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Ryerson University's faculty are achieving meaningful social impact through scholarly, research and creative excellence supported by our diverse funding partners.

$102.2M total research funding 

300+ funding partners 

1,675 academic publications

Message from the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Steven N. Liss, PhD

I am pleased to share our 2020–21 annual report, which highlights Ryerson University’s continuing excellence in scholarly, research and creative activity.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has called attention to numerous challenges faced by our society. In response, our researchers have quickly pivoted projects, accelerated research to meet societal needs and presented actionable solutions. A strong foundation built on research expertise and strategic priorities has allowed us to be nimble and agile.

In Research Infosource’s rankings released this year, Ryerson shows a steady path of success. We moved up in the overall rankings to 21st and topped the list in six categories as part of a 20-year look back at research revenue growth. This significant achievement is a testament to our ongoing collaborations with industry and government, and the outstanding work and creativity of our exceptional faculty, students and staff. 

This work includes addressing significant health and socio-economic issues, as well as making enormous strides in a range of other fields, including digital technologies, Indigenous governance, migration, sustainability and more. 

The university’s research trajectory can likewise be seen in anticipating the future needs of our local and international communities. We initiated the implementation of the health strategy bringing together interdisciplinary talents to tackle concerns in areas like nursing and patient experience. We began the planning process for a Ryerson school of medicine, conducting town halls attended by more than 6,500 participants. Ryerson launched the Lincoln Alexander School of Law, Toronto’s first new law school in over a century, bringing a diverse range of voices to the field.

Meeting community needs is the intrinsic role of research and innovation, and Ryerson is proud to rise to the challenge. Over the course of this annual report, I invite you to learn more about some of the initiatives being undertaken by Ryerson researchers as they work to make an impact in the lives of Canadians today and tomorrow.

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

Executive Summary

During the 2020–21 fiscal year, the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (OVPRI) received total research funding of $102.2 million in support of Ryerson’s scholarly, research and creative (SRC) activities. Grants from the Tri-Agencies – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) – saw increases of 92.07%, 27.23% and 9.84%, respectively, over the previous 2019–20 fiscal period. A NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation, as well as the conferral of three new Canada Research Chairs and a Canada Research Chair renewal, were part of the Tri-Agency funding.

Expansion of Ryerson’s SRC enterprise was also demonstrated through the support of non-governmental institutions, industry and foundations, for which the university saw double-digit increases. The university amplified its research capacity through strategic partnerships, such as with SOTI, an Ontario-based software and technology firm, to establish a new research Chair based at the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, and by becoming the official Canadian hub of AIMday, a leading international organization which drives industry-academic innovation. A new program called Lab2Market was launched to enable student-and-faculty teams to conduct research and development into their intellectual properties, furthering their commercialization potential.

Ryerson faculty continued to demonstrate expertise and excellence in their disciplines through their receipt of honours and accolades, including the induction of two scholars into the Royal Society of Canada. Ryerson saw an increase of 16.85% for publication citations and 13.79% for academic publishing over the previous fiscal year, demonstrating knowledge mobilization.

In this annual report, the OVPRI will highlight these and other examples of Ryerson’s SRC endeavours and multisectoral collaborations – exemplifying the breadth and depth of the university’s impactful and sustained research pursuits.

Highlighting Ryerson's SRC endeavours and the multisectoral collaborations that exemplify the breadth and depth of the university's impactful and sustained research pursuits.