ECU has identified three Strategic Objectives and corresponding pathways to achieve these objectives that will drive forward key initiatives for researchers across our academic community.
Strategic Objective 1: Enhance Research Capacity and Access
Building capacity for new research programs and projects will require additional investment.
By focusing on enhancing opportunities for researchers to be supported through grants, administrative support, expert guidance on compliance and reporting, policies that can unlock efficient and impactful systems, and more robust access to our renowned technical facilities and expertise, we envision a future where faculty, staff, and students are continually engaging in research across disciplines and through new forms and practices.
It is also important to acknowledge that this plan’s contribution is part of a multi-faceted approach across the institution that are taken up in ECU’s Strategic Plan and the EDI Action Plan to addressing EDI, access, and enhanced capacity.
The ECU Library also plays a key role in strengthening our research capacity by providing an overarching system of support for all research priorities, including access to physical and electronic resources, interlibrary loans, institutional archives, and research assistance by a team of information professionals.
The Library’s experience and commitment to information literacy and information management skills, alongside innovative and creative approaches to accessibility, discoverability, and care, place it as a key area of research support infrastructure.
A key tenet of strengthening our research capacity is through the development of support systems that dynamically respond to the needs of our community as they arise.
We also recognize the need to remove barriers to engagement in research in all ways that they are experienced towards promoting and enabling equitable access to resources and opportunities.
We know that an underrepresentation of equity-denied voices among researchers is a missed opportunity to embrace a rich array of departure points, epistemologies, and models of practice.
To address this, we will work to define success based the guiding principles we have outlined in this document and on the strength of other ways of knowing and diversity across our community.
ECU’s commitment to access and equity also means acknowledging that colonial structures and values are built into granting and awards systems and can be inherent in some research practices, and that the practices themselves have, at times, been historical instruments of colonization.
In our active work on decolonization, ECU can reimagine research practices driven by meaningful inclusiveness, where emergent, Indigenous, and transdisciplinary knowledge and perspectives are all supported.
Strategic Objective 2: Create Excellent Training Opportunities
ECU’s approach to research empowers new means of production, employment, creative and aesthetic expression, and culminates in a wealth of opportunities for its graduates.
Many of our students have opportunities to participate in exciting, cutting-edge research projects at ECU and we see potential for increasing the number of undergraduate and graduate students engaged in research initiatives.
Applied research, innovation, and entrepreneurship have also been embedded across disciplines and Faculties, encouraging hands-on, experiential learning opportunities for all students and extensive participation opportunities across inter-institutional networks.
Graduate and undergraduate students benefit through direct involvement in research projects under the leadership and guidance of faculty researchers.
In turn, researchers benefit from a diverse talent pool to support and drive forward their projects. Students access projects and opportunities through ECU Research Centres and their collaborative industry projects, as well as through Emily Carr University faculty who pursue practice-based research in clusters and collaborations.
Emily Carr integrates research and scholarship across program areas to enrich educational programs and foster next generation researchers and creative practitioners.
Ensuring excellence for all training experiences will require continued and expanded investment in opportunities for students and HQP to participate in research projects and alignment with policy frameworks designed to support student employment.
We will also create new opportunities for recognition and celebration of student research alongside creating more pathways for mentorship for BIPOC students in research projects.
We are committed to promoting a culture that engenders profound confidence in its students so they can step into any creative, professional, or industrial sector and create meaningful impact.
Strategic Objective 3: Strengthen Partnerships and Collaborations
ECU is dedicated to facilitating mutually-rewarding research and partnerships with community organizations, citizens’ associations, government, and industry partners across art, design, science, technology, humanities, and health – both locally and globally.
These partnerships help fuel experiential learning and professional practice, they develop and enhance research culture, and they expose ECU to novel ideas, practices, challenges, and opportunities to learn and apply new knowledge and practices.
The university is committed to strengthening existing partnerships with both the private and public sector, while also developing new opportunities for outreach, collaboration, knowledge creation and exchange.
For our students and HQP, we know that transformative outcomes are borne from partnerships and opportunities to access external learning experiences that can drive strong post-graduation employment opportunities and placement.
By continually identifying new ways in which we can use our strength as one of the world’s top art and design schools to build relationships with industry, we will continue to advocate for the significance of art and design across the innovation ecosystem.
ECU will also continue to enable its researchers to build meaningful and impactful partnerships by further developing our capacity to connect people, organizations, companies, and public bodies, proactively bridge-building, pairing, matchmaking, and relationship-building.