Creating knowledge and fostering creativity

ushageorge-1by Usha George, Interim Vice-President, Research & Innovation

Ryerson’s academic plan has set out a distinct path for growth—with one of its key components defined as increasing the excellence, intensity and impact of our scholarly, research and creative (SRC) activities.

At Ryerson, we believe in a broad and inclusive definition of research. We value basic and applied research while also placing importance on creative activities such as exhibitions, theatrical performances and other creative works. Our faculty members have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of research areas, as long as their research program meets the standards of ethics review, falls within the mandate of the university, and promotes public good.

An essential component of a faculty member’s work at Ryerson, research is central to our growing reputation. It fosters a culture of innovation and creativity. Ryerson prides itself on being a community-engaged university, and a city builder. We want to address real-world problems by responding to societal needs and contributing to the technological, cultural, social and economic well-being of society.

Research also helps us as academics. Through research, we stay current, infusing fresh materials in the courses we teach. The very act of creating knowledge is exciting. It gives us a sense of accomplishment and mastery. Sharing one’s research with students provides them with the opportunity to experience the thrills and challenges of creating knowledge, generating the kind of engagement and exceptional experiences we strive to achieve at Ryerson for our students. Moreover, as researchers we also benefit from student perspectives; in particular, our graduate students are bringing a fresh perspective to our high-level research.

In professional disciplines, research provides us with evidence to inform policy and practice. The integral relationship between theory, research and practice has been well established. Knowledge translation and mobilization of our research creates that important link between research and application by disseminating the newly created knowledge and engaging the end users.

Application is crucial to closing the innovation loop—it breaks down silos and brings us into our communities, where we see the real impact of our work as we continue to create knowledge and build solid relationships that strengthen our position as an engaged, innovative institution.