Research development

Algonquin College Launches Research Development Institute

$1.5 million over five years from NSERC’s Mobilize program

Today, Algonquin College is pleased to announce that it has received $1.5 million in funding to establish an Institute for Research and Development (IRD), thanks to funding received from The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

The RDI will have a double objective:

(1) Support highly strategic applied research projects in collaboration with industry and community partners (approximately five projects per year).

(2) Increase applied research capacity within the College.

“RDI will support special collaborative applied research projects that have

importance to the College and the community,” said Claude Brulé, President and CEO of Algonquin College. “Projects will fall within the College’s areas of research excellence and address issues of national importance, in collaboration with local and community partners. Topics include supply chain innovation, e-learning tools, domestic violence, wastewater for rural development, and carbon footprint reduction in biogas production.

“The funding will support the introduction of a new type of faculty course called Research Engagement Facilitator (REF),” said Kristine Dawson, Associate Vice President, Experiential Learning and Innovation. The REFs will serve as catalysts to increase Algonquin’s applied research capacity. They will mentor other faculty looking to take up applied research activities and participate in tasks such as grant writing, business development, outreach, and networking.

RDI’s key strategy is to recruit PIs and REFs from the College’s full-time teaching staff. This is a departure from historical practice whereby part-time professors were contracted to direct applied research projects. The new emphasis on full-time faculty, supported by College leadership, will ensure that research expertise remains within the College.

This will strengthen Algonquin’s research culture and promote the organic growth of research across the campus. The goal is to embed applied research into the Algonquin cultural fabric and ensure that it becomes self-sustaining, sustainable, and resilient to unforeseen changes in research funding and in society at large.