Vice-President, Research and Innovation

Dr. Andrew P. Dean

Photos of Dr. Andrew P. Dean, VPRI, Lakehead University

Welcome to the site for Research and Innovation at Lakehead University. Here you will find extensive information about the Office of Research Services, the Office of Innovation, Partnerships and Economic Development, and Lakehead University’s Centre for Analytical Services (LUCAS), the Senate Research Committee, and Research Ethics Board, etc. While Lakehead University is a relatively small university, we are consistently one of the leaders in Canada in terms of research productivity and impact.

Lakehead University is a dynamic and forward-thinking institution with our two campuses in Thunder Bay and Orillia, Ontario, Canada. Lakehead is continuously recognized for its commitment to research and innovation year after year. In 2023, Lakehead was included in the top 3 research universities of the year in Canada in our peer category, and also #1 in the not-for-profit research income.

Some of our other achievements are: 

  • Re$earch Infosource named Lakehead the #1 Canadian research university in our peer category for five years in a row (2015-2019)

  • Re$earch Infosource named Lakehead the #1 in the not-for profit research income in our peer category (2020-2022)

  • 2023 Times Higher Education Global Impact Rankings named Lakehead among the top 10% of the World’s Universities in terms of our social impact, for 4 years in a row 

  • 2023 Times Higher Education Global Impact Rankings named Lakehead the #1 ranked university in North America with under 9,000 students 

  • Maclean’s ranked Lakehead among Canada’s top 10 primarily undergraduate universities in 2023 

  • The only university in Canada to be awarded the Innovation and Economic Prosperity Designation by the Association of Public Land Grant Universities

Lakehead University is a hub for research excellence, entrepreneurship and innovation, and community impact. Lakehead offers a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate programs across various disciplines. Our researchers are committed to shaping future research leaders and fostering critical thinking through their research programs. Our faculty and students engage in all types of research, including scientific discoveries, understanding society and culture, and finding solutions that will improve our lives.

At Lakehead University, our core beliefs and values for research fall under three main research principles, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Ethical Conduct of Research and Processes, and Research Excellence.  While all research is encouraged and supported, the university has defined certain strategic research priorities with a particular emphasis on “Cultures, Societies, and Social Justice”, “First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Research”, “Health and Well-Being”, “Informatics, New Materials and Technologies”, and “Sustainability, Resources, and the Environment” (please see our Research Plan 2024-2026 for more information).  These areas reflect our history, collaborations and areas where our research contributes to the economies of Northwestern Ontario and Simcoe County.  But of course, our research also has an international reach, and we continue to add partner institutions and funding agencies throughout the world. The university has 14 research centres and institutes and they have significant community research outreach. We also have an incubator space called Ingenuity, where students take start-up concepts from Ideation to Innovation.

Our strong commitment to our regional communities has enhanced our economic impact and research contributions to Northwestern Ontario and Simcoe County, where we have been a trusted source of information. While we are a small regional university, our reach expands internationally with our many research partners worldwide.

When research is conducted at Lakehead University, research outputs extend into the public domain, and our impact can be felt globally.

Each year, we have a celebration of our research and innovation. If you are on campus during this time, I personally invite you to come and attend some of the events and see first-hand why we are a leading research university in Canada!

Research and Innovation Organizational Chart