Faculty of Science Strategic Plan


Mission: Through education, research, and outreach, the Faculty of Science advances scientific knowledge and understanding to address current and future local, national, and global challenges. 

Vision: A transformative place to work and learn with its proactive, collaborative, local-to-global programming, and dynamic research, the Faculty of Science at Memorial University aims to be Atlantic Canada’s foremost destination for research, collaboration, and science education. 

This strategic plan reinforces Memorial University’s commitments to Indigenization and to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism (EDI-AR). As such, all initiatives from the Faculty of Science will be evaluated to ensure that they conform to EDI-AR best practices, and that a social justice lens is applied to all our programming. 

Transformative Education 

Through proactive programming the Faculty of Science will provide transformative and experiential education that is student-centred, distinguished from all others, and builds upon our strengths. 

  • Reviewing, and where appropriate, either replacing or revising our joint majors with interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary undergraduate programs and certificates that give students the flexibility to explore their interests and personalize their program of study. 
  • Exploring interdisciplinary programs and partnerships with other faculties such as:
    • An interdisciplinary undergraduate option in data science for each program in the Faculty of Science.
    • A pre-health care option tied to existing science programs.

    • Joint programs with the Faculty of Business. 

    • A concurrent program joint with the Faculty of Education. 

    • An undergraduate environmental science program. 

  • Increasing the number of courses where experiential learning is the main or sole mode of delivery.

    • Expanded use of and connection to Bonne Bay, Botanical Gardens, Geo Centre, Harlow, and the Labrador Institute.

  • Expanding our co-op or work integrated learning offerings. 

  • Expanding the definition of what constitutes honours research and revising the criteria to enter and complete an honours program. 

  • Exploring either a mandatory course in computer programming for all science majors, or encouraging the integration of computational activities in existing courses.

We will increase our student retention rates by better supporting student progression through their programs. 

  • Using Navigate and other resources to collect data and determine the causes of poor retention rates. 

  • Removing unnecessary prerequisites to our courses. 

  • Exploring “J-sections” (supplemental instruction and a chance to rewrite exams) to increase student success and retention.
  • Engaging with CITL to provide more student-centric approaches to learning aligned with universal design for learning guidelines.
  • Enhancing our academic advising programming to make it more effective for our students. 

  • Introducing an Associate Dean of Science (Outreach, Recruitment, and Retention). 

We will endeavour to indigenize our curriculum and increase the use of indigenous knowledge in our laboratories and lectures. 

  • Seeking opportunities to invite traditional knowledge holders to interact with our students and offering appropriate compensation. 

  • Hiring a staff member with expertise in Indigenous knowledge to help faculty decolonize and indigenize courses and curricula. 

We will seek out funding to continuously upgrade and keep our teaching laboratories modern and to help lower the cost of field and Harlow courses. 

We will grow and celebrate the scholarship of teaching and learning in the Faculty of Science. 

  • Creating new awards to celebrate outstanding teaching staff and collaborative teaching. 

Dynamic Research 

The Faculty of Science has been very successful in obtaining external research grants and has high research productivity. We will endeavour to further increase the number and value of research grants obtained in the Faculty of Science, including, but not limited to, Tri-Council funding. 

  • Making our three Grant Facilitation Officer (GFO) positions permanent. 

  • Collecting referee reviews on a voluntary basis to better equip GFOs. 

  • Creating a framework for voluntary internal grant review at the pre-submission stage. 

  • Hosting “Lunch and Learn” sessions on topics relevant to researchers. 

We will promote more interdisciplinary and international collaborations. 

  • Supporting the creation of Centres of Excellence that bring together expertise from the Faculty of Science and other faculties, campuses, and institutions. (e.g., Aquaculture/Fisheries research, Human Neuroscience, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence).

  • With increased media coverage, promoting the research being done by researchers in the interdisciplinary programs. 

We will increase outreach to find and solve problems of community interest and engage the community in that research. 

  • Seeking opportunities to invite traditional knowledge holders to interact with our faculty. 

  • Seeking opportunities to invite external partners to interact with our faculty. 

We will support researchers by removing administrative roadblocks to their research efforts. 

  • Providing faculty with easy-to-access information for grant submissions. 

  • Working with FAS/RIS/VPR to streamline processes such as grant submission, grant opening, ethics approval. 

  • Look into hiring a Faculty of Science Health and Safety Officer. 

We will seek out funding to continue to upgrade our facilities with a focus on new infrastructure for Mathematics and Ocean Sciences, and refurbishing spaces for Computer Science and Earth Sciences. 

We will promote and celebrate the research done in the Faculty of Science. 

  • Hosting an annual, Faculty-wide research conference. 

  • Hosting a 3-minute thesis event for undergraduate students. 

  • Increasing nominations of faculty members for external research awards. 

  • Increasing media coverage/promotion. 

A Transformative Place to Work and Learn 

The Faculty of Science will foster a culture of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. 

  • Seeking demographic data and, as appropriate, making them public to measure the impact of EDI-AR initiatives on our programs. 

  • Supporting research continuity for graduate and undergraduate students in the Faculty of Science through a Faculty of Science administered grant to hire research support when faculty members are on parental leave. 

  • Supporting the formation of social groups for students from self-identified communities within the Faculty of Science and facilitating opportunities for students from diverse cultures and ethnicities to interact with each other. 

  • Providing fellowships to students and PDFs from targeted backgrounds and supporting students in need through emergency bursaries. 

  • Supporting and promoting the work of departmental EDI committees and providing time to report at Faculty Council. 

  • Seeking out and promoting EDI training opportunities for students, postdocs, staff, and faculty. 

  • Looking for ways to foster a stronger sense of community within the Faculty of Science. 

We will promote and support the work we do. 

  • Establish new awards. For example:

    • DoS award for excellence in teaching and outreach by a staff member. 

    • DoS award for extraordinary service by a faculty member. 

  • Promoting the teaching, research, and outreach of our faculty, staff, and students through increased media coverage. 

We will work to provide graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with more growth opportunities. 

  • Providing more meaningful teaching experiences in our labs and classes. 

  • Supporting and promoting SGS efforts to provide training experiences for graduate students and looking for gaps in these training experiences where we can help. 

  • Promoting and supporting the Teaching Assistant Training Program for our graduate TAs

We will strive for student-centric policies and approaches. 

  • Normalizing policies and procedures within the Faculty of Science.
  • Involving students on committees where possible. 

  • Being more responsive to student inquiries and student needs. 

We will support faculty by removing administrative burden. 

  • Research supports, effective and efficient administrative structures. 

  • Providing faculty hires with an up-to-date faculty handbook. 

Connections with Community 

The Faculty of Science will forge new relationships with other Faculties within Memorial. We will also develop stronger relationships with Grenfell Campus, the Marine Institute, Labrador Campus, and Harlow Campus that are mutually advantageous for our research and education missions. 

The Faculty of Science will form a Dean’s External Advisory Board to enhance connections with the community. 

  • Provide insights, advice, and connections in support of the faculty’s research, teaching, and outreach missions.