Strategic Focus

" The 2017-2018 academic year was one of exciting changes in the Faculty of Science with the opening of the STEM complex, a place where the clash of ideas occurs. The largest building on campus, the STEM complex doubles our space for research, experiential learning and entrepreneurship. It is a place where our traditional ways of doing scientific research are challenged to encourage inclusion and innovation among disciplines. It provides a stimulating environment to train future generations of innovators who combine fundamental knowledge with transferable skills and entrepreneurial know-how. We witnessed major research advances this last year; for instance, in nanotechnology, in the development of designer proteins that can be used in Industry and Medicine, and in research aimed at minimizing firefighters’ exposure to toxins. This new level of research innovation was made possible through our numerous partnerships. Our researchers consolidate and expand their past success in competitions for external funding, which bodes well for a bright future ahead for the Faculty of Science."

- Marc Ekker, Vice-Dean, Research


The Research Office was established to support and promote research at the Faculty of Science. It serves as the main liaison between granting agencies and researchers, as well as with University of Ottawa research services.

The office also assists researchers in preparing grant and scholarship applications, as well as research chair applications and award nominations.

Strategic Priorities

  • Increasing Faculty visibility and improving relations with alumni
  • Encouraging partnerships with industry
  • Promoting interdisciplinary research
  • Spurring international partnerships and funding from international sources
  • Seeking out alternative and unconventional funding sources.

Key research areas

The six key research areas identified in the Faculty of Science 2016–2021 Strategic Research Plan involve our researchers in some of the great scientific challenges of the 21st century.

Our focus on supporting basic research reinforces interdisciplinary research, research partnerships with industry and emerging research areas.

Fundamental and applied mathematics and statistics

Our faculty is home to internationally-renowned researchers in pure mathematics, and we are on track to rank among the top five departments of our kind in Canada for research intensity. Our mathematics professors are involved in various interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers in other faculties. In the coming years, we will focus our research on pure mathematics, data science, financial mathematics, multiscale analysis and scientific computation.

Biomolecular sciences and augmented biology

A growing number of professors are using their expertise in explaining and manipulating chemical reactions to better understand, control and alter biological mechanisms. We see this growing tendency towards interdisciplinary research in the Department of Physics, where a cluster of excellent biophysicists is pursuing research at the crossroads of biology, physics and engineering, including the development of new biomaterials. This is a unique opportunity to engineer living systems, open new research fields in biotechnology and create economic opportunity.

Advanced materials and photonics

Internationally renowned researchers and state-of-the-art facilities, combined with the synergy between photonics and materials research, are leading to world-class innovation in areas such as plasmonic materials and devices, and molecular magnetic and electronic materials. Major discoveries are also emerging from our research in the areas of advanced imaging, light-matter interaction, and leading-edge optical materials and nanophotonics, which combine our expertise in physics, chemistry and engineering of photosensitive materials.

Environment and resources

Many Faculty of Science research projects deal with the environmental impact of human activity, such as pollution resulting from natural resource exploitation. Research interests include the impact of natural resource exploitation, ecotoxicology, biodiversity and environmental change, accelerator mass spectrometry and environmental science big data.

Catalysis and renewable energy

Catalysis is an essential technology for the manufacture of chemical products and materials, therapeutic drugs and fuel cells and other energy conversion systems that have greatly contributed to enhancing our quality of life. Catalysis research areas at the Faculty of Science include catalyst development and chemical reactions to fabricate medicinal compounds, CO2 capture, continuous flow chemistry and fuel-producing biomass.

Quantum information

Quantum information is the interdisciplinary study of the connection between information theory and quantum physics. This discipline, which studies the microscopic laws of nature, can also provide solutions to intractable computational tasks and enhance security of communication. Our researchers are undertaking projects in fields such as quantum information, quantum cryptography and quantum communication.

Faculty of Science Research Committee members in 2017

  • Marc Ekker (chair); Vice-Dean, Research
  • Victor Leblanc (vice-chair); Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies
  • Jules Blais; Professor, Department of Biology
  • Albert Stolow; Professor, Departments of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, and Physics
  • Pascal Audet; Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Kirill Zaynullin; Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Andrew Pelling; Professor, Department of Physics
  • Jasmine Lefebvre (non-voting member); Research Facilitator
  • Céline Marie (non-voting member); Research Facilitator
  • France Malette (non-voting member); Chief Administrative Officer

Department Chairs

  • Frances Pick – Department of Biology
  • David Bryce – Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences
  • William Arnott – Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Rafal Kulik – Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • André Longtin – Department of Physics
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