U of L is Canada's top undergraduate research university

The University of Lethbridge continues to evolve as one of the country's leading research-intensive universities, earning recognition Wednesday as the 2012 Research University of the Year (undergraduate category) from Research Infosource.

The U of L increased its research income by an astounding 38.7 percent over the past year, and combined with other indicators such as research intensity, publication intensity and publication impact, moved from 9th to 1st place in the 22-member undergraduate classification.

"There is no easy path to achieving the status of Canada's Research University of the Year (2012 undergraduate category)," says Dr. Dan Weeks, Vice-President (Research). "A research portfolio must be built strategically, over time, and with support throughout the university. It is also dependent on the hard work of faculty members who consistently demonstrate that they are among the very best researchers in Canada. They not only excel in research, but actively engage students in research opportunities that foster the next generation of researchers and innovators."

Research Infosource has ranked the University of Lethbridge as the number one undergraduate research university in the country.

Alberta Enterprise and Advanced Education Minister Stephen Khan says the recognition is testament to the province's commitment to research and innovation.

"The U of L's accomplishment of being named Research University of the Year in its category speaks to the quality of Alberta's post-secondary system," says Khan. "The U of L's research strength, combined with its traditional excellence in teaching, provides Alberta students with tremendous opportunities, and helps to build Alberta's knowledge-based economy."

The University also ranked third in Research Infosource's top 10 overall ranking for growth and moved from 35th to 32nd place in overall research funding.

"There is a real breadth to the research activities that are taking place across campus," says Weeks. "With the establishment of a number of internal funding mechanisms in recent years, it has served as the impetus for new research initiatives that are now being recognized by external agencies. Couple that with the many faculty who already have well established research portfolios and it creates an even more vibrant research environment."

U of L President Mike Mahon says the university's research maturation is positioning the institution to make an even larger difference in people's lives.

"The problems being addressed by U of L researchers are helping to create a better quality of life for local and global communities," says Mahon. "While many factors have contributed to building this capacity, the exceptional work by current and former faculty has played a significant role in attracting additional world-leading researchers."

As a comprehensive university with a focus on both undergraduate and graduate education, the U of L's unique approach creates research opportunities for students early in their undergraduate studies. By investing in the establishment of nine research centres and institutes, and a clear objective outlined in the 2012-2017 Research and Academic Plan, the University is focused on continuing to grow as one of Canada's most influential universities.

"The education I received from the U of L was second to none," says Jennifer Arthur (BA '07, MSc '12), who recently completed her master's studies at the U of L. "My undergraduate research experience gave me an opportunity to work with great faculty who encouraged me to pursue graduate education."

Research Infosource is Canada's leading provider of research intelligence for business and higher education. Canada's Top 50 Research Universities List is released each fall. Using Statistics Canada data and the Canadian University R&D Database, the list ranks universities by their research income. Accompanying the Top 50 List each year are Research Universities of the Year rankings based on a balanced scorecard of input, output and impact measures.

To view the complete rankings list, visit