Goals of the consultation process
As Research and International Relations drafted the Strategic Research Plan, we reached out to professors, staff, undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and external stakeholders for their input. The process took place through a series of public events and targeted meetings with internal and external constituents.
Our goals for the consultation process were to:
- Solicit the opinions and expertise of the McGill community and external stakeholders, and use their feedback to inform the development of an excellent SRP;
- Create awareness of the SRP project and its purpose, and encourage community engagement in its creation and eventual implementation;
- Continue to build a foundation for an ongoing, inclusive, multidisciplinary, and innovative research environment at McGill, where stakeholders know their participation is valued and essential.
A number of resources and initiatives have laid the groundwork for the drafting of McGill new Strategic Research Plan. They include:
- The 2006 Strengths and Aspirations: A Call to Action white paper and the outline of progress report provided by the Provost in 2010;
- Faculties submitting their strategic research priorities to the RIR in spring/summer 2010;
- Follow-up consultations with the faculties to revise their strategic priorities in spring 2011;
- Feedback and information collected from the series of town hall meetings led by Dr. Goldstein in late 2010 and early 2011;
- The Strategic Reframing Initiative (SRI) process, which has provided direction as to potential objectives and actions;
- The Research Advisory Council and faculties have also provided their own research priorities to the RIR to serve as building blocks for the SRP.
Connection to ASAP 2012
There is considerable overlap in the strategies, priorities and actions contained in the University’s new academic plan, ASAP 2012: Achieving Strategic Academic Priorities, which entered its consultation phase at the same time as the SRP. The Provost and Vice-Principal (RIR) worked to ensure the processes are aligned and that information collected in one consultation process feeds into the other. Research priorities identified in the SRP will particularly inform the research section in ASAP 2012.
Key components of the SRP consultation process
SRP Advisory Committee – VP Goldstein chaired a committee of eight faculty members, three students (two graduate and one undergraduate representative), and one postdoctoral fellow that acted as a sounding board throughout the consultation process. Faculty representatives were also approached based on recommendations by deans, associate deans (research) and other members of the senior administration at the discretion of VP Goldstein. Professor Jan Jorgensen, Associate Provost (Faculty Affairs and Resource Allocation), sat on the committee to aid in coordinating the SRP with ASAP 2012.
External Advisory Committee – VP Goldstein convened a committee of industry and community leaders in fall 2011 to consult on strategic directions for research at McGill. This group was then asked to review the SRP document and provided guidance as issues arose during the consultation process.
Open Forum – Open Forums were organized in collaboration with the Provost’s academic plan ASAP 2012. There were sessions at various times during the day to accommodate a wide range of schedules. Additional feedback from participants was requested through the SRP feedback webpage.
Focus Groups/Individuals – VP Goldstein convened small focus groups and approached high-profile researchers who have had success obtaining funding (especially multidisciplinary/multi-institutional grants), creating international or business partnerships, and/or leading thriving research centres.
Online Consultation – A complete draft of the SRP was posted online, and members of the McGill community, including students, alumni, and external stakeholders, provided both quantitative and qualitative feedback on elements of the plan.
Endorsement – The document was officially endorsed by McGill's Senate in November 2012 and by the Board of Govenors in February 2013. The final Strategic Research Plan is now online and can be used as needed by the McGill community.