Jan. 25, 2022

UCalgary named a top 5 research university for the first time

‘Tremendous growth’ result of dedication and excellence
Top 5 research university

The University of Calgary ranked fifth among Canada’s top research universities in Re$earch Infosource Inc.’s latest Top 50 Research Universities list released on Jan. 25, 2022. UCalgary is the youngest university to have reached the top five.

“When we announced our Eyes High vision to become recognized as a top-five research university, we knew it was an ambitious goal ­— but we also knew it was achievable,” says Dr. Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary. “I am thrilled that this recognition is starting to be realized by objective ranking systems. I congratulate the campus community on this achievement. It was a collective effort, and we share in this success and all that will come next.” 

UCalgary’s fifth-place rank among Canadian universities is based on the $457 million of sponsored research income generated in 2019-20. Since the submission of this data, UCalgary has also publicized the institution’s 2021 sponsored research income total of $504 million — a 10.3 per cent increase over 2019-20.

"This increase in funding demonstrates that our research is highly relevant, and pursuing bold new solutions to society’s complex challenges,” says McCauley. “Research dollars also create opportunities: jobs and training, experiential learning, access to cutting-edge facilities and an expanded innovation ecosystem.”

UCalgary has also ranked in the top five in four major 20-year growth metrics:

  • No. 4 in Research Income Growth: 167% from 2001-2020
  • No. 1 in University Cross-Sector Collaboration Publication Growth: 522% from 2000-2019
  • No. 3 in Research Publication Growth: 226% from 2000-2019
  • No. 3 in University International Collaboration Publication Growth: 433% from 2000-2019

“The University of Calgary is performing in the ranks of much larger, more established institutions who inspire us to continue our pursuit of research excellence. We’re thrilled to be sharing this news with Calgarians,” says Dr. William Ghali, vice-president (research). “This ranking shows that we are a sought-after destination for the best and brightest scholars, who are driven to pursue impactful research in a top-tier environment.”

UCalgary has the fastest growth rate in attracting research funding among the 10 largest universities in Canada. Research contributes to the diversification of Calgary’s economy, attracts new business, and fosters a spirit of collaboration and innovation. Research makes up $8 billion of the institution’s total $16 billion economic impact. Learn more about the rankings on the Top 5 web page.

UCalgary is a celebrated international leader across many disciplines and a champion for community-engaged research. UCalgary is also home to a dynamic innovation community, as the number one startup creator among Canadian research universities.

“This achievement not only highlights the quality of our scholars, but also the opportunity available for our undergraduate and graduate students,” says Dr. Teri Balser, provost and vice-president (academic). “There is an energy that comes from engaging in learning and discovery, grounded in the latest research with top scholars in the world, that simply can’t be replicated. We are proud at UCalgary to be able to offer an environment that prepares students for academic and professional paths.”

Re$earch Infosource Inc. places Canadian universities into one of four tiers (i.e., medical, comprehensive, undergraduate, and specialized) and then ranks their performance based on the total amount of sponsored research income they generate. This includes all funds to support research received in the form of a grant, contribution or contract from all sources external to the institution.

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