Developing a New Strategic Research Plan for the University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is committed to supporting excellence in research and innovation across our three campuses and with our community partners.

The University’s Institutional Strategic Research Plan (ISRP) is a key document that reflects the breadth of U of T research within a flexible framework that identifies broad thematic research areas and expresses our core commitment to research excellence. It also provides direction for how to support university scholarship by identifying strategic objectives. The ISRP is meant to provide support and direction but not limit divisional research priorities. The Vice-President, Research and Innovation invited members of the U of T community to contribute to the development of a new ISRP to cover the period 2018-2023 through a two-phase consultation process, throughout which the University’s Research Advisory Board provided critical guidance and leadership.

During the first phase of the consultation process, from March to September 2017, the Vice-President launched an online survey inviting feedback and met with members of the U of T community through town halls across our three campuses, as well as in meetings with academic units and groups. We heard from these consultations that the previous ISRP structure reflected the breadth of U of T research excellence within a flexible framework with relevant broad thematic research areas. However, we also heard that the themes, and especially the sub-themes, would benefit from a refresh to align with current and potential future areas of research and innovation. Further, we heard that the strategic objectives should include metrics by which we would measure our success in meeting them.

Based on the feedback received during the first phase of consultations, the Vice-President initiated a second phase in October-November 2017, and made a draft of the new ISRP available online. A new survey was also launched so that members of the community could provide their specific comments and suggestions. Feedback from this phase of consultations was addressed in the final draft of the ISRP that went to the Planning and Budget Committee and Academic Board of the Governing Council for information and comment in January 2018.

We thank the University community for providing its input during our consultation process. The new ISRP is now available online at

Questions about the ISRP or the consultation process may be sent to

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