U of G Faculty Receive $1.6 Million in SSHRC Grants

September 17, 2013 - News Release

Research in the arts, humanities and social sciences at Guelph has received a $1.6-million boost from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Nationwide, SSHRC is investing nearly $107 million in 760 research projects.The funding was announced Monday by Greg Rickford, minister of state (science and technology).

U of G's share is for 10 initiatives, with topics ranging from injustice to consumer and organizational behaviour to learning disabilities to multiculturalism.

The funding comes from SSHRC’s Insight Grants program, which supports research by individuals and small teams, and its Insight Development Grants program, which supports early-stage research.

“Our social sciences researchers have incredible depth and range, and are seeking to improve understanding of complex and challenging topics,” said Kevin Hall, vice-president (research).

“In short, they are studying the human world, and their innovative work will help improve understanding of issues important to society.”

He added that Guelph’s strong showing reflects its high national standing in social science research. In 2012, Guelph was ranked fifth overall for social sciences and humanities in a new national academic research ranking report.

Sociology professor Myrna Dawson received a $355,550 Insight Grant to study how punishments for similar crimes vary across jurisdictions.

“I was thrilled to find out about the funding because it will sustain a project that examines access to justice for Canadians and, in particular, those experiencing violence in their lives,” said Dawson, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Public Policy in Criminal Justice.

“Equal access to justice has recently been identified by the Canadian Bar Association as a crucial issue given that there are severe inequalities in access to justice across the country.”

Dawson will document patterns in criminal justice responses to violent crime, accounting for victim and perpetrator attributes as well as characteristics of courts and their communities. She’ll also determine the effect of legislative and policy transformations.

The project will help Dawson further develop national and international research projects as part of her CRC program.

Prof. Daniel O’Quinn, School of English and Theatre Studies, said he was “honoured” to be chosen for an Insight Grant. He’ll use his $175,475 to study how changes in media dynamics transformed the ethnoscape of London during the reign of King George III.

“SSHRC support has always been important to my research, but the new five-year program constitutes a much larger investment in my work,” O’Quinn said.

“At a time when far too many institutions and agencies are devaluing the humanities, Canadian scholars are fortunate that SSHRC maintains a robust peer-reviewed program aimed at keeping Canada on the leading edge of humanities research."

SSHRC Insight Grants were also awarded to:

  • Prof. Towhidul Islam, Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies, $357,322: efficacy of models used to forecast consumer choices;
  • Prof. Rene Kirkegaard, Department of Economics, $70,000: theoretical “moral hazard” research;
  • Prof. David MacDonald, Department of Political Science, $274,030: multiculturalism and Aboriginal priorities; and
  • Prof. Theodore Noseworthy, Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies, $92,600: over-consumption and marketing of functional foods.

SSHRC Insight Development Grants went to:

  • Prof. Christine Bold, School of English and Theatre Studies, $63,050: historical research on vaudeville and indigenous and non-indigenous entertainers;
  • Prof. Noella Gray, Department of Geography, $61,224: volunteer tourism and conservation;
  • Prof. Satsuki Kawano, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, $38,791: learning disabilities in contemporary Japan; and
  • Prof. Agnes Zdaniuk, Department of Business, $60,325: effect of status leave on organizations and employees.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca; or Kevin Gonsalves, Ext. 56982, or kgonsalves@uoguelph.ca.

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