The Nexus of Teaching and Research

Research Summary:

The Nexus of Teaching and Research: Evidence and Insights from the Literature provides a high-level review of the existing literature on the connection between teaching and research and provides recommendations for next steps and future research options for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO).

This paper demonstrates that there is little overall agreement regarding the relationship between teaching and research. The bulk of research suggests that there is little empirical evidence to support an inherent positive relationship between research activity and high quality teaching.

However, the research does indicate that there is a role for institutions and governments to actively encourage postsecondary instructors to make positive links between their research and teaching. The paper recommends more research and stakeholder dialogue to determine the best ways to ensure beneficial teaching and research linkages.


Janet Halliwell is the principal of J.E. Halliwell Associates Inc., a policy and management consultancy with a focus on postsecondary education and science and technology. She is the former Executive Vice-President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) where she held responsibility for corporate affairs, including governance, strategic planning, government relations, and performance measurements. She has also served as chair of the Nova Scotia Council on Higher Education and Science Council of Canada, and was an officer of the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).  She holds degrees from Queen’s University and the University of British Columbia, as well as honourary degrees from seven Canadian universities. She is also the recipient of the Walter Hitschfeld Prize for university research administration.​