Laurier ranked Canada’s most efficient research university by independent research group

In a recent study of Canadian universities, Wilfrid Laurier University was ranked number one for research efficiency. The study, which was released on April 10, was conducted by the independent group Research Infosource and made use of data collected over a ten-year period.

The group compared the quantity of research income each university received with the quantity of peer-reviewed publications each released. The schools included in the study were divided into three groups by magnitude of research income and evaluated for efficiency.

The University of Waterloo topped the high-research income group, Concordia University topped the medium-research income group and Wilfrid Laurier University topped the low-research income group. Overall, Laurier was ranked most efficient.

Photo by Luke Sarazin

Size is not the only factor in research efficiency, however, the proportion of research coming from the particular faculties within a university may also play a role.

“For the most part, natural sciences – engineering-related research – does cost a little bit more to produce research results than the humanities and the social sciences. And so, historically, we’ve been a little bit more towards that area within Laurier,” said Robert Gordon, vice-president of research at Laurier.

Part of our success is the fact that that’s the type of research that we do.

Despite the particular balance of research coming from different faculties, Gordon noted that Laurier’s efficiency ranking was significant.

“Part of our success is the fact that that’s the type of research that we do. That being said, there are a lot of other universities across the country that are similar in their breadth and scope as we are, and we were certainly number one in the country in terms of the number of peer-reviewed publications per dollar of research support,” Gordon said.

In the time after the study ended, Laurier began to receive increased research funding. In response to this increase in research income, Gordon seemed confident that Laurier would remain as efficient as it is while also producing more research output.

Gordon also highlighted Laurier’s commitment to other objectives with respect to research.

“The foundation for all of the research that we do at Laurier is how to engage students … I like to highlight, when I talk to several groups, that research outcomes are fantastic for what we do, but really, the primary purpose is to create an experience that our students are going to benefit from,” Gordon said.

“Our goal is to also make sure that what we do involves students. That students are part of the research process in everything that we do across the university.”

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