UBC GREx institutes advance global excellence in collaborative and interdisciplinary research at UBC. They aim to integrate fundamental and translational research, and allow research clusters to realize their full potential and impact.

There are currently four GREx institutes at UBC:

  • The Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute was formally established as the first GREx institute in July 2016 after securing funding of $66.5m in the inaugural Canada First Research Excellence Fund competition in 2015. 
  • The BioProducts Institute was designated a GREx institute in 2020. The BioProducts Institute was an established research excellence cluster that had received support for several years through UBC’s Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters.
  • The Language Sciences Institute was designated a GREx institute in 2021. UBC Language Sciences received funding as a research excellence cluster through UBC’s Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters since 2016.
  • The Life Sciences Institute (LSI) was designated a GREx institute in 2022. Officially opened in 2005, as a GREx institute, the LSI is formally launching the Biological Resilience Initiative.

To become a GREx institute, existing UBC research institutes, centres and clusters must demonstrate their potential to move from internationally excellent to globally exceptional, both in terms of academic impact and translational/societal impact.

The process of becoming a GREx institute involves several stages. As an initial step, nomination for GREx status is by agreement between the Director of the Institute/Cluster, a Dean or Deans, the Provost and the Vice-President Research and Innovation. The first stage of review and approval is by the UBC Research and Innovation Council. Final review and approval are carried out by the Vancouver Senate.

In addition to demonstrating an outstanding track record of research funding and outputs, candidates for GREx designation must develop a strategic plan, form an international scientific advisory board and demonstrate a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

GREx institutes are able to leverage the direction, guidance and support provided by the UBC Research + Innovation Council, and various supports provided by the VP Research and Innovation portfolio, including professional personnel responsible for activities such as budgeting and finance, website support, reporting and strategic partnerships. 

The UBC Research and Innovation Council comprises the VP Research and Innovation (VPRI, chair); the Provost and Vice-President Academic, Vancouver; Associate VP Research and Innovation; the Associate Vice President Research & UBC-Okanagan Vice Principal Research; three Deans; and three external members. It is responsible for providing oversight of major research and innovation initiatives including all future GREx Institutes. The Council will establish clear criteria for GREx institutes to maintain their status beyond defined funding periods, and will dissolve an Institute if the criteria are not met.


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