Clusters of Scholarly Prominence Program (CSPP)

The Clusters of Scholarly Prominence Program (CSPP) is UTSC’s flagship program for supporting the pursuit of strategic initiatives.


The inaugural competition in 2020 awarded a total of $2.3 million of funding to the following clusters:


The Clinical Research and Evaluation Cluster (CREC)

Cluster Leads: Michael Best (Department of Psychology) and Zindel Segal (Department of Psychology)

CREC seeks to improve recovery from mental health conditions through the integrated multi-method evaluation of psychological treatments for mental health. Integrating expertise in mental health treatment with neuroscience, epidemiology, health economics, health humanities, and biostatistics, the CREC will be the first interdisciplinary unit for conducting large-scale evaluations of clinical treatments.



The Centre for Environmental Research in the Anthropocene (CERA)

Cluster Leads: Marc Cadotte (Department of Biological Sciences) and Myrna Simpson (Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences)

CERA will create a cutting-edge collaborative research program that will address key questions about how anthropogenic stressors influence the ecosystems in which we live. CERA will pursue a multipronged set of programs that will enhance collaboration, partnership, research and training at UTSC.



Flourish: The Arts and Social Wellness Cluster

Cluster Lead: Andrea Charise (Department of Health & Society)

Flourish: The Arts and Social Wellness Cluster will advance creative arts engagement as an impactful intervention for enhancing social connection and wellness across the life-course. Team expertise includes arts-based (health) research methods, fine and performing arts, community-engaged practice, assessment/education science, and knowledge translation/ implementation. Using an arts-led, community-engaged leadership approach, our aim is to establish a UTSC Centre for Arts and Wellness—to advance research, scale initiatives, generate policy, and enable high-quality, intergenerational personnel.


Suburban Mobilities Cluster

Cluster Lead:  Steven Farber (Department of Human Geography)

The Suburban Mobilities Cluster is a multi-disciplinary research program that draws on expertise across nine disciplines to tackle four suburban mobility challenges: rising suburban inequalities, improving transportation design and technology, climate change, and resilience to shocks. Towards addressing each challenge, the initiative will advance new research approaches, develop partnerships and engagement, and create student support and embedded training opportunities.

Link to announcement from University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute



The second competition in 2021 awarded $1.8 million to the following clusters:


Urban Just Transitions from Scarborough to the Globe

Cluster Leads: Matthew Hoffmann (Department of Political Science) and Laura Tozer (Department of Physical & Environmental Science)

Urban Just Transitions from Scarborough to the Globe brings together researchers from five different departments at UTSC who will look at ways to achieve a just transformation to a zero-carbon society and energy system, which will be important in addressing climate change. The cluster will focus on how justice and equity can play a role in transitioning away from carbon pollution. It will build relationships with communities in Scarborough and learn how community-university research partnerships can help envision and build a more equitable and sustainable city.


Sustainable Food and Farming Futures Cluster

Cluster Leads: Jayeeta Sharma (Department of Historical and Cultural Studies) and Marney Isaac (Department of Physical & Environmental Sciences and Department of Global Development Studies)

The Sustainable Food and Farming Futures Cluster will identify how the environmental impacts of agriculture can be reduced, while simultaneously promoting food security, equitable food systems, and the availability of culturally relevant foods. It will develop innovative research on sustainable agriculture systems (including crop resiliency, urban agriculture and agroecology) and collaborations with community partners and other stakeholders to advance socially just means of food production.


The CSPP serves to promote self-sustaining, interdisciplinary, inter-departmental, collaborative clusters of scholarship in areas of established and emerging strength at UTSC and which have a demonstrable capacity to augment UofT’s global standing through prominence in research, creative activity and exceptional learning.


CSPP-supported clusters are expected to:

  • generate impactful, transformative research that transcends traditional departmental and institutional boundaries and thereby enables UTSC to create and disseminate new knowledge and innovations that will benefit the citizens of Canada and beyond.
  • apply for/succeed in major, large-value funding competitions (e.g. CFI, NSERC CREATE, NCE, SSHRC-IG and PG)
  • become self-sustaining
  • foster strategic global research alliances such as the VPRI/VPI initiative of Global Research Alliances (see:


Clusters must be led by a UTSC faculty member and consist of between five and 10 members, with representation from at least three UTSC units if the cluster is entirely comprised of UTSC faculty, and at least two UTSC units if it includes members from either/both of the other two U of T campuses.