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Message from the Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Dr. Steven N. Liss, Vice President of Research and Innovation

Steven N. Liss, PhD, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Ryerson University

Ryerson continues its trajectory of research excellence and growth, accelerating strategic partnerships and collaborations to create new knowledge, ideas and innovations to address the challenging problems of our time. Our place at the centre of one of the world’s most diverse cities provides a unique lens that we apply to addressing a broad array of concerns, including climate change, disease, socioeconomic inequity, new media technologies and the automation of manufacturing known as Industry 4.0. 

Always at the forefront of Ryerson’s research mission is tackling tangible societal challenges and presenting actionable solutions. It is this outcome-oriented approach that informed Ryerson’s new 2020-2025 Strategic Research Plan, proposing the key themes that represent our diverse scholarly, research and creative (SRC) activity strengths. The six new research themes are noted in this report and are a result of an in-depth, iterative process led by the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. 

The 2019 Research Infosource Inc. list of the 50 top research universities in Canada ranked Ryerson second for corporate research income growth (more than 40%) among comprehensive universities for the fiscal year 2017-18. Ryerson was also listed as fourth for cross-sector collaboration over the previous five-year period, further demonstrating the strength of our interdisciplinary approach.

Ryerson’s SRC growth has especially sought to impact areas of societal relevance. As a result, in the fall of 2019, we saw the launch of Ryerson’s new Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration program. This robust, transnational program is already impacting policy and practice, as well as our understanding of the contemporary challenges of migration and integration. On this front, issues of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) also rose to the fore. Ryerson became a signatory to the Tri-Agencies’ Dimensions Charter and is one of 17 selected institutions in Canada piloting the program to increase EDI across the research ecosystem. Our unfaltering commitment to these principles and associated practices will further strengthen the overall excellence of our SRC activities and heighten the fields of study and career development of both faculty and students across all disciplines.

In recent months, the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation has pivoted with COVID-19. We addressed operational challenges, introduced measures to ensure the safety of our community, and our researchers responded to calls for action at the earliest opportunity. 

Ryerson’s objective as a research university is clear: to apply the fundamentals of knowledge to act as a foundation for sound decision- and policy-making. We have entered an era of disruption and research has never been more vital or necessary, as is our ability to respond in an agile and disciplined manner. Through these pages, I invite you to read about some of the impactful and aspirational work being done by the Ryerson research community.

Steven N. Liss, PhD
Vice-President, Research and Innovation
Ryerson University