Vancouver Island University is a special place. It is my distinct pleasure to provide leadership in the Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity Office to ensure that the University achieves its special purpose mandate of providing high quality learning experiences and serving our region. Since beginning this role in 2017, I have had the good fortune to listen to others and assess the needs of researchers and students. These conversations resulted in the release of a new Strategic Research Plan, approved by Senate in December 2017. The plan sets forth an ambitious agenda to ensure that we create a culture that is conducive to excellence in research and creative activity so that all of our students and researchers are able to take part in and benefit from actively pursuing answers to the questions that they are curious about.
Just as faculty in research universities teach, so too do faculty in teaching universities research. Faculty across the University are engaged and interested in research in order to contribute knowledge to their discipline, enhance their teaching practices, mentor students in deep learning experiences and to engage with external community partners. VIU is home to a number of research institutes and centers that provide supportive clusters for researchers to undertake interdisciplinary inquiry and address questions relevant to our region and society. These researchers and entities provide significant opportunities for undergraduate and graduate level learning experiences through research.
Students are a primary beneficiary for VIU’s Research Plan. We know that the earlier and more frequently students are provided with opportunities to engage in research, their learning deepens while their curiosity grows. VIU excels in providing undergraduate students with opportunities to participate in research with faculty mentors. The annual celebration of research excellence among students has grown annually and showcases the wide range of scholarly, research and creative activities taking place across VIU campuses. The introduction and growth of graduate degrees over the past decade has increased the number of research endeavors taking place at the institution. We plan to build on this track record and aim to provide greater access and resources to enable our students to become involved in research and creative activity.
If you are an existing student at VIU, I encourage you to learn more about the benefits and pathways to engage in research and creative activity while you undertake your studies. If you are prospective student, I encourage you to come to VIU where you will have opportunities to engage in deep learning experiences through research and community engagement activities. If you are one of our researchers, I commend your efforts and achievements in scholarship, research and creative activity and I encourage you to continue to share your expertise by mentoring students or engaging with community partners who seek the kind of knowledge you are creating in your work.
Nicole L. Vaugeois, Ph.D.
Associate Vice-President, Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity
Vancouver Island University