Adjudication of internal awards, lab-related matters, support for humanities’ working groups, data management, equity and diversity in research – this is just a small snapshot of some of the responsibilities and topics undertaken by the U of T Mississauga’s Research Council since its inception in 2013.
“We are extremely grateful for the time that each of our council members, past and present, has put in, and truly value the contributions they have all made in shaping the research landscape at UTM over the last four years,” says Professor Bryan Stewart, UTM’s Vice-Principal, Research, who established the council as part of his mandate in the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research (OVPR).
Made up of 16 representatives that include one faculty member from each of UTM’s academic departments and one from the Library, the Council meets five times per academic year with each member generally serving a two-year term.
“Participating in the research council opened my eyes to the breadth and depth of the cutting-edge research being conducted by UTM faculty, and it is just a terrific way to serve and support our growing and highly successful research community here,” says Professor Ron Buliung from the Department of Geography, who has been a council member since 2015.
Professor Rhonda McEwen from UTM’s Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology echoes this esteem for membership and council activity, having also served since 2015.
“Being on the Research Council over the past couple years has given me a unique perspective on our research strength at this campus, and I see the group as a vital part of UTM’s community,” says McEwen. “I have a renewed appreciation of how the various disciplines approach academic inquiry, and adjudicating internal funding proposals is also a great way to learn and then share best practices with home units.”
To date, the council has collectively adjudicated 12 internal funding competitions that includes both the Research and Scholarly Activity Fund (RSAF) and the Outreach, Conference, and Colloquia Fund (OCCF), the Working Groups fund, and have helped make funding decisions to make over 110 awards to UTM researchers.
To see the full list of RSAF-funded researchers since 2014 see RSAF results, and the OCCF results can also be viewed on UTM's OVPR website. Additionally, you can read more about some of the UTM Working Groups that the OVPR has funded.
“By forming a council we wanted to give a voice to all the UTM academic departments, in order to support, guide and inform our procedures and policies, ” says Stewart. "We also aimed to increase transparency in the competitions related to the suite of internal funding opportunities we have implemented at UTM."
“But in the meantime we’ve also fostered a greater environment of collegiality and openness in discussing a variety of research topics across UTM’s disciplines. The council has had some very lively and robust conversations over the years.”
The current full list of Research Council members is available on the OVPR website at http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/vp-research/research-campus/utm-research-council.