Strategic Focus

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Message from the Vice-Dean, Research, Louis Barriault

Building on last year’s momentum, researchers at the Faculty of Science have made significant advances that will benefit Canadians.

For example, they have made progress in research on high-dimensional quantum cryptography to store maximum information in one photon, and on the development of new quantum protocols that could enhance the security of electronic voting or online auctions. Our researchers have also discovered some of the earliest traces of life on Earth by analyzing rocks found in Northern Quebec, providing clues on how life appeared on the planet. Fundamental studies on limb development mechanisms have shed light on the causes of congenital limb malformations. These are just a sample of the spectacular discoveries our colleagues have made. In addition, we have established several strategic partnerships, which will assist our researchers and their teams in transforming their fundamental research into applied science.

All these effervescent progresses have created a unique and stimulating research environment for our postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduates. Without a doubt, the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Science has positioned itself as one of the best places in North America to conduct research and train the scientific leaders of tomorrow.


The Research Office was established to support and promote research at the Faculty of Science. It serves as the main liaison between granting agencies and researchers, as well as with University of Ottawa research services.

The office also assists researchers in preparing grant and scholarship applications, as well as research chair and award nominations.

Strategic priorities

  • Increasing Faculty visibility and improving relations with alumni
  • Encouraging partnerships with industry
  • Promoting interdisciplinary research
  • Spurring international partnerships and funding from international sources
  • Seeking out alternative and unconventional funding sources.


Key research areas

The six key research areas identified in the Faculty of Science 2016–2021 Strategic Research Plan involve our researchers in some of the great scientific challenges of the 21st century.

Our focus on supporting basic research reinforces interdisciplinary research, research partnerships with industry and emerging research areas.

Fundamental and applied mathematics and statistics

Our faculty is home to internationally-renowned researchers in pure mathematics, and we are on track to rank among the top five departments of our kind in Canada for research intensity. Our mathematics professors are involved in various interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers in other faculties. In the coming years, we will focus our research on pure mathematics, data science, financial mathematics, multiscale analysis and scientific computation.

Biomolecular sciences and augmented biology

A growing number of professors are using their expertise in explaining and manipulating chemical reactions to better understand, control and alter biological mechanisms. We see this growing tendency towards interdisciplinary research in the Department of Physics, where a cluster of excellent biophysicists is pursuing research at the crossroads of biology, physics and engineering, including the development of new biomaterials. This is a unique opportunity to engineer living systems, open new research fields in biotechnology and create economic opportunity.

Advanced materials and photonics

Internationally renowned researchers and state-of-the-art facilities, combined with the synergy between photonics and materials research, are leading to world-class innovation in areas such as plasmonic materials and devices, and molecular magnetic and electronic materials. Major discoveries are also emerging from our research in the areas of advanced imaging, light-matter interaction, and leading-edge optical materials and nanophotonics, which combine our expertise in physics, chemistry and engineering of photosensitive materials.

Environment and resources

Many Faculty of Science research projects deal with the environmental impact of human activity, such as pollution resulting from natural resource exploitation. Research interests include the impact of natural resource exploitation, ecotoxicology, biodiversity and environmental change, accelerator mass spectrometry and environmental science big data.

Catalysis and renewable energy

Catalysis is an essential technology for the manufacture of chemical products and materials, therapeutic drugs and fuel cells and other energy conversion systems that have greatly contributed to enhancing our quality of life. Catalysis research areas at the Faculty of Science include catalyst development and chemical reactions to fabricate medicinal compounds, CO2 capture, continuous flow chemistry and fuel-producing biomass.

Quantum information

Quantum information is the interdisciplinary study of the connection between information theory and quantum physics. This discipline, which studies the microscopic laws of nature, can also provide solutions to intractable computational tasks and enhance security of communication. Our researchers are undertaking projects in fields such as quantum information, quantum cryptography and quantum communication.

Faculty of Science Research Committee members in 2016-17

Louis Barriault
Chair, Vice-Dean, Research
Antoine Morin
Vice-chair, Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies
Jules Blais
Professor, Department of Biology
Albert Stolow
Professor, Departments of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, and Physics
Pascal Audet
Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Kirill Zaynullin
Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Andrew Pelling
Professor, Department of Physics
Jasmine Lefebvre
Non-voting member, Research Facilitator
France Malette
Non-voting member, Chief Administrative Officer

Department Chairs

Frances Pick
Department of Biology
David Bryce
Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences
William Arnott
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Rafal Kulik
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
André Longtin
Department of Physics


University of Ottawa - Faculty of Science
Research Office
Tabaret Hall, room 378G and 364D
550 Cumberland St
Ottawa, ON Canada
K1N 6N5
Tel: (613) 562-5986 and (613) 562-5800 ext. 3927