Strategic Research Plan


The 2020-23 Strategic Research Plan (SRP) intertwined the academic and research portfolios to support the capacity, quality, and impact of research and creative activity at the University of Lethbridge. The SRP intentionally highlights broad research directions. It does not focus on the research programs of individual faculty members, nor does it outline research priorities of any department, Faculty, or School. It is written to highlight the breadth of activity across our campus.

Given that the contributions of research are essential to our quality of life – our social, physical, and economic well-being – it is understandable that the expectations placed upon research have grown, with no signs of easing. This is an opportune moment to reflect on these trends and explore how best to position the University of Lethbridge for the next 5 years. 

Please note: the current SRP has been extended to June 2024. Consultations for the SRP will be launched in 2023.

Learn more

Strategic Research Plan 2020-23

The University of Lethbridge will continue to grow international research prominence in diverse fields of scholarly inquiry, creative pursuit, and innovation. We will provide solutions and knowledge to foster sustainable prosperity and we will offer experiential learning opportunities to mold our students and postdoctoral fellows to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Read the full Strategic Research Plan

Research Vision

Our vision of a comprehensive university is of a strong, independent knowledge institution that seeks to understand the human and natural world and the universe beyond, with an aim to bringing knowledge and wisdom to bear on sustaining and improving our quality of life, our society, and the natural environment.

The University of Lethbridge is committed to:

  • Providing the knowledge and innovation base to support the province’s ability to meet the needs of its citizens, diversify its economy, and respond to the challenges and opportunities associated with Alberta’s demographic and environmental landscapes.
  • Providing our students at all levels with the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research and creative activity to produce highly skilled graduates who will drive innovation across sectors.
  • Strengthening Indigenous research capacity by building relationships with Indigenous Peoples from Canada, North America and the world.
  • Supporting and expanding the breadth of scholarship that distinguishes our vibrant research and creative community.
  • Supporting core facilities, centres and institutes.
  • Fostering transdisciplinary collaboration, resource sharing, and integration of knowledge.
  • Being a leader in the preparation and development of our undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral fellows who will contribute to a knowledge-driven future.

This vision, when coupled with the student-centered academic directions outlined in the Academic Plan, will establish our institutional benchmarks for our future as a comprehensive university.

Fundamental Commitments

Our roadmap for being a comprehensive university is built on four fundamental commitments:

Expand research, scholarly inquiry, and creative activity

The University of Lethbridge is committed to expanding research capacity by recruiting and retaining outstanding scholars; fostering the scholarly development of our researchers; and providing our students and postdoctoral fellows with an educational experience that is enhanced by experiential learning opportunities, advanced mentorship, and career development. Concurrently, we will invest strategically to build provincially-, nationally- and globally-recognized research portfolios, we will support emerging areas of research excellence and inter/multi/trans-disciplinary collaborations, and we will ensure that our research and creative activities are recognized and celebrated locally, regionally, provincially, nationally and internationally.

Prepare the next generation for a changing world

Our goal is to be a leader in the training and development of innovators who will contribute to a knowledge-driven future. We are unwavering in our commitment that students will gain competencies in the four principles of liberal education and have opportunities for professional development. This will be achieved by exposing students to ways of looking at and studying the world beyond their own disciplinary boundaries, by fostering an ability to connect and integrate knowledge across disciplines, by emphasizing critical thinking and problem solving skills, and encouraging students to be contributing community members on all levels. We will produce the talent and expertise needed by the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Enhance community outreach and engagement

There is a vibrant research culture at the University of Lethbridge. Our research is firmly connected to the local community, the local geography, our national landscape, and further afield, to a broad range of international settings and partners. We seek to broaden our culture of community engagement. This will be facilitated by connecting researchers, scholars and artists with end users, be it community organizations, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, industry, or the public. We will build on existing relationships and foster new collaborative opportunities to address the important questions and problems facing the communities we serve.

Engage cross-sector industry partnerships for knowledge mobilization

Bolstering Alberta’s social, cultural, environmental and economic prosperity and sustainability will benefit from the University of Lethbridge‘s activities that support knowledge mobilization and translation. The University of Lethbridge recognizes that it has capacity to collaborate with external organizations in the public, private, commercial and not-for-profit sectors to address the needs and challenges of the region that we operate within. Through heightened and intentional engagement and collaboration, the University of Lethbridge will create ongoing and expanded opportunities for students and postdoctoral fellows to engage in research and innovation activities that provide them with real-world, collaborative experience as part of their academic training. Existing work-integrated learning opportunities will be enhanced through increased opportunities for co-operative education placements, research internships, and collaborative research opportunities that will demonstrate relevance to the aspirations of the region.