U of S Research Goes On Line

by Katherine Warden

The first comprehensive research web site at the University of Saskatchewan was launched in early March at a special campus event at which a news release announcing the site was posted live on the web.

"Creating this web site has been a priority for me since I joined the U of S a year and a half ago," Michael Corcoran, Vice-President Research, told the gathering of researchers, corporate and government partners, and the media. "I see it as an important first step in a renewed effort to convey the powerful impact of U of S research, scholarship and creative activity to our own research community, the province and the wider world. There is exciting research going on at the U of S for which we can all take pride."

The site at http://www.usask.ca/research/ is the new 'front door' to the $50-million-a-year U of S research enterprise. The target audience includes not just faculty and graduate students, but industrial partners, government agencies, the media and the general public.

Designed with the expert help of the Division of Audio-Visual Services (DAVS), the site is designed to provide one-stop shopping for researchers, whether they're seeking new opportunities for funding, grant deadline information, or tips for success in applying for grants. "With downloadable application forms, searchable funding databases, and many useful links, this site will make it easier for researchers in all fields to access the information they need" Corcoran said.

Though just a shell at present, the site is intended to celebrate the diversity, strengths, and wide-ranging societal value of U of S research by presenting researcher profiles, news briefs, and other features. The site was designed around the new 'Investing in Ideas' research logo. "All research starts with an illuminating idea, an idea that helps us to see the world in a new light or potentially to solve a problem in medicine, science, society, or the economy," said Corcoran. He stressed grants to researchers are not simply an expenditure, they're an investment with long-term payoff. The payoff may be intangible, such as new knowledge for a more enlightened and civil society, or it may be measurable, such as an economic stimulus provided by a new and improved crop such as Harrington barley which now earns 60 times its development costs annually. It was developed in the early '80s.

Corcoran hopes that by showcasing U of S research achievements, the site will help draw attention to the U of S's national and international reputation and attract more top students and researchers.