Impactful Research

Vice-Dean (Research) Wojtek Michalowski’s research ambitions for our school hinge on multifaceted engagement.

Wojtek Michalowski

Wojtek Michalowski


Research with impact does not happen without engagement. It’s that simple. Impactful research, by definition, is relevant to how organizations operate and apt to influence how we as a society live and work. The days when Leonardo da Vinci could shut himself inside his room in Florence and carry out groundbreaking inquiries are long gone. Don’t get me wrong: Leonardo is a genius who comes along maybe once in a millennium. To achieve impact today, research must be a team effort based on what I call multifaceted engagement. In the context of the Telfer School, multifaceted engagement means bringing together researchers from across many disciplines, including graduate students and postdocs in the work, and involving organizations that could be expected to find applications for new knowledge.

Generating knowledge is essential for us at the Telfer School—knowledge that goes into textbooks, informs courses, shapes curricula and thereby enlightens students; knowledge that also opens up new opportunities for organizations and societies. That’s why we must not be content to simply follow what we practise as a society – our research must be ahead of what we know now. The moment we stop looking ahead, stop developing knowledge, stop finding new paths, stop setting ambitious research goals, is the moment we stop being an academic entity.

So we’ve set the bar high for our research enterprise. My goal as vice-dean is to help make our school one of the top research-intensive business schools in Canada. To get there, we have taken steps recently to promote and support research engagement internally. The biggest is the Telfer Partnership Research Grant Competition, which will provide financial support to the top multidisciplinary research teams at our school. In the months ahead, we’ll take several more steps to increase our research engagement—especially our connections with people, organizations and groups outside the Telfer School. Building these relationships requires time, just as carrying out relevant, useful research does. But I am confident that together, with Telfer colleagues, we will heighten our engagement and carry out impactful research for the betterment of our region, our country, our world.