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Welcome to the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies

The Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies is dedicated to an interdisciplinary, collaborative, critical study of Canada.

Our Centre is named after a former Ontario Premier (1961-1971), the Hon. John P.  Robarts, QC, who always had a strong connection to our university, serving as Chancellor after his retirement from active politics.

The Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies at York University has a large concentration of Canadian specialists and a long history of supporting faculty and graduate students in the research and study of Canada. You will find here a brief thematic history of such support.

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Our key principles:

The Robarts Centre is home to multiple research clusters covering a diverse range of topics that contribute to the field of Canadian studies. Current research clusters include:

Black Canada

Black Canada provides a space for an integrated examination of the historical, cultural and various expressive productions of people of African descent in the Americas through the lens of Black Canada and four specific humanities and fine arts approaches: cultural studies, history, literature and music.


The Borealis Council provides leadership on scholarly Northern research and educational activities occurring within/at York University. The council focuses on “northern” regions, particularly those in the Canadian Arctic and Subarctic; to foster and facilitate northern scholarship and research through mentoring and supporting external research grant applications.

CIVIS: Urban Governance & Citizenship

Bringing together scholars and members of the community who are actively engaged in the consideration of urban governance in Canada.

Critical Perspectives on Mental Health (CPM)

CPM mobilizes and facilitates York research that critically examines mental health using social justice paradigms.

CYPIRN (Children and Young People Interdisciplinary Research Network)

We bring together scholars and members of the community who are actively engaged in research and scholarship with and pertaining to young people in Canada.

Environmental Research Group

Providing a forum for students and faculty at York University studying aspects of the Canadian environment from a broad range of disciplinary perspectives including sciences, social sciences, humanities, fine arts, health, and engineering.

Faculty and postdoctoral fellows working with the Robarts Centre offer a wide range of expertise related to the study of Canada. The centre hosts high-level seminars and aims to support the activities of Canadian specialists at York University across a broad spectrum of topics. Academic visitors are invited to apply to participate in the activities of the centre. The Robarts Centre offers office space for faculty associates as well as the following funding opportunities:

As a designated Organized Research Unit of York University, the Robarts Centre provides leadership, funding, presentation and publication opportunities for graduate students.

We are a 21st-century research engine for the study of Canada and Canada in the world. We support York faculty, post-docs, graduate students, along with adjunct faculty and visiting fellows in critical, diverse and collaborative research leading to engaged research partnerships and projects, publications and intellectual exchange. The Robarts Centre provides leadership, funding, presentation and publication opportunities for graduate students through our Research Clusters and the Northern Scientific Training Program.

York graduate students can apply to become Research Associates and there have access to a list of opportunities to attend events, join interdisciplinary networks, and have additional academic experiences besides what is available in their programs. Launching in autumn 2021, Research Associates can take part in our new Robarts Connects Series, which aims at connecting York graduate students with each other, connecting your studies with your future, and connecting your research with unavoidable research themes in the contemporary Canadian landscape.

Scholars who have completed a PhD may apply (with sponsorship from a Faculty Associate at the Robarts Centre) to become a Research Associate for a two-year term. Research Associates are expected to present their work during their period of affiliation and are particularly encouraged to do so at the annual graduate student conference.

The Robarts Centre also offers the following funding opportunities:

To become a Research Associate, please visit: