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SSHRC awards $499,152 to five York researchers

SSHRC awards $499,152 to five York researchers

Five researchers from York University have been awarded $499,152 from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to support social research and knowledge mobilization initiatives. The Public Outreach Grants support existing and ongoing projects that mobilize research results to a range of audiences beyond academia.

The grants, part of $6.3 million in funding and awards invested across the country, will support over 95 research projects to improve Canadians’ quality of life, while addressing important socio-cultural and economic issues.

“York continues to build on and strengthen its commitment to community engagement,” said Robert Haché (right), York’s vice-president research & innovation. “York’s researchers continue to share and co-create knowledge with the broader community, as exemplified by the success of our researchers in the receipt of funding for engaged scholarship through SSHRC’s Public Outreach grants program and the work of our researchers and Knowledge Mobilization Unit in further developing community-academic partnerships.”

Researchers from York University include:

Sheila Cavanagh, a professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) Department of Sociology and coordinator of the Sexuality Studies program in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, received $102,117 in funding to professionally stage a research-based theatrical production titled Queer Bathroom Monologues, at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and to curate an accompanying research-based art exhibition. The objective of this project is to enable multi-layered conversation and networking between partners in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy, and proactive policy and educational programming in the Ministry of Education to combat LGBT bullying in Ontario high schools. The Queer Bathroom Monologues are based on interviews with LGBT interviewees published in Cavanagh’s book, Queering Bathrooms: Gender, Sexuality, and the Hygienic Imagination (2010).

Professor Mark Winfield, program coordinator of the Master of Environmental Studies/Juris Doctor joint program in the Faculty of Environmental Studies and co-chair of the Faculty’s Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI), received $86,000 in funding to mobilize the knowledge developed through the initiative in order to support the development and deployment of sustainable energy technologies in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada. The project activities will include an SEI Sustainable Energy Policy Seminar Series employing virtual and live formats and the development of social media tools to engage students, staff, faculty and private sector, non-profit and municipal audiences around sustainable energy technologies and strategies.

Paul Lovejoy, Distinguished Research Professor and Canada Research Chair in African Diaspora History in the Department of History (LA&PS) and director of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples, received $132,442 in funding to enhance public understanding of, and appreciation for, the crucial role played by African Canadians during the War of 1812. He will work with Caitlin Fisher, professor and Canada Research Chair in Digital Culture in the Faculty of Fine Arts Department of Film, Michele Johnson, associate professor in the Department of History (LA&PS), and Murray Wickett, chair of history, Brock University, on this project. The project is administered by Naomi Norquay, associate professor, Faculty of Education, and Karolyn Smardz Frost, Senior Research Fellow at the Harriet Tubman Institute and Visiting Bicentennial Professor in Canadian Studies, Yale University, for the coming year. The project builds on a workshop organized by the Tubman Institute, in collaboration with the History Department at Brock University, and is titled: We Stand on Guard for Thee: The African Canadian Experience in the War of 1812, which was held at Brock. This project will develop a series of concurrent public and educator-engagement sessions and be delivered using cutting-edge digital technology.

Sean Kheraj, assistant professor, Department of History (LA&PS) received $36,795 in funding to facilitate the mobilization of Canadian environmental history scholarship to a wider audience by creating and disseminating audio podcasts that feature interviews, round-table discussions and lectures on topics in Canadian environmental history that are relevant to key contemporary environmental issues in Canada. He will work with two project partners, Canada’s History magazine and the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE), on this project, in order to reach environmental groups, educators, and public policymakers.

Faculty of Education Professor Stephen Gaetz received $141,798 in funding to invest in knowledge mobilization focused on income and housing vulnerability. He will be collaborating and working with co-applicants Daniele Zanotti, CEO, United Way of York Region (UWYR), David Phipps, director, Research Services & Knowledge Exchange, and Michaela Hynie, professor in the Department of Psychology and the Program Evaluation Unit in the York Institute for Health Research on this project. Building on their five year knowledge mobilization partnership, York and UWYR will implement a community-campus knowledge mobilization strategy based on best practices so that York housing and income vulnerability research and expertise is accessible to community partners. For more information on this project, visit the Mobilize This! blog.

Gary Goodyear, minister of state for science & technology, announced the investments in research that will help build a better understanding of important societal issues.

“Our Government’s top priority is the economy: jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. To remain at the forefront of the global economy, our government is investing in the people and ideas that will produce tomorrow’s breakthroughs,” said Goodyear. “The mobilization of knowledge leads to a more robust economy and helps develop new opportunities for economic growth while strengthening Canada’s research advantage.”

“Knowledge-sharing among multi-sectoral partners is essential to innovation and to building the expertise needed for Canada’s future,” said Chad Gaffield, president of SSHRC. “These Public Outreach Grants enable the flow and exchange of knowledge across campuses and the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, which, in turn, produces benefits for Canadians.”

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