With annual research funding topping $513 million, 93 Canada Research Chairs, three Canada Excellence Research Chairs, a billion dollars in construction and more than 100 research centres and institutes, the University of Alberta is one of the most research intensive universities in Canada.
While we set a good example in our operational practices, U of A researchers are also seeking sustainability solutions - from energy, the environment, society, food & bioresources, health & wellness, and science & technology. The university has formed consortia and partnerships with associations and universities around the globe.
Many of our faculty members are involved in research that advances sustainability knowledge. As part of the STARS initiative, we estimate that 889 of the university’s 2,212 researchers are engaged in sustainability research. We also estimate that approximately 43 per cent of academic departments have at least one faculty member engaged in sustainability research.
Resources for researchers
The Research Services Office supports researchers on campus by assisting in their search for funding, connections to potential partners and administrative support. They also administer their own grant programs supporting energy and the environmental,
The Undergraduate Research Initiative supports the involvement of University of Alberta undergraduate students in research activities. The university’s professional community offers opportunities for students to conduct research related to campus sustainability.
The Helmholtz-Alberta Initiative is an independent international research partnership that effectively amalgamates the scientific and technical expertise of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres (HA) in Germany and the University of Alberta (UofA) in Canada to jointly develop solutions to key challenges in fields such as energy and the environment, ecosystem and resource informatics, and health.
University of Alberta researchers have found that abundant materials in the Earth’s crust can be used to make inexpensive and easily manufactured nanoparticle-based solar cells.
The discovery, several years in the making, is an important step forward in making solar power more accessible to parts of the world that are off the traditional electricity grid or face high power costs, such as the Canadian North, said researcher Jillian Buriak, a chemistry professor and senior research officer of the National Institute for Nanotechnology based on the U of A campus.
Buriak and her team have designed nanoparticles that absorb light and conduct electricity from two very common elements: phosphorus and zinc. Both materials are more plentiful than scarce materials such as cadmium and are free from manufacturing restrictions imposed on lead-based nanoparticles.