Research Services, Government Relations, Public Affairs/Media Relations, Graduate School, Community Engagement, International Office, Library and many other units all face the same challenge in large research universities: how to reliably identify expertise of faculty members to foster meaningful connections with other stakeholders. 

We will demonstrate how the UBC Faculty of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies developed a grass-roots initiative to create an expertise index that brings together already existing data from various sources to allow identification of research expertise across the university. While the solution was originally intended for graduate student recruitment to match prospective students to potential research supervisors, it has quickly been adopted by other offices to support their needs and similar use cases. 

We will: 

  • Explain system functionality and development
  • Outline systems included and outputs tracked
  • Share trans-formative use cases
  • Talk about enhancement opportunities, challenges and lessons learned


Eugene Barsky

Research Data Librarian, University of British Columbia

Jens Locher

Assistant Dean, Strategic Technologies and Business Initiatives (Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies), University of British Columbia

Kyle Demes

Senior Advisor, Strategic Initiatives (VP Research & Innovation), University of British Columbia