Strategic Areas of Development in Research


In its strategic plan the University pledges to increase research activities, with an aim to place the University among the top five Canadian universities in research intensity. By achieving this, not only will the reputation and status of the University be upheld, but we will proudly fulfill the mandate to further knowledge and contribute to the common good.

The University of Ottawa will invest further in our strategic areas of development, while nurturing the University’s emerging areas of excellence -- key areas that are critically and strategically important provincially, nationally and globally.

These areas are important to attract significant funding in the form of grants, contracts, donations and partnerships; to devote considerable resources to the training of students; and to disseminate knowledge widely within the academic community, to policy-makers as appropriate, and to the broader public.

Canada and the World

Given its bilingualism, its bijural tradition and its location in the nation’s capital, “Canada’s University” naturally places a high research priority on issues and themes pertaining to Canada, Canada’s role in the world, and its response to global challenges. Issues related to francophone communities in Canada, especially in Ontario, are an important priority for the University. Included in this area is a broad array of pressing cultural, social and ethical issues, alongside those pertaining to politics and policy.


Health has long been an area of strength in research and education at the University of Ottawa. Traditionally focused in medicine and health sciences, the study of health is rapidly becoming a multidisciplinary pursuit, engaging business and legal expertise, the humanities and social sciences, as well as the natural sciences and engineering.


Over the past 15 years, the University of Ottawa has developed significant strength in information and communication technology. These technologies enable innovation in many fields, such as health, scientific discovery, business, education, Internet law and the visual arts.

Molecular and Environmental Sciences

The convergence of technologies at the unit level (bits, atoms and genes) has the potential to generate important innovations not only in the treatment of diseases but also to impact the environment through the development of new green processes that will support both economic prosperity and environmental sustainability, among other. Measuring trace substances and understanding the mechanisms by which contaminants alter the environment and human health is also an important aspect of this cluster. At the same time, the ethical, legal and regulatory challenges posed by the power of new technologies need to be addressed in a multidisciplinary approach, involving research in engineering and sciences as well as business, law, humanities and social sciences.

July 2014

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Last updated: 2014.07.30