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Aspiration 2030

Creating a better world through curiosity, engagement & innovation

At UVic, we’re driven by our curiosity, engagement and innovative spirit to help solve the world’s biggest problems. As we list what we aspire to be and to do by 2030, we know that we are already well on our way. We’re guided by our principles, our extraordinary natural and cultural environment and our deep respect for the learning that has come before.

Our sense of place

čəŋiɫč | ĆEṈ¸IȽĆ is the native oak tree that for many millennia has thrived in the specific environment of this place. These beautiful, sturdy trees produce canopies of dark green leaves, flowers that ripen into acorns, and ecosystems that support hundreds of species of plants, insects and animals. For millennia qʷɫaʔəl | ḰȽO¸EL, the camas plants that carpet ĆEṈ¸IȽĆ meadows, have grown from deep in the soil, providing visual beauty, food for humans and other creatures, and cultural and economic value. There are ancient knowledges here, and wisdom, alongside an energizing search for new ways of understanding the world and our place in it.

Whether our ancestors have lived on these lands for millennia or we arrived here last month, at the University of Victoria all things are connected through our guiding principles of academic freedom, ambition, collaboration, courage, excellence, inclusion and respect, transparency, and truth and reconciliation. The nature and culture of this place have given us unique strengths as individuals and collectively in our fields of inquiry, exploration and creation to work with people here and around the globe as we address pressing challenges.

Given the importance of ĆEṈ¸IȽĆ within this place, it is also a meaningful metaphor for Aspiration 2030. This is depicted in the beautiful visual created by Carey Newman Hayalthkin’geme (Kwakwaka’wakw/Coast Salish), where the roots of the tree represent our history and evolution, ever expanding; the trunk represents the energy, activity and structures that enable our research and creative works; and the foliage represents the impact of our work on the world, with each major branch reflecting one of our five impact areas and each leaf within the five main branches acknowledging the past, present and future of work in these areas. The roots, trunk and foliage are intertwined, each dependent on the others for growth and sustenance.

Art by Cary Newman


k̓ułas is the Kwak’wala word for Garry Oak and qʷɫaʔəl is the lək̓ʷəŋən word for camas

This design is meant to connect us to the traditional territories upon which we live and encourage us to make sure that our work in the present honours the past and respects the future.

Carey Newman Hayalthkin’geme, Artist & UVic Impact Chair in Indigenous Art Practices, August 2021

Impact areas

At the University of Victoria, we recognize that the world is changing rapidly. As a global society, we are facing enormous challenges and will need novel solutions to ensure our survival. Our researchers are up to the task.

Building on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), it is our intention to create a better world through transformative research and our curiosity, engagement and innovation.  

We have identified five overlapping impact areas where we are uniquely positioned to make a difference:

  • Climate, environmental change and sustainability
  • Health and wellness
  • Indigenous-led scholarship
  • Social justice and equity
  • Technology and the human experience

Learn more about our research impact areas.

Our commitment to fundamental research, inquiry and theoretical perspectives remains unflagging. We will continue to support and nurture excellence in these areas because we know that curiosity-driven research and creativity are the essential building blocks for tomorrow’s life-changing applications.

Lisa Kalynchuk, Vice-President Research & Innovation

Our aspirations

Our Research and Creative Works Strategy is built on five aspirations:

These define where we want to be by 2030, achieving within each aspiration five bold outcomes through ten key actions.

researcher with ferry in background

Research environment

We are bold and resilient in advancing our research and creative work

UVic is a young, energetic and ambitious institution. Our scholars have big ideas and outstanding skills that can transform scholarship and lives. We are agile, allowing us to absorb, adapt and grow.

