New Faculty Onboarding: Getting Started in Research & Innovation at the University of Toronto

Who is this for?

The onboarding guide is meant for newly appointed faculty, as well as for the following roles that support new faculty in becoming part of the University of Toronto community.

  • Principals, Deans, Academic Directors, and Chairs
  • Professor, Faculty Member
  • Research or Financial Administrator

What do I need before I can begin?

There are no prerequisites to complete before referencing this guide.

Download a PDF version of the New Faculty Onboarding Guide.


Congratulations on your faculty appointment and welcome to the University of Toronto (U of T)! The Division of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (VPRI) created this onboarding guide to help you get oriented to research-specific resources and processes as you transition to your new role at U of T.

The VPRI has the expertise and connections to help researchers at every stage, by providing advice and resources. Working with our Faculties and affiliated hospitals, we are the administrative support hub for U of T's research and innovation activities.

IMPORTANT: This guide is meant to complement the general onboarding process managed by your unit head and home department/faculty. Please ensure you consult with your unit head and home department/faculty for a complete set of steps. As department/faculty structure can vary, please take note of the following information.

  • Multi-department faculties: Most departments within multi-department faculties at U of T have not only a Chair, but also an Associate Chair – Research, or similar. Your Chair can refer you to the relevant leader within your unit for advice and mentorship relating to research that is specifically tailored to the academic norms within your field(s)
  • Single-department faculties: Typically, a single-department faculty has an Associate Dean – Research, or similar, who is available for expert advice and mentorship

The Onboarding Guide


  1. Please review the guide and customize it to your research situation as needed. The guide is organized into these sequential phases.
    • Prior to Start Date
    • Upon Start Date (First day and first few weeks)
    • Commencing Research (In your first few months)
  2. Complete the actions in a timely manner to build upon your learning and minimize potential problems with sequential steps.
  3. Explore the Other Resources section and VPRI Acronym Glossary for additional helpful information.

Prior to Start Date

Action Contact for Assistance
Explore the VPRI website 
The VPRI is the administrative support hub for U of T's research and innovation activities. Find information about procedures, regulations, web systems & tools, and who to contact for support.
  • See the ‘Contact Us’ section at the bottom of each page for a subject-specific contact, or search the VPRI staff directory
Explore the  Centre for Research & Innovation (CRIS) website 
Find researcher-centered services, training, tools and expertise offered across the university, such as the following.
General inquiries: Centre for Research & Innovation Support (CRIS)
Transfer existing research funds 
Contact VPRI staff (see Contact for Assistance) to check that the transfer of research funds from your current institution to U of T is underway.
Canadian Funds
  • Search the VPRI staff directory by sponsor name to find the relevant contact

US & International Funds

  • Contact a Research Funding Manager, US & International Funding
Understand who can be a Principal Investigator (PI) at U of T 
Learn how U of T, for research purposes, defines who is eligible to be a PI on a research grant or contract.
  • Unit head / home department or faculty staff
Discuss office and laboratory set-up 
Plan ahead to ensure your research space meets safety requirements and will be ready to use.

Upon Start Date

First day to first few weeks

Action Contact for Assistance
Activate your UTORid 
Your UTORid (with password) is your key to numerous services at U of T, including a range of essential VPRI systems.
Information Commons Help Desk416-978-HELP (4357)
Orient yourself to U of T’s research systems and web tools 
Refer to this list of Key Information Systems Used in Research Administration as you complete further steps.
Information Commons Help Desk416-978-HELP (4357)
Access your My Research (MR) system account 
Check to make sure you can login to your MR system account.
RAISE Helpdesk416-946-5000
Orient yourself to research funding/career development resources. Connaught Fund Research Funding Manager, Internal Programs
Industry Partnerships 416-978-5557
Institutional Strategic Initiatives
All other resources See the ‘Contact Us’ section at the bottom of each page for a subject-specific contact, or search the VPRI staff directory.
Learn how to Apply for Funding
Consult your Chair, Vice-Dean Research, and/or Research Facilitator
  • for services available at the department and faculty level for specific funding programs
  • Direct supervisor/home department or faculty staff
Review U of T’s Guide to Financial Management,
  • a key resource on how to handle financial related matters, including research funding
Financial Services Department416-978-2140
Financial Services Staff Directory
Complete relevant MR system training RAISE Helpdesk416-946-5000
If your research involves human participants General Inquiries: Human Research & Ethics Unit (HREU)416-946-3273
If your research involves animals
  • please review Ethics in Animal Research & Teaching for requirements regarding animal use protocols, mandatory animal handler training, field work, controlled drug exemptions, and biohazard permits.
General Inquiries: Animal Ethics & Compliance Unit416-946-3273
If your research involves cannabis Manager, Research Oversight and Compliance416-946-0836
If your research involves controlled or dangerous goods, Export Controls Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO)
(416) 978-5557
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Environmental Health & Safety (EHS)
(416) 978-6011
Controlled Goods Manager, Research Oversight & Compliance
(416) 946-0836
Review key U of T research related policies. Office of the Governing Council416-978-6576
Review the University’s expectations regarding Research Integrity Manager, Research Oversight and Compliance416-946-0836
Attend U of T's new faculty & staff orientation The Division of People Strategy, Equity & Culture: Contact
Attend relevant Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Training and review the EHS website
Sign up for Research Alerts
  • to get e-mail notifications about your preferred research topics
  • You will need a valid UTORid
Sign up for communications from CRIS General inquiries: Centre for Research & Innovation Support (CRIS)

Commencing Research

In your first few months

Action Contact for Assistance
Learn how to Manage Funding
Ensure all relevant permits & approvals are in place (e.g. biosafety permits, ethics protocols, etc.)
Ensure that your research staff complete all required and relevant training (e.g. MR Systems, Environmental Health & Safety, etc.)
Learn how to move your research output to the market through Inventions, Commercialization & Entrepreneurship and the following helpful handbooks.

Find entrepreneurship-specific resources at University of Toronto Entrepreneurship

Review key U of T innovation related policies Office of the Governing Council416-978-6576
Orient yourself to a few of the high-powered research services available at U of T SciNet
(416) 978-2922
Toronto RDC

Tips for Success

  1. Take advantage of available online resources
  2. Incorporate time in your research planning for necessary administration (e.g. application processing, ethical review)
  3. Understand your responsibilities as a PI. You are responsible for adhering to University policies, research integrity, sponsor requirements, policies concerning humans and animals in research, ethical conduct of research, etc.

Forms & Downloads


  • Provide assistance and advice on a wide range of research & innovation matters

VPRI Contact

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