Rye research funding, publications skyrocket

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By Aleysha Haniff

In order to secure research funding, Ryerson’s ready to play politics. According to Tas Venetsanopoulos, vice-president research and innovation, Ryerson has aligned its research with federal and provincial government priorities to score the increased funding available in those areas. “We have chosen a number of areas which we consider that they are important for us and we try to make our mark in those areas,” said Venetopoulos. In his presentation at the Board of Governors on Jan. 25, he listed digital media, communication and information technology as Ryerson’s top priority. According to Venetsanopoulos, Ryerson ranks 13th on the list of Canada’s non-medical universities receiving research funding, pulling in a bit under $20 million at the end of 2008. Research funding has doubled over the past four years and there was about a 171 per cent increase in research publications at Ryerson, he said “It doubled because we have a lot more people applying for funds and many of them are getting grants that are larger than they used to get,” Venetsanopoulos said. New hires have also been very involved in research, he said. Ryerson President Sheldon Levy likens Ryerson’s approach to research as the opposite of the “peanut butter” method. “Everyone wants to see their research as the priority of the university and the way to do that is to spread the peanut butter so thin you can’t see it,” he said. “The challenge of the university, especially at Ryerson I believe, is to build strength in a few areas that make a difference to society so you get noticed and can secure the research grants. This is budget reality as it is, the politics,” Levy said. Venetsanopoulos hopes to increase research funding up to $25 million by the 2010-11 fiscal year, despite difficult economic times. “I see ourselves as running uphill, faster and faster,” he said.

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