What types of partnerships does the VPRI support?

The University of Toronto (U of T) is one of the world’s top research-intensive universities with a community of researchers dedicated to addressing pressing global issues. Part of the mandate of the Division of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (VPRI) is to help foster institutional partnerships with external organizations to advance research knowledge and to translate the results into socioeconomic benefits within Canada and around the world. Partnerships may be with community groups, foundations, the private sector, governments, non-governmental organizations, policy-makers, and others.

How can a partnership support my research?

Research partners of the University seek access to U of T’s research expertise, facilities and talent. Partnerships can augment and enrich the training and research activities at the University and their broader impacts. Through these partnerships the University is able to secure resources and tools (e.g. materials, data, access to facilities) that help expand the scope of research and discovery efforts, while also helping prepare students for future careers and employment.

What do I need before I can begin?

There are numerous supports across the University to assist researchers in finding partners and creating successful engagements. Departments and Divisions help connect researchers to partners through their business development professionals, events, and invited lectures. The Office of the Vice-President International and VPRI also have business development professionals and other roles to support the creation of research engagements. Blue Door provides a single point of entry for organizations wishing to work with U of T, by identifying academic expertise, research opportunities, and talent recruitment, all to provide a seamless partnership experience.


The VPRI supports research and innovation partnerships between U of T and external organizations from diverse sectors. VPRI staff can assist you in submitting applications, facilitating agreements, advising on University policy and funder requirements, and referring you to other resources that may be available. Depending on the nature of the partnership and the anticipated outcome(s), VPRI staff in the Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO) or the Research Services Office (RSO) can assist. IPO supports research partnership agreements with private sector organizations, and projects that are driven by private-sector objectives or directly linked to commercial activity. RSO supports partnership applications and agreements with the non-profit sector, community-based organizations, and program-based funding (i.e. funding provided as part of a competitive call or process), often under the context of the requirements of a funding program. Please reach out to IPO or RSO if you are unsure which office can assist you.

All research partnerships at the University are guided by the Statement of Research Partnerships, along with U of T policies and practices governing research administration and involvement of human participants, the Inventions Policy, the Policy on Conflict of Interest - Academic Staff, the Policy on Ethical Conduct in Research, and other university policies or guidelines that may be relevant in the circumstances. These policies may be revised from time to time as all research must comply with relevant national and provincial guidelines and regulations which may change.

Benefits of Research Partnerships

Partnerships help researchers, post-doctoral fellows, and students gain access to cutting-edge technologies, data, materials, and other tools to augment their research efforts and impacts. Partnerships can also support the costs associated with research and provide students with experiential learning opportunities that help prepare them for future careers.

Individual faculty members are often the driving force behind any research engagement and may be supported by business development professionals and other individuals supporting the management and coordination needs of the research program. Researchers can expand their collaborative networks beyond the academic sector and seek out Canadian and international firms that can help advance their discoveries to have local and global impacts.

More tangibly, researchers directly benefit from industry partnerships through a combination of cash and in-kind contributions to a project.

  • ‘Cash contributions’ support the direct and indirect costs of conducting the research and can often be further augmented through various federal or provincial funding programs. Direct costs are those that are easily attributable to an individual research project, including student and post-doc salaries, equipment and materials, travel and publication expenses. Indirect costs are the ongoing operating expenses and services that support research but cannot be directly attributable or traceable to a particular project.
  • ‘In-kind contributions’ can include access to partner resources such as equipment, facilities, technologies, materials and data. A partner may also contribute the time and expertise of their researchers, technical experts, and management support.

Forms & Downloads


  • Support the development and maintenance of research & innovation partnerships between U of T and external organizations

VPRI Contact



Kristy Reynald

Business Development Officer, Industry Partnerships
Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO)
(416) 978-3471


Colin Swift

Business Development Officer, Industry Partnerships
Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO)
(416) 978-6653