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Top-notch recipients

Exceptional researchers awarded prestigious institutional honours


By Jeff Green

A number of outstanding faculty members are recipients of 2021 President’s Awards.

University Research Professors

Three researchers are being recognized as University Research Professors (URP).

URPs have acquired a designation above the rank of full professor. The title is the most prestigious award the university gives for research and/or creative activity and goes to faculty who have demonstrated a consistently high level of scholarship, including graduate student supervision and other mentoring activities, and whose research and/or creative activity is of a truly international stature.

The recipients are below.

Dr. Heather Carnahan

Dr. Heather Carnahan wears a black coat with large gold-colour buttons.
Dr. Heather Carnahan
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

Dr. Heather Carnahan, Lockheed Martin industrial research chair in simulation and learning and professor, School of Maritime Studies, Marine Institute, is an international authority on the development of training programs.

Her work on simulation training and human motor skill learning in extreme environments has made significant advances in medical education, maritime safety and human performance in zero gravity during parabolic flight.

Dr. Bren LeFrançois

Dr. Bren LeFrançois wears a scarf and grey coat.
Dr. Bren LeFrançois
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

Dr. Bren LeFrançois, professor, School of Social Work, is internationally recognized and has played an important role in the development of mad studies, an interdisciplinary field which focuses on mad knowledge production, and includes the study of the deep connections between sanism, racism, colonialism, capitalism and psychiatric oppression.

Dr. Brent Snook

Dr. Brent Snook wears a white shirt and black jacket.
Dr. Brent Snook
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

Dr. Brent Snook, professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science, is one of this country’s leading authorities on the study of human behaviour within the criminal justice system.

As a forensic psychologist, he has made extensive contributions to the field of psychology and law and revolutionized investigative interviewing.

URP awards carry a lifetime designation, an unrestricted research grant of $4,000 each year for five years and a reduced teaching schedule.

President’s Award for Outstanding Research

Three individuals are receiving the President’s Award for Outstanding Research (PAOR).

The PAOR recognizes young researchers who have made outstanding contributions to their scholarly disciplines. The award includes a $5,000 research grant or one course release (three credit hour equivalent course).

The recipients are below.

Dr. Matthew Parsons

Dr. Matthew Parsons wears a blue and shirt shirt and white sweater.
Dr. Matthew Parsons
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

Dr. Matthew Parsons, associate professor, Division of BioMedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, is an accomplished cellular neuroscientist specializing in better understanding glutamate, a critical transmitter for normal brain function, and its effects on neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer and Huntington diseases.

Dr. Jennifer Selby

Dr. Jennifer Selby wears a white shirt and dark-coloured jacket.
Dr. Jennifer Selby
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

Dr. Jennifer Selby, associate professor and graduate co-ordinator in the Department of Religious Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, is a global expert on secularism studies.

Her original research on gender, secularism and Islam in France and Canada is pathbreaking.

Dr. Eric Vander Wal

Dr. Eric Vander Wal wears a blue patterned shirt.
Dr. Eric Vander Wal
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

Dr. Eric Vander Wal, associate professor, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, is considered one of Canada’s experts in the ecology of large mammals.

Dr. Vander Wal initiated the Wildlife Evolutionary Ecology Lab, which has emerged as one of this country’s leading and most inclusive wildlife ecology teams.

All six will be recognized during the President’s Awards ceremony on March 9..

Nomination deadlines

Memorial welcomes nominations/applications for these President’s Awards.

Graphic featuring the words Do you know a remarkable researcher? Nominate them for a President's Award, along with a trophy, star and leaves.

Those considering the University Research Professorship or the President’s Award for Outstanding Research have until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, to submit their materials.

Completed submissions for both awards must be sent electronically to the vice-president (research), via researchawards@mun.ca. Terms of Reference and Conditions for both honours are available online.

Those considering applying for the honours should contact their unit’s grants facilitator (or, if the unit has no grants facilitator, the person with signing authority for your unit) to confirm if there are earlier, internal deadlines. These internal deadlines must be factored into the timing of the development and submission of these applications.

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