Health Sciences Initiative

Purpose and scope: To develop a set of strategies for enhancing the quality and raising the profile of health research, health programs, and related activities at the University of Victoria. These strategies will be captured in a white paper to be produced in 2019. The paper's aim is to provide a preliminary roadmap for building out health-related activities at UVic, discuss the topic of health sciences and share recommendations on next steps.

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The Health Sciences Initiative is a joint activity of the Offices of the Vice-President Academic and Provost and the Vice-President Research.  The purpose of the initiative is to develop a set of strategies for enhancing the quality and raising the profile of health research, health programs and related activities at the University of Victoria.

Following consultations with the Deans, Associate Deans and Research Centre Directors, and with the support of the Univeristy Executive, an advisory group has been convened to advance this initiative.  The advisory group's consultations, research and deliberations will form the basis for the white paper on health-related activities at UVic. The advisory group is chaired by Dr. Lisa Kalynchuk, Associate Vice-President Research and Tony Eder, Executive Director, Academic Resource Planning.


Why health?

Many of the most challenging global issues are directly or indirectly related to health or wellbeing.  Having a strong research presence in this area will ensure that UVic is contributing to global issues in a meaningful way. Health research is prestigious: top research universities in the world have strong health research enterprises across a broad range of fields, from medicine and biosciences to health ethics, environmental health, philosophy of health and disease to addressing mental health through the arts. Finally, health research brings in considerable resources that can have broad impact across the entire university. For example, the average CIHR 5-year project grant is worth 5x the average NSERC Discovery grant. Building capacity in health research will significantly enhance UVic’s Tri-Agency revenues, which not only benefits our researchers, but also provides indirect benefits to the institution through increased envelopes for CFI, CRC, the research support fund (indirect costs) and graduate student scholarships across all disciplines.

UVic already has strength in health research with more than 200 faculty who self-identify as health researchers.  The goals of the initiative are to improve the structure for health research at UVic, provide a clear direction for future activities in this area, develop a central vision of health research and provide visibility inside or outside the university of our strengths including a strong desire for the development of outstanding health programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels. 

Alignment with strategic priorities

This initiative aligns with key aspects of the Strategic Research Plan and the Strategic Framework, particularly in the areas of defining strategic research priorities and investing in areas of research strength that present opportunities for growth, maximum impact, and further global prominence.  It fits with the rankings and reputation initiative and the graduate student recruitment and retention goal of the Strategic Enrolment Management initiative. 

  • Dr. Lisa Kalynchuk, Associate Vice-President Research, Chair
  • Tony Eder, Executive Director, Academic Resource Planning, Co-Chair
  • Dr. Alexandre Brolo, Director of CAMTEC (Centre for Advanced Materials and Related Technology)
  • Dr. Bruce Wright, Head, Division of Medical Sciences
  • Dr. Caroline Cameron, Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology
  • Dr. Charlotte Loppie, School of Public Health and Social Policy
  • Dr. Chris Goto-Jones, Dean, Faculty of Humanities
  • Dr. Francis Lau, Health Information Science
  • Dr. Karen Urbanoski, School of Public Health and Social Policy
  • Dr. Michael Masson, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Dr. Nikolai Dechev, Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Dr. Ryan Rhodes, School of Exercise Science, Physical & Health Education
  • Dr. Scott Hofer, Director, Institute on Aging & Lifelong Health
  • Jennifer Vornbrock, Executive Director, Community and Government Relations
  • Robin Syme, Executive Director, CanAssist
Advisory Group Support
  • Dr. Kaitlyn Roland, VPRE Health Initiatives Project Officer
  • Ased Said, Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost
  • Andrea Knittig, Office of the Vice-President Research

Advisory Group members please log in using your NetLink ID and password to the Connect site.

Date Topics to be discussed
November 13, 2018
  • Introductions, ground rules for group
  • Scope of project
  • Process, site visits, timeline, survey, website, Consultations, townhalls
  • Discussion about how we define “health” at UVic
November 27, 2018
  • Health inventory - programs/research
  • Environmental Scans
  • Feedback from Deans, ADRs, Centre Directors
  • Finalize survey questions
December 11, 2018
  • Consultations
  • DMS faculty confirmed
  • Department heads confirmed
January 7, 2019
  • Consultations
  • HSD Directors
  • Health programs - Social determinants of Health/BME/Neuroscience
January 21, 2019
  • Consultations
  • BC support unit
  • Island health
February 4, 2019
  • Faculty survey results
  • Other external data - MoH, BC support unit
  • University of Saskatchewan/UNBC presentation
February 11,2019
  • Research pillar
February 19, 2019
  • Townhall everyone is welcome to attend
    • 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Medical sciences Building, Room 150.
March 4, 2019
  • Programs pillar
March 18, 2019
  • Structures pillar
April 1, 2019
  • Infastructure pillar
April 2, 2019
  • Townhall everyone is welcome to attend
    • 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building, Room 160
April to May 2019
  • Additional meetings
June-December 2019
  • Finalizing concept paper