Dr. Joaquin Trapero: Director of Institutional Programs

- Jennifer Kwan

Trapero. UVic Photo Services

Bringing the Strategic Framework to life

The third in a series of articles that explores how staff and faculty across campus are implementing the university’s Strategic Framework.

Q and A: Dr. Joaquin Trapero, Director of Institutional Programs

Tell us about your work at the university.

Our team is housed within the Office of Research Services. We are a small but highly visible team and we have two main goals: attract and retain top research talent and bring leading infrastructure to our campus so UVic researchers have cutting-edge technology to support their work. As director of Institutional Programs, I oversee UVic’s participation in several key programs that fund research, including: Canada Foundation for Innovation, the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund, Canada Research Chairs, Canada 150 Research Chairs and Western Economic Diversification Canada.

Our team helps coordinate major research projects across faculties and research centres. From idea to implementation, in a process that can take several years, we collaborate with staff and faculty across campus on multiple projects at different phases. I would characterize our team as an important hub of information and collaboration.

My team will also be helping with the recruitment of the UVic Strategic Framework Impact Chairs. This new $1.2-million initiative will fund four five-year chairs to lead the way in dynamic learning, respect and reconciliation, sustainable futures, and engaging locally and globally.

Research is central to the university. Research links students, staff, faculty and community, and how we contribute to making the planet a better place. It is fundamental to UVic’s vision, as spelled out in the Strategic Framework.

How do you see the Strategic Framework helping or connecting to your work, and the work of your unit?

Our team lives and breathes strategies 2.1 to 2.5 to advance research excellence and impact, which ultimately means we strive to be in the top tier of the world’s research universities. Each strategy is a carefully crafted roadmap that will help UVic fulfill its vision. A key focus is to make strategic investments in existing and emerging areas of research strength that may open doors to opportunities for global impact.

As a former astrophysicist, I know personally the great ups and downs, needs and worries of being a researcher. With so many things to juggle—research, teaching, mentoring, communicating, administrative paperwork—I feel great pride in being a connector and helping UVic’s researchers with project management so they can focus on research. Within our team, we also support researchers by directing them to the right people, helping develop research agreements and helping communicate project results.

Does the work you do correspond to particular strategies in the framework?

I interact closely with the university executive to implement strategy 2.1 —identifying and taking necessary strategic risks to invest and support opportunities for collaboration, innovation, partnership and external research funding in emerging research areas.

A really good example of bringing strategy 2.1 to life is UVic’s focus on materials science. Materials science is generally the development of new functional materials for applications as diverse as health care, renewable energy, electronics, manufacturing, and environmental monitoring and remediation.

Carrying-out strategies 2.3 and 2.4, we identified researchers and infrastructure. To date, there have been eight Canada Research Chairs awarded to UVic in materials science working in a range of areas in the science and engineering fields. We then pursed and secured investments from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund for hardware such as the Advanced Microscopy Facility that is housed within UVic’s Centre for Advanced Materials and Related Technology (CAMTEC). This foundation has led to the implementation of strategy 2.5, where we promote collaboration, partnerships and an interdisciplinary approach. Our most recent achievement for material sciences at UVic was the successful recruitment of world-renowned UK chemist, Ian Manners, joining UVic in 2018 as Canada 150 Research Chair. Manners is leading the development of the UVic Laboratory for Synthetic Self-Assembled Materials.

The origins and progression of CAMTEC are a really good example of how we are advancing research excellence and impact at UVic, and other priorities of the framework including intensifying dynamic learning, promoting sustainable futures, and engaging locally and globally. It is a research facility where researchers from multiple fields can conduct fundamental and applied research in advanced materials. CAMTEC sustains an environment that promotes research excellence, education and training for the next generation of world-class researchers and leaders. I am extremely proud to lead the team that is helping make all this happen.

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In this story

Keywords: administrative, research, Strategic Framework

People: Joaquin Trapero

Publication: The Ring


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