A year-long internal review of the structure and functionality of the Office of Research is complete, and the office will be adding capacity to better serve both internal clients and external funding sponsors.

The changes were approved Wednesday by the Board of Governors as part of the 2011/2012 base operating budget for the Office of Research. The office oversees a $158-million research enterprise across seven colleges, four regional campuses, 14 research stations and the University’s partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). It also serves a central role in research relationships with the federal government, industry, foundations and international sponsors.

The office will return to having two associate vice-presidents of research (AVPR). Prof. Rich Moccia has been serving as AVPR (agri-food and partnerships) and as acting AVPR (research services) for the past year, following the departure of Prof. Steven Liss last April.

Moccia will assume the new AVPR (strategic partnerships) portfolio, overseeing collaborations that include the nearly $75-million-a-year OMAFRA agreement. He will also manage other public- and private-sector partnerships, the University’s off-campus Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario research stations, research infrastructure at the Alfred, Ridgetown and Kemptville campuses, the Laboratory Services Division and Animal Care Services.

The new AVPR will oversee research services, including contracts and grants, research communications, information technology, research risk management, infrastructure and strategic projects, and research ethics. Moccia will continue as acting AVPR until the position is filled.

In response to requests from faculty, the office will be expanding to improve services to meet increased demand in the areas of grants, contracts, risk management and legal review.

“Guelph is a leading research-intensive university with an ever-growing, complex research enterprise,” said Kevin Hall, vice-president (research). “These changes will allow our office to improve the services that we provide both internally and externally.”