In less than a decade Concordia has made impressive strides in building up its research capacity, expanding external partnerships, promoting faculty and student mobility, expanding our international presence, and increasing support for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. New faculty hiring, the creation of dozens of new research chairs, the development of leading research units have all been critical to this transformation. Concordia is now, more than ever, home to state-of-the-art research, research-creation, and training facilities, equipment and instrumentation and infrastructure in all faculties, and on both campuses.
Under the leadership of Drs Louise Dandurand and Carole Brabant (2006-2011), Concordia adopted a clear strategic vision for the development of the university’s research, graduate studies and international sector. The execution of the Strategic Research Plan, 2008-12 and implementation of a far-reaching suite of internal policies and procedures, including the funding programs envisioned by Mobilizing Knowledge (2007), as well as the recent launch of the innovative communications tool, research@concordia, and the GradProSkills training program, have created a strong base on which to build future success. Not only have many of Concordia’s established areas of research excellence flourished, but the university has also been able to nurture emerging and new niches of activity, and distinctive graduate programs. In a short period of time Concordia has become better recognized in Québec and Canada, not only for the quality and impact of its research and research-creation output, but also for its administrative support of research and training.
The future is bright and we will continue to build upon our successes and the groundwork that has been laid. The institutional commitment to research and graduate studies is clearly enshrined in Concordia’s new Academic Plan, 2011-16. Major infrastructure projects which have only recently been opened—such as the expanded Center for Structural and Functional Genomics, the Solar-Simulator Environmental Chamber, and the PERFORM Centre for research and training in the prevention, evaluation and rehabilitation of debilitating non-communicable health conditions—will become fully operational in the coming months and open up exciting new possibilities for collaboration and training. The Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery, which is administratively housed in the VPRGS sector, is widely and increasingly recognized as one of Canada’s leading university galleries for research on curatorial practice. And Concordia’s public visibility is also enhanced by high profile research and research-creation activities, such as our collaborations with the Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec in staging the President’s Conference Series, our involvement in Les Entretiens Jacques-Cartier, and other showcase activities such as the CIHR Cafés scientifiques.
I welcome the opportunity to work with new administrative colleagues and staff across the VPRGS sector, and I forward to helping Concordia achieve continued success in all our research, graduate studies, and international activities.