Message from the Vice-Principal Research
Professor Kent Moore
The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) is a flourishing campus, generating research discoveries, innovation, and new knowledge from an impressive breadth of fields and collaborations that bridge several disciplines. The core mission of the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research (OVPR) is to support, promote, and inspire the research, scholarship, and creative activity of our research community, and to enhance UTM’s research environment, reputation, and profile.
The pandemic-induced research shutdown and restart has been an unprecedented stress-test of UTM’s research enterprise, and the OVPR portfolio has navigated the tumult deftly and professionally. Excitement for the future amongst UTM’s researchers is high, and there is a palatable feeling amongst the division’s senior academic administrators that UTM has entered its next evolutionary stage as a research-intensive institution.
Research output from UTM’s community continues to be world-class, and the researchers think and care deeply about societal impact. The OVPR strives to find innovative ways to support the roster of intrepid researchers, to elevate UTM’s reputation and standing as a research-intensive institution, and to support and lead on multidisciplinary research endeavors, including Institutional Strategic Initiatives (e.g., the Critical Digital Humanities Initiative and the Black Research Network), and the expansion of robotics, medicinal chemistry, population health, and medical innovation, to name a few. With a focus on training the next generation of exceptional researchers, UTM’s graduate student population continues to increase annually.
The cross-cutting Novo Nordisk Network for Healthy Populations initiative, based at UTM, was launched in 2021 with a $40-million investment from Novo Nordisk A/S and the University of Toronto. The new network is a partnership between the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, and UTM. Led by Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, this initiative will focus on new ways to support healthier urban populations, and draw on U of T’s leading expertise in public health research and education programs to impact the global fight against diabetes and other serious chronic diseases.
UTM researchers continue to secure significant research revenue each year, reaching record levels in federal support, with funds subsidizing pioneering work in the humanities, natural and life sciences, as well as the social sciences — and this is a trend we aim to uphold. Additionally, we continue to support faculty through a suite of internal funding opportunities to enhance success in future grant competitions and to allow researchers — particularly emerging scholars —to keep productivity levels high and ensure significant impact metrics.
Our core facilities are an integral part of UTM research environment. These hubs support both internal and external stakeholders, providing access to cutting edge technologies. UTM’s new Maanjiwe nendamowinan building provides updated facilities for the Departments of English and Drama, Philosophy, Historical Studies, Language Studies, Political Science, and Sociology, as well as enhanced active-learning classrooms and a co-working space for scholars in the humanities and social sciences. The New Science Building, slated for completion in 2023, will further enhance interdisciplinary collaboration in science and health, including the newly launched Centre for Medicinal Chemistry, and will support the addition of new core facilities.
Critical to supporting UTM’s research mandate is the OVPR team. The OVPR has increased its staffing complement over the past year, including our new Director, Payam Zahedi; Tanya Rohrmoser as Communications Officer; and two new Strategic Research Development Officers, Anastassia Pogoutse and Jessica Lapp, who provide guidance and support research goals, funding opportunities, and the development of grant applications. I am also grateful for the addition of two faculty members to the leadership team: Professor Elspeth Brown, who oversees strategic initiatives, and Professor Josh Milstein, who guides research facilities.
Looking ahead, I enthusiastically support and encourage new developments and initiatives as UTM’s research environment continues to thrive and am eager to ensure the campus remains an outstanding centre of creative pursuits and scholarly advancements.
Listen to Kent Moore on the July 2018 edition of VIEW to the U podcast.