  • Our research revenues exceed $200M per year

  • We capitalize on opportunities to advance our research and creative work and lead national and international initiatives

  • Interdisciplinary collaborations enrich our research ecosystem and are encouraged and supported

  • We have developed world-class research facilities and studio spaces, including spaces that welcome community and industry partners

  • We have an efficient system of institutes, centres and clusters to support and promote research collaborations and connections

  • Invest strategically to support research excellence, incentivize interdisciplinary collaboration and raise the profile of our impact areas

  • Increase research infrastructure and develop modern new research and creative spaces on campus

  • Reduce research-related administrative load by digitizing and streamlining internal processes

  • Create an Audacity Grants program to support bold new ideas

  • Create a new model of support and accountability for institutional research centres and entities

  • Restructure the internal grants portfolio to optimally address researchers’ needs with a flexible suite of opportunities delivered annually

  • Provide internal matching funds as leverage for major external funding opportunities

  • Make investments to support the research recommendations from related institutional plans

  • Support the development of faculty-specific strategic research plans

  • Increase capacity in research services to provide more pre- and post-award support

group of researchers

Research community

We support a diverse community of researchers to achieve excellence

Researchers and students here care about the wellbeing of people and the planet; we are fascinated by inner strength and outer space. Our scholars and artists explore all of those topics, from particle physics to black holes, from poverty to poetry, renewable energy to human rights, confident that UVic is the best place, with the best people, to help them achieve their dreams.

  • We attract top talent from around the world

  • We have a culture of recognizing and celebrating our researchers and research excellence in all of its forms

  • We invest in graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and early career researchers to build the capacity of the next generation

  • We are a welcoming, convening space where researchers of diverse identities, experiences and ideas can thrive

  • Our students have ample opportunities for meaningful research experiences

  • Create dedicated support programs for early career researchers, post-doctoral fellows and individuals from equity-deserving groups

  • Increase support for graduate students and the number of graduate students in alignment with the Strategic Enrolment Management plan

  • Promote research excellence as an important consideration for all faculty hires

  • Embed equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in research processes and activities to overcome systemic barriers and build and support a diverse research community

  • Allocate Canada Research Chairs and other institutional chairs according to strategic priorities and pursue cluster hires when possible to build capacity in strategic areas

  • Create stronger linkages between researchers and UVic research entities

  • Enhance protected time for faculty who attract major grants

  • Enhance research-inspired learning for undergraduate students and create more research opportunities beginning in first year

  • Identify ways to recognize and reward a broader array of research impacts that go beyond traditional metrics

  • Organize campus events so UVic researchers can network and learn more about the research conducted across campus

Dr. Val Napoleon in front of her painting

Commitment to Indigenous scholarship

We embrace and support Indigenous-led scholarship

As we know ĆEṈ¸IȽĆ provides shelter, oxygen, food and habitat for untold plants and creatures, we also know that Indigenous-led creative, social and intellectual pursuits provide a landscape of abundance that enriches everyone.

  • We support and provide visibility to Indigenous research and creative endeavours across the university

  • Indigenous research and innovation at UVic honours the lives of people whose land we are on by respecting data sovereignty, mobilizing knowledge and offering solutions to issues that Indigenous Nations, communities, collectives and organizations prioritize

  • Indigenous scholars have frequent opportunities to assess and report on the university’s progress in meeting Indigenous research commitments

  • We have demonstrated our commitment to the principles and values set out in United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) and BC’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act

  • Elders, Knowledge Keepers and community researchers are welcomed partners in UVic research

  • Provide research support for Indigenous scholars who are often asked to take on significant service, administrative or community roles

  • Provide dedicated support for Indigenous-led research and creative endeavours

  • Increase funding for the Centre for Indigenous Research and Community-Led Engagement (CIRCLE) to support dedicated staff positions

  • Create Relational Knowledge Grants to facilitate relationship building with Indigenous Nations, communities, collectives and organizations

  • Increase the profile of Indigenous research through new awards and recognitions

  • Develop culturally appropriate research-related resources and spaces and ensure they are widely accessible to Indigenous scholars, students and Nations, communities, collectives and organizations

  • Create and support research mentorship opportunities for Indigenous graduate students and early career researchers

  • Establish an Indigenous Research Advisory Committee to guide the implementation of new supports for Indigenous scholars

  • Ensure the OVPRI leadership team has access to Indigenous expertise to guide decision making and support of Indigenous-led research

  • Create more opportunities for community Elders and Knowledge Keepers to be involved in university research

country flags displayed in front of first peoples house

Global engagement

We are globally connected and recognized for our research accomplishments

UVic is linked to partners working in oceans and lands around the globe. As a result, we are placed and connected to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a universal call for action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere. Like the oak and camas ecosystem, the goals and the actions to reach them are entwined, each affecting others and importantly, many people.

