Institutional Strategic Initiatives – Funding and Supports

From: Christine Allen, Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost, Strategic Initiatives
Date:  December 12, 2019
Re: Institutional Strategic Initiatives – Funding and Supports

The University of Toronto values the pursuit of interdisciplinary and cross-divisional research and collaboration. Such path-breaking scholarship addresses the complex questions that lead to transformational impact in society.

Institutional Strategic Initiatives (ISI) at the University of Toronto are large-scale, cross-divisional initiatives that support interdisciplinary teams of our researchers and partners to address grand challenges and pursue bold ideas. Such interdisciplinary initiatives also benefit students and other trainees with valuable educational opportunities.

My goal, as the new Associate Vice-President and Vice-Provost, Strategic Initiatives (AVPVP SI) is to improve our capacity to develop, implement and support these kinds of initiatives. Information regarding ISI support programs and connecting with upcoming ISI workshops can be found at Also available at the site are templates and resources on how to develop ISIs. I encourage you to share this link with your faculty, and to be in touch with me with ideas and questions.

The University has strengths across a broad range of disciplines and is located in one of the most diverse and globally connected cities in the world. These qualities – and our faculty’s creativity and research prowess – make U of T the perfect place to pursue interdisciplinary and cross-divisional research. The government and the private sector, in prioritizing innovation, look to the University as a place to invest in bold and broad initiatives that span disciplines and academic units.

Building and maintaining collaborative initiatives with multiple partners is challenging and particularly complex in the decentralized University of Toronto environment. The ISI portfolio serves as a hub for supporting these kinds of initiatives. Our team provides support and expertise in areas such as research leadership, bringing interdisciplinary teams together, budget and finance, human resources, proposal development, fellowship models, and the organization of events and public engagements. By working with our office, we hope to help you and your researchers eliminate duplication of these efforts within individual initiatives.

Along with these supports, and in consultation with chairs and deans, the ISI portfolio can also provide funds to match divisional or external commitments.