Strategic Implementation Goals

Our goals are ambitious, as we seek to leverage our core strengths, partner globally and solve some of the most complex issues of our time. How will we do it? In our Strategic Direction for the next five years, we will be guided in our strategic decision-making by a commitment to four key pillars. 

We will propel research and innovation excellence by attracting and retaining the best researchers and graduate students while fostering diversity, all with the ultimate aim of addressing global challenges and national priorities with interdisciplinary teams. 

We will connect across disciplines and enhance the integration of research and education. 

We will partner with the world’s best and will seek opportunities that build and expand relationships with industry and government locally, regionally and internationally. 

We will drive impact through translational research and innovation, leveraging research to drive social, cultural and economic development. 

We will create impact together.

Priority 1 - Propel
Propelling Research and Innovation Excellence

The Research and Innovation Enterprise at Dalhousie will propel research and innovation excellence across all disciplines, fully aligned with the university’s EDI goals.  We will build critical mass in signature research clusters and key research focus areas, and establish a reputation for delivering research excellence that makes a difference to the local, regional and global landscape. We will attract and retain the best researchers and graduate students and will support them within a vibrant research ecosystem.

Goal 1: Attract and retain the best researchers


  • Grow external research income by diversifying our funding sources through collaborative partnerships

  • Align resource and recruitment planning and commit to strategic academic appointments at all levels, aligned with signature research clusters, the university’s EDI goals and research focus areas in order to build critical mass and support performance

  • Develop recruitment strategies and funding diversification plans that prioritize early career researchers and researchers with excellent track records and expertise in signature research clusters

  • Enhance and support research success and early career researchers through mentorship programs, academic awards, promotion and recognition processes  

  • Ensure that the university environment supports the conduct of research to the highest standard at all career levels by providing access to quality research infrastructure and high standards of research support

  • Maximize the communication and promotion of research resources, successes and outputs to raise profile and expand networks


  • Increase external research income by 5% annually

  • Increase number of new faculty participating in mentorship programs

  • Track key research outputs (papers, presentations, outreach activities, startups etc.) across signature research cluster areas

  • Develop and utilize a fully comprehensive, online research asset map for Dalhousie

Goal 2: Attract and launch the best graduate students


  • Develop and resource a strategy for recruiting PhD students that aligns with our research clusters and the university's EDI goals

  • Expand graduate programming with the aim to attract and launch the best graduate students, this includes implementing career pathways, providing funding opportunities and offering extra-curricular programming in working outside the academic sector (entrepreneurship, policy-making, PMP, etc.)

  • Improve funding to support grad students through increased grant capture, advancement, etc.  

  • Connect research students with industry and research partners nationally and internationally, through research projects, joint ventures and placements


  • Double number of doctoral  students by 2023

  • Bring proportions of PhDs-to-faculty and grads-to-undergrads to U15 average

  • Increase number of high-quality grad students who apply to and choose Dal

  • Achieve excellent ratings in graduate students surveys

  • Improve time-to-completion rates

Priority 2 - Connect
Advancing an Integrated Research Culture

We will connect researchers and champions of research across the academic community. We will create space for solution-based cross-disciplinary research teams to connect in a meaningful way to meet career goals and to propel research and innovation excellence.  

Goal 3: Promote and support solution-based, cross-disciplinary research teams


  • Prioritize strategies to create an environment that encourages cross-disciplinary thinking and collaboration   
  • Identify and facilitate opportunities for cross-disciplinary teams to link our strengths to significant real and relevant challenges   

  • Provide access to the best possible research infrastructure in our signature research cluster areas on-campus and through collaborative partnerships

  • Extend the reach, scale and profile of research institutes and centres 

  • Create internal funding opportunities for interdisciplinary work


  • Attract one more CFREF in another research area to Dalhousie

  • Achieve two or more NCEs housed at Dalhousie

  • Increase membership / reliance on research institutes and centres as an interdisciplinary research and innovation space

  • Increase number and type of internal funding opportunities that promote interdisciplinary work

Goal 4: Foster a culture of mentorship and peer review


  • Identify and consolidate or refine key structure and process to enable researchers to develop into research leaders in research focus areas. Support researcher developments and create opportunities through mentorship programming.

  • Establish peer-review processes for all major granting competitions, and for any researchers who require review.