  • Our strong research reputation ensures that we consistently place in the top 250 in global rankings

  • We have thriving research partnerships with top global universities and actively participate in international networks, consortia and associations

  • We are globally recognized for the excellence of our research and our contributions to our impact areas

  • We are a destination of choice for international scholars, conferences, and workshops/schools that tackle global interdisciplinary challenges

  • We engage with alumni and other members of the community to help unlock new research opportunities and partnerships

  • Provide support and set up new infrastructure to attract more international visitors and establish UVic as a hub for workshops, conferences and major events

  • Expand the Building Connections Fund to provide seed funding for international research projects and collaborations

  • Establish a Thinkers-in-Residence program to bring international leaders to UVic for collaboration and open discourse on societal challenges

  • Identify countries, regions, institutions, networks, and businesses of strategic priority for international research collaboration and partnerships

  • Plan and execute international research engagements to develop strategic links and promote UVic research strengths

  • Review and revise policies to facilitate collaboration with international partners

  • Engage with alumni to promote research activities and accomplishments at UVic

  • Increase capacity for research data analytics by fostering greater linkages among relevant units across campus and investing in new databases/tools and staff positions

  • Appoint a pool of Global Research Ambassadors to promote UVic research externally

  • Support the creation of joint graduate programs with international partner universities

research with student wearing goggles looking at screen

Societal impact

We mobilize knowledge and creativity to address societal challenges

Researchers at the University of Victoria learn from and add to curiosity-driven and applied research in a myriad of fields. Then we apply our knowledge to create solutions and positive outcomes in the world beyond our campus. Clean technologies, the blue economy, social entrepreneurship and many other emerging fields are changing livelihoods and lives on our island and across international economies.

  • We are ranked in the global top 50 in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings

  • The impact of our work attracts 50% or more of our research revenues from industry, community and donors

  • We collaborate externally to influence the way people feel about the world, improve the resilience and health of our communities, inform policy makers and train the next generation to positively impact society

  • We have established a vibrant regional ecosystem to support innovators and entrepreneurs

  • We have developed deep, mutually respectful and long-lasting collaborations with community groups, local municipalities, government and the private sector to maximize the impact of our research

  • Support research activities that directly advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and systematically track our progress

  • Support the mobilization of knowledge that has strong potential to benefit society

  • Create new research institutes and clusters to enable research progress on pressing societal issues

  • Integrate research opportunities for students and faculty into the activities of the UVic United Nations CIFAL (International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders)

  • Develop strong relationships with donors, industry and community organizations to diversify revenue streams for research

  • Create an Innovation Network with hubs across Vancouver Island to enhance community outreach and provide new programming to support entrepreneurship and social and economic development

  • Work closely with local, provincial and federal governments to tap into new programs and advance common goals

  • Increase our capacity to communicate research successes and strengths in real time to broad audiences

  • Organize more networking events with industry and community partners to facilitate community engagement and create new linkages

  • Support initiatives in cultural literacy to promote understanding of societal trends and challenges

Reporting progress

The aspirations and outcomes of this strategy align with the university’s various institutional plans and strategies and will involve all institutional leaders to ensure integration and impact. We will release biennial action plans to highlight the work to be prioritized within each two-year period. Then, like the rings of a tree, we will report on our progress each year to build momentum and guide us forward. We have long been committed to applying our research strengths to global challenges and our endless search for knowledge.

Our scholars and artists work with other leaders across Canada and in dozens of countries. We intend to engage even more broadly and deeply as an institution to ensure that our research and creative work has maximal impact and make certain that we are recognized globally as a bold, forward-thinking and socially responsible university. A ĆEṈ¸IȽĆ meadow is an open, welcoming place in all seasons; so is the University of Victoria. Whether your roots are already here or you’re far beyond the Salish Sea, we have what you’re seeking: catalytic and dynamic colleagues, audacious ideas, close communities and a broad viewpoint on the world.

Our biennial action plans will guide the implementation of this strategy and yearly progress reports will create momentum and ensure that we stay on track to achieving our aspirations.

Lisa Kalynchuk, Vice-President Research & Innovation

Learn more about other UVic research strategic initiatives.