Institutional Strategic Research Plan

Who is this for?

Any University of Toronto (U of T) stakeholder who is interested in the following.

  • Reports and publications produced by the Division of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (VPRI)
  • U of T’s strategic research priorities for 2018-2023, particularly its seven broad thematic areas and five strategic objectives that support university scholarship
  • Understanding a professor/faculty member can situate their work within a flexible framework that supports both disciplinary and interdisciplinary research

What do I need before I can begin?

There is no information required to view the Institutional Strategic Research Plan (ISRP). Please reach out a VPRI contact listed below if you have questions regarding the report.

Seeking Input to the University’s Institutional Strategic Research Plan, 2024-2029

From: Leah Cowen, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives
Date: May 16, 2023
Re: Institutional Strategic Research Plan, 2024-2029

The University of Toronto’s Institutional Strategic Research Plan (ISRP) is the primary document through which U of T articulates its core commitments to research excellence and provides direction for supporting scholarship by outlining our strategic vision and objectives. The University’s current ISRP has been in place since 2018 and ends in 2023. I invite members of the U of T community to contribute to the development of the next ISRP by sharing their feedback through this short survey. Your input will help identify and structure the strategic priorities that will enable us to support research and innovation excellence at U of T.

The ISRP complements and does not limit divisional and faculty research priorities, as well as the President’s Three Priorities. Several external funding programs also require an ISRP in order for us to propose projects for funding (for example, the Canada Research Chairs program and the Canada Foundation for Innovation).

The ISRP engagement process provides for consultation and discussion regarding the identification of priorities and actions that will enable us to increase our research excellence and capacity; strengthen linkages between research, education and training; encourage and build strategic relationships; and identify opportunities to increase the impact of our research and innovations locally, regionally, and globally.

This survey is part of a broader ongoing consultation process between April and June 2023 that includes consultation sessions with divisional leadership tables, key groups at U of T and TAHSN, and friends of the University. The VPRI’s Executive Team will provide guidance, input, and feedback throughout the ISRP’s development. We expect to provide the community with a draft of the plan for discussion this fall.


Executive Summary of the University of Toronto Strategic Research Plan 2018-23

The full Institutional Strategic Research Plan is available as a PDF.

For nearly two centuries, University of Toronto faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff have been extending the boundaries of knowledge and providing answers to some of the world’s most important questions.

The U of T Strategic Research Plan is a flexible framework that will engage the research community and our partners in the challenges that face humanity. The Plan highlights the environment and approach that will allow our researchers to continue to do their outstanding work by providing a climate that will enable them to thrive.

The Plan highlights the scope of scholarship at U of T and identifies seven interconnected thematic areas that are designed to facilitate excellence and collaboration both within U of T and with partner organizations, and to address issues of local, national, and global importance:

  • DISCOVER: Our Understanding of Humanity and the Universe
  • SUSTAIN: Societies, the Environment, and Natural Resources
  • PROMOTE: Healthy People, Healthy Communities, and a Healthy World
  • ENGAGE: Language, Culture, Art, and Values
  • ADVANCE: Governance, Diversity, and Social Justice
  • INNOVATE: Technologies for the Future
  • BUILD: Community and Livable Societies

The Plan identifies five strategic objectives:

  1. Demonstrate National and Global Leadership in Research and Innovation
  2. Foster Collaborations, Partnerships, and Engagement
  3. Advance Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion across Research and Innovation
  4. Support Integration of Research and Innovation in Student Curricular and Co-Curricular Experience
  5. Strengthen the Institutional Supports that Foster Research and Innovation Excellence

Forms & Downloads


  • Respond to general questions about U of T’s strategic research priorities
  • Respond to specific questions from faculty members about how they fit into the plan for purposes of applying to certain grant programs (e.g., the Canada Research Chairs program and Canada Foundation for Innovation require applicants to describe how their research fits into the ISRP)

VPRI Contact


Daniel Harney

Manager, Projects and Engagement
Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (OVPRI)
(416) 978-4612


Stephannie Roy

Director, Strategic Engagement and Office of the Vice-President
Office of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (OVPRI)
(416) 946-8524