  • Include librarians as researchers when developing mentoring and peer review programs


  • Put in place peer-review program for Tri-Agency applications and other major applications

  • Develop mentorship programs for researchers at all stages of their careers; mentorship programs support the university’s EDI goals

  • Increase funding rates overall from Tri-Agency and others

Priority 3 - Partner
Collaborations, Partnerships and Engagement

We will encourage collaborative research and innovation activity with the world, including international research partners, governments, NGOs and industry. Collaboration, partnership and external engagement are essential to extend our research and innovation reach, quality and impact. We want our researchers to be seen as leaders in their disciplines and as the “go-to” hub for our signature research clusters and research focus areas.  

Goal 5: Enhance research collaborations with international partners


  • Undertake a comprehensive audit of existing international research partnerships to identify gaps and opportunities in alignment with signature research clusters and research focus areas 
  • Identify and support connections, travel, exchange and fellowship opportunities to build international research links in signature research clusters   

  • Increase research capacity, outputs and performance in research focus areas through partnerships, joint developments and regional, national and international collaborations

  • Identify and create opportunities with international research networks that align to our areas of strategic importance within signature research clusters.   
  • Establish a presence with top 200 international partners to enhance global research engagement, and access to high quality researchers and graduate students


  • Dal moves up in the key rankings (THE, QS, etc.)

  • Increase the number of international faculty visiting Dal

  • Increase the number of international students coming to Dal

  • Ensure quarterly reports on international publications from Deans

  • Establish and utilize internal international partnership grants 


Goal 6: Engage more industry partners


  • Align the I&E Strategy (Dal Innovates) across all innovation and entrepreneurship activities, with IdeaHub, Sandboxes, CDL, Aquatron and  CORE facilities for maximum impact. Ensure it aligns with the university's EDI goals.

  • Optimize management and support structures for IRC/industry partnership applications 

  • Increase opportunities to promote Dal for offset programs such as ITB and value proposition.

  • Increased cross-faculty interaction with OCIE. 


  • Increase industry funding by 25%
  • Increase to at least 10 IRCs  

  • Measure value proposition commitments and contracts related to completed deals  

  • Measure number of partnerships and contracts  

Goal 7: Foster and grow government relationships


  • Promote Dalhousie as the "go to" place for government consultation

  • Strengthen relationships with indigenous governments in partnered initiatives 

  • Trainees and PIs collaborate in government research labs, and vice versa


  • Increase number of Dalhousie faculty on major national, international and provincial research agencies

  • Increase number of contacts with different levels of government (Federal, Indigenous, Provincial, Municipal) for research / policy making / innovation purposes

  • Increase number of faculty and admin on government committees

  • Increase number of Dal personnel working in government labs

Priority 4 - Impact
Driving Impact through Translational Research and Innovation 

We will have global impact.  We will strengthen our commitment to research and innovation excellence and seek to maximize the impact of our research outputs on society and the economy through the delivery of transnational research and innovation so that Dalhousie is seen as a social and economic driver locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. 

Goal 8: Increase and leverage research to drive social, cultural and environmental development


  • Evaluate the social, cultural and environmental impact of research and innovation activity and identify opportunities to enhance impact    

  • Promote a culture of social, cultural and environmental innovation throughout Dalhousie, defining relevant support initiatives and ensuring alignment across components of innovation programming across Dal    

  • Improve communication and coordination of existing events, research projects, research centres and institutes and funded research    

  • Establish a community outreach plan with appropriate partners across relevant signature research clusters and research focus areas 


  • Meaningful NGO, community and cultural partnerships 

  • Launch social innovation startups

  • Increase social innovation programming within Dal Innovates

  • Increase number of outreach and public events

  • Increase number of community participants at Dalhousie events

  • Increase number of media mentions of Dal research

Goal 9: Increase and leverage research to drive economic development


  • Evaluate the economic impact of research and innovation activity and identify opportunities and mechanisms to enhance impact    

  • Increase and grow the number of startups and companies that come from Dalhousie's Innovation and Entrepreneurship programming pipeline


  • Increase the number of startups emerging from Dal Research by 20% per year

  • Dal’s I&E programming contributes to the Nova Scotia economy

  • Increase the number of students who participate in Dal Innovates programming

  • Amount of venture capital and angel investing in companies / startups that come through the Dal I&E pipeline

Goal 10: Inform policy creation through research


  • Consolidate and enhance Dalhousie's national and international reputation as an institution that promotes effective public policy initiatives based on the principles of good governance, ethical leadership and responsive regulation

  • Encourage and support all faculty members who might have an interest to identify potential parties in other faculties to pursue national and internationally significant public policy initiatives


  • Dalhousie is recognized as the go-to place for public policy in Nova Scotia

  • Enhance and support policy-related research institutes and research chairs

  • Engage all Faculties with potentially overlapping interests in policy research