UBC Global Research Excellence (GREx) institutes are the University’s new standard for promoting research at the highest tier. 

The goals of GREx institutes are to advance excellence in research, to integrate fundamental and translational research, and to allow these research clusters to realize their full potential for excellence and impact.

The GREx approach will use proven best management practices, supported by dedicated professional resources in the GREx Secretariat, to ensure that the research and translational goals of GREx institutes are achieved. The GREx model aims to integrate the philosophies and practices of world-leading research organizations such as:

  • UBC’s Michael Smith Laboratories (“…a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary interaction and overlap of interest among the different groups.”),
  • the Max Planck Institutes (“Insight must precede application.”),
  • the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (“Act Nimbly, Work Boldly, Share Openly, Reach Globally”),
  • the Fraunhofer Institutes (“Dedicated to the Future…research and innovation form the basis for future value creations, jobs and prosperity”), and
  • concepts for technology development developed by NASA and adopted by many industries.

In 2014, in response to the inaugural Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) competition, UBC’s Vice President Research and International developed a competitive internal process to select which world-leading research clusters were best positioned to realize the GREx Institute vision. Key metrics included research inputs (e.g., external funding, CERCs, CRCs, scholarships, fellowships), outputs (e.g., publications, books, awards and prizes, intellectual property, HQP) and impacts (e.g., academic impacts, bibliometrics, social and economic impacts).

The Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute was selected as the cluster for submission to the CFREF comeptition, securing funding of $66.5m in 2015 and was formally established as the first GREx institute in July 2016. Read More >

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 impact, in order to earn the opportunity to become a GREx institute.

Key Features of GREx Institutes

The research and activities of the GREx Secretariat and SBQMI are undertaken thanks in part to funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.