Ryerson number one in research

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By Mohamed Omar

Ryerson had the largest increase in research funding of any Ontario university in 2011, according to statistics by a research consulting firm.

Research Infosource Inc., a division of The Impact Group, released its Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities List, a report examining research income of the country’s post-secondary institutions.

Despite only a 2.2 per cent increase in total funding for research universities in Canada – and the fact that most research funds go to universities with medical programs – Ryerson’s research funding in 2011 increased to $29,518,000 from $22,524,000 in 2010 – a jump of 31.1 per cent and the highest in Ontario.

The list also named three Research Universities of the Year in three different categories.

Ryerson placed second in the undergraduate category with a score of 77.8 points. The University of Lethbridge got first place with 78.1 points.

Before Research Infosource Inc. gives each university a score out of 100, a number of factors are considered.

The list looks at how much money is going into a university, research output, how many articles and journals each institution got published in peer-reviewed journals, and each university’s success in being cited in academic literature.

It also looks into how successful each school was at attracting funding.

Wendy Cukier, vice president research and innovation at Ryerson, said the school’s success in research is a result of many years of hard work.

“It’s an acknowledgement of the trajectory we’ve been on in the last few years as we have become a comprehensive university,” Cukier said. “I really think we’re starting to reap the rewards of many years of hard work by many people.”

Cukier noted the university has been shifting towards hiring more professors with PhDs and a “track record” in research.

She said the next twenty years will hold challenges for the school.

“It’s clear it’s a more competitive environment,” she said. “It’s clear the traditional sources of funding for research are drying up and we have to be more creative.”

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