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Our Commitment to Fundamental Research

Fundamental research is the backbone of what we do as a university. Generating new knowledge lays the foundation for our capacity to understand. It sparks curiosity and drives exploration, offering up new perspectives and observations to advance human knowledge and test new ideas.

Improving our understanding can have far-reaching and unpredictable implications. Indeed, some of the world’s greatest inventions have been total happenstance, never even dreamed of by their creators. In other cases, basic research conducted decades earlier has laid the groundwork for an invention or breakthrough by someone who later applied the information. The whole point of exploration is you don’t know what you’re going to find.

Curiosity and inquiry are essential to scientific advancement and must be supported and nurtured among our faculty—particularly young faculty who represent the future of our research enterprise—and students across all disciplines.

Our commitment is to foster and support foundational research across the disciplines and to create an environment where interdisciplinary collaboration refuses to pigeonhole creativity and innovation. We understand the critical role fundamental research plays in advancing our society and its important contribution in the journey of discovery.

Research for a Brighter World — Strategic Plan for Research 2018-2023 pays testament to McMaster’s unwavering belief in the long-term impact of fundamental research and our ongoing commitment to provide the freedom and resources that will allow it to thrive and flourish across our campus.