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U15 Canadian Public Research Universities

U15 Canadian Public Research Universities

About U15

The U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities (commonly shortened to U15; U15 is an association of 15 Canadian public research universities. It is headquartered in Ottawa and was established in 1991 to represent its members’ interests, primarily to provincial and federal governments, concerning the research enterprise and government programs supporting research and development.

Its member institutions undertake 80 percent of all competitive university research in Canada and represent a research enterprise valued at more than $5 billion annually. Together, they contribute upwards of $36 billion to the Canadian economy every year and produce more than 70 percent of all doctorates awarded in Canada.

Are You Looking For Research Universities In Canada?

Canada’s U15 Universities, a major force in Canadian higher education, a group of Canada’s top 15 research universities, known collectively as U15, are major contributors to Canada’s science, technology and innovation ecosystem.

Together, they represent a $5.3 billion annual research enterprise, attract more than 87% of the private sector’s investment in university research, and receive 80% of Canada’s competitive research awards while holding a portfolio of more than 2,800 active intellectual property licenses.

Member Institutes

Reflecting the cultural and intellectual breadth, Canada’s 15 research-intensive universities bring distinguished minds to bear on the most profound challenges of our world face.

U15 universities

Which universities are included in Canada’s U15?

  1. University of Alberta
  2. University of British Columbia
  3. Dalhousie University
  4. University Laval
  5. University of Calgary
  6. McGill University
  7. University of Manitoba
  8. McMaster University
  9. University de Montreal
  10. University of Ottawa
  11. Queen’s University
  12. University of Saskatchewan
  13. University of Toronto
  14. Western University
  15. University of Waterloo

Even though each separate university focuses on advancing its own research. The U15 Directorate works for the collective interest. World-class researchers use state-of-the-art research infrastructure in order to make ground-breaking discoveries. Additionally, the goal is to “foster the development and delivery of long-term, sustainable higher education, and research policy, in Canada and around the world“.

What Does Canada’s U15 Actually Do?

Canada’s U15 participates in the Global Network of research-intensive university organizations that work towards advancing university research across the world.

  • Works with federal policymakers to better our conditions for fundamental research. 
  • Connects leading experts (from various fields of study) with those who are in need of expertise.
  • Researches collaborations with the public sector, government, and industry.
  • Creates high-impact data products and conducts analysis.

Canada’s U15 works tirelessly to contribute $36+ billion to the Canadian economy every year by undertaking 80% of all competitive university research within Canada. Also, they conduct $8.5 billion of research annually and make up approximately 75% of all doctorates awarded in Canada. Basically, Canada’s U15 holds 85% of Canadian university technology licenses and 81% of Canadian university patents.

What Does This Do on An International Level?

Certainly, Canada’s U15 is an asset to the international research community after joining the Global Network in 2014. The U15 is “committed to advancing the interests of university research on the world stage.” 

Global Network Partners of U15

  • Association of American Universities
  • The Association of East Asian Research Universities
  • German U15
  • Group of Eight Australia
  • League of European Research Universities
  • Research University 11
  • Russell Group

Domestic Partners and Stakeholders

  • Universities Canada
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research
  • Council of Ontario Universities
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

How Does the U15 Impact Canada?

Not only do these universities provide Canada with cutting-edge research and innovation, but they strengthen the economy. With 15-member universities across Canada, U15 provides necessary advice and analysis regarding higher education, as well as research and development. 

U15 Logo


“We in the U15 and our colleagues in the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) look forward to working with the federal government to finalize the details of this initiative so Canada can begin realizing the returns from this investment as soon as possible. The U15 also applauds the government’s investment of $46 million in new money for the Tri-Council granting agencies, starting in 2014, $224 million for TRIUMF, $15 million over three years for the Institute of Quantum Computing (IQC), and $8 million for Mitacs Industrial R&D fellowships.

U15 Principles

  • U15 pursue excellence.
  • U15 challenge Canadians to think deeply about what constitutes and contributes to the public good.
  • U15 contribute thought-provoking ideas and solutions in the global arena.
  • U15 stress the importance of international cooperation and collaboration.
  • U15 value the entire educational continuum, from primary and secondary schools to undergraduate and post-graduate studies.
  • U15 embrace the contributions of all fields, from the arts and humanities to science and technology, and the value of basic and applied research.
  • We endorse the peer-review process to challenge and strengthen discovery.
  • U15 promote the translation of our knowledge so it informs all aspects of daily life.
  • U15 advocate an open, honest approach to tackling complex issues, engaging all points of view and making difficult decisions.

U15 | Group of Canadian Research Universities

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