McMaster announces major funding increase for research excellence

A significant funding increase will support and incentivise research excellence across McMaster University’s six Faculties, Research Centres and Institutes. 

McMaster’s provost made the announcement after receiving recommendations made by a working group of administrative leaders, faculty members and finance staff representing units across the university.  

The Budget Model Review Working Group was tasked with exploring how McMaster’s University Fund supports research, and with considering broadening the cost drivers for research support. The University Fund is a pool of funds managed by McMaster’s provost that can be used strategically in support of the university mission. 

After receiving the working group’s report, the provost engaged in additional consultations with research leaders at McMaster and decided to further enhance support for research. 

“Research excellence is a vital activity at McMaster,” said Susan Tighe, provost and vice-president (Academic). “I am pleased to accept the direction of the recommendations in the report and excited to provide additional funding to ensure we fully realize the potential of McMaster’s budget model to support and incentivize research.”  

The Research Excellence Fund will be increased to a flat rate of $10 million annually from the University Fund for a three-year period, up from the current $2.5 million. This increase represents approximately 20 per cent of the University Fund. 

“This is a substantial increase that underscores McMaster’s commitment to the strategic use of the University Fund to support research across the institution,” said Andy Knights, acting vice-president, Research. “This is a sizable and direct investment that will also benefit our core Research Centres and Institutes.” 

The Budget Model Review Working Group was struck following an external review of McMaster’s Budget Model conducted in June 2023, which involved extensive consultations across campus. While the reviewers found the hybrid activity-based budget model is working well, they made five recommendations in light of evolving conditions in Ontario’s post-secondary sector and within McMaster’s own campus. 

A key recommendation was to strike this working group. 

“An important aspect of the new funding model is that it provides the Faculties with the necessary resources earlier in the budgeting process,” said Paul O’Byrne, dean and vice-president, Faculty of Health Sciences. “This enhanced support for research will have a profound impact on our ability to address some of the most pressing health challenges of our time.” 

Tighe said the research conducted at McMaster drives innovation and contributes to the social, cultural and economic fabric of our society, locally and globally.  

“I am excited that we are able to increase research support and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this investment.” 

Membership: Budget Model Review Working Group  

  • Melissa Pool, associate vice-president Academic Planning and Finance (chair) 
  • Matheus Grasselli, deputy provost  
  • Khaled Hassanein, dean, DeGroote School of Business 
  • Claude Eilers, associate professor, Greek and Roman Studies 
  • Alison Sills, professor and chair, Physics & Astronomy 
  • Susan Galloway, executive director, Finance, Health Sciences 
  • Lou Mitton, controller, Financial Affairs 
  • Kathy Charters, assistant vice-president, Research Administration 
  • Nancy Balfoort, director, Finance and Administration, Engineering 
  • Juliette Prouse, director, Finance and Administration, Social Sciences 
  • Iain Clarkson, budget director, Financial Affairs