What is iRISE?

We live on a stressed planet. The impact of human activities on the structure and functioning of Earth’s systems has been so significant that we now live in a geological epoch of our own making - the Anthropocene. Human-caused global events threaten the future sustainability of the planet and exacerbate inequities. The U of T Scarborough community is rising to meet these local and global challenges.

U of T Scarborough is a vibrant intellectual community of conscientious and adaptable global leaders with world-recognized scholarly strength in relation to the environment, health and well-being, and sustainable economies and livelihoods. To conduct convergence research in these areas, iRISE and its founding institutes are being established to solve the complex problems we face today, and to connect them to complementary research being done elsewhere. This research will engage with other global frameworks, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, already foundational to the U of T Scarborough’s Strategic Plan, Inspiring Inclusive Excellence.

The research institutes will provide support for research and innovation at U of T Scarborough: facilitating internal and external collaborative research partnerships; identifying and pursuing research funding opportunities; fostering entrepreneurship and commercialization of scholarly endeavours; and heightening the visibility of the accomplishments of U of T Scarborough scholars.

A key priority for advancing U of T Scarborough global prominence and impact, iRISE and its components will collectively serve as a hub for game-changing multidisciplinary research and scholarly activities that span the university and beyond. In so doing, they will help create new narratives of our future and the realization of socially-just and -equitable transitions towards that future.

The three founding institutes are:


We want your input on iRISE.
Please provide your feedback here.


Engaging with the UTSC Community

iRISE is the product of the extensive community consultations and evidence-based review of the campus’ scholarly record that took place during the development of U of T Scarborough’s current Strategic Plan, Inspiring Inclusive Excellence.

In the 2022-23 academic year, we have conducted another round of consultations, and this input has been foundational to developing the Institutes, their priorities and their early programming.

Thank you to the hundreds of faculty, staff and librarians who have participated in a variety of ways:

  • Participating in a virtual Directors’ Forum: February 7 and February 27
  • Attending the CAD (Chairs and Directors) meeting March 10
  • Meeting with a Director
  • Sending an email with ideas or questions

Through these interactions, we have identified people interested in being involved as members of the institutes. They will provide more input to the Directors over the next months.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member please use the links below to contact one of the Directors:



Contact iRISE

Contact Inaugural Director Imre Szeman (Institute for Environment, Conservation, and Sustainability)

Contact Interim Director Charles Trick (Institute for Inclusive Health and Well-Being)

Contact Interim Director Caroline Shenaz Hossein (Institute for Inclusive Economies and Sustainable Livelihoods)

For general questions about iRISE, please contact us here.