Research Institutes


Approved and recognized by the Board of Governors, research institutes are collaborative research organizations that are closely aligned with the core strategic interests of the university by virtue of one or more of several criteria: their size, breadth, national and international impact and reputation, and/or their focus and scope of research. Interdisciplinary in nature, most institutes are expected to have membership spanning two or more faculties.


The goal of research institutes is to foster and support complex models of research that aim to address a wide array of challenging topics of investigation. Their programming aims to mobilize experts within and across traditional disciplinary boundaries, bringing unique perspectives together to tackle grand research challenges, deep problems, and/or wicked problems. This includes liaising and working closely with faculties, existing centres, groups, training programs, and state-of-the-art facilities on campus. With an overarching focus on societal benefit, research instiutes use an interdisciplinary and adaptive approach to advance research excellence and innovation.


Research institutes have a Director, a governance structure, an administrative team, a budget, and possibly some assignment of space. Research Institutes report directly to the institute Governing Board, chaired by the Vice-President (Research). They sustain themselves, or through a specific negotiated relationship with the university’s Governing Board. Internal funding typically comes through the Vice-President (Research) and is supplemented by decanal contributions and other internal funding programs. In many cases, Research Institutes are supported by external funding, advancement contributions, and may also involve significant research participation, partnerships, funding, and/or administrative participation from outside the university.

Resource Documents

Terms of Reference Guidelines