Dimensions logoThe Government of Canada today awarded recognitions to 10 post-secondary institutions as part of the Dimensions: equity, diversity and inclusion program to support the advancement of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in research. This marks the wrap-up of a pilot phase of the program which started in 2019 and originally involved 17 universities and colleges. MSVU is the only Atlantic Canadian university to be awarded Dimensions recognition.

Dimensions is a federal program to help drive deeper EDI cultural change across postsecondary research. The recognition program includes four stages: from foundation to transformation.

Noted the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, “The recipients of the Dimensions recognitions are transforming the Canadian research ecosystem and paving the way for better science and research by identifying and eliminating obstacles and inequities. Ultimately, they are leading us to a more successful Canada. Congratulations to the recipients.”

MSVU received a Foundation recognition under the Dimensions program. This accomplishment reflects that the institution has started to address equity, diversity and inclusion in a strategic and coordinated way, and has provided evidence of: motivation; gaps and needs; assets and obstacles; commitment; and change.

“MSVU’s successful application to this recognition program speaks to the strength of our leadership in advancing EDIA across all aspects of higher education,” said Dr. Joël Dickinson, President and Vice-Chancellor, Mount Saint Vincent University.

She continued, “I’m grateful to the many MSVU faculty and staff who have led this effort to date. And I’m excited to see where this next phase takes us – not just at MSVU, but across our sector. Because, in the end, a research sector that is equitable, inclusive and diverse means a quality of research that better supports a diversity of Canadians. Ultimately, we are all benefactors of the work of Canadian researchers.”

Integral aspects of MSVU’s work to advance EDIA in research include:

  • creating access to research opportunity for diverse researchers, including students;
  • ensuring research focused on addressing the issues that are most pressing for historically marginalized groups; and
  • fostering strong research partnerships with a diversity of organizations, including community groups.

A commitment to advancing EDIA in research is articulated in MSVU’s strategic plan Strength Through Community (theme 2).

MSVU’s next steps will focus on solidifying the successes identified through the program application process, and addressing the gaps. The university will also prioritize sharing of best practices across the sector so that the breadth of impact of this program is as significant as possible.

The Dimensions program is led by the three federal granting agencies: the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), under the leadership of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC). In 2018, the Government of Canada committed to implementing a version of the internationally recognized Athena SWAN program adapted to Canadian realities. The Dimensions program pilot launched in 2019.