New U of G awards recognize innovative CSAHS research

Posted on Friday, July 7th, 2017

Written by Megan Swim

Two researchers from the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences (CSAHS) have been named recipients of prestigious U of G research awards.

Prof. Meghan McMurtry, Department of Psychology, has been selected to receive the Research Excellence Award.

McMurtry says her ultimate research goal is to improve the understanding of the complex interactions of factors that impact children’s pain and health, to identify the best practices for intervention.

Photo of Prof. Meghan McMurtry

“The questions I look at to understand pediatric pain and fear include ‘how should we measure fear?’ And, ‘what are the most effective strategies parents can use when their children are in pain?’ ” says McMurtry. “Much of my work focuses on pain and fear in the context of needle procedures such as vaccinations.”

She directs the U of G’s Pediatric Pain, Health and Communication (PPHC) lab, where researchers are studying acute pain such as medical procedures, as well as long-term pain with a focus on developing the knowledge needed to understand children’s pain and fear.

Ongoing research in the PPHC lab collaborates with children’s hospitals to understand how to improve quality of life for youth in pain. Positive psychological factors such as pain self-efficacy—the ability to carry out activities while in pain—are examined.

Political science Prof. David MacDonald has been selected to receive the Research Leadership Chair Award.

MacDonald is working to improve lives with research that focuses on Indigenous-settler relations in Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand, Indigenous self-determination, multiculturalism, and the legacies of Canada’s Indian residential schools.

Photo of Dr David MacDonald

MacDonald has written several books exploring how Indigenous peoples and others express resilience in the face of extremely difficult circumstances. He has interviewed survivors and government officials and has participated in the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

“How should Canada be understood in light of many of the difficult truths we are learning about ourselves and our history? What makes for successful relationships between Indigenous peoples, settlers of European origin, and people of colour (many of whom are also settlers)? My current research trajectory seeks to explore these and other pertinent questions,” says MacDonald.

He has received several grants from SSHRC, most recently an Insight Grant entitled “Complex Sovereignties: Theories and Practices of Indigenous-Self Determination in Settler States and the International System.”

These awards recognize excellence and innovation for researchers on the path to becoming world leaders and those whose success has already set them apart on the global stage.

Awards are based on scholarly output, knowledge, innovation and training of highly qualified personnel.

CSAHS celebrates the nomination of both McMurty and MacDonald. They will have the opportunity to present their research to the University of Guelph and the Guelph community through dedicated research events that will be announced at a later date. 

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