Driving society forward through real-world research and scholarship
View the full Community Report 2016 (pdf)
In a short 50 years, the University of Calgary has grown to account for roughly a third of the research productivity in Alberta — our work is making an important impact every day. Research and education here transforms students into active participants in the creation of knowledge, and our faculty members into agents of societal change. Through our integrated academic and research plans, we have tackled and broken down traditional impediments to high-level performance in research and scholarly activity. opportunities, increasing our research capacity, and creating a dynamic research environment to promote research excellence.
Today, the University of Calgary is one of 15 research intensive universities in Canada, together called the U15. The University of Calgary currently ranks sixth in the country, in terms of sponsored research funding. We had our best year to date in new invention disclosures, doubling our achievement over the prior year and breaking into the top five. Our sponsored research funding for the 2015-16 year totalled $360.5 million, with the number of prestigious national scholarships and fellowships (Banting and Vanier Awards) awarded to us growing by a factor of ten and two, respectively. The goals of the 2012 Research Plan are now well within reach, as a result of continued focus on its top three priorities: matching our strengths with opportunities, increasing our research capacity, and creating a dynamic research environment to promote research excellence.
Over the years, we have consistently increased our research capacity through partnerships at the local, provincial and national program levels. With The City of Calgary alone, we have more than 80 research projects active through the Urban Alliance initiative, addressing a wide range of questions faced by a growing metropolitan region. Foreign governments and industries are also investing in our research initiatives, opening new doors for our students and faculty to lead and participate actively in initiatives that will help shape the global economy.
Genomics research helps reduce risks of offshore oil exploration
A University of Calgary energy research collaboration received $4.9 million in funding from Genome Canada, the Nova Scotia Department of Energy, the Geological Survey of Canada (Natural Resources Canada), UCalgary, and Mitacs to apply leading-edge genomics research and geoscience mapping for precision offshore hydrocarbon extraction.
UCalgary researcher Casey Hubert and his team apply their studies of subsurface and marine microbiology for energy sector innovation, applying what genomic science has revealed about marine bacteria and linking it with traditional geoscience.
Genomics, which combines genetics, biology and informatics to understand the DNA of living organisms, allows sophisticated studies of bacteria associated with hydrocarbons. In the seabed these bacteria can indicate that oil is nearby. Being able to more precisely identify the location of oil reserves reduces the risk for the environment and for industry — allowing Canada to attract over $2 billion for new exploration off the coast of Nova Scotia.
This important and novel research will help make it possible for Canada to continue to meet its growing energy needs — applying our growing understanding of how living organisms can be harnessed for more sustainable energy.