$30M investment will see Queen’s University increase research capacity

Photo by Aaron Bailey.

A “transformative investment” will help Queen’s University increase its research capacity and advance groundbreaking discoveries that will “deepen our knowledge of people, the planet, and the universe,” according to a media release.

In the release from the university, dated Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, Queen’s announced that business leader and philanthropist Bruce Mitchell, Sc’68, DSc’20, will invest $30 million into his alma mater, with the goal of increasing research intensity and supporting graduate student recruitment.

“The Queen’s community is grateful for Bruce’s generosity and his commitment to research,” said Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane. “This generous gift provides us with the resources to help achieve our bold research goals in part, through the support of top researchers. With these additional funds, we are realizing our aspirations to become a world leader, bringing scholars and innovators together to make improvements across our many fields of study.”  

The university said that the gift will “dramatically improve and expand” Queen’s research and its real-world impact in many ways:

  • Nine existing faculty members will receive funds to further build their research programs and teams
  • Nine new faculty members will be hired to support research intensity in strategic research areas
  • Queen’s will recruit 54 postdoctoral fellows
  • Queen’s will increase the size of its graduate student body and enhance the university’s competitiveness in attracting a diverse global pool of graduate scholars, through financial support for an estimated 79 graduate students

“The best way to invest in research is to invest in people and create the optimal conditions for them to thrive,” said Vice-Principal (Research) Nancy Ross, Artsci’90, MA’92. “This gift allows us to focus on attracting and retaining the best faculty and graduate students. We hope to recruit rising stars and nurture them, setting up research environments where researchers are supported and able to progress.”

According to the release, the gift will further bolster research at Queen’s. The university is already home to 35 Canada Research Chairs, 99 Royal Society of Canada members, and a Nobel Laureate – Professor Emeritus Arthur B. McDonald, co-recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics.

“Research and innovation are powerful forces for positive change, and researchers play a critical role in shaping human knowledge,” said Mitchell, the Chief Executive Officer of Permian Industries. “My hope is that this investment in increasing Queen’s research intensity and graduate student enrolment will lead to discoveries that will benefit the world.”

This is not Mitchell’s first significant gift to the university. He was the lead donor in the revitalization of the Physical Education Centre (PEC), the university stated, which was named Mitchell Hall in his honour. That transformational investment also supported the creation of the Ingenuity Labs Research Institute within Mitchell Hall as well as the installation of five engineering professorships across three departments.

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