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Organized Research Units

York is home to 25 organized research units (ORUs), which have a strong history of collaborative, innovative and interdisciplinary research. These ORUs provide a home for research development beyond the traditional academic units. Steeped in York’s tradition of collegial interdisciplinarity, ORUs serve as synergistic hubs for participatory research programs that bring together expertise from across disciplines.

Why Join an ORU?

  • Get connected to a community of interest at York and beyond
  • Stay updated about events and initiatives around your research area 
  • Become involved in an ORU’s projects, initiatives and committees
  • Access ORU supports such as: grant development and administration, event hosting and knowledge mobilization to share your work, and project coordination

To learn more or to join an ORU, visit their website and connect with the Coordinator or Director.


Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Society

The Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Society (CAIS) unites researchers who are collectively advancing state-of-the-art theory and practice of artificial intelligence (AI) systems, law, governance and public policy.  The research focuses on AI systems that address societal priorities in health care, smart cities and sustainability, and are fair, explainable, reliable and trusted.

A bee extracting pollen from a flower.
Centre for Bee Ecology, Evolution and Conservation

The mission of the Centre for Bee Ecology, Evolution and Conservation (BEEc) is to foster interdisciplinary, innovative, collaborative, and cutting-edge research to be used for the advancement of knowledge and implementation of policy changes to help sustain pollinators globally.

A group of people going over papers.
Centre for Feminist Research

The Centre for Feminist Research / Le centre de recherches féministes promotes feminist activities and collaborative research at York University and works to establish research linkages between York scholars and local, national, international and transnational communities. Feminist research is conceived of in broad terms, as being concerned with issues of women, gender, class, race, sexuality, ability and feminism.

Métis (Otipemisiwak) artist Christi Belcourt
Métis (Otipemisiwak) artist Christi Belcourt
Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages

The Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages supports research involving both traditional and contemporary knowledges, as care-taken, shared, and created by Indigenous scholars located in the University and Indigenous knowledge holders from communities. It aims to facilitate research and knowledge production and dissemination, by Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, that re-centres Indigenous knowledges, languages, practices, and ways of being. It thus affirms Indigenous knowledges as vital sources of insights for our world and for future generations.

The Lassonde School of Engineering building.
Centre for Innovation in Computing @ Lassonde

The mandate of the Centre for Innovation in Computing @ Lassonde [School of Engineering] is to establish itself as a nationally leading and internationally recognized research unit focusing on the science of computing and its realization to enable novel solutions and technologies.

Centre for Integrative and Applied Neuroscience

Neuroscience – the study of nervous system function — aims to explain the biological basis of human behavior in health and disease. One in three Canadians will experience a brain-related health disorder.  The Centre for Integrative and Applied Neuroscience (CIAN) mobilizes research to address health, education, industry, and other applications important for the global community.

An image of a refugee camp with men, children, and women in the distance.
Centre for Refugee Studies

The Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) is an interdisciplinary community of researchers dedicated to advancing the well-being of refugees and others displaced by violence, persecution, human rights abuses, and environmental degradation through innovative research, education, and policy engagement.

Abstract Black Hole
Centre for Research in Earth and Space Science

The Centre for Research in Earth and Space Science (CRESS) facilitates research activity within the areas of planetary exploration, climate and environment, and space technology.

An artistic rendering of a biomolecule.
Centre for Research on Biomolecular Interactions

The Centre for Research on Biomolecular Interactions (CRBI) brings together researchers to further the understanding of the mechanistic details of how biomolecules interact with one another, the relationship between biomolecular interactions and cellular processes, and how biomolecular interactions can be used to diagnose and treat diseases.

Two people laughing and smiling while holding books.
Centre for Research on Language and Culture Contact

The Centre for Research on Language and Culture Contact is the bilingual research unit of Glendon College. It brings together the research activities of the faculty members and students of York University who investigate various aspects of language contact at both societal and individual levels.

Flower textile.
Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean

The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean is a York University-based hub for inter- and multidisciplinary research on Latin America and the Caribbean, their diasporas, and their relations with Canada and the rest of the world.

A small globe of the Earth with a stethoscope around it.
Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research

The Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research (DIGHR) furthers research, teaching, policy and practice around the three main themes of 1. Planetary health, 2. Global health and humanitarianism, and 3. Global health foresighting.

