Queen’s Public Scholars Program launched

Queen’s Public Scholars Program launched

June 8, 2023


The School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (SGSPA) is introducing the Queen’s Public Scholars Program (QPSP), a new initiative to support graduate students whose research is intended to directly impact local, national, and global communities.

Public Scholars create positive impact and facilitate change through knowledge creation, application, exchange, and/or collaboration with community partners. Public Scholars range across disciplines and public scholarship can take many forms, including:

  • Inquiry that serves the public good or public debate in meaningful and novel ways (for example, social, economic, and cultural innovation in the form of reconciliation, delivery of health care, public policy, environmental or cultural stewardship, etc.)
  • Mutually beneficial partnerships between university researchers and community partners (including specific communities of people, non-profit organizations, and government agencies)
  • The co-design of research projects and sustained collaboration thereafter
  • Creative and/or new forms of scholarship, which can include non-conventional dissertations formats
  • