As societal challenges become more complex and their effects more profound, our disciplinary research strength is more important than ever.

Impact is predicated on invention and discovery, as we advance human knowledge. Departments remain responsible for the hiring priorities and other activities that ensure the vigour of our disciplinary foundations. But our collective capacity to bring our respective lenses to the study of these problems is also increasingly important, as are our connections with social science. Working together with our graduate students and trainees, and supported by outstanding facilities and technology, we aspire to understand and address the issues of our time through science. We will actively pursue research that addresses the needs of industry in British Columbia and helps equip the next generations of workers in the province. Our objective in these strategies is to expand research excellence and impact across disciplines in the service of both society and fundamental science.

Disciplinary expertise and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Disciplinary strength is the bedrock of our research accomplishments, and we will continue to support departments in all they do to sustain these endeavours. At the same time, we value science that transcends disciplinary barriers. Whether carried out by individuals or teams, we will ensure that interdisciplinary research – within UBC Science and across UBC – complements departmental hiring, and that new resources are available for recruitment, through cluster hires and cross-appointments. We will extend seed funding for research collaborations, creating a bridge to external funding opportunities, and sponsor events to foster connections among researchers. We will work in coordination with UBC-wide efforts to reduce barriers to collaboration, including the promotion of more flexible and cross-department graduate student supervision and cross-appointments. We will also strengthen linkages with colleagues working in policy to help ensure that our research informs – and is informed by – public dialogue and decision-making.

Graduate student and trainee experience.

Our trainees are critical to the Faculty’s research enterprise, and training the scientific leaders of tomorrow, be they undergraduate or graduate students, postdocs, or research associates, is central to our mission. Reversing gradual declines in recent years, we will increase the size of our graduate student body, as well as our capacity to include undergraduate students in our research teams. Improved access and diversity will be enabled by broadening and harmonizing admissions criteria and procedures. We will re-imagine the PhD experience, by expanding and enriching professional development opportunities, such as internships for graduate students, connections with alumni, and teaching opportunities for postdocs and research associates.

Robust support for research at all scales.

We must facilitate disciplinary and interdisciplinary research across the spectrum – from individual scholars to small collaborations to centres and institutes. We will develop relationships that will provide a broader base of support for research through external engagement, an important connection with our partnership and policy work. We will prioritize operational funding for current platforms, leverage shared facilities where appropriate, and continue to sponsor strategic research facilities and services at UBC. We will provide support for large-scale grant writing and management, investing also in exceptional instrumentation to sustain the growing scale and sophistication of our research. Where possible, we will renew key buildings and create new multi-purpose collaboration spaces, recognizing their importance in fostering the social and professional connections so vital to the advancement of science.