Queen's University




Research Excellence

Supporting discovery and innovation to bring new ideas to the world.

Working with students and colleagues around the globe, Queen’s researchers are addressing society’s greatest challenges, and developing innovative ideas and technological advances that will benefit us all.

One of Canada’s leading research-intensive universities, we rank highly in both research funding and research intensity, as well as for the number of awards and prizes per full-time faculty.

Queen’s transformative learning experience is inextricably linked to the exceptional research that happens on campus and around the world through our many global partnerships.

[Nobel image]

Discoveries by Queen’s research teams regularly receive international acclaim – most recently, the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 2016 Breakthrough Prize awarded to Dr. Arthur McDonald.

International Research Stories

(e)AFFECT is Queen’s research magazine highlighting the passion and dedication of Queen’s scholars and researchers, whose important discoveries and innovative research make an impact around the world.

(e)Affect magazine cover

  • [Awet Weldemichael]
    Going Local and Diving Deep for Perspective: Awet Weldemichael (History) is studying the causes of piracy in Somalia and its potential solutions.
  • [Guy Narbonne]
    Guy Narbonne played a key role in the naming of Mistaken Point as Canada’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • [PhD candidate, Oluwatobiloba Moody]
    Defining Fair Share: As a lawyer and PhD candidate, Oluwatobiloba Moody is investigating how the Nagoya Protocol — which seeks to protect genetic resources — is being implemented internationally.
  • [Canada-China Field Course]
    The Importance of Perspective: Students and instructors from the Canada-China Field Course in Aquatic Biodiversity and Environmental Assessment – a partnership between Queen’s Department of Biology and Tongji University.
  • [Stéfanie von Hlatky]
    Mining Security: Stéfanie von Hlatky, Director of Queen’s Centre for International Defence Policy (CIDP), is heading a multinational research project to examine security threats in the extractive sector.
  • [Emily Gong]
    Emily Gong (Artsci’15) spent a summer studying wall paintings on China’s western frontier, an opportunity made possible through the Undergraduate Student Summer Research Fellowship (USSRF).

International Research Awards


Humboldt Research Award

Dr. Tucker Carrington (Chemistry) received a prestigious Humboldt Research Award in recognition of his fundamental contributions to chemistry, and in particular to advancing our understanding of the movement of atoms in molecules.

ENMISA Distinguished Scholar Award

Dr. John McGarry (Political Studies) was named co-recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Scholar Award from the Ethnicity, Nationalism and Migration Studies section of the International Studies Association (ENMISA) for his research on the political institutions of some of the world’s most divided states.


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): Fellow

Dr. Randy Ellis (School of Computing) was named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his significant contributions to the development of computer-assisted surgical technology.

American Physical Society: Fellow

Dr. Andrew Pollard (Mechanical and Materials Engineering) was elected a fellow in the American Physical Society for his research contributions in the field of fluid dynamics.

[Dr. Arthur McDonald]
Dr. Arthur McDonald

Nobel Prize in Physics

Queen’s professor emeritus, Dr. Arthur McDonald (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy), was the co-winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics. Dr. McDonald was recognized for the discovery that neutrinos have mass, based on collaborative experiments that showed neutrinos from the atmosphere switch between identities. The discovery changed the world's understanding of matter and the universe.

International Ecology Institute: ECI Prize

[John Smol]
Dr. John Smol

Dr. John Smol (Biology) was recognized by the International Ecology Institute’s ECI Prize, the Institute’s top honour, for his leadership in palaeolimnology and environmental science.

2016 Breakthrough Prize (Received in 2015)

Queen’s University Professor Emeritus and Nobel laureate Dr. Arthur McDonald, representing the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) Collaboration, received the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. The partnership received the prize at a ceremony and gala on November 8, 2015 at the NASA Ames Research Centre in Moffett Field, California.


[Susan Cole]
Dr. Susan Cole

Jinan University: Honorary Professor

Dr. Susan Cole (Pathology and Molecular Medicine) was made an honorary professor at Jinan University in Guangzhou, China.

[Dr. Richard Reznick]
Dr. Richard Reznick

Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland: Honorary Fellowship

Dr. Richard Reznick (Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences; Department of Surgery) was awarded an honourary fellowship of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland. Reserved for surgeons and other distinguished medical practitioners, it is the highest honour the association can confer. Dr. Reznick was only the second Canadian surgeon to receive the award.

