Research and Creation
Scope and Expertise
UL is ranked among the largest research universities in Canada and receives around $300 million in research funding annually. With its 250 research groups and chairs and 1,500 research professors, many of whom are internationally known, the campus hums with intellectual energy and excitement. UL is also the only Québec institution to house three Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada: ICIP (optics-photonics), and ArcticNet (northern studies and climate changes).
UL is a leader in a number of fields of research, including:
- Genomics and proteomics
- Image and sound technologies
- Optics-photonics and laser
- Neurosciences and mental health
- The study of obesity and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases
- Environment and sustainable development
- Francophone culture and heritage in North America
- Classical studies
- Aboriginal studies
- Northern studies
- Tissue Engineering
- Infectious diseases and cancer
- Museology and digital culture
- Nutraceuticals and functional foods
- Economic policy and poverty
- Materials science and bioengineering
UL research professors are recognized for the outstanding supervision they provide to students. The university has established a Supervisory Policy for students working on a master's thesis or PhD dissertation to help them reach their goals. This policy provides a framework for effective collaboration that facilitates the development and maintenance of strong professor-student relationships.
By joining one of UL's numerous research groups or chairs, you will have the opportunity to contribute to stimulating research. In addition to working with state-of-the-art equipment, you'll enjoy access to a structure that encourages and supports your success, notably through the contributions of research professors and professionals who provide support in the laboratory.
Satisfied research students
In spring 2010, nearly 1,700 master's and PhD students—roughly a quarter of all graduate students at Université Laval—participated in an online survey on the quality of training and services they had received. The satisfaction rate of research students was 93%.
Research at Université Laval is more interdisciplinary and international than ever, with a strong focus on partnership and collaboration. Institut québécois des hautes études internationales (HEI) and Institut Hydro-Québec en environnement, développement et société (Institut EDS) testify to this desire to break down disciplinary silos through their efforts to promote knowledge, international collaboration and problem solving in international relations and sustainable development, respectively. These two centres of excellence generate numerous knowledge-sharing activities, including conferences, seminars, summer schools, and lectures by leading experts. As a graduate student, you can be part of the excitement created by these two forums for research and debate. Many other groups and chairs are also working to bridge disciplinary boundaries, including the Centre for Northern Studies (Pure and Applied Sciences) and the Interuniversity Centre for Aboriginal Studies and Research (Law, Letters, Applied Sciences and Human Sciences).
Scientific and Technological Infrastructures
UL is home to scientific infrastructure valued at an estimated $500 million. Some of the university’s most notable facilities include:
- The Optics-Photonics Building, the only facility of its kind in the world
- A supercomputer on the list of 500 most powerful computers on the planet
- The Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (INAF)
- A high-performance greenhouse complex
- A multidisciplinary group specialized in agrifood technologies
- 8 archeology laboratories
- The Brain and Movement Laboratory
- An experimental laboratory specialized in wind energy
- State-of-the-art facilities in infectious diseases, genomics, cardiology, neuroscience, physical rehabilitation, oncology, and others.
- Laboratories specializing in wood processing, the study of concrete, and meats
- The Amundsen, the first Canadian research icebreaker in the Arctic
With its six million documents, the Library plays a central role in UL’s teaching and research mission. It is renowned for the size and scope of several of its specialized collections, including in music, educational material, and statistical and geospatial data. It has hundreds of databases and thousands of electronic journals and monographs. It publishes information on the latest publications in all academic disciplines, and provides access to the catalogues of university libraries all around the world.
Scientific Breakthroughs and Social Innovations
UL is proud to provide a dynamic and creative research environment that is attracting an ever-growing number of students to its master’s and PhD programs. Every year, researchers at UL make new scientific advances and introduce new social innovations. Indeed, UL ranks first among all Québec universities for the number of innovative discoveries honoured in by Québec Science magazine over the past fifteen years.
Here is a sampling of some of UL’s most outstanding innovations:
- Nanostructures targeting cancer cells
- Potential vaccines against deadly infections
- Percutaneously delivered prostheses for cardiovascular implants
- Pathogen-resistant cereal varieties
- All-electric automobiles
- Digitizing and modelling of three-dimensional objects for industrial and medical applications
- Strategic decision support tools for organizations facing the challenges of internationalization
- Joint work in engineering and in experimental museology
- Identification of factors for understanding psychosocial maladjustment and promoting academic success and retention.
- Control of thermal, lighting and acoustic environments in architecture and design
- Understanding emotions conveyed by the singing voice with the aid of spectrograms, and advances in hypermedia literary practices.