Research centres like CRECS are essential for the growth and vitality of universities. We know that most research, especially research that is field-based, is also team-based. We know that this research is increasingly resource intensive. We know that research funding is increasingly difficult to secure from traditional council sources. We know that university-based researchers too often work in solitude and seek opportunities for fellowship and support from their peers, for the development of skills, and the sharing of research findings.
Over the past 15 years CRECS has been enormously successful in securing grants and contracts, forging a network of partnerships with local, provincial, national and international groups, and enhancing its own reputation for engaged scholarship, along with that of the Faculties of Social Sciences and Education. This leadership has also extended to its support of its colleagues. CRECS has helped newer faculty members in kick-starting their careers through introductions to community partners and support in developing proposals and research teams. It has also provided practical research support, training, and forums for the sharing of research findings and a setting for the mutual support and collaboration of researchers who otherwise might spend much of their professional lives working in isolation.
Through all of this, CRECS has become an indispensable asset to a community of researchers at the University. The future of CRECS will involve continuing to do what it has always done best. However, at this time, new goals and priorities may also emerge. I see a priority for the Centre to continue to engage a new generation of researchers. CRECS must be open to hearing and responding to the interests and needs of these colleagues and continue to offer the vision, services, and support for which it is well known.
I am looking forward to working with my co-director Ruth Kane, our coordinator Alejandro Gomez, and all our senior and affiliated researchers in continuing to grow and strengthen CRECS, to ensure the next years are every bit as bright as those past.
John Sylvestre, Director