University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

University Secretariat and Legal Counsel
University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

Procedure for the Establishment, Categorization, Renewal and Dissolution of Research Centres and Institutes (Procedure A)

The following Procedure is established by the Senate Advisory Research Committee (SARC) in accordance with the Senate Policy on the Establishment of Research Centres and Institutes and is referenced in that document as Procedure A.

Establishment of Research Centres and Institutes

Proponents of a proposed Research Centre or Institute (RCI) are to contact the Vice-Principal (Research) for guidance on process related to establishment of the Centre or Institute in alignment with this Procedure and the Procedure for the Administration of Research Centres and Institutes (Procedure B). An application will include two components:

  1. Research Plan: includes all relevant information to support the assessment of the application in relation to the Senate approved criteria;
  2. Operational Plan: as outlined in the Procedure on the Administration of Research Centres and Institutes, an Operational Plan will be required; the Vice-Principal (Research) must approve the Operational Plan, and will undertake due-diligence activity such as a financial and risk assessment review, prior to assessment of the application by SARC.

The Vice-Principal (Research) will forward the application together with the financial and risk assessment review to SARC for its evaluation and recommendation on establishment. 

View Procedure B in the "Policies, Procedures, Forms and Templates" section of the Vice-Principal Research Centres and Institutes website.

SARC Review and Categorization

SARC will review all initial applications, and subsequent renewals, based on the Senate approved criteria outlined in the Policy:

  • Alignment with the Queen’s Strategic Research Plan
  • Research Excellence
  • Evidence of Collaboration
  • Training and Development of Highly Qualified Personnel
  • Knowledge Mobilization Activity

The proponents of the RCI will be available to SARC to respond to questions and will be given the opportunity to modify applications based on SARC feedback before SARC determines its final recommendation.

In addition, to inform the governance and oversight of RCIs, SARC will recommend establishment, and renewal, of RCIs within three categories – Tier 1, Tier 2 and Group. Tier 1 represents the areas of highest strategic importance to the university research mission and may receive additional central institutional resources and support to deliver on its objectives. A categorization guideline will be maintained by SARC as part of this Procedure, to be reviewed by SARC annually, and updated at a minimum of every three years.

The following is in place for 2020-2023:

Criteria Tier 1 Tier 2 Group
Alignment with Queen’s Strategic Research Plan X    
Research Excellence:
A) Leading Edge Research1 X X X
B) International Recognition X    
C) International Impact X    
D) National Recognition X X X
E) National Impact X X X
Regional, National and International evidence of collaboration:
A) Co-publications, co-funding, research partnerships X X X
B) Interdisciplinary2/Cross-Faculty and/or high impact discipline specific research X    
C) Knowledge translation and/or outreach activity: community, professional, sector X X  
Training and Development of Highly Qualified Personnel X X  
Knowledge Mobilization Activity (Metrics defined by applicants) X    
Defined membership3 and identified leadership X X  
1 As evidenced collectively by, for example: citations, publications, awards, funding, performances, exhibitions, impact on community, etc.
2 In this instance, interdisciplinary is to be evidenced by inclusion of membership representation aligned from two or more tri-council funding agencies
3 For Tier 1, a minimum of 10 Queen’s tenured or tenured track faculty (or clinicians with protected research time) must be identified at application

Senate Decision and Board of Trustees Ratification

After consideration by SARC, and if endorsed, the final documentation will be submitted to Senate for its decision. Should Senate approve establishment, the approval shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees for its ratification. Establishment and operation of the RCI will normally be approved for a term of five years.

Administration of Research Centres and Institutes

The administration of RCIs will be guided by the Procedure on the Administration of Research Centre and Institutes (Procedure B). This Procedure is established under the Administrative Policies process to provide direction on the development of the Operational Plan required for establishment, ongoing administration, oversight and risk management activities, including appointment of leadership, budget and financial planning, staffing, physical space requirements and the responsibilities of the Faculties, the Vice-Principal (Research) and other administrative units.

Initial two-year review and end of term reviews by SARC

RCIs in their first term will be required to present a detailed update to SARC, consistent with the requirements of an end of term review, at the end of their second year of operation. This will also include an update to SARC from the Vice-Principal (Research) on the RCI Operational Plan, developed in alignment with Procedure B. Should SARC be concerned with the progress of the Centre or Institute it may request additional reporting requirements.

Towards the end of the penultimate year of the established term, a Research Centre or Institute must indicate whether they intend to seek an additional term (normally a five-year term). Should the RCI intend to seek renewal, the following will be required:

  • A summary of research accomplishments and operational details of the RCI
  • An updated Research plan for the next term (to a maximum of five years).
  • An updated Operational Plan in alignment with Procedure B

The material provided by the RCI will be reviewed by a committee, to be named by the Vice-Principal (Research). The committee may include representation external to the university. The review committee will normally recommend either that the RCI be authorized for a further period of up to five years, or that the RCI be phased out of existence within an appropriate wind-down period. The review committee, and subsequent review by SARC, will be guided by the same overarching criteria established in the Policy and the categorization guide outlined in this Procedure. After consideration by SARC, the final documentation, including the recommendation from SARC, will be submitted to the Senate for its decision. Should Senate approve an additional term, the approval shall be submitted to the Board of Trustees for ratification.

In addition to the reporting requirements outlined, SARC may request, through the Vice-Principal (Research), an update on a RCI at any time.

Dissolution of Research Centre or Institute

In the event that a Centre or Institute decides to cease operations, or is not recommended for an additional term, the activities of the RCI will be wound down in alignment with Procedure B. In addition, the University reserves the right to close a RCI during its approved period for financial exigency or other reasons, with due regard to human resources policies and employment standards legislation. Ultimately, the Board of Trustees, on the recommendation of Senate, will formally dissolve an established RCI.