International Society for Computer Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery: Maurice E. Müller Award

Dr. Randy Ellis (School of Computing; Mechanical and Materials Engineering; Surgery) was honoured with the Maurice E. Müller Award, a lifetime achievement award from the International Society for Computer Assisted Orthopaedic Surgery.

Humbolt Research Award (Germany)

Dr. Nikolaus Troje (Psychology) received the Humboldt Research Award, an honour established by the German government to recognize a lifetime of achievement. Dr. Troje studies visual perception and cognition using motion capture technology.

Dr. Gauvin Bailey

Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres (Humanities): Foreign Correspondent

Dr. Gauvin Bailey (Art History), the Alfred and Isabel Bader Chair in Southern Baroque Art, was elected a “correspondant-étranger” (foreign correspondent) of the Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres (Humanities) of the Institut de France, one of the most-respected and oldest learned institutions in the world (founded in 1663). Dr. Bailey is one of only six North American foreign correspondents.

American Fisheries Society, Early Life History Section: H. Ahlstrom Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. William Leggett (Biology, Principal Emeritus) received the H. Ahlstrom Lifetime Achievement Award from the Early Life History Section of the American Fisheries Society for his contributions to the fields of larval fish ecology.

International Association of Sedimentologists: Sorby Medal

Dr. Noel James (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering) received the Sorby Medal – the highest award of the International Association of Sedimentologists.

Society for Sedimentary Geology: Twenhofel Medal

Dr. Robert Dalrymple (Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering) received the Twenhofel Medal, which is the highest award given by the Society for Sedimentary Geology, in recognition of outstanding contributions.

[Kerry Rowe]
Dr. Kerry Rowe

Geosynthetics International: 2013 Best Paper

Dr. R. Kerry Rowe, Dr. Richard Brachman and Dr. Fady Abdelaal (all from Civil Engineering) were authors of the 2013 Best Paper from Geosynthetics International, as voted on by the international editorial board. This marked the second year in a row that Drs. Rowe and Brachman were authors on the journal’s best paper.


Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden (cfAED): Grand Professor

Dr. James R. Cordy (School of Computing) was appointed an international Grand Professor at the Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden (cfAED), a German national centre of excellence at the Technical University of Dresden. The centre, which includes numerous industry partners, addresses the current and future challenges of electronic information processing and communications technology.

[Cathy Crudden]
Dr. Cathy Crudden

Society for the Promotion of Science and Nagoya University

Dr. Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry) was one of only two North American experts asked to join an international team developing drought-resistant crops. The Japan-based project will receive $150 million over 10 years from that country’s Society for the Promotion of Science and Nagoya University. A portion of that funding is intended to help Dr. Crudden build a chemistry laboratory in the World Premier Institute Research Center for Transformative Biomolecules in Nagoya, Japan.

Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Invitation Fellowship

Dr. David Murakami Wood (Sociology and the Surveillance Studies Centre), was awarded a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Invitation Fellowship for the project, 'Surveillance in the Global City: the Case of Tokyo.' Professor Kiyoshi Abe of Kwansei Gakuin University is to be a collaborator.

[Dr. Stephen Archer]
Dr. Stephen Archer

American Heart Association: Heart of Gold Award

Dr. Stephen Archer (Head, Medicine) received the American Heart Association’s prestigious Heart of Gold award for his extraordinary volunteer service to the mission of the American Heart Association.

[Dr. Peter Davies]
Dr. Peter Davies

Lady Davis Visiting Professorship (Israel)

Dr. Peter Davies (Biochemistry) was awarded a Lady Davis Visiting Professorship to undertake research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Rehovot, Israel.

Simons Fellowship in Mathematics

Dr. Ram Murty (Mathematics and Statistics) was awarded a Simons Fellowship in Mathematics that enables a research leave. The prize was valued at $102,320.

New England Journal of Medicine (Massachusetts, US)

Dr. Stephen Archer (Head of Medicine) was selected by the New England Journal of Medicine to editorialize two, international, randomized clinical trials describing the benefits of a new type of drug to treat two forms of pulmonary hypertension (PH).

