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Culture of excellence

Nearly $2 million in federal funding for social sciences and humanities research at Memorial

By Jeff Green

The federal government is investing nearly $2 million into 34 diverse research projects led by Memorial, ranging from employment discrimination to photography in graphic memoirs to wildlife management in Atlantic Canada.

Kirsty Duncan, federal minister of Science, announced funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) on Nov 15.

SSHRC is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports post-secondary-based research and research training in the humanities and social sciences.

“This new funding will further cultivate the vibrant research community at the core of Memorial.” — Dr. Neil Bose

Researchers and graduate students from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Business Administration, Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Medicine are recipients of a total of $1,931,575 in funding.

The investment is awarded through SSHRC’s Insight Development Grants, Insight Grants, Doctoral Fellowships and the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program for doctoral and master’s students.

Vibrant community

“Memorial is a recognized worldwide leader in the areas of social sciences and humanities research,” said Dr. Neil Bose, vice-president (research).

“Through the ongoing support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, our researchers and graduate students are better able to examine critical societal issues and ask important questions to bring about change in our communities. This new funding will further cultivate the vibrant research community at the core of Memorial. I offer sincere congratulations to each of the recipients and look forward to seeing the outcomes of their work.”

Interdisciplinary research

Dr. Max Liboiron, professor, Department of Geography, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, received a grant valued at $293,633 for her project, Placing Science: Implementing Feminist, Indigenous, and Decolonial Theories of Place and Land in the Laboratory.

“It’s rare for this kind of interdisciplinary work to happen.” — Dr. Max Liboiron

Her social science lab, Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research, creates action-oriented research through grassroots environmental monitoring, mainly of marine plastics.

“One of the hallmarks of Western science is its assumed ability to be reproduced anywhere,” Dr. Liboiron said in an interview with the Gazette.

Dr. Max Liboiron
Dr. Max Liboiron

“The grant emerges from experiences we’ve had in the lab where “universal” protocols for monitoring marine plastics didn’t work in Newfoundland — they assumed sandy, ice-free shores and simply didn’t work.

“This grant funds a project to take that place-based insight seriously, and create place-based science,” Dr. Liboiron continued. “That is, we will build scientific technologies, protocols and research studies specifically designed to work in particular places, without the assumption they’ll work everywhere.”

She notes that her project is unique because it draws on feminist, anti-colonial, decolonial and Indigenous thought, about things such as history, place and ethics.

“It’s rare for this kind of interdisciplinary work to happen.”

Funding for Faculty of Business Administration

Dr. Amy Warren
Dr. Amy Warren
Photo: Submitted

Dr. Amy Warren, associate professor and director of the master of employment relations program, Faculty of Business Administration, has received $95,450 for her project, Using Goals to Address Workplace Mistreatment.

“This funding is incredibly important to the research program,” Dr. Warren told the Gazette.

“Not only do the funds ensure we have the resources to communicate our results broadly to both the academic community and the public, but equally as important is the ability these funds give us to provide worthwhile and substantial training to both master’s and PhD students.”

Dr. Warren says the federal funding will allow her and her team to make a meaningful impact on their field of study.

“The research team and I are excited to begin our research and make a contribution to the area of mistreatment using interventions based on well-established goal setting theory,” she said.

“Mistreatment in the workplace has detrimental impacts on employees and organizations and finding ways to help reduce these negative impacts is important.”

Graduate studies funding

Two students received SSHRC Joseph–Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships – Doctoral Scholarships, five students received SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships and 17 students received SSHRC Joseph–Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s Scholarships.

“Receiving a SSHRC [award] is an honour and allows me to progress further into my studies without stressing about paying for food and rent.” — Jessica Hogan

Opening doors

Jessica Hogan, master’s student, Department of Geography, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, is one of the recipients of the Joseph–Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships, valued at $17,500.

Originally from Carleton Place, Ont., Ms. Hogan says the federal funding is important because it opens doors for students who would not normally be able to afford graduate studies.

“Receiving a SSHRC [award] is an honour and allows me to progress further into my studies without stressing about paying for food and rent,” she told the Gazette.

Jessica Hogan
Jessica Hogan
Photo: Chris Hammond

Ms. Hogan is studying how social trust can influence ecosystem management in coastal New Brunswick.

She says all-terrain vehicle (ATV) use has increased in that province which has, in turn, caused concern for the piping plover, an endangered migratory bird species.

“The topic of assessing social trust in natural resource management agencies, and how this influences public acceptance and expectations for environmental management, is under researched,” said Ms. Hogan, a Memorial alumna.

“It is unique because not only am I filling the knowledge gap of understanding the influence of social trust in these areas, these results will directly influence the New Brunswick conservation management decision-making process regarding the current use of ATVs.”

