Organizational Structure

Organization of the Division of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (VPRI)

The Division of the VPRI is organized into the following units which provide a range of services to U of T’s research community.

  • Research Services Office (RSO)
  • Innovations, Partnerships & Entrepreneurship Office (IPO)
  • Research Oversight & Compliance Office (ROCO)
  • Portfolio Operations & Budget under the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO)
  • Institutional Strategic Initiatives (ISI)
  • Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation (OVPRI)

Research Services Office (RSO)

The mandate of RSO is to facilitate faculty success in a broad range of domestic and international research funding programs. Working closely with faculty members, divisional academic administrators and research facilitators, RSO seeks to enhance the university’s participation across hundreds of research funding programs and to maximize the share of funding awarded to our faculty members. Their role is to:

  • Identify and disseminate information on opportunities and proposal development techniques
  • Provide education, outreach and proposal development services including information sharing, communication of funding opportunities, information sessions, internal peer review, sponsor advocacy and relationship management, and institutional review and endorsement
  • Lead pre- and post-award administration-funded initiatives from application through to project closure, including:
    • Timely administrative review, institutional endorsement and submission
    • Fund establishment; expert post-award administration; sponsor liaison and advocacy (e.g. provincial, federal, international, foundations)
  • Coordinate the University’s participation in major institutional strategic research competitions (e.g. Canada Foundation for Innovation, Ontario Research Fund)
  • Manage major, allocation-based programs (e.g. Canada Research Chairs) and proactively plan and implement institutional responses to special requirements (e.g. equity and diversity targets)
  • Manage the Connaught Fund programs

Innovations, Partnerships & Entrepreneurship Office (IPO)

IPO helps build successful partnerships between industry, business, government, and the U of T research community, and manages U of T’s portfolio of intellectual property. The unit is comprised of three sub-units: Innovations and Partnerships; U of T Entrepreneurship (UTE) and U of T Early Stage Technology (UTEST). Their role is to:

  • Support sponsored research, collaboration agreements, and other industry partnership agreements
  • Connect industry with U of T researchers
  • Negotiate, draft and execute all research partnership agreements at U of T
  • Manage the inventions disclosure process
  • Facilitate commercialization and entrepreneurship
  • Provide resources to founders and startups including: connecting and supporting entrepreneurs via campus-led accelerators (CLAs) through U of T Entrepreneurship (UTE); managing the ONRamp event and entrepreneurship facility and hosting events, workshops and speaker-series
  • Co-manage the University of Toronto Early Stage Technology (UTEST) program to support emerging deep tech entrepreneurs

Research Oversight & Compliance Office (ROCO)

ROCO ensures that the university fulfills its ethical, legal and financial reporting obligations associated with research, as defined by sponsors and the laws of Ontario and Canada. This includes human and animal research ethics, environmental health and safety, and financial reporting and auditing. ROCO manages research risks for the university so that researchers and learners can conduct research in a safe and appropriate environment. A major component of risk management is the creation and implementation of appropriate training and stringent policies and procedures that address a wide spectrum of risks. Their role is to:

  • Provide appropriate and timely review of research financial reports and coordinate external audits
  • Initiate and execute external audits on the research projects whose terms and conditions dictate that an audit is required
  • Provide ethical approval and oversee research involving humans and animals, including monitoring of approved ongoing studies
  • Provide training and approval for, and monitor the use and safety of biohazards, radioisotopes, lasers and X-rays, chemical safety, and lab safety
  • Provide internal assessments, inspections, and expert consultation for new laboratory spaces (design/commissioning) and decommissioning of retired spaces
  • Provide the institutional delegate for National Institutes of Health (NIH) financial conflict of interest declarations
  • Provide the Associate Vice-President who oversees the processes for the Framework to Address Allegations of Research Misconduct
  • Provide educational efforts and discussions across the campuses to increase awareness of research integrity and responsible research conduct

Portfolio Operations & Budget

Portfolio Operations & Budget under the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) provides leadership, strategic direction, and sound management to operations and business administration within the portfolio. It also acts as a strategic change agent for the VPRI, keeping the Division at the leading edge of performance. The unit is comprised of three sub-units: Budget & Operations (human resources, finance, budget, administration, information technology, and facility operations); Systems & Web Tools; and Education & Outreach. Their role is to:

  • Develop and advise on policies, procedures and processes relevant to financial, human resources, and administrative functions within VPRI
  • Prepare operating budgets and provide divisional financial planning and forecasting, budget analysis, reporting, monitoring, and internal audit implementation to ensure accountable, compliant, and fiscally responsible funds management
  • Lead the development of the VPRI’s annual budget process and manage the portfolio’s finances, human resource planning, health and safety, space, facility operations, and information technology
  • Identify needs and implement consistent business processes, systems and tools to increase operational efficiency within both the portfolio and the greater U of T research community
  • Develop tools to assist the U of T research community in their research administration activities
  • Oversee the deployment of outreach and training initiatives focused on the research community

Institutional Strategic Initiatives (ISI)

The ISI portfolio serves as a hub for launching, growing and sustaining large-scale interdisciplinary strategic research networks. Their role is to:

  • Develop opportunities: identification, assessment, prioritization and support of potential ISIs, and co-ordination with decanal offices for development.
  • Provide ongoing support of funded ISIs including governance, strategic planning, branding and communications strategy, sustainability planning, performance and budget reporting, staffing and professional development and equity, diversity and inclusion
  • Facilitate discussions and planning with faculty, administrative leads, and academic divisions to support strategic plans, budget priorities, and advancement priorities as they relate to ISIs.
  • Facilitate discussion and planning with central portfolios on strategic opportunity approaches, development, and support.

Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (OVPRI)

OVPRI works with other units to advance the university’s research and innovation mandate. OVPRI does this through strategic planning, consultation, advocacy, and membership on numerous internal and external committees and boards. OVPRI supports, advances, and promotes institutional research and innovation priorities. Their role is to:

  • Develop and implement the Institutional Strategic Research Plan
  • Monitor the changing landscape of research and innovation funding and opportunities and advocate on behalf of the institution
  • Manage U of T’s research awards and honours strategy and work with the divisions to put forward institutional nominations
  • Manage cross-portfolio and cross-divisional initiatives
  • Organize engagements, announcements, events, visits, and meetings with government and partner organizations
  • Analyze and measure metrics of research and innovation
  • Work with academic divisions to measure and support Principal Investigator (PI)-led research
  • Oversee U of T’s rankings submission process and strategies to improve in key rankings
  • Supporting the community with research security processes and forms
  • Provide guidance on EDI initiatives related to research and innovation and support the implementation of EDI best practices
  • Create the VPRI Annual Report

Organizational Structure Chart

For a visual representation of the division, take a look at our organizational chart.

VPRI Contact

Find the appropriate VPRI staff member to assist you by checking our staff directory.