U of T is the Place
More than ever, U of T is the place that has the breadth and depth of expertise and infrastructure needed to generate and translate the knowledge required to respond to the broad range of important challenges of our time. This extraordinary academic distinction, one that is shared with only a handful of other universities around the world, runs across our three campuses and partner hospitals and is visible in the local, national, and global impact of the research and scholarship that goes on here. Looking back on 2019 now, from our current perspective in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, this statement rings truer than ever. As our faculty and wider research and innovation community come together to tackle recent challenges, from isolating the novel coronavirus to coordinating and deploying campus-wide equipment to help improve the supply of life-saving medical supplies, U of T is showing its mettle, depth of expertise and community-mindedness.
This year, U of T ranks among the top 50 in 35 subjects, and in the last three years, U of T created 59 new research-based companies—more than any other institution in North America. Because we are a large institution and we have strengths in so many disciplines, when we want to bring together a community around a specific topic—whether that be cities, precision medicine, or digital humanities—it's not hard to find faculty and students that can bring expertise from a broad range of disciplines. Our impressive performance is a reflection of the excellence of our faculty, students, and postdoctoral fellows and their collaborations with leading researchers and institutions worldwide.
As a public university, our success is also measured by our engagement with our community and the diversity of our faculty, staff and students. We continue to collaborate with the broader university community to implement measures to attract diverse and excellent people and work to build an equitable and inclusive environment where they can achieve their goals as researchers, trainees, innovators and entrepreneurs. Guided by our newly created Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research and Innovation, we strive towards embodying the highest standards of equity and inclusion, ethics, safety, integrity and accountability.
Our priorities for the coming year are to continue to support the institution and its ambition of continuing to rank among the leading research institutions in the world. To that end we have added the Institutional Strategic Initiatives portfolio under the leadership of Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost Christine Allen and have enhanced supports to aid the creation of more large-scale, cross-disciplinary initiatives to pursue bold ideas that address the world’s challenges. Some of these have already been established including the School of Cities, Medicine by Design and, in 2019, the Schwartz Reisman Institute for Technology and Society. The Schwartz Reisman Institute draws on U of T’s strength in the sciences, humanities and social sciences to explore the benefits and challenges of AI, biotechnology and other technological advances for society.
We also continue to focus on building collaborations globally, and this past year saw the appointment of Associate Vice-President Alex Mihailidis in partnership with the Vice-President, International.
2019 also saw the launch of the Centre for Research and Innovation Support (CRIS). In partnership with the University of Toronto Libraries and U of T’s Chief Information Officer, CRIS serves as a visible space and tri-campus connector where faculty can learn about and easily access the many existing services, training opportunities, research tools, and expertise offered across the university.
U of T has a critical mass of world-leading, multidisciplinary expertise in important emerging research and education fields, and our support of cross-divisional, excellence-driven initiatives will continue to bring together that expertise to have local, national and global impact.
Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives
2019 VPRI Annual Report
Managing Editor: Farhana Islam. Data and Analyses Editor: José Sigouin. Contributors: Everyone in the Division of VPRI, most particularly Catherine Maloney, Ken Meiklejohn, Maya Collum, Wei Xiong, Helen Lasthiotakis, and Stephannie Roy. Design: Clear Space
Leadership in Research & Innovation
U of T is among the most influential universities in the world with exceptional research across a breadth of disciplines, and is an innovation and entrepreneurship powerhouse.
Engagement & Impact
Addressing societal issues by engaging with communities, organizations, and companies and maximizing the impact of U of T research by mobilizing it into society and facilitating its use.
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
A commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is central to U of T’s public mission as well as its devotion to the pursuit of excellence.
Research intensity and breadth, entrepreneurship, and research-informed pedagogy enhances our educational mission and positions us as the top destination.
Serving the U of T Community
Enabling an environment that supports our researchers, scholars, and learners to do what they do best—advance understanding and apply new knowledge.
By the Numbers
The indicators speak for themselves: U of T is the place for researchers to lead, learn, engage, influence, deliver, have impact and win. VPRI is the place that empowers researchers to shine in a safe, fiscally responsible, diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.