Review of the Office of the Vice President Research and International Relations

PDAD&C #9, 2002-2003


TO:   Principals, Deans, Academic Directors and Chairs
FROM:   Robert J. Birgeneau, President
DATE:   August 13, 2002
RE:   Review of the Office of the Vice-President, Research and International Relations
cc:   The Bulletin

I have appointed a committee to review the Office of the Vice-President Research and International Relations, prior to undertaking a search for a new Vice-President. The goal of the University of Toronto is to become one of the world's great public research-intensive universities. The Office of Research and International Relations (RIR) therefore has as its mandate "to support the strategic development and efficient, accountable administration of research and international resources, activities, and partnerships to serve the University of Toronto's mission to be among the leading public research universities in the world." The review should consider the key issues and challenges that will face the University in the next five to ten years and the role, structure and functions of the RIR office in meeting those challenges in light of this mandate. The review report will serve both to inform the selection of the next Vice-President and to assist the Vice-President in establishing directions and priorities.

Without limiting the scope of the review, the Review Committee should address the following specific issues:

  1. The function and effectiveness of Research Services, Research Contracts, and Research Information Systems in meeting the needs of researchers across the three campuses and in providing financial accountability.
  2. The function and effectiveness of the Government Research and Infrastructure Programs (GRIP) office.
  3. The working relationships with the research enterprises in the academic divisions and in particular, the officials in the academic divisions specifically charged with the responsibility for research and international relations.
  4. The working relationships with Governing Council, its Boards and Committees.
  5. The allocation of the resources across the units of the portfolio and their adequacy for the portfolio to meet its responsibilities.
  6. The function and effectiveness of the Ethics Review Office and in particular, the ongoing challenges to be faced in accountability for the ethical use of human subjects.
  7. Taking into account the report of the Task Force on Internationalization and Strategic International Partnerships, consideration of the appropriate role of the V-P, RIR in this arena and in particular, the identification of what activities should be located in the portfolio, and the portion of the Vice-President's time that should be devoted to these efforts.
  8. The role of the V-P, RIR in stimulating cross-disciplinary research and initiating programs requiring cooperation and collaboration at the inter-portfolio and inter-divisional levels, and the role of RIR in relation to such cross-disciplinary programs and/or units.
  9. The role, challenges and opportunities for the V-P, RIR in continuing to build the case with the Federal Government for an effective level of investment in competitive research programs based on international standards of excellence and related full research indirect costs recovery, most immediately in the context of the government's Innovation Agenda.
  10. The role, challenges and opportunities for the V-P, RIR in working with the new provincial Ministry of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation to promote provincial investment in university research and research infrastructure.
  11. The relations of the Office with the federal Granting Councils and the challenges to be faced given the huge turn-over of faculty in this decade, and the need to address these challenges in a coordinated and strategic manner.
  12. The relations of the Office with the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the challenges in regaining U of T's earlier levels of success in the CFI Innovation Fund.
  13. The opportunities and challenges of technology transfer, particularly with respect to the Innovation Foundation and the MARS Discovery District.
  14. The role of the V-P, RIR in supporting the development of research on the expanded Scarborough and Mississauga campuses.

To function as an effective management team, the Vice-Presidents will have complimentary responsibilities. The terms listed below touch on the various responsibilities of the other vice-presidential portfolios in areas related to research.

  1. The organization and coordination of the role of the V-P, RIR with respect to the role of the Provost, especially with respect to academic planning, faculty development, international activities, and graduate student support.
  2. The role of the V-P, RIR with respect to capital development and the relationship with the Vice-President, Business Affairs and the Vice-Provost, Space and Facilities Planning, with particular attention to government research and infrastructure programs.
  3. The role of the V-P, RIR with respect to advancement activities, and the relations with the portfolio of the Vice-President and Chief Advancement Officer, specifically with respect to the function of the business development officers, approaches to corporations and foundations, strategic communications and the portfolio's international activities.
  4. The relationship of the V-P, RIR with the Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions, and with the Vice-Presidents, Research, in the affiliated teaching hospitals, in continuing to strengthen and improve university-hospital relations in research and related research successes.
  5. The relationship of the V-P RIR with the V-P, Government and Institutional Relations, with respect to interaction with the Provincial Government in matters related to research and to graduate student funding.
  6. The relationship of the V-P, RIR with the V-P, Policy Development, in research-related matters such as the Canada Research Chairs, performance indicators, and building the case for the public research university.
  7. The relationship of the V-P, RIR with the Vice-President, Human Resources with respect to personnel policies and other human resources responsibilities such as occupational health and safety, as they affect research.

    The members of the review committee are:

    Professor Robert J. Birgeneau, President and Professor of Physics(Chair)
    Ms. Ramesh Abhari, Ph.D. Student, Edward S. Rogers Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Professor Carl Amrhein, Dean, Faculty of Arts & Science
    Professor Ian Brown, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Division of Life Sciences (Zoology), and Canada Research Chair
    Professor Frank Cunningham, Principal of Innis College and Dept. of Philosophy
    Professor Ron Daniels, Dean, Faculty of Law
    Professor Rashmi Desai, Associate Dean Division III (Physical Sciences) SGS and Dept. of Physics
    Mr. Gary Goldberg, Chair of the Board of Directors, Innovations Foundation
    Professor Antonia Healey, Editor, Dictionary of Old English and Angus Cameron Professor of Old English Studies
    Professor Ellen Hodnett, Faculty of Nursing and Heather Reisman Chair in Perinatal Nursing Research and Mt. Sinai Hospital
    Professor Uli Krull, University of Toronto at Mississauga (Dept. of Chemistry) and AstraZeneca Chair in Biotechnology
    Professor Kenneth Leithwoood, Associate Dean, Research, OISE/UT
    Ms. Catherine Lewis, Chief Administrative Officer, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
    Dr. Tak Mak, University Professor, Department of Medical Biophysics and University Health Network, and Canada Research Chair
    Professor Peter Martin, Chair, Department of Astronomy
    Professor Patricia McCarney, Department of Political Science and Centre for International Studies
    Professor Javad Mostaghimi, Vice-Dean, Research, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, and Canada Research Chair
    Dr. Sandrine Pache, Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Arts & Science
    Professor Eliot Phillipson, Chair, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
    Professor Yannick Portebois, Department of French, Faculty of Arts & Science, and Canada Research Chair
    Dr. Joseph L. Rotman, Member, Governing Council
    Professor Michael Salter, Faculty of Dentistry and Dept. of Physiology and Director, Centre for the Study of Pain
    Professor Franco Vaccarino, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Dept. of Psychology
    Professor Catharine Whiteside, Associate Dean, Inter-Faculty and Graduate Affairs, Faculty of Medicine
    Professor Melissa Williams, Dept. of Political Science, Faculty of Arts & Science

    Dr. Beata FitzPatrick and Dr. Chris Cunningham (Secretary to the Review Committee) will provide administrative support to the Committee.

    The Committee is set to begin its work in September. Submissions are invited from all members of the University community and should be sent in confidence as soon as possible and no later than September 20, 2002 to:

            Secretary of the Review Committee
            Office of the President, Simcoe Hall, Rm. 206
            27 King's College Circle
            University of Toronto
            Toronto, M5S 1A1

    Submissions may also be sent by fax to 416-971-1360 or by e-mail to or to