A number of other members of the Memorial community are part of research teams, as collaborators or co-applicants, who also received SSHRC funding.

The full list of Memorial researchers receiving SSHRC support follows below.

Insight Development Grants: 2017 Competition Awards
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Joel Deshaye, Department of English, The Western in Canadian Literature, $50,494
  • Sean Waite, Sociology, Employment Discrimination and the Labour Market Experiences of Canada’s LGBT Population, $71,000
  • Mariya Lesiv, Folklore, Host-Region: Post-Communist Diaspora Communities in Newfoundland, $60,846
  • Sébastien Rossignol, History, Urbanization and the Environment in the High Middle Ages: A Cultural Perspective, $47,604

Total: $229,944

Insight Grants: October 2016 Competition Awards
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • August Carbonella, Anthropology, 19th century representations of global labour and trans-Atlantic labour movements, $91,440
  • Jennifer Dyer, Gender Studies, The emergence of the transgender child: parent politics and social change, $288,451
  • Nancy Pedri, English, Photography in graphic memoir, $79,144
  • Max Liboiron, Geography, Placing science: implementing feminist, Indigenous, and decolonial theories of place and land in the laboratory, $293,633
  • Luke Roman, Classics, Humanist topographies: the classical poetics of place in Renaissance Italy, $46,013

Total: $798,681

Faculty of Business Administration

  • Amy Warren, Using goals to address workplace mistreatment, $95,450

Total: $95,450

SSHRC Joseph–Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program — Doctoral Scholarships: November 2016 Competition Awards

  • Tricia Munkittrick, Department of Archaeology, Regional insights into childhood lead exposure from historical North American skeletal remains, $105,000
  • Valerie Webber, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Public privates: measure B, pornographic sex, and the ethics of public health, $105,000

Total: $210,000

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships Program: November 2016 Competition Awards

  • Amy Chase, Department of Archaeology, Neandertal art and symbolism: a reappraisal of archaeological evidence in Western European paleolithic art sites, $80,000
  • Noah Morritt, Department of Folklore, Interpreting Shag Harbour: legend, community, and the pursuit of disclosure, $40,000
  • Hua Que, Faculty of Education, Refugee youth’s educational trajectories after high school in Canada, $40,000
  • Irene Velentzas, Department of English, Challenging representations: creating counter—narratives of mental illness in comics, $80,000
  • Katherine Wilson, Department of Geography, Mobilizing Inuit sea—ice knowledge for community decision-making: the SmartICE Pond Inlet, Nunavut case study, $60,000

Total: $300,000

SSHRC Joseph–Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s Scholarships ($17,500 each)

  • Emma Lewis-Sing, Department of Archaeology, The Beothuk, Ferryland’s lesser-known inhabitants: Archaeological botanical evidence for cross-cultural exchange
  • Jacinda Sinclair, Department of Archaeology, Revisiting Arvertok: A reassessment of an Inuit whaling settlement
  • Katie Cranford, Department of History, Greenwich Village: The state of race relations in the American folk revival movement
  • Anna Sparrow, Department of Archaeology, Dogs and human palaeodiet in the pacific Northwest: Isotopic and experimental analysis
  • Andreae Callanan, Department of English, Exhibit: Identity, nationalism, anxiety, and display in Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Elizabeth Hicks, Department of English, Representations of Tactile Art in Michael Ondaatje’s Works
  • Marie Hogan, Faculty of Education, Bridging the school-to-work transition for humanities and social science graduates in Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nathan Little, Department of Philosophy, Rupturing hegemony: Marxism, pragmatism, and Canadian complacency in the face of homelessness
  • Miranda Carlson-Strain, Department of Anthropology, Tattoos and identity in LGBTQ communities
  • Julie Brenan, Department of Archaeology, Community archaeology and memories on Birch Island
  • Meghann Livingston, Department of Archaeology, Où la France rencontre l’Amérique du Nord: Archaeology of 18th Century Life at Anse à Bertrand, Saint-Pierre et Miquelon
  • Laura Gaitan, Department of Geography, The importance of engaging communities during remediation projects in Northern Saskatchewan
  • Cynthia Power, Department of History, Signing on: Literacy and work in Newfoundland 1860-1930
  • Sarah Hannon, Department of History, Post-emancipation Bermuda: The nature of freedom
  • Moira Duncan, Department of English, The education of Princesses’ in Tudor England
  • Jessica Hogan, Department of Geography, How social trust can influence ecosystem management in coastal New Brunswick
  • Christopher Dabon, Department of Geography, Understanding the social context of woodland caribou in Labrador

Total: $297,500

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