Report on External Review of Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters Program

Last fall, an external review of UBC’s Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters (GCRC) program was conducted to assess its effectiveness in supporting Research Excellence Strategy 6 (Collaborative Clusters) of UBC’s strategic plan.

The GCRC program, established in 2017 by the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (VPRI) and the Provost & Vice-President, Academic (VPA), fosters collaboration and enables the formation and growth of interdisciplinary research networks led by researchers at the Vancouver campus.

A report on the external review’s findings was submitted to the VPRI and the VPA. A summary of that report and the initial response is now available on the research website for the UBC community, below.

The reviewers found that the university’s investment in the GCRC program was significant and encouraged UBC to continue to invest in internal catalytic funding, as well as explore opportunities to enhance interdisciplinarity and post-award support for clusters. They also suggested a closer examination of ways to reduce applicant, reviewer and administrative burdens. VPRI leadership and the administrative team for the GCRC program have committed to examining the findings and are considering opportunities to modify or improve the program based on them.

The external review, which took place from November 3–4, 2022, included on-site interviews with interested parties conducted by the three visiting reviewers, Drs. William Ghali (University of Calgary), Barbara Fallon (University of Toronto) and Anya Waite (Dalhousie University). The reviewers met with a broad complement of parties, including faculty, administrators, university leadership, and students.

Questions or comments about the review may be directed to Matthew Evenden, Associate Vice-President, Research & Innovation (

We thank the review committee members for their thoughtful comments and reflections and time spent in conducting the review, and thank those at UBC who participated in the review process.