Research Partnerships

PDAD&C #28, 2006-07


FROM: John R. G. Challis, Vice-President Research & Associate Provost
DATE: November 9th, 2006
RE: University of Toronto Statement on Research Partnerships

In January 2006, the Vice-President, Research and Associate Provost appointed a committee to review the University’s policies relating to research matters.  Among other recommendations, the committee concluded that it would not be desirable to establish a University policy on research partnerships.  A policy which attempts to restrict the sources of funding for research undertaken at the University would be a form of censorship and an attack on the freedom of academic enquiry.

The committee recommended that the University affirm its commitment to fostering research partnerships within a framework defined by the University’s academic mission and its fundamental values.  The draft Statement on Research Partnerships (the “Research Partnerships Statement”) was developed in response to this recommendation.  The Statement summarizes the University’s rigorous and thorough review processes for research funding applications and research agreements to ensure their compliance with applicable policies and procedures.  It confirms that there is no policy within the University which limits research funding to certain sources.

The Statement is also responsive to the growing interest of the Tri-Councils (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) to engage institutions in the development of policies to address institutional conflicts of interest.  The Tri-Councils have expressed concern that growing commercial sponsorship of research and the encouragement of commercialization of research outcomes may give rise to concerns about possible institutional conflicts of interest in the governance and conduct of research.  A companion Statement on Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment is proceeding through governance.

The Research Partnerships Statement affirms the University’s current policies and procedures.  It does not amend existing University policies and guidelines.