Sylvain Charbonneau

Driving research into the future

As the University of Ottawa charts its vision for the next decade with Transformation 2030, we’re taking research in a new direction, building on our strengths to better understand and improve the world around us. The result is four interconnected Strategic Areas of Research that tackle some of humanity’s most pressing challenges, while pursuing our ideals of excellence, relevance and impact in all that we do.

Sylvain Charbonneau
Vice-President, Research

Strategic Areas of Research

After an extensive consultation with its research community, the University of Ottawa has defined its new Strategic Areas of Research along the following themes:

Creating a sustainable environment

  • Canadian environment
  • Emerging materials and nanotechnology
  • Sustainable development, regulation and education
  • Sustainable natural systems, infrastructure, technology and energy
  • Synthetic biology

Shaping the digital world

  • Quantum and photonics technology
  • Law, ethics, security and policy
  • Digital health, digital humanities and digital entrepreneurship
  • Learning in a digital age
  • Digital technology development and applied artificial intelligence

Advancing just societies

  • Democratic governance, public policy and law
  • Human rights, migration, equality and social justice
  • Arts, culture and values
  • La Francophonie and bilingualism
  • Responsible management

Cross-cutting themes

  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Knowledge mobilization, translation and transfer
  • International collaboration
  • La Francophonie and bilingualism
  • Indigenous knowledge

Enabling lifelong health and wellness

  • Reimagined health care systems, practice-changing research and education
  • Genetics and systems biology of health and disease
  • Brain and mental health
  • Vascular and cardiovascular health
  • Regenerative medicine and innovative therapies
  • Infection, immunity and inflammation
Overview of Strategic Areas of Research

Advancing Just Societies

Located in Canada’s national capital, uOttawa is at the forefront of research in public policy, governance and the federal justice system. Its high-quality research informs and promotes evidence-based decision-making that supports equality and social justice. We especially value our capacity for research with and on behalf of marginalized populations such as immigrants, refugees, Indigenous peoples and Francophone minorities in our local community, in our province, in Canada and beyond.

Enabling Lifelong Health and Wellness

In industrialized societies, people who are living longer are exposed to environmental factors that influence their health. New and complex health issues are on the rise — chronic diseases, brain and mental health problems and cardiovascular diseases are examples. With its 10 faculties and six affiliated hospital research institutes, uOttawa is a key source of groundbreaking research that supports mental, emotional, physical, social and community wellness for people of all ages.

Shaping the Digital World

Digital technology is transforming almost every aspect of daily life, enabling innovations in fields such as health, business, education, the Internet, law and the visual arts. uOttawa is home to internationally recognized leaders in digital technologies, photonics, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. These top researchers are helping to shape the digital world by improving technology’s speed and efficiency, improving the quality of life and creating new economic opportunities. Not only are our researchers helping to shape this digital world, they’re also addressing the social, cultural and legal impacts of technological change, as well as associated ethical, legal and regulatory challenges.

Creating a Sustainable Environment

uOttawa researchers are increasing our capacity for environmental sustainability. They’re designing materials, infrastructure, technologies and laws using interdisciplinary approaches which involve research in engineering and sciences as well as business, law, the humanities and social sciences. What’s more, uOttawa’s research strengths in Earth sciences, catalysis, materials and photonics are key to solving environmental issues specific to Northern climates and climate change.

Cross-Cutting Themes

Important themes that cross all areas of research are:

  • Interdisciplinarity: promoting research across disciplines and supporting partnerships
  • Knowledge Mobilization (KMb), Translation and Transfer: engaging local, national and global communities and partners, and promoting research uptake into policies, products and practices
  • International Collaboration: forging partnerships across geographic boundaries, building our expertise, creating synergies and increasing impact, and making connections between the University and communities
  • La Francophonie and Bilingualism: promoting bilingualism and Francophone culture; reaching out to Francophone communities across Canada and around the world
  • Indigenous Knowledge: applying Indigenous methodologies and perspectives; reflecting respectful engagement, interconnections, and reciprocity; and providing support for learning

Directions and objectives

To achieve the goals of its Strategic Areas of Research, the University of Ottawa will:

  1. Demonstrate national and global leadership in Strategic Areas of Research
  2. Strengthen international connections and collaboration
  3. Expand research opportunities through increased competitiveness and diverse sources of funding
  4. Engage local, national and international communities and partners in areas of mutual interest and increase the impact of our research by promoting its uptake into policies, practices, services and products
  5. Foster and celebrate excellence, equity, diversity and inclusiveness within our research community and in our research approaches
  6. Support state-of-the-art infrastructure and administrative structures to attract and retain world-class researchers and to support them in their research
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