Research programs

It is part of the mandate of the Academic Program Transformation Task Force to identify all academic activities that consume university resources and to consider their relationship to university priorities. We recently circulated a list of programs we propose to include in our review, and, once the list has been finalized, units will be asked to complete a template for each of the programs for which they are responsible.

As part of the process of identifying programs for review, the task force made the decision to regard the research activity in each discipline as a separate program, and to ask units to complete a template to reflect this activity. A number of those responding to the programs list have expressed the view that the research activity in their unit cannot be separated from their master’s and doctoral programs, and that they do not see the point of completing a separate template for a unit research program.

Prior to distributing the list, the task force discussed this issue at some length, and we have discussed it further in light of the responses received. We continue to adhere to the view that a separate template should be completed for the unit’s research program. Though we acknowledge that there will be some units where there is significant overlap between graduate programs and the research activity of faculty members in the unit, this is not true in all disciplines. Even where there is significant overlap, it does not seem to us correct to say that all research activity in a unit can be identified with graduate programs. The following are examples of research activity that may be carried out independent of master’s or doctoral programs, and which may consume university resources in terms of faculty time, administrative and clerical support, travel expenses or other costs:

  • research or publication with postdoctoral fellows or research support staff
  • completion of research grant proposals
  • research or publication with visiting scholars or other research collaborators
  • travel to and presentation at conferences

Where there is considerable overlap between the research activities of faculty and the graduate programs in a unit, this can be reflected in the assignment of a small proportion of resources to the research program, with a larger proportion being attributed to the graduate programs.

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