Western University is committed to research excellence and innovation. To date, the University's strengths as a research-intensive institution have derived in good measure from the efforts of individual scholars within the established scholarly disciplines. Increasingly, however, such areas are expanding to include a wide array of topics of investigation posing challenges best met through the development of more complex models of research. To meet this challenge, the University encourages the formation of collaborative research entities, both within and across traditional disciplinary boundaries.
A Centre is a collaborative research venture, possibly involving some research participation and/or funding from outside the University, with a directorship, an administrative structure, a budget, and possibly some assignment of space;
An Institute is a collaborative research venture which satisfies the criteria for a Centre (as above), and which also involves significant research participation, or funding, or administrative participation from outside the University; and
A Research Group or Research Unit consists of a number of investigators informally organized within - and recognized by - a Department, School and/or Faculty (or in two or more Departments, Schools, or Faculties) with shared research objectives, and possible shared facilities and funds.