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TRIUMF was founded in 1968 by Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia (UBC), and the University of Victoria to meet research needs that no single university could provide. The University of Alberta joined the TRIUMF consortium almost immediately. The TRIUMF family continues to expand, and today includes member and associate member universities from across Canada. The science program has expanded from nuclear physics to a multidisciplinary effort that includes particle physics, molecular and materials science, and nuclear medicine. TRIUMF provides research infrastructure and tools that are too large and complex for a single university to build, operate, or maintain.

Situated on the South Campus of UBC, TRIUMF's nearly 13-acre site houses almost 600 scientists, engineers, and staff performing research. A hub for discovery and innovation, the laboratory attracts almost 900 national and international users every year and provides advanced research facilities and opportunities to 150 students and postdoctoral fellows. In addition to the onsite program, TRIUMF serves as a key broker for Canada in global research in particle, nuclear, and accelerator physics.

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