U of A makes strong gains in latest ranking of Canada's top 50 research universities

Significant funding boosts see U of A exceed $500 million in revenue earmarked for research.

The University of Alberta was among the leaders in a new ranking of Canadian universities' research funding, which reached levels not seen in a decade.

According to Research Infosource, research funding at the U of A jumped by $79.7 million-from $433.7 million to $513.3 million-in 2017-18. The 18.4 percent increase was the third largest percentage gain in a medical research university-trailing only Queen's and Memorial universities-and the second largest total gain after the University of Toronto, whose funding rose by $139.3 million.

Overall, the combined research income of Canada's Top 50 Research Universities jumped by 6.8 per cent in 2017-18, from $6.87 billion to $7.33 billion.

"At the U of A, we've been able to successfully access and leverage federal funding programs such as the Strategic Investment Fund and the Canada First Research Excellence Fund," said Matthias Ruth, Vice-president of research.

Announced in September 2016, the Strategic Investment Fund included $56.3 million in funding over three years from the Government of Canada and $26.5 million from the Government of Alberta. It was put towards 10 U of A infrastructure projects.

At a ceremony to mark the event earlier this month, U of A president David Turpin said these critical investments from the provincial and federal governments advance science and discovery at the university and across Canada.

"These investments enable remarkable students and researchers at different stages of their careers to take innovative risks and tackle pressing challenges to build a better future for everyone," he said.

Overall, the U of A has the fifth highest research funding income in the country, behind the U of T's $1.1 billion, the University of British Columbia's $577.2 million, Université de Montréal's $536.2 million and McGill University's $515.3 million.

Last year, the U of A trailed only the U of T in total year-over-year increase thanks to a $78.6-million increase that pushed research revenues to $461.4 million.