Institutional Strategic Initiatives

What are strategic initiatives?

Strategic initiatives at the University of Toronto (U of T) are cross-divisional research networks pursuing grand challenges and bold ideas that require true collaboration and the integration of various disciplinary research and training approaches. The Institutional Strategic Initiatives (ISI) portfolio seeds, launches and supports these networks in order to attract external funding and increase U of T’s national and international profile.

Who is this for?

This information is intended for anyone involved in research and innovation activities across the University of Toronto.

What does the Institutional Strategic Initiatives portfolio do?

The mandate of the Institutional Strategic Initiatives (ISI) portfolio is to seed, launch and sustain large-scale interdisciplinary strategic research networks with scholars from multiple units and divisions; meaningful tri-campus representation; the potential for high impact scholarship and training; and the potential to secure external funding. The portfolio coordinates university-wide and divisional resources to support two main activities.

  1. Seeding and building potential initiatives
  2. Supporting large-scale research initiatives

What do I need before I can begin?

You do not need to complete any prerequisites to use the information on this page.


Seed and build potential initiatives by supporting the activities listed below.

  • Identifying grand challenges, institutional research strengths, and potential path to sustainability
  • Confirming alignment with divisional strategic priorities
  • Developing funding proposals

Support new and existing initiatives in the areas listed below.

  • Mentorship of staff and academic leads
  • Branding and communications
  • Robust governance models
  • Trainee networks
  • Human resources
  • Sustainability planning
  • Funding

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