York University Academic Plan 2020-2025

Knowledge for the Future

Spinning Wheel

From Creation to Application

As change accelerates around us, we aim to be more responsive to our communities by generating critical knowledge and works of art, ideas and innovations that engage multiple perspectives while propelling Ontario as a global knowledge-economy leader.

We have laid out an ambitious agenda for the continued growth and application of our research, scholarship, and creative activity in our Strategic Research Plan (SRP) 2018-2023: Towards New Heights. We remain committed to this agenda, including in particular: 

  • increasing the research participation of faculty and trainees at all levels across the institution
  • accelerating growth in the number and diversity of our scholarly and artistic outputs and research funding base
  • expanding the influence of our work through broadening and deepening our external partnerships and engagement in the generation and sharing of knowledge and creative works, and by fully implementing our Open Access Policy (2019) with leadership from our York University Libraries 
  • maximizing our impact by building on the success of Innovation York to expand student, faculty, and community access to entrepreneurial programming and to increase our innovation activities

York has a clear opportunity to achieve new levels of research success in ways that bring a distinctively York perspective to addressing compelling challenges of our time.

Based on a thorough scan of activity across the University, the SRP mapped our established research and creative strengths across six intersecting themes, in which we are demonstrating national and international leadership:

  • Advancing Fundamental Inquiry and Critical Knowledge
  • Analyzing Cultures and Mobilizing Creativity
  • Building Healthy Lives, Communities, and Environments
  • Exploring and Interrogating the Frontiers of Science and Technology
  • Forging a Just and Sustainable World
  • Integrating Entrepreneurial Innovation and the Public Good 

We will continue to grow and excel in these areas, with the help of investments that are already underway in enhanced infrastructure and in supports for our faculty. These include consistent high quality supports for individual investigators across the institution, as well as more focused investments in large-scale, collaborative research programs that cross disciplines and often borders with an array of partners. York University enters this UAP with an expanded cohort of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows from Canada and around the world, who will both participate in and accelerate this agenda. 

Students in a simulator.

The continued growth of our research and creative activities also demands that we support scholarly communities in keeping with the theme of coming together. York’s excellence in inter- and transdisciplinary research is renowned and positions us for leadership in addressing the most complex and pressing issues of our times, such as those highlighted by the UN’s SDGs. During this five year period, we will further cultivate thinking across disciplines through our Organized Research Units and beyond, and find ways to infuse it deeply in student learning as well as in our research and creative activities and output.

The SRP 2018-2023 identified five areas where York has a clear opportunity to achieve new levels of research success in ways that bring a distinctively York perspective to addressing compelling challenges of our time: 

Indigenous Futurities, Public Engagement for a Just and Sustainable World, Healthy Individuals, Healthy Communities  and Global  Health, Integration of Artificial Intelligence into Society, Digital Cultures

Exciting initiatives are already underway in each of these streams. Examples include a new Centre for Indigenous Knowledges and Languages and our AI Taskforce, which is examining how York can become a distinctive leader in research and teaching that engages critically and humanistically with the development of technologies including artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

Over the life of this UAP, we will continue to invest in these efforts in particular by implementing our Faculty Complement Renewal Strategy, which calls for continued growth, renewal, and diversification of our tenure-stream faculty complement, including the use of cluster hiring to advance strategic priorities. This will also require focused efforts to meet current and future research infrastructure needs, to provide mentorship for an incoming generation of scholars, and to ensure that our faculty’s research and creative outputs are disseminated ever more widely and recognized both internally and externally.

Next Priority

From Access to Success

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