Research Centres and Institutes
April 3, 2002
September 26, 2019
Policy Authority: Vice-President, Research and International
Associated Procedures: Procedures for Research Centres
Procedures for Research Institutes
1.1. At SFU, much of the work undertaken by Research Centres and Research Institutes is in support of collaborative research that brings together diverse perspectives to confront key scientific and global challenges. Aligned with University and Faculty strategic priorities, these units foster creative interaction and stimulate engagement with students and visiting scholars.
2.1. The purpose of this policy is to distinguish between Research Centres and Research Institutes, establish the intended scope of their activities, determine their rights and responsibilities, and outline the procedures for their operation.
3.1. This policy applies to all researchers undertaking collaborative research at Simon Fraser University, including those that choose to establish themselves formally at the University as Research Centres and Research Institutes, as well as similar collaborative structures such as Research Groups.
4.1. Research Groups are self-designated groups of researchers working together on projects or activities. The term “Research Groups” extends to cover variously termed collaborative structures of researchers at SFU, which may be referred to outside this Policy as, for example, research labs or research teams.
4.2. Research Centres are formally designated, non-departmental units facilitating collaborative research mainly within a single Faculty. The activities of a Research Centre support the research mission of the home Faculty, and require the endorsement of the Dean. Research Centres may include in their membership SFU researchers from outside of the home Faculty.
4.3. Research Institutes are formally designated non-departmental units facilitating extensive multi-Faculty collaborative research, often enhanced by research relationships with other universities and/or other stakeholders (e.g., government, community or private sector affiliates) or by shared resources and infrastructure. The activities of Research Institutes support the strategic research mission of the University. Prior to applying for Research Institute status, members of Research Institutes will normally have a history of collaborative activity as a group (e.g. co-supervision of students, co-publications, or shared research data, funding, and/or projects).
4.4. The Senate Committee on University Priorities (SCUP) is the academic body responsible for approving and overseeing Research Centres and Research Institutes on behalf of Senate.
4.5. The University refers to Simon Fraser University for the purposes of this policy.
5.1. Research Centres and Research Institutes are created through a Senate-regulated process, as defined in the Procedures.
5.2. Only Research Centres and Research Institutes that are currently in a University-approved term are entitled to identify themselves, respectively, as Research Centres and Research Institutes.
5.2.1. Designated Research Centres and Research Institutes must normally include the words “Research,” and “Centre” or “Institute” in their titles, respectively.
5.2.2. Prior to Senate approval, other research collaboratives (such as Research Groups) may not identify themselves as Research Centres or Research Institutes in the conduct of their activities, unless they clearly identify the organization as “proposed” or “subject to Senate approval.”
5.2.3. Research Groups that share the characteristics of Research Centres or Research Institutes and would benefit from University recognition are encouraged to pursue Senate approval.
5.3. These rights are granted at the discretion of Senate for fixed, renewable terms.
5.4. Research Centres and Research Institutes are not entitled to physical space by virtue of their designation.
5.5. The Director of a Research Centre reports to the home Faculty Dean or designate, who is responsible for overseeing its governance and budgetary accounts.
5.6. The Director of an SFU-based Research Institute reports to the Vice-President, Research and International (VPRI) in matters related to the Institute.
5.7. Any academic programming offered by Research Centres and Research Institutes must be Senate-approved.
6.1. The Director of a Research Centre or Research Institute normally must be a continuing faculty member of the University.
6.2. Research Institutes normally include a minimum of eight faculty members from two or more Faculties.
6.3. University faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and research personnel are eligible for official membership in Research Centres and Research Institutes.
6.3.1. Research Centres and Research Institutes are encouraged to collaborate with community and private sector affiliates; however, official membership in the Research Centre or Research Institute is limited to those defined herein. Research Centres and Research Institutes may choose to describe such individuals or entities using other terms, such as ‘affiliate’ members.
7.0 COLLABORATIONS AND FUNDING
7.1. The University encourages Research Centres and Research Institutes to pursue funding opportunities from external agencies such as government, industry, and the private sector.
7.2. Research Centres and Research Institutes do not have independent authority to enter into any research funding agreements; all research funding agreements pursued by Research Centres and Research Institutes must be between external agencies and the University.
7.2.1. All research funding agreements must adhere strictly to the policy and procedures laid out in SFU Policy R10.01, Research Funding Agreements.
7.3. Where funding is not involved, non-binding symbolic agreements with external organizations, such as MOUs, may be signed after the necessary approval (the Dean or designate, in the case of Research Centres; the Vice-President Research and International, in the case of Research Institutes) has been secured.
7.4. In some cases, Research Centres or Research Institutes that involve extensive external collaborations and partnerships may require a hybrid governance model. All modifications to the procedures described herein will require authorization of the policy authority: the Vice-President, Research and International.
8.0 POLICY REVIEW
8.1. This policy will be reviewed every 5 years or as needed.
9.1. This Policy is administered under the authority of the Vice-President, Research and International.
10.1. Questions of interpretation and application of this policy or its procedures shall be referred to the President, whose decision shall be final.
11.0 ASSOCIATED PROCEDURES