Dear Colleagues:

A few staff had questions about UHN Research's current fiscal situation and what it means for UHN. I'd like to spend a few minutes talking about this.

As an academic teaching hospital, one of UHN's core mandates is research. This is reflected in our budgetary approach focused on hospital operations, research and capital renewal.

To fund research projects, researchers compete for grants provided by various agencies and government. They also rely on donations made to UHN's three Foundations. Our researchers are extremely successful in attracting grants, but sometimes the conditions under which the money is given do not allow UHN to recover the full cost of the overhead associated with the core services available to all researchers. This core budget is used to fund services such as grants administration, ethics review, research facilities and the research computer network, among other things. All of these services are essential to the success of the research enterprise and Chris and his group are working with the whole research area to come up with solutions.

Our researchers should be very proud of their work, which has led to many breakthroughs in patient care. With the success of our research teams comes the need for expanded research space (including the opening of the Toronto Discovery Medical Tower), additional staff, facilities and other operating costs. This has naturally placed additional pressures on the core research budget.

The great success we have experienced in building our research capability has resulted in a deficit position within the Research envelope As a result, Dr. Chris Paige, Vice President of Research presented strategies to reduce that deficit to UHN Senior Management team. Kevin Empey, Chris and his team have been working hard to reduce the deficit and to develop strategies, which will see the research budget in a more balanced position next year and into the future.

These strategies include a combination of reducing expenses and increasing revenues within the Research envelope. I can assure you that Research's fiscal challenges will not impact patient care delivery and will not prevent us from realizing our Purpose and Vision of achieving global impact.

Tackling a deficit is difficult and I realize this is difficult news for our research colleagues. We will continue supporting Chris and his team as they work through a deficit recovery plan. I also encourage research staff to attend one of the Town Hall sessions with Chris and the Institute Directors.

As always, if you have any questions please drop me a line.


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