Context of Research at ECU

As an art and design university with a dedicated focus on training emerging creative practitioners across a range of disciplines, our 2023-28 Strategic Research Plan serves as a roadmap for further developing and more robustly supporting research activities across our community and training and mentoring students and highly qualified personnel personnel.


Given the unique nature of practice-based art and design education and research, we know that research-creation in visual arts, media arts, sound arts, and design respond to the complexities of the communities we work with at local, national, and international scales.

In turn, we work to promote research activities that demonstrate the impact and social significance of art and design scholarship in ways that are most relevant and responsive to the communities, stakeholders, and knowledges involved.

Our Plan’s Priorities

The 2023-28 Strategic Plan reaffirms ECU’s commitment to research, prioritizes the development of high impact research, and training and mentoring students and highly qualified personnel (HQP).

Our plan also aims to articulate the specific forms of research-creation activities, initiatives, and ambitions that unfold within the context of our university, and provides a framework for supporting, developing, and enhancing these activities.

Funding Researchers

Our researchers secure a wide variety of local, provincial, and national funds, such as Canada Foundation for Innovation; SSHRC; NSERC; NRC IRAP; Canada Council for the Arts; Creative BC; Western Economic Diversification; Vancouver Foundation; MITACS; Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation; other foundations and industry partners.

Through these funds, our researchers embark on ambitious research trajectories and disseminate their work and projects through a range of international, national, and regional publications, exhibitions, presentations, papers, workshops, and partnerships.

Meaningful Engagement

ECU also has a long history and reputation of enabling meaningful community engagement regionally, nationally, and internationally. Our research builds and nurtures a culture of engagement between the university and the diverse communities it serves.

Through knowledge dissemination and community partnerships, researchers at ECU are making a difference in local communities through collaboration that develops understandings of social issues and inspires action for positive change through sustainable and culturally appropriate practices.

Interdisciplinary Opportunities

Through initiatives that focus on community-engaged research, ECU also supports critical interdisciplinary projects that build new kinds of opportunities for relationship-building, collaboration, and knowledge creation.

Developing deeper connections and relationships between campus and community stakeholders also positions us to advance community-identified research goals (i.e. based on our collective challenges, priorities, and values). Doing so allows ECU to play a meaningful, sustainable role across industries, communities, and disciplines.

Pathways to Participation

Our Strategic Research Plan also identifies new opportunities and pathways to increase research participation across our academic community to bring together disciplinary expertise that realizes new, ambitious collaborations and cross-disciplinary insights and innovations. The plan highlights opportunities for:

  • Strategic development and growth of research and research training
  • Highlighting those areas of research in which the university intends to deploy Canada Research Chairs and/or research infrastructure support
  • Planning inter-institutional and inter-sectoral collaborations
  • Assessing our success in meeting the objectives established by the plan.

Above all, the 2023-28 Strategic Research Plan demonstrates ECU’s commitment to fostering research that truly aligns with the values and priorities shared across the university.