Skip to main content Skip to local navigation

York leads all Canadian universities in SSHRC’s largest awards

York leads all Canadian universities in SSHRC’s largest awards

York researchers awarded two of SSHRC’s largest grants to study long-term residential healthcare and global suburbanism

Two teams led by York University researchers have received $5 million in research funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Their multinational research teams, involving multiple universities and community partners in a large-scale collaboration, have each received $2.5 million to examine long-term residential healthcare and global suburbanization.

The funding is part of SSHRC’s $10-million investment in critical issues of intellectual, social, economic and cultural significance through the Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI) program, the largest award competition SSHRC currently runs.

The program contributes to the deeper understanding of people and society while providing graduate students with research training opportunities. Royal Galipeau, MP for Ottawa–Orléans, made the announcement in Ottawa this morning on behalf of Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology.

Pat Armstrong, professor of sociology in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and an executive member of both the York Institute for Health Research and the Graduate Program in Health Policy & Equity, will lead a study to identify promising practices for understanding and organizing long-term residential healthcare.

Right: Pat Armstrong

Although many of Canada’s most vulnerable citizens live in long-term residential care, it is often characterized as a last resort rather than as a positive option where both providers and residents can thrive. Armstrong’s project seeks to learn from and with other countries to understand the approaches, structures, accountability practices, and ownership arrangements that create conditions prompting respectful and dignified treatment for both residents and caregivers.

Twenty-five researchers, eight partnering institutions, and 17 universities in six countries will work across disciplines to capture and share data and best practices. Armstrong is Chair in Health Services and Nursing Research, co-funded by the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation (CHSRF) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Roger Keil, professor in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, director of the City Institute at York University, and director of the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies, is working with 44 researchers at 29 universities, and 16 partners in 12 countries to better understand the challenges suburbanization poses in a globalizing world.

Right: Roger Keil

Based on the experience of Canadian suburbanization, but ranging from North America’s wealthy gated communities to Europe’s high-rise-dominated suburbs, the exploding outskirts of Indian and Chinese cities to the slums and squatter settlements of Africa and Latin America, this project is the first to systematically take stock of worldwide suburban developments while analyzing their governance models, land use, infrastructure and suburban everyday life. The project also includes collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada on documentaries about life in suburban high rises.

Of the four $2.5-million grants awarded, York was the only institution with two successful projects, building on its strong track record in leading large, interdisciplinary collaborative research projects. Prior to today’s announcement, York researchers held nine major SSHRC collaborative grants worth a total of $13.6 million in research funding.

“As the only institution to win multiple awards in this category, York’s researchers have clearly demonstrated their national and international excellence and leadership in large-scale, SSHRC research projects,” says Stan Shapson, vice-president research and innovation. “Leading major research initiatives allows us to address key social issues facing our society. As global populations expand and age, suburban research and new approaches to long-term residential healthcare are increasingly important to the well-being of Canadians and nations around the world. These projects provide unique opportunities for Pat, Roger, and their research collaborators to conduct groundbreaking research with significant impact on real-world issues.”

“These grants highlight the excellence of our country’s talented researchers and recognize the importance of fostering international collaboration to keep Canada at the forefront of research, development and innovation in the 21st century,” said Chad Gaffield, president of SSHRC.

York's other major SSHRC-funded interdisciplinary collaborative research projects

  • “Assets Coming Together for Youth: Linking Research, Policy and Action for Positive Youth Development”, led by social work Professor Uzo Anucha in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) is developing a comprehensive youth strategy that will outline how marginalized urban communities like Toronto’s Jane-Finch neighbourhood can use their community assets to support positive youth development.
  • The Canadian Business Ethics Research Network, led by Professor Emeritus Wesley Cragg in the Schulich School of Business, is mobilizing the University’s business expertise by bringing University researchers together in dialogue with leaders and researchers in business, government and the volunteer sector.
  • The Canadian Homelessness Research Network, led by Professor Stephen Gaetz in the Faculty of Education enhances the impact of research on homelessness and the housing crisis by increasing collaboration and discussion among researchers, policy-makers and community workers.
  • The Canadian Refugee Research Network, led by LA&PS social work Professor Susan McGrath, studies refugee and forced migration issues to find solutions to the plight of refugees worldwide.
  • “Monitoring the Human Rights of People with Disabilities in Canada”, led by health policy & management Professor Marcia Rioux in the Faculty of Health, monitors and records human rights violations to put together an accurate picture of the daily lives of Canadians with disabilities.
  • The Toronto Immigrant Employment Data Initiative, led by geography Professor Philip Kelly in LA&PS, assists community organizations whose mandate includes the better integration of immigrants into Toronto's labour force by providing these organizations with free access to statistical data and analysis on various aspects of immigrant labour market integration.
  • “Slavery, Memory, Citizenship”, led by Distinguished Research Professor Paul Lovejoy, includes a team of more than 50 Canadian and international scholars who are researching the global migrations of African peoples under conditions of slavery and how the resulting racism arising from the exploitation of African peoples has shaped modern societies.
  • “The University as a Civic Change Agent: Community-Based Knowledge Mobilization”, led by David Phipps, director of the Office of Research Services, is developing a community-focused input model for knowledge mobilization that seeks first to identify community knowledge needs and then focus university research expertise to help fill that need by creating a self-sustaining cycle of knowledge production and its uptake for policy, practice and community capacity building.
  • “Work in a Warming World”, led by social science Professor Carla Lipsig-Mummé in LA&PS, studies the challenge climate change presents to Canadian employment and workplaces by examining seven Canadian employment sectors to seek policy, training, employment and workplace solutions to effectively assist Canada’s transition to a low-emission economy.

For complete competition results, visit SSHRC's Web site.

By Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer, with photos courtesy of YFile – York University’s daily e-bulletin.