Amplifying your research through peer collaboration


Collaboration is one of the cornerstones of Ryerson’s success.

As we continue to see research funding dollars grow, while as a whole funding for post-secondary research is slowing, we have to look at the reasons why we continue to see success.

Our accomplishments mean that Ryerson is now recognized as a comprehensive university by Research Infosource. Our increased funding in graduate and post-graduate research makes Ryerson a preferred collaborator with many industry partners.

We must continue to draw on our strengths. At the recent SRC networking event, we heard from some collaborators about how Ryerson’s uniquely poised for cross-disciplinary efforts.

Professor Alan Fung discussed some of his own collaborations with peers at Ryerson. “Collaborations between professors are not a problem because of the culture here at Ryerson,” said professor of mechanical engineering, Alan Fung. “We don’t have the traditional structures of other universities.”

Fung has worked on projects with professor Phil Walsh in the entrepreneurship and management department at the Ted Rogers School of management. Together they tackled a training program for energy auditors of industrial facilities. Now they are working on building a net-zero home powered entirely by solar power.

Ryerson’s research institutes and labs can serve as a meeting space for researchers with similar interests as we heard from Walsh.

“The Centre for Urban Energy is a great place for us to aggregate,” said Walsh.  Prior to the establishment of CUE, professors interested in sustainability would occasionally host workshops, but rarely did they follow up. “The innovation and entrepreneurship space is key component of the centre. You start to realize your passions and things that are important to you and next thing you know you are working in teams,” he added.

Our funding partners value collaboration, both intra and inter institutional. Our industry partners look at proposals with an eye for who can offer them the most comprehensive solutions for their challenges.

When we combine the technical skills of a researcher with the business acumen of another, you get a winning combination. Businesses can see not only how their problems can be solved but how they can be applied to benefit their bottom line.

When our professors reach out to other faculties to help them solve problems they add a whole other dimension to their research. According to Anatoliy Gruzd from the Social Media Lab, collaboration has create opportunities for more resources, access to other equipment, as well as access to students who can help move the projects forward.

“Most of the projects I am working on, even the ones where I am the only principal investigator, have collaborators,” said Gruzd, adding how his lab often draws international collaborators. “A lot of international scholars are interested in collaboration with us because of the social media lab,” said Gruzd. “It increases our productivity in terms of publications and our capacity to train students.”

As you can see the benefits of collaborating are many.  OVPRI is happy to assist with any collaborative efforts between faculty members, and industry partners. Let us know how we can help.

The panel discusses the benefits of collaboration.
Anatoliy Gruzd (Social Media) explains how sharing resources can help further research and how collaborations with students can sometimes be a more flexible solution.
Attendees at the SRC Networking evening listen intently to the panel.
Usha George reminds the crowd of how collaboration is one of Ryerson’s greatest strengths.