Strategic Research Themes
The Strategic Research Themes identify both new areas of significant research opportunity for which Memorial is strategically positioned to achieve research excellence and existing areas of research strength which hold considerable potential for expansion of expertise, resources and contributions from our researchers in areas that offer potential to grow.
The themes identify Memorial's research priorities to other funders and partners, in areas where we have strengths to build on, where we see opportunity for growth. They also include research areas where there is a need for fundamental and applied research in our province. The titles of the themes reflect issues and opportunities for research growth across multiple units at Memorial. The descriptions of each theme capture our current strengths, how these cut across the university, and where we see potential for growth. While the planning process identified 10 Strategic Research Themes, it is recognized that there will be opportunities for researchers to address issues and opportunities outside of these thematic areas.
The Strategic Research Themes, in alphabetical order, include:
Strengths and Opportunities Across Strategic Research Themes
Memorial University has research strengths in all of the Strategic Research Themes that span the research spectrum -- from fundamental to applied research, including creative activity and scholarship. The Strategic Research Themes also span geographies and in each theme, Memorial has research strengths in addressing provincial, national and international contexts. In further developing the Strategic Research Themes, Memorial will continue to support the broad array of research activities and localities.
Much of the research associated with the Strategic Research Themes is not limited to any one theme; the inter-connectedness among the Strategic Research Themes is as important as the classification of work under each. Implementation of the Research Strategy will foster cross-theme collaborations as a key part of building strength in these areas.
Partnerships Across Strategic Research Themes
External engagement (i.e. sharing research findings and partnering on research activity with communities, governments, organizations, and the private sector) and inter-disciplinary collaboration are vitally important to realizing the significant opportunities presented through the Themes. Memorial researchers working in the themes are internationally recognized for their achievements in engagement and sharing with Newfoundland and Labrador communities, nationally and internationally. However, participants of Research Plan consultations on the themes repeatedly stressed that there is need for more dedication to building and maintaining connectivity with communities and other partners outside the university. The importance of developing Memorial's institutional recognition of external engagement activities and achievements (including the investments required to build relationships and share findings in innovative and effective ways) was emphasized.
Consultations on the themes also revealed that increased collaboration across disciplines offers significant potential for researchers to benefit from one another's work. Implementation of the Research Strategy will include support for communication and coordination of research activities and the sharing of research across the Research Themes and academic disciplines at Memorial. Additionally, greater interaction across Memorial's campuses will be encouraged and supported.