In the 2012/2017 Research Plan, the U of L identified five research themes that confirm our unique identity within the Canadian university landscape, and set the stage to advance our national and international reputation of research excellence.
Creativity and Performance
This research theme recognizes research at the intersection of art, culture and society. Our current capabilities in these contexts rest on outstanding intellectual, creative and performance activities of our cultural and literary critics and theorists, analysts and composers as well as our dramatists, visual artists, musicians, designers, producers, directors and digital media specialists who each provide constructs of social communication and aesthetic expression. This theme builds on the U of L’s strength in visual arts by incorporating traditional and emerging media, including digital and interactive media. Through collaborative efforts with other disciplines, research explores the connections of movement and performance, both athletic and artistic, and its implications on group identity and popular culture.
Earth and Environment
This research theme is built on a foundation of understanding the earth, its resources and its sustainability. The U of L has long focused on the issues of sustainability, development and globalization. Our current capacity stems from our work on water, fresh-water ecosystems, mountain and river hydrology and the overall sustainability of our environment, including the development of biofuels, bioenergy sources and new materials, such as biodegradable plastics. Our work on remote sensing and imaging, spectroscopy, chemical processes and structures, and water and environmental research will provide data and knowledge pertinent to the development of effective land and water management practices.
This research theme is built on an integrated approach to health and wellness across the lifespan. Basic research is providing the knowledge necessary to realize breakthroughs in wellness and in disease prevention and management. This fundamental research offers potential for the development of new treatment approaches for many of the devastating injuries and diseases we face throughout life. The U of L has strong research efforts aimed at improving the health and wellness of all Albertans and we will continue to further our capacity to influence social policy, improve education, identify preventative strategies and reverse pathology.
Organizations, Culture and Society
This theme of research explores the relationships that exist between people, cultures and places, and organizations. Our current capabilities are founded on scholarship that seeks to provide insight into how individuals, groups, organizations and institutions relate to one another as well as the ethos and processes that shape society and civilization. Research questions challenge the multifaceted dimensions of civilization through critical and interpretive examination of the past and the present across multiple perspectives. Through social and cultural critique, our researchers seek to understand our present and our past, and to identify and clarify public issues.
Origins and Explorations
This theme is dedicated to explorations of the most basic questions of life, humanity and the universe. From the origins of human cultures to the creation of galaxies and stars, our researchers probe thought, understanding and reason to provide the numerical, literary and computational discourse to advance theory, critique contemporary and historical frameworks, synthesize new materials, create novel devices and solve complex problems. Emerging opportunities in this theme are broad in scope and positioned to raise critical questions, expand both knowledge and global enterprise, and diversify economies. The methods, assumptions and disciplines of study within this theme are a catalyst for the development of skills of critical and interpretive dialogue, logic, reason and understanding.