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Research income growth slows for Canada’s universities


Toronto, ON – Research income growth at Canada’s universities slowed dramatically in fiscal 2005, according to Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities List 2006, released last week by Research Infosource.

Total sponsored research income, which includes both government and non-government sources, grew by 3.2% to $5.2 billion in fiscal 2005, up from $5 billion in 2004. This was the smallest increase in 6 years. From fiscal 2000 to 2004, annual increases were in the double digits, 23.9%, 22.7%, 12.1%, 12.6% and 17.7%, respectively.

The University of Toronto remained in top position on Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities List 2006 with $708.6 million in sponsored research income in fiscal 2005, up 13.6% from last year.

The Universite de Montreal moved in 2nd position from 3rd last year with $429.3 million which represents a slight drop of 3.8% from last year.

McGill University drops one position to 3rd with $423 million, a decline of 22.2% and the University of Alberta moves up one spot from 5th to 4th with $396.9 million, up 10.2%.

The University of British Columbia is in 5th position, down one from last year with $359.5 million in sponsored research income, a slight 1% drop over last year.

McMaster University is 6th, up two spots with $345 million in income, an impressive increase of 40.1%. The University of Calgary holds on to 7th spot with $271.5 million in sponsored research income, up 8%.

The University of Ottawa moves from 10th place to 8th posting $238.4 million in sponsored research income, an increase of 25.2%.

Universite Laval drops from 6th to 9th with a 17.4% decline in sponsored research income.

The University of Western Ontario rounds out the top 10. It moved from 9th spot to 10th with $179.9 million in sponsored research income, a drop of 5.9%.

“The minimal growth we see in fiscal 2005 is due to the tepid funding increases from both government and non-government sources,” says Ron Freedman, CEO of Research Infosource. “Government funding, which accounts for 70% of all university research income grew by only 3%, while non-government sources grew by 3.5%.”

The University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and Lakehead University earned Research Infosource’s “Research University of the Year” designation in their respective categories.

In the medical/doctoral category: University of Toronto came first with 99.5 points out of possible 100. McGill University was second with 95.7 points and McMaster was third with 92.8.

The University of Waterloo was top in the comprehensive category with 76 points, University of Guelph came second with 72.8 and the University of Victoria rounded out this category in third place with 72.3 points.

In the undergraduate category, Lakehead University came first with 47 points. Royal Military College of Canada was second with 42.7 points and University of Lethbridge was third with 36.5 points.

Half the points are awarded on the basis of financial indicators and the other half on publication indicators.

Ranking the universities by research income growth, Lakehead University tops the lists with an 87% increase. Wilfrid Laurier University comes 2nd with 46%, McMaster is 3rd with 40.1%, Laurentian is 4th with 30.2%, University of Lethbridge is 5th with a 29% increase in sponsored research income.

Looking at the universities ranked by research intensity (sponsored research income per full-time faculty), McMaster University is tops with $308,300 per faculty position, University of Toronto is 2nd with $298,300, McGill University is 3rd with $286,600, University of Alberta is 4th with $260,400 and the University of Ottawa rounds out the top 5 with $237,900 per faculty position.

For the regional picture, in fiscal 2005, BC’s four universities took in $498.7 million in sponsored research income, an increase of 2.4% over 2004 for 10% of the overall total.

Albertas three institutions took in $681.1 million, up 9.6% over last year for 13% of the total.

Saskatchewan’s 2 universities posted a 3.5% increase in sponsored research income with $135.4 million for 3% of the total.

Manitoba, also with two institutions on the list attracted $151.1 million, a 15.9% increase for 3% of the total.

Ontario’s 17 universities took in $2.1 billion, an increase of 12.3%, representing 41% of the total.

Quebec was the only province to record a decrease. Its 13 universities posted $1.4 billion in sponsored research income, down 12.6%.

New Brunswick’s two institutions posted $46.8 million, up 10.7%, PEI with its one university having received $9.7 million, up 7.3%, Nova Scotia’s five institutions took in $129.4 million, up 11.9% and Newfoundland with one university posted $61.5 million in sponsored research income, up 22.2%.