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SFU launches new five-year strategic research plan

January 05, 2023
As one of Canada’s fastest growing research-intensive universities, SFU has just released its new five-year strategic research plan.

Simon Fraser University is starting the new year with the launch of its new five-year strategic research plan.

With a reputation as one of Canada’s fastest growing research institutions, SFU’s 2023-2028 Strategic Research Plan (SRP) identifies key areas of strength and focus for the future. The plan embeds the core values of the university’s institutional plan into research practice using six approaches and includes five institutional research priority areas that demonstrate SFU’s commitment to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Over the past decade SFU’s research growth has led its scholars to be increasingly recognized for their discovery, innovation and community impact. Looking forward, the university is well-positioned to further expand its research activities and impact nationally and globally.

The development of the new SRP coincides with “SFU: What’s Next?,” a broad consultation for the university’s new strategic plan being led by SFU President Joy Johnson and Wade Parkhouse, provost and vice-president, academic.

“I am very proud that SFU is a research-intensive university,” says SFU president Joy Johnson. “Throughout our SFU: What’s Next? consultation, our community expressed that research is a critical part of the impact we make on the world. The new strategic research plan will build on our strengths to support researchers at the university and beyond, and make it easier for them to do their work.” 

For the first time, the new SRP is accompanied by an implementation plan identifying specific actions to support the SRP’s priority areas. As a living document, regular updates are planned throughout its five-year framework.

As part of the planning process, SFU community members shared their thoughts and future research plans and priorities through numerous townhall-style meetings and surveys. Clear themes emerged from these discussions, such as SFU’s role in addressing the climate crisis, the growth of public health-focused research, and the need to recognize diverse forms of scholarship, incorporate Indigenous perspectives and knowledge(s) into research and support graduate students and other early career researchers.

Projects and initiatives identified during the extensive community consultations will support SFU scholars, lower administrative barriers and create new opportunities for the SFU community.

“This new plan positions SFU to build on its exceptional research enterprise—a portfolio that encompasses fundamental research, innovation and entrepreneurship, knowledge mobilization, sustainability, international partnerships and much more,” says Dugan O’Neil, SFU’s vice-president, research and international, who also oversees innovation and sustainability. “I am exceedingly proud of the work we do and grateful to all who contribute to advancing research at SFU.”

Learn more about the new SRP and its implementation plan at sfu.ca/strategic-research-plan.