Establishment & Review of Research Centres/Institutes Policy

Royal Roads University Policy

Policy Number: 
First implemented: 
April 13, 2007
Approved By: 
Board of Governors
Office of Oversight: 
Vice-President Academic

1. Preamble and Purpose

Research is identified in the Royal Roads University Act (1996) as one of the University’s three stated purposes, i.e., “to maintain teaching excellence and research activities that support the University’s programs in response to labour market needs of British Columbia.”  The Board of Governors approved a research policy in 1998 that positions research as fundamental to the mandate of the University. The policy was revised in 2002, emphasizing the integral role research plays in Royal Roads University’s strategic direction, reaffirming the importance of research and its contribution to teaching and learning, and noting the contribution of research to economic and social development. “As with all universities, research is critical in underpinning the scholarship, quality and relevance of academic programs .... At Royal Roads, it is complementary to and integrated with our teaching programs, further enhancing our reputation and underlining our credibility in academic and other circles. As such, our applied research model is highly interdisciplinary and focuses on real world problems with immediate outcomes”
(2006-2010 Strategic Plan). As a result, the majority of faculty and student research is action oriented and problem solving, focusing on immediate social and environmental issues in BC, Canada, and internationally.

Through extensive university-wide consultation processes, research clusters have been identified to assist in providing areas of focus for RRU research. As outlined in the 2006-2010 Strategic Plan, these clusters are currently focused around: 1) learning and innovation and 2) sustainable communities and societies. Re
search is structured in several ways, ranging from individual research projects, to informal groups of researchers with similar interests, to more formal research collaborations.

In order to provide further coherence and organization, as well as to profile and showcase the research conducted at Royal Roads University, specific groups with common research interests may be given institutional status through the establishment of a Centre/Institute.  Such status provides a degree of permanence, fosters collaborative research, and reinforces RRU’s interdisciplinary approach. These Research Centres become a focus for external collaboration with industry, communities, government, and educational institutions and provide an institutional framework for responding to the needs and desires of society.  All Research Centres at RRU have the goal of fostering vibrant, collaborative and continuing programs of interdisciplinary research that serve the mission of the University.

2. Definitions

2.1 Centre and Institute are interchangeable terms for the purposes of this policy. For convenience, ‘Centre’ is typically used to stand for both.

3. Policy

3.1 Royal Roads University encourages the creation and operation of Research Centres that facilitate the University’s unique mandate, as reflected in the RRU ACT as well as its Academic and Research Plans, in ways not readily achievable by existing administrative units or by more informal research groups.
3.2 An interdisciplinary scope is expected.
3.3 Any Research Centres established after this policy comes into effect shall be established in accordance with the principles and procedures set out by this policy.
3.4 All Research Centres, whether they are established under or pre-date this policy, shall be regularly reviewed by the appropriate approval and review bodies and are subject to this policy’s principles and procedures.
3.5 Ideally, Research Centres will be university-based, but a Centre may be housed in a faculty or school, depending on the nature and scope of the research, or may be aligned with a particular program or established unit. The location of a Research Centre will be determined by the Vice President Academic in consultation with appropriate academic managers. For financial tracking purposes, all Research Centre cost centres will role up to the Office of Research.
3.6 The Director of a Research Centre will hold a faculty appointment and will report to: the Director of the school if the Research Centre is school-based; the Dean if the Research Centre is faculty-based; or the Associate Vice President Research if the Research Centre is university-based (with the normal research approval processes of the Vice President Academic and Associate Vice President Research).
3.7 Any resource-allocation implications for a Research Centre shall be incorporated in the budgetary and other planning processes of the appropriate school or faculty, or the Office of Research if the Research Centre is university-based.
3.8 Research Centres will comply with all University policies and regulations applicable to their activities (e.g., the collective agreement, research ethics, etc.) through consultation with the appropriate Director, Dean, the Associate Vice President Research, and/or Vice President Academic.
3.9 Research Centres will not develop or manage academic programs; degree programs and related certificate programs will only be offered by the appropriate school or faculty.
3.10 Research Centres can offer continuing education/outreach programs, provided they are consistent with the policies and procedures governing continuing education in the University.
3.11 Each Research Centre will be established initially for a period of five years. A review will be conducted, under the authority of the Vice President Academic, one year prior to the end date. A recommendation will be made to the Vice President Academic either to: Continue the Research Centre for a further five years; or Disestablish the Research Centre and phase it out during its final year.