A silhouette of people raising their arms in the air.
Global Labour Research Centre

The Global Labour Research Centre (GLRC) engages in the study of work, employment and labour in the context of a constantly changing global economy.

A group of people having a discussion surrounded by various digital devices.
Institute for Research on Digital Literacies

The Institute for Research on Digital Literacies (IRDL) explores the diverse and evolving uses and implications of media and technology in formal and informal learning environments, and in digital culture more generally.

A crowd of people crossing a crosswalk, overhead shot.
Institute for Social Research

The Institute for Social Research undertakes research that engages interdisciplinary social issues through research methodologies that involve survey, quantitative and mixed methods research.

Institute for Technoscience and Society

The Institute for Technoscience and Society (ITS) is a global hub of critical and interdisciplinary research and knowledge mobilization on the relationship between technoscience and society, especially the configuration of social power underpinning scientific claims, medical practices, emerging technologies, and sites of innovation.

Hebrew text with the Star of David overlaid on top.
Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies

The Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre is Canada’s first interdisciplinary research centre in Jewish Studies, bringing together a vibrant community of scholars and teachers to promote cutting-edge research in the field.

People raising their arms over barbed wire with birds flying overhead.
Jack and Mae Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security

The Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security focuses on the development and facilitation of a cross-disciplinary programme of research and project initiatives that enhance knowledge of issues related to a variety of transnational phenomena that are rapidly changing society, law and governance.

A group of young students at school.
LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research

The LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research is a collaborative group of faculty and students that supports community-engaged interdisciplinary research in health, education, relationships and development of infants, children, adolescents, emerging adults and families everywhere.

Three middle-aged adults running.
Muscle Health Research Centre

The Muscle Health Research Centre (MHRC) provides a centralized and focused research emphasis on the importance of skeletal muscle to the overall health and well-being of Canadians.

One WATER

One WATER will greatly enhance our capacity to address the diverse aspects of the ongoing water sustainability crises, attract and train future leaders in the field, educate the public, innovate with industrial partners, and attract external competitive funding and endowments. One WATER will engage in interdisciplinary world-class research on sourcing, Artificial Intelligence, Technologies, Education & Sustainability, Resource Recovery & Reuse as well as their environmental, educational, and societal implications.

A woman giving a presentation to four people at computers.
Risk and Insurance Studies Centre

The Risk and Insurance Studies Centre (RISC) is a national and international research hub that pursues a holistic approach to the field of insurance and related topics.

Geographic outline of Canada filled with the Canadian flag.
Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies

The Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies is a 21st-century research engine for the study of Canada and "Canada in the World".

Three people standing in a sensorium.
Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology

Sensorium is a research centre for creative inquiry and experimentation at the intersection of the media arts, performance, and digital culture.

Skyline of the CN tower in Toronto.
The City Institute at York University

As an interdisciplinary institute, The City Institute at York University facilitates critical and collaborative research, providing new knowledge and innovative approaches to comprehending and addressing the complexity of the urban arena.

A woman dancing in front of drummers.
The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and Its Diasporas

The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and Its Diasporas is the preeminent, interdisciplinary centre for research, both historical and contemporary, on Africa and its global diasporas.

Black textile.
York Centre for Asian Research

The York Centre for Asian Research is a community of researchers who are committed to analyzing the changing historical and contemporary dynamics of societies in Asia, understanding Asia’s place in the world, and studying the experiences of Asian communities in Canada and around the globe.

A depiction of a digital scan of an eye.
York Centre for Vision Research

The Centre for Vision Research at York University pursues world-class, interdisciplinary research and training in visual science and its applications.

An elderly couple laughing with a young girl and boy.
York University Centre for Aging Research and Education

The vision of the York University Centre for Aging Research and Education (YU-CARE) is to promote graceful aging by approaching the subject with active and positive responses to changes and challenges throughout the process on a societal and individual level.

York Emergency Mitigation, Engagement, Response, and Governance Institute

The York Emergency Mitigation, Engagement, Response, and Governance Institute (Y-EMERGE) works to transform the way societies understand, conceptualize, analyze, manage, and govern crises, disasters, and emergencies. Y-EMERGE emphasizes community-engaged scholarship, real-world and need-driven research, and evidence-based training for effective emergency management.

Interested in starting an ORU? Please contact Tiffany Pollock (tpoll@yorku.ca) for the application package, instructions, and NOI template: NOI due September 6, 2022