This project showcases data gathered through a survey of research faculty in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). The survey data reveals the diversity of areas and topics that FASS researchers study. It showcases research collaborations that span the globe and reveals how FASS researchers engage with communities operating locally in Vancouver, nationally in canada, and internationally. Our partnership with FASS has lasted several years and has evolved significantly since its inception.

The visualizations below are designed to showcase FASS research to a broad audience including prospective and existing students, their parents, the general public, and journalists. These data also provide an excellent vehicle for researchers to discover shared research interests to foster new relationships and collaborations.


This project has generated interest around the university to begin similar initiatives surveying and showcasing research activity, collaborations, and community engagements. Research at SFU is very diverse and its impact is equally so. That is why research impact is notoriously hard to measure or communicate easily. This project has provided a platform to capture the richness of this diversity and reveal at least some types of impact in ways that normative approaches do not.

Network Model of Research

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The survey has provided us with data about research faculty and their research topic interests. We have taken a network model to explore shared research interests amongst researchers. Such an approach can raise awareness of shared research interests with potential collaborators that may have otherwise have remained siloed. In the visualizations shown above there are two concenttric rings of nodes with links between them. The outer ring of white nodes represents research topics. The inner ring corresponds to research faculty and colored clusters represent the various departments within FASS. Hovering over a research topic reveals all of the research faculty who self-reported this interest. In the visualization above "philosophy" is selected to reveal faculty spanning several departments. We are currently exploring a number of other approaches to visualize research networks.

To visit a live version of this network visualization and a previous version of this project, please use the following link