After extensive consultation with internal and external stakeholders, the University of Regina put the finishing touches on its new strategic research plan, the blueprint for University research for the next five years.
The consultation process used to develop the new plan was widespread and included 90 interviews, four online questionnaires, three town hall meetings, written submissions, and a number of draft revisions.
"This is very much a document that comes from our stakeholders," says David Malloy, associate vice president (Research) and the director of the Office of Research Services.
Entitled Working Together Towards Common Goals: Serving Through Research, the plan identifies three signature research themes and a number of sub-themes. The themes and sub-themes reflect areas of demonstrated expertise and sustained research excellence at the University of Regina.
Those signature themes and sub themes are: Sustainable Development and its two sub-themes, Energy and Natural Resources; and, Environment. Human Development and its three sub-themes, Health; Human Justice, Safety and Security; and, Arts, Culture and Heritage. The signature themes are rounded out by Knowledge Creation and Discovery and its three sub-themes, Information and Communication; Pure Discovery-Based Research; and, Community-Based Research.
The document embraces the mission, values and goals of the University's five-year strategic plan, mâmawohkamâtowin: Our Work, Our People, Our Communities, which was unveiled in summer 2009.
Malloy says that while research funding at the University has never been higher (about 25 per cent higher than last year) it's a good time to refocus the research enterprise agenda. For one thing, he says, Tri-Council funding (the chief federal research funding bodies) is down from previous years.
While research funding can be a measure of an institution's research success, Malloy says that there's more to it than solely looking at funding dollars - a fact that is recognized in the new plan.
"I think the most important thing to come out of this document is the notion of impact," he says. "We've identified our desire to make our research known in the community, understood in the community, and applicable to the community. We can no longer afford to do research only for other researchers. This is a day and age of accountability and I think we have to be giving back to the community for the unparalleled opportunity to research and teach."
To view the new strategic research plan, visit http://www.uregina.ca/research/strategic/