Our Office

Associate Vice-President Research

Jim Basinger

 Jim Basinger
Associate Vice-President Research
Phone: (306) 966-1615
Fax: (306) 966-8736
Email: jim.basinger@usask.ca

This position, created to foster improved funding and research support, increase scholarly output, and promote greater understanding of the role and importance of research and scholarly activity, is fully funded by the federal Indirect Costs Program.

As a member of the Vice-President Research Executive, Basinger helps manage key initiatives such as the Indirect Costs of Research Fund, the Canada Foundation for Innovation Operating Fund, the Canada Research Chairs program, university-level research centres, and the Vice-President Research Integrated Plan.

Dr. Basinger leads a number of important initiatives including helping to define areas of pre-eminence at the U of S, assembling proactive research administration teams, and launching a U of S Chairs program. He also provides leadership in key areas including the Canada Research Chairs renewal process, strategic support to the University’s tri-council research co-coordinators, and strategic support for research centres.

Working with the Research, Scholarly and Artistic Work (RSA) Committee of Council and the associate deans of research, Basinger assists in research policy development and a broad range of strategic initiatives including supporting strong researchers and research groups; enhancing research support from both granting agencies and the private sector; and developing stronger links between the research administration and graduate students.

He assists in external relations with research funding partners and with community groups, especially the Aboriginal community. He also helps advance core areas of the Office including knowledge and technology transfer, regulatory compliance, research contract administration, and research communications.


Jim Basinger received a B.Sc. in Botany at the University of Alberta. He then earned an M.Sc. in 1976 and Ph.D in 1979 at the University of Alberta in Paleobotany. After two years as a postdoctoral fellow in the U.S.A., Australia, and Canada, he joined the faculty of the Department of Geological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science at the University of Saskatchewan in 1981.

His research program in the evolution of plants and environments has included extensive field-based research in Western Canada and the Canadian High Arctic. Since 1982 he has investigated the remains of fossil plants in northernmost Canada, and was involved in the much-publicized discovery of the 45-60 million-year-old fossil forests of Axel Heiberg and Ellesmere islands. These fossil forests provide a window into Earth’s past, to a time when global climate was much warmer than present, and forests existed throughout the polar regions. His research also includes fossils of this age from southern Saskatchewan and British Columbia. His arctic research has also brought to light one of the best sources of some of the world’s oldest land plants, in 400-million-year-old rocks of Bathurst Island, in the central Arctic Archipelago of Canada.

Basinger served as Head of the Department of Geological Sciences from 1997-2003, and as Associate Dean Science from 2004-2007. He has gained extensive experience in university administration, including service as past Chair of the RSAW Committee of Council, and as a senior administrative appointment to the Collective Negotiations Committee for faculty collective bargaining. He continues to teach introductory science, and actively contributes to supervision of graduate and undergraduate student research in plant evolutionary biology.