Social Sciences, Humanities Research Gets Funding Boost

August 03, 2011 - News Release

Twenty University of Guelph faculty members in four colleges have received more than $1 million from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to study various topics from the behaviour of consumers, voters and university students, to environmental and criminal policies, to water fluoridation. The funding comes from the agency’s Standard Research Grants Program, which provides three-year grants to individuals and small research teams.

Following last week’s announcement of $1.1 million for U of G, this funding brings recent SSHRC faculty support for Guelph to more than $2.2 million. In total, the agency is investing $121 million in more than 1,700 research projects nationwide.

“It’s gratifying to have the achievements and innovative ideas of these professors recognized and supported by SSHRC,” said Rich Moccia, associate vice-president (research).

“Research in the humanities and social sciences has incredible depth and range, and the issues being addressed by these U of G professors are complex and diverse. The new knowledge their work will generate will help improve understanding and provide solutions to important problems facing society.”

Six of U of G’s grants went to the College of Management and Economics (CME), the highest number of SSHRC grants and the most funding from that agency in the college’s five-year history. “It bodes well for the years to come,” said Sylvain Charlebois, associate dean (research and graduate studies). “We’re very proud of these results, our accomplishments and our researchers.”

CME’s grants include $105,256 to marketing professor Sunghwan Yi. He’s leading a team of researchers from four universities in studying motives of compulsive and excessive buyers.

Five other grants went to professors in the Department of Economics, as follows:
• Talat Genc and Henry Thille, $55,383, competition in electricity markets;
• Johanna Goertz, $31,500, voting in diverse situations;
• Michael Hoy, $30,192, regulatory issues in genetic information and insurance;
• Thanasis Stengos, $60,000, endogenous threshold regression and economic growth; and
• Ilias Tsiakas, $68,732, exchange rates, order flow and global asset allocation.

Seven professors in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences (CSAHS) received SSHRC support, including psychology professor Patrick Barclay, who received $91,104 to study reputation and co-operation.

Reputation affects everything from social rewards to punishment to partnership selection, Barclay said. He plans to look at how reputation can lead to co-operative sentiment and be used to promote co-operation. “I’m really excited about it, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results of the experiments.”

SSHRC grants went to the following professors in CSAHS, the College of Arts and the Ontario Agricultural College:

• Lynda Ashbourne, Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, $14,690, storytelling in immigrant families and influence of relationships;
• Dennis Baker, Political Science, $19,485, Canadian federalism and criminal justice policy;
• Catherine Carstairs, History, $49,843, water fluoridation in the United States and Canada;
• Susannah Ferreira, History, $28,616, assimilation of Christian metalworkers in Portugal;
• Kimberly Francis, Fine Art and Music, $80,945, Nadia Boulanger’s pedagogical legacy;
• Harjinder Gill, Psychology, $28,840, measure development and validation;
• John Hacker-Wright, Philosophy, $15,456, virtue, agency and human nature;
• Getu Hailu, Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, $19,187, agribusiness co-operatives in Canada;
• Andrew Hathaway, Sociology and Anthropology, $103,500, heading a three-campus study of normalization among university students;
• Margot Irvine, Languages and Literatures, $35,090, the creation of the Prix Femina;
• John Potvin, Fine Art and Music, $45,845, queer networks of consumption in 1919 Paris;
• Barry Smit, Geography, $124,925, societal adaptations to environmental changes; and
• Jeffrey Spence, Psychology, $57,395, organizational citizenship behaviour.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338,; or Shiona Mackenzie, Ext. 56982,

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