Funding focuses on humanities, social sciences

Funding focuses on humanities, social sciences

Minister Kirsty Duncan makes $141 million funding announcement at Queen's University.

By Anne Craig

January 30, 2019


More than 90 Queen’s University researchers, including faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows, are the beneficiaries of Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funding announced Wednesday by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport.

At an event hosted by Queen’s at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Minister Duncan announced $141 million in research funding for almost 3,000 researchers across Canada through the SSHRC Insight Development and Talent grant programs.

A total of $4.6 million is earmarked for Queen’s researchers.

Minister Duncan was joined at the event by SSHRC President Ted Hewitt, and Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Daniel Woolf.

“With the support of these funds, over 90 faculty and students across disciplines at Queen’s will contribute evidence-based research to issues of importance to Canadians and global citizens – from gender expression to assisted dying,” says Principal Woolf.  “The strength of our social sciences and humanities research in this country positions Canada as an international leader in facilitating dialogue, informing policy, and providing concrete solutions to global challenges.”

Speaking on behalf of recipients across Canada at the announcement were Queen’s faculty and student representatives, Lee Airton (Education) and Christine Moon (Kinesiology and Health Studies). Dr. Airton’s research explores how gender expression is being explicitly defined, and implicitly constructed, in the human rights, diversity and equity policy documents of Ontario’s 76 publicly-funded school boards.

• A total of close to 2,300 social sciences and humanities scholars at the master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral levels will benefit from today’s announcement.
• In addition, 677 faculty researchers and their teams received Insight Development Grants. This number represents a 74 per cent increase from last year.
• Queen’s University is one of 79 universities to benefit from the $141 million to support close to 3,000 researchers at institutions across Canada.
• The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) Talent and Insight programs support post-secondary based research and research training in the humanities and social sciences.
• The Canada Graduate Scholarships are awarded by the three granting agencies – SSHRC, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

“We are analyzing hundreds of school board policy and guideline documents produced because of changes to human rights law, but also because schools already know that this guidance is needed,” says Dr. Airton. “It’s needed because gender is changing, and the future of gender is walking into Canadian schools every day, and schools are now legally required to offer a welcome: not a correction or a blind eye. This grant has established our research program, and with SSHRC support we will be able to help Canadian institutions like schools to offer this welcome, every day, to everyone.”

Moon, a MD/PhD in sociocultural studies at the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, will examine medical assistance in dying, and what assisted dying means to racialized Canadians. This is the first ethnographic analysis of assisted dying in Canada.

"It is my intent that my research will contribute both to Canadian public policy and to the everyday lived experiences of Canadians," says Moon. "I am grateful for the support I receive from SSHRC, and the opportunity I have been given to better the lives of Canadians with my research."

After the formal presentation, the podium party, including Minister Duncan and Dr. Hewitt toured the Art of Research photo contest exhibit. The annual photo contest is a unique opportunity for faculty and students across disciplines to showcase their scholarship in a non-traditional way, and a number of the exhibitors were present to highlight their research projects.

The official visit concluded with a tour of the state-of-the-art, interdisciplinary painting and art conservation laboratories. Queen’s offers the only Master of Art Conservation program in Canada and it is one of only five graduate programs in North America. Minister Duncan met graduate student recipients of the SSHRC Talent Fund and learned about the innovative research being applied to conserve art and artifacts to preserve our history

“Social sciences and humanities research is at the heart of understanding the challenges and opportunities facing our communities and our people,” says Minister Duncan. “Nurturing young talent in these disciplines is one of the best ways to build a healthier, stronger and more prosperous Canada.”

For a list of all the funding recipients visit the website.

VIDEO: SSHRC Research Funding Announcement. January 30, 2019