Over the last decade, Cape Breton University has allocated significant resources to developing and expanding its research culture. The local community was instrumental in the origin of the institution and still has a significant impact on its programming and research interests. Many researchers are influenced by the local environment, geography, history and culture.
The main thrust of CBU’s Strategic Research, Innovation, and Commercialization Plan is to continue to develop a culture of research and scholarship and to establish priorities for the next five years, building on our current research strengths and expanding into developing areas. This will require partnering with local, regional and national industrial and private sectors in addition to the traditional government funding agencies.
In existence for a little over 30 years, CBU is now undergoing a transformation. Many areas are developing research cultures and programs at the same time. To be a strong and vibrant university, CBU encourages and supports research in all avenues of its programs from arts and social sciences to natural sciences to health sciences to professional programs.
Our vision is to be an outstanding undergraduate institution, with a growing portfolio of graduate programs, engaged in research and scholarly activity that has an impact locally as well as globally. As such, CBU is committed to:
- Supporting undergraduate success through research opportunities
- Supporting graduate student research* through appropriate graduate level programs as well as partnerships with other universities
- World-class research that is of importance locally, regionally, nationally and internationally
- Knowledge mobilization and transfer through all modes of dissemination including publication, conference presentation, community and industry engagement, and commercialization
- Recruiting and retaining faculty who are committed to undergraduate teaching and who will undertake active research programs
- Promote connections and opportunities between high quality teaching and research.
The primary research concepts can be grouped according to:
1) Culture and Creativity
2) Social and Ecological Change and Adaptation
3) Community Economic Development
4) Fundamental Knowledge Creation
Each of these general concepts is multidisciplinary and presents areas of established and emerging strength. They are not independent, many research programs and researchers can identify with more than one theme and there is inter-connectivity between them. It is of the utmost importance that even though a university needs to identify areas of focus for research strengths, that any university that wants to develop a world class research culture and scholarly engagement must also support areas of research that are outside the strategic areas. It is this broad engagement of researchers in many disciplines that is a core value of a successful university and ultimately establishes a strong research culture. Not everyone is expected to fit within the strategic areas, and in fact it would be short-sighted and undermine the long term stability and productivity of a university to have everyone focus in relatively few areas of inquiry. Academic freedom to pursue what and how research is conducted, is a fundamental principle to building a strong research culture. While a strategic plan will naturally focus time and resources on the priorities identified within the plan, it is important not to neglect the broader research community.