Research initiatives in the Okanagan grow by 40 per cent

Just think—one discovery, or a single inventive idea could change the world.

“Imagine the transformative impact of thousands of discoveries, innovations and deeper understanding. That’s our vision at UBC’s Okanagan campus,” says Miriam Grant, vice-provost research and dean of the college of graduate studies.

Since 2006, faculty and student research at the Okanagan campus has grown by a whopping 40 per cent—from $8.3-million and 351 grants, to $11.6-million and nearly 500 grants in 2011-12. Research initiatives address such key emerging issues as:

  • Water, climate and biodiversity
  • Cultural and ethnic diversity
  • Homelessness and affordable housing
  • Urban sprawl and urban development
  • Indigenous rights and traditional knowledge
  • Value-added agriculture and organic farming.

Though all strive to add to their grant totals, the pace of research has accelerated dramatically among certain faculties. For instance the Faculty of Applied Science, mainly through the School of Engineering, quintupled its research dollars to $5-million last year and quadrupled its grant total to 137. The Faculty of Health and Social Development, comprising the Schools of Nursing, Health and Exercise Sciences and Social Work, has doubled its research tally to $2.1-million. The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies has tripled its research total and doubled its number of grants.

“Creating new knowledge and sharing it widely are key pursuits in all UBC research,” says Grant. “Every day, our students and their professors are expanding our understanding of the world and our place in it.”

UBC’s Okanagan campus research funding has grown by 40 per cent in five years.

2006/07  $8,326,100 351
2008/09  $9,837,120 348
2009/10  $8,497,327 369
2010/11  $9,798,775 403
2011/12  $11,685,047 490
Total  $48,144,369 1,661

Photo from UBC's Okanagan Campus by Martin Dee

Sweeping vistas of the Okanagan Valley greet students studying on the bridges connecting classroom and office towers of the Engineering, Education and Management building at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Article originally published in UBC Reports. Words by Paul Marck.

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