Strategic Goal: Tackle the Grand Challenges of Our Time

All researchers address challenges. Some of these challenges are grand.

Issues like systemic racism, sustainability, global health, socioeconomic inequality, threats to democracy, and climate change – as examples of grand challenges – require collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches because they require interdisciplinary and collaborative solutions.

Western Research will foster models of collaboration and interdisciplinarity that bring together top minds from within and outside the university. Research centres, groups, and institutes often play a vital role in these efforts. By working together, we can apply diverse perspectives and expertise to some of the most pressing challenges facing our world.

Strategies to tackle the grand challenges of our time include:



Western Research Chairs

We have successfully rolled out a revitalized Western Research Chairs program, which includes goals related to collaboration, interdisciplinarity, and to engaging the world.


Western Research Institutes

We continue to pursue and advance a research institutes model as one avenue for supporting interdisciplinarity, which remains one of our best options for tackling the grand challenges of our time. We recently introduced the Rotman Institute of Philosophy, which joins the Western Institute of Neuroscience, the Institute for Earth & Space Exploration, and the Bone & Joint Institute.


Western Academy for Advanced Research

The Western Academy for Advanced Research, which brings together interdisciplinary and international teams of scholars to address major issues facing humanity through periods of dedicated focus, launched officially in 2022.