realizing our aspirations to become a world leader bringing scholars and innovators together to make improvements across our many fields of study."

The gift will dramatically improve and expand research and its real-world impact at Queen’s in many ways:

  • Nine existing faculty members will receive funds to ignite their research programs and teams
  • Nine new faculty members will be hired to support research intensity in strategic research areas
  • Queen’s will recruit 54 postdoctoral fellows
  • Queen’s will increase the size of its graduate student body and enhance the university’s competitiveness in attracting a diverse global pool of graduate scholars, through financial support for an estimated 79 grad students

"The best way to invest in research is to invest in people and create the optimal conditions for them to thrive," says Vice-Principal (Research) Nancy Ross, Artsci'90, MA'92. "This gift allows us to focus on attracting and retaining the best faculty and graduate students. We hope to recruit rising stars and nurture them, setting up research environments where researchers are supported and able to progress."

The gift will further bolster research at Queen’s. The university is already home to 35 Canada Research Chairs, 99 Royal Society of Canada members, and a Nobel Laureate – Professor Emeritus Arthur B. McDonald, co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics.

"Research and innovation are powerful forces for positive change, and researchers play a critical role in shaping human knowledge," says Mitchell, the Chief Executive Officer of Permian Industries. "My hope is that this investment in increasing Queen’s research intensity and graduate student enrolment will lead to discoveries that will benefit the world."

This is not Mitchell’s first significant gift to the university. He was the lead donor in the revitalization of the old Physical Education Centre (PEC), which was named Mitchell Hall in his honour. That transformational investment also supported the creation of the Ingenuity Labs Research Institute within Mitchell Hall as well as the installation of five engineering professorships across three departments.