Introducing the Western Academy for Advanced Research


  • Western is establishing the Western Academy for Advanced Research
  • The initiative seeks interdisciplinary solutions to major world issues
  • The Academy will support Western Fellows, Visiting Western Fellows and Western Academy Postdoctoral Fellows

Dear colleagues,

This is an exciting day for Western’s research community.

We are thrilled to write with news that the university has established the Western Academy for Advanced Research, effective April 1, 2021.

This new initiative is an opportunity to bring together diverse research, scholarship, and creative activity from across campus, to partner with scholars around the world, to work as a collective, and to help find solutions to the major issues of our time.

Which of the world’s most-pressing issues should we tackle first?

The Academy will solicit proposals of themes from groups of faculty and postdoctoral scholars from across faculties, schools, and departments at Western, and proposed partners from around the world. It will provide the infrastructure necessary to organize and facilitate these themes, identify and attract participants, and disseminate results.

This initiative will enable us to support the secondment of Western Fellows, attract Visiting Western Fellows, and identify Western Academy Postdoctoral Fellows, who will, though a period of focused enquiry, dedicate their intellectual energies to these identified themes. Results will be captured in a high-quality monograph and be delivered through a public lecture series.

We would like to thank Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Stable Isotope Science, Fred Longstaffe, who will serve as the Academy’s founding Director. The university has committed to investing in, and supporting, this initiative, which is being championed by the offices of the Vice-President (Research) and Provost, for at least the next three years.

There is much more to come, but we want to share our excitement with you today.

Lesley Rigg, PhD
Vice-President (Research)

Dr. Sarah Prichard
Acting Provost and Vice-President (Academic)