[Dr. Myra Hird]
Dr. Myra Hird

Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship

Dr. Myra Hird (School of Environmental Studies) was selected for a prestigious Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship, allowing her to work with international colleagues on environmental research. The position was hosted in the United Kingdom at Queen Mary University of London and Lancaster University.

[Dr. Phillip Jessop]
Dr. Phillip Jessop

Eni Award in New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons

Dr. Philip Jessop (Chemistry) received the prestigious Eni Award in New Frontiers of Hydrocarbons for his research on CO2-triggered control of oil/water mixtures.

[Dr. John Rudan]
Dr. John Rudan

International Society for Computer Aided Surgery: Best Poster

Dr. Manuela Kunz (School of Computing), Dr. James Stewart (School of Computing), Dr. John Rudan (Surgery) and Dr. Vladimir Kratky (Ophthalmology) earned top honours at the recent conference of the International Society for Computer Aided Surgery in Heidelberg, Germany. The group won the award for best poster detailing a new patient-specific instrument guide designed to make surgery on orbital tumours safer and faster.

Academy of Social Sciences (UK): Academician of the Social Sciences

Dr. David Lyon (Sociology) was conferred the award of Academician of the Social Sciences for his role in advancing the social sciences worldwide. Of the 51 new academicians named, Dr. Lyon was the only Canadian.

Royal Society (UK): Fellow

Dr. Kerry Rowe (Civil Engineering and GeoEngineering Centre at Queen’s-RMC) was elected a fellow of the Royal Society (UK) – one of only four Canadians, and the world’s only civil engineer, elected to the prestigious institution in 2013.

International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE)

Dr. Kerry Rowe (Civil Engineering) had the rare honour of having an international lecture named after him. The first R. Kerry Rowe Lecture was presented at the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) quadrennial international conference in Paris, France, in September 2013.

European Physical Society: Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi Prize

Dr. Arthur McDonald (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy) accepted the internationally renowned Giuseppe and Vanna Cocconi prize from the European Physical Society for the research work of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) scientific collaboration, of which he is the director. The prize was presented in Stockholm to Professor McDonald and Professor Yochiro Suzuki, director of the SuperKamiokande collaboration “for their outstanding contributions to the solution of the solar neutrino puzzle ...”

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (UK): Fellow

Dr. Robert Reid (Obstetrics and Gynaecology) was named a fellow ad eundem by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) in the United Kingdom, only the fourth Canadian to have earned this honour in the past 25 years.

Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks Symposium: Best Paper

Queen’s PhD candidate Sherin Abdel Hamid co-authored a paper with Professors Dr. Hossam Hassanein (School of Computing) and Dr. Glen Takahara (Mathematics and Statistics) titled “On the Recruitment of Smart Vehicle for Urban Sensing,” which won the Best Paper award at the Ad Hoc and Sensor Networks Symposium.

6th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Utility and Cloud Computing: Best Paper Runner-Up Award

Khalid Elgazzar, a postdoctoral fellow, and his co-authors, Professors Dr. Patrick Martin and Dr. Hossam Hassanein (both School of Computing), were selected to receive a best paper runner-up award for their paper, “Empowering Mobile Service Provisioning Through Cloud Assistance.”

Spotlight on International Research Groups & Centres

[UNESCO logo]UNESCO Chair in Arts & Learning: On July 6, 2007, a UNESCO Chair in Arts and Learning was established at the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University. This was the first UNESCO Chair in the field of arts education in the world, and remains one of only two to be approved by UNESCO to date. The chair has been active in capacity building in arts education. It collaborates with other UNESCO Chairs and Observatories in Canada and around the world.

International Centre for the Advancement of Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR): an organization committed to mainstreaming disability and advancing the concept of community based rehabilitation (CBR) practice in partnership with women and men with disabilities and their communities around the world.

Theory and History of International Research Group: promotes interdisciplinary research in history and philosophy of education and international collaboration, with core members including researchers from around the world.

[students in a lab]
Queen’s professor Jean Côté and colleague Luc Martin lead the Sport Psychology lab at Queen’s, which has a distinctly international flavour this year, as five students from around the world are working with their research team with a sixth joining the group in August.

Student Research at Queen's

Queen’s is dedicated to providing opportunities for students at all levels to participate in research. With more than 120 graduate degree programs that span all disciplines at Queen's, much of the vibrant research conducted at Queen’s depends on robust, productive and flourishing research collaborations between faculty, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.