Researchers, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at York University have been awarded over $10 million from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The grants, part of $190.5 million in funding and awards invested across the country, will support over 220 innovative York research projects to improve Canadians’ quality of life while addressing important socio-cultural and economic issues.
“SSHRC’s investment in humanities and social sciences research allows our scholars to substantially contribute to Canada’s knowledge base, to culture and to quality of life,” said Stan Shapson (right), York University’s vice-president research & innovation. “This basic research helps us to better understand the world while responding to the pressing social issues of our time.”
Forty-seven York faculty members received $4.4 million to fund their research projects through SSHRC’s Standard Research Grants program. York also received over $560,000 to support 17 projects funded through the:
- Research Development Initiatives competition
- Image, Text, Sound and Technology competition
- International Opportunities Fund
- Aid to Research Workshop competition
Graduate students and doctoral fellows also benefited from the announcements: 148 York master’s and doctoral students have won over $5 million in scholarships and fellowships. More than 2,000 graduate and postdoctoral projects across Canada received funding.
Reflecting knowledge mobilization’s status as a core SSHRC priority, the competition also included special calls for Public Outreach Grants that support existing and ongoing projects that mobilize research results to a range of audiences beyond academia. Nine York projects were funded, securing over $1 million for the University.
In this category, York researchers enjoyed a 67 per cent success rate; in comparison, 2009 SSHRC applicants averaged a success rate of 33 per cent across all categories.
Through the Public Outreach Grants, York researchers will:
- Make literary research available to a broader community of researchers, students, teachers and educators, and policy makers in a sustainable way through the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION).
- Empower young mothers by exploring what they need to achieve economic, social, familial and personal wellness and prosperity.
- Share research conducted with marginalized youth with educators, community organizations and other stakeholders to help them understand the alienation and disengagement new migrants and ethno-racial minority youth experience as their families move from Toronto’s inner city and inner-suburban neighbourhoods to the outer suburbs, such as Peel, Brampton, Vaughan, Markham, Ajax and Pickering.
- Enhance microcredit program success for economic development through social performance ratings by making the information accessible and designing program evaluation instruments.
- Share new scholarship on the immigration of African American refugees from slavery to Canada with educators, community groups, libraries and government agencies, among others.
- Mobilize knowledge on the political economy of women’s rights—specifically, connections among macroeconomic policy, public policies that impact the paid and unpaid work of women, and women’s access to human rights—to local human rights organizations that focus on women.
- Provide experts in performance making, theatre design and green technology with a three-day opportunity to share practices, approaches and technological innovations.
- Mobilize the Aboriginal peoples of Canada’s disparate experiences with and knowledge of conservation by bringing together Aboriginal community representatives, academics, policy-makers, and conservation practitioners.
- Inform climate change policy and practice by making climate change research and evidence available to policy partners in four GTA municipalities (Toronto, York Region, Durham and Peel), Pollution Probe and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.
“These awards also build upon York’s amazing success earlier this year in SSHRC’s large-scale collaborative competitions,” said Shapson. “York received $6 million through SSHRC’s Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI) and Community-University Research Alliances (CURA) programs. Professors Roger Keil, Pat Armstrong and Carla Lipsig-Mumme are already collaborating with their international research teams to study global suburbanisms, long-term residential healthcare, and work in a warming world.”
“Their work, coupled with the projects funded through this announcement, addresses key social issues facing Canadian society while demonstrating our leadership in creating and sharing new knowledge across the social sciences and humanities.”
“Our government continues to invest in world-class research to improve Canadians’ quality of life and increase the supply of highly qualified graduates that Canada needs to be successful,” said the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry. “The social sciences and humanities show us how to harness and interpret innovation from a human perspective, which translates into benefits for society.”
SSHRC has posted a complete list of funded projects on their website.
By Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer.