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Fanshawe leaps up in ranking on Canada's Top 50 Research Colleges

Emily Stewart | Interrobang | News | November 21st, 2016

Fanshawe moved up from 49th to 32nd on the Re$earch Infosource Inc.’s Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges 2016 list. Fanshawe also saw a rise of 200 per cent in research income. The college has been included on the list for the third year in the row.

Philip Glennie, the communications and partnerships manager at Academica Group, explained that the rankings on the list are tied to the revenue from their research and the number of staff they have involved in the research.

“To go from 49 to 32 in the past year is very encouraging for Fanshawe,” he said. Glennie added that launching Canadian Centre for Product Validation (CCPV) and then the Centre for Advanced Research and Innovation in Biotechnology in the fall helped the college increase their ranking. Glennie said that Fanshawe could have a higher ranking next year, and possibly a spot in the top 10.

Glennie encouraged people who are interested in finding out more about Canadian Colleges’ research projects to visit and look at previous Top 10s in archives. He explained that the Top 10’s coverage surrounds major post-secondary education news stories.

“It’s a pretty exciting time to be at the college as we embark on this culture of research,” Dan Douglas, the dean for Fanshawe’s Centre for Advanced Research and Innovation said. “Research is a high level experiential opportunity for students to engage directly from their program to their community or business or industry partners. We’re seeing a high employment rate as the result of students who engaged with employers this way.”

Douglas said the higher ranking on the list reflects the increased number of activities within the college’s Centre for Advanced Research and Innovation. He said the motion touch capture suit for people with Parkinson’s disease is a higher profile research project from the past year. “It’s gotten a lot of press,” he said.

Douglas added that the student who created the suit earned first place in the research showcase at the Colleges and Institutes Canada Research, Innovations and Entrepreneurship Symposium. He said other projects included robotics for a soil sampling company, a test stand for Hudson Boat Works’ racing shells and surfactants for premature babies.

Douglas said the Centre for Advanced Research and Innovation is also working with funding from a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SHHRC) grant on a project called Safe Space, which helps marginalized women develop computer literacy skills. The program will also teach the women how to use other electronics such as cell phones.

Douglas said Fanshawe professor Jodi Hall, who won the research award for Fanshawe in 2016, has been working on Safe Space with many community partners.

“It was probably one of the largest community partners in the health sector that we’ve seen come together at the college,” Douglas said.

He added that he hopes the CCPV will bring Fanshawe’s ranking up even higher next year. Douglas said that meanwhile, the Centre for Advanced Research and Innovation has sent in plenty of proposals since its opening.

“We have a fairly significant one in right now around the AIG manufacturing sector,” he said. “We will also see some of the funding from the CCPV come in to our next reporting cycle.”

Douglas said students can let their faculty members know if they are interested in pursuing research opportunities.

“If they’ve already done some research projects within their program, we encourage them to enter in the research showcase,” he said. Douglas added that there is a research fund available for students who want to pursue research outside of their curriculum that is tied to sustainability.

Fanshawe’s next Research and Innovation Day will happen during late March.
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