The Institute for Urban Futures (IUF) is a research and research creation centre that facilitates transdisciplinary dialogue and exchange on the complex culture of cities. It is a space for bringing together faculty, artists and researchers, visiting artists and scholars, as well as students across the university and greater Montreal community, who seek to re-envision and actualize the potentiality of urban life – of possible and more just urban futures - through the arts, culture, media, technology, business, architecture and design.
2. GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE
The administrative structure of the IUF is governed by Concordia University’s policy on Research Units. It consists of one director and the Advisory Board and Annual Assembly.
a) Director: Appointment and Responsibilities The Director is the appointed head of the IUF, a Faculty recognized research unit based within the Faculty of Fine Arts. The Director is responsible for the scientific direction and administration of the research unit. In addition, the Director oversees the coordination of the activities including student training, outreach and special events, as well as managing communications both within the unit and externally to partner institutions, external members, funding agencies, and the community. The Director reports to the VPRGS in consultation with the Dean or Associate Dean, Research, Faculty of Fine Arts. Key areas for such reporting include: research programming, budget, space, human resources, and internal relations with other Concordia units such as departments and faculties, and inter-institutional affiliations. The Director has the day-to-day responsibility for staff operations of the unit, as well as ensuring that the unit conforms to the relevant Collective Agreements and policies in effect within Concordia University. The Director is responsible for the budget of the unit and for preparing the annual report and review material for renewal of the faculty recognition status. A plan for securing external and internal funding for the unit’s operations, as well as research activities, should be developed and revised on a continuous basis. The Director is appointed for a two-year term which can be automatically approved for a two-year term, for a total of four years. An outgoing Director can be re-nominated for a third term following this procedure. The procedure for choosing a Director must conform to Concordia University’s policy governing Research Units.
b) Advisory Board (AB) This member body oversees the strategic direction and administration of the IUF and its research projects. The AB is responsible for supporting the Director, reviewing policies and procedures as well as core membership and affiliation. In addition to the Director, the AB consists of four to five full-time faculty members, as well as a community representative and a student representative. The faculty members are elected to serve two year terms by a meeting of core faculty members. The community and student representatives are elected to serve for one year by a meeting of community or student affiliates. The Director is an ex-officio member, acting as recording secretary for the meetings. There are at least three meetings, yearly.
c) Annual Assembly The IUF organizes an annual meeting of all affiliated members. The purpose of this Annual Assembly is to advise the Advisory Board and to act as a forum for information exchange between affiliates. Elections are also organized as part of this meeting to renew the AB by electing a community and a student representative every year, as well as core members when needed.
3. MEMBERSHIP, PARTICIPATION, AND REPORTING
All affiliates are expected to be active in the intellectual life of the IUF, attending events and/or workshops whenever possible. Anyone wishing to become an affiliated member or Core Faculty Member of the IUF must fill out an application form and attach a curriculum vitae as well as a 150-200 word project statement. New applications will be vetted by the Director and Advisory Board if needed. All affiliated members must submit a short annual report of their activities by March 1st each year so that these might be integrated into our Annual Report. Members who have not been active in the previous year will cease to be an affiliate of the IUF but are welcome to re-apply. Affiliates are expected to acknowledge the contribution of the IUF in their work when appropriate. The IUF is required to submit an annual report to Concordia’s Research Office with a copy to the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts by May 31st. The report should provide an overview of the activities during the past year and its financial status (a budget for the past year and a budget forecast for the coming year). To facilitate this, all affiliated members must submit by March 1st a short summary of their IUF-related activities over the previous year as well as planned activities for the coming year.
4. CATEGORIES OF AFFILIATION
Major external funding bodies such as the FQRSC and SSHRC have specific expectations regarding categories of affiliation, particularly as it relates to university faculty. The IUF has the following seven broad categories of affiliation:
a) Core Faculty Members – are active and productive university researchers or practitioner researchers/creators who are deeply invested in the research activities and intellectual life at the IUF.
b) Affiliates – are faculty members, students, community-based researchers and artists or affiliated organizations whose research and/ or research creation activities enrich our community of practice. Affiliated members are still expected to advance the mission and outreach of the IUF, through regular collaboration and attendance at conferences or special events.
c) Futurists in Residence - are researchers/ designers/ artists/ cultural and community actors who undertake deep work with urgent urban issues. Calls for nominations and proposals for candidates will be circulated on February 1st. Submissions should include a one page letter of intent, outlining a project and stating how the applicant will benefit from the residency, and an up to date CV. Submissions should be sent to the Director by March 1st. The Director will work in consultation with the AB to select two residents (individual or collective) per year with the fellowship beginning on May 1st.
d) Visiting Researchers/ Artists – are visiting researchers/ artist who have applied to be affiliated with the IUF during their stay in Montreal. The duration of these residencies are from one month to one year.
e) Post-Doctoral Fellows – are those affiliated researchers who have been awarded a post-doctoral fellowship under the supervision of a core faculty member.
f) Staff - are members directly employed by the IUF (ie. as TRAC Research Assistants) or by core faculty members on specific research projects based wholly or in part at the IUF. Normally, staff vacations are taken when universities are not in session and all vacation plans should be discussed at least two months in advance with the Director. It is the responsibility of the staff member to keep a record of their activities and their hours worked (over-time, days off). All full and part-time staff members, employed directly by the IUF, will submit a report for each meeting of the AB (so it can be circulated 5 work days prior to the meeting).
g) Interns and Volunteers – are students or non students recruited by IUF or by affiliated/ core faculty members for a specific period of time (usually 120 hours) and for a specific task. Internships are unpaid but can be credited if the student’s academic program allows it.
The IUF wishes to promote the professional development of undergraduate and graduate students from many disciplines and various universities. Student affiliates will be profiled on the website and be invited, whenever possible, to participate in IUF events, workshops/ urban labs, as well as at conferences. Since 2018-19 the Institute implemented a Graduate Research Fellow Program to support and amplify the research/ research creation activities of an outstanding Concordia graduate student. Calls for nominations and proposals for candidates will be circulated on February 1st. Submissions should include a one page letter of intent, outlining a project and stating how they will benefit from the fellowship, an up to date CV, and one letter of support from the candidate’s supervisor. Submissions should be sent to the Director by March 1st. The Director will work in consultation with the AB to select one candidate per year with the fellowship beginning on May 1st.
6. RESEARCH ETHICS
All IUF affiliates and core faculty members are expected to follow established ethical guidelines regarding research with human subjects. Faculty and students must get the approval of their university ethics board before conducting an interview. At the core, is the requirement for informed consent and the mitigation of harm. The interviewee’s right of withdrawal during the interview must also be respected.
7. BECOMING AN AFFILIATE
Anyone wishing to become an affiliated member of the IUF must fill out an application form and attach a cover letter, a curriculum vitae, as well as a 150-200 word project statement and a picture. New applications will first be vetted by the IUF Director. The Director might invite the input of the AB if a person is seeking a partnership/ collaboration through internal/ external funding.
All core faculty and affiliated members must submit a short annual report of their activities by April 1st each year so that these might be integrated into our Annual Report. Members who have not been active in the previous year will cease to be an affiliate of IUF but are welcome to re-apply. Affiliates are expected to acknowledge the contribution of IUF in their work when appropriate.
The IUF is committed to the principles and practices of equity, diversity, and inclusiveness that respect the dignity and independence of all persons. To properly accommodate the bodies and the abilities of all our members, the IUF will work to provide accessible materials, activities, and facilities in both physical and virtual environments.