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This online version is for convenience; the official version of this policy is housed in the University Secretariat. In case of discrepancy between the online version and the official version held by the Secretariat, the official version shall prevail.

Approving Authority: Senate

Original Approval Date: December 1989

Date of Most Recent Review/Revision: March 4, 2015

Office of Accountability: Vice-President: Research

Administrative Responsibility: Office of Research Services


1.00 A research centre/institute (these terms are used interchangeably) is created to promote and encourage scholarly activity of a basic or applied nature in an area that is not normally restricted to a single academic department. It is expected to offer new areas of research activity which align with the strategic plans and objectives of Wilfrid Laurier University. The purpose of this policy is to provide the framework for the establishment, operation and review of research centres/institutes at Laurier.


2.00 Governance structure: a formal system established to properly manage a research centre and to provide direction for its future growth and development in accordance with the Guidelines for the Management and Organization of Research Centres/Institutes.

3.00 Members: members of a centre actively engage in the work of the centre and contribute to the centre through collaborative research, publishing, mobilization of knowledge, as well as seminars/conferences/workshops organized by the centre. It is expected that members will identify themselves as centre members in publications related to the focus of the centre. Members of a centre are expected to engage in any of the following activities:

a. co-publishing;

b. co-applications for grants and/or contracts;

c. co-supervision of students; and/or

d. co-presentations.

4.00 Faculty research centre: a faculty research centre reports to the dean of the faculty. Faculty research centres should include at least five active members from within one faculty at the university. Financial support for a faculty research centre, if any, is at the discretion of the faculty of origin, subject to budgetary approval.

5.00 University Research Centre: a university research centre reports to the vice-president: research and is eligible to apply for start-up funds from the vice-president: research. University research centres should include members from multiple faculties from within the university and from outside the university. Normally, this would include at least five members from three or more faculties within the university, or members from at least five departments and members outside of the university. Financial support from Office of Research Services for new university research centres is restricted to the first three years only (and subject to budgetary approval).


6.00 A research centre is an organized research unit which serves as a locus for stimulating research, for attracting research funds, and for enhancing the research experience of faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scholars. In pursuit of this objective, the centre should establish links inside and outside the university; organize seminars, symposia and conferences; solicit external funds for research or the dissemination of scholarly information; and maintain an appropriate governance infrastructure. It is intended to be multi-disciplinary and collaborative in nature, and its activities should be distinctive from, and add value to the research activities of individual researchers.


7.00 Research centres will provide evidence of their interdisciplinarity and collaboration in the forms of the members co-publishing, co-presenting, co-applying for grants and/or contracts, mobilization of knowledge, hosting workshops as well as co-supervising students. A research centre should endeavour to recruit members from across the academic community, should involve students in its activities, and should create formal or informal links with agencies and colleagues in the private and public sectors who are engaged in related research activities. Normally, a research centre should have a minimum of five active Laurier faculty members.

8.00 Applications to establish a research centre/institute (university and faculty) should follow the Procedures for the Establishment of a Research Centre/Institute and are to be submitted to the Senate Committee on Research and Publications (SCRAP) for review and recommendation for approval to Senate. Centres must:

a. adhere to all university policies, procedures and regulations pertaining to the conduct of scholarly inquiry and administration of research funds;

b. have a governance structure and management board in accordance with the Guidelines for the Management and Organization of Research Centres/Institutes;

c. include members internal and external to the university, including the vice-president: research and/or an appropriate dean or chairperson; and

d. report annually to SCRAP and the faculty dean (for faculty research centres/institutes).

9.00 All centres must submit an annual report (including projected budgets) by April 30th of each academic year. This report will be used to provide feedback based on centre-defined goals and university established criteria.

10.00 Annual reports from established university centres (i.e., centres older than three years) will be used to identify up to 5 top performing centres eligible for annual funding from the vice-president: research, subject to budgetary approval.

10.01 A university centre failing to receive such funding for 5 consecutive years shall not retain the designation of a university centre.        

10.02 Faculty centres shall be reviewed against established criteria by their faculty under the direction of the faculty dean. An annual report regarding the performance and recommendations for each faculty centre shall be provided by the faculty dean to SCRAP.

11.00 Recommendations regarding research centres are brought from SCRAP to Senate for final approval.

12.00 Funding provided by the university to support a research centre may include funding for a maximum of one course release per year.

Related Policies, Procedures and Documents

  • Guidelines for the Management and Organization of Research Centres/Institutes (currently under review)
  • Procedures for the Establishment of a Research Centre/Institute (currently under review)
  • Annual Reporting and Review Procedures for Research Centres/Institutes (currently under review)

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