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University research income expands at slowest pace since 2001


Toronto, ON – Total research income at the 50 leading universities expanded by just 1.1% in fiscal 2012, the slowest growth since 2001, according to this year’s annual ranking of Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities, released today by Research Infosource. The national result was depressed by sharp cutbacks in provincial research funding in Alberta.

The University of Toronto became the first institution to post over $1 billion of research income ($1.038 billion), followed by University of British Columbia ($585.2 million) and Université de Montréal ($526.2 million). McGill University ($483.5 million) and University of Alberta ($452.4 million).

The following universities saw the greatest percentage growth in research funding: Memorial University of Newfoundland at 52.6 %, Université de Sherbrooke at 27.3 %, University of Toronto at 13.4 %, Université du Québec à Montréal at 11.8 %, and Western University at 10.2 %.

Infosource also designated three institutions as Research Universities of the Year 2013 in their respective categories:  University of Toronto (Medical/Doctoral), University of Waterloo (Comprehensive) and Université du Québec à Rimouski (Undergraduate).

“It was only two years ago that university research income expanded at an annual 3.6% pace, a rate of increase that seems idyllic compared with this year’s pace of 1.1%,” said Ron Freedman, CEO of Research Infosource.  “Cutbacks in provincial government support weighed heavily on this year’s results in Alberta and Saskatchewan.  Corporate funding has been reined in by weak global business conditions and the retreat of the pharmaceutical sector from research funding.  Federal government support has been steady, but a far cry from the expansionary trend of the past decade.  Governments typically account for over two-thirds of university research income, so future prospects are directly tied to the fortunes of the public sector.”

The complete list  can be downloaded from www.researchinfosource.com/top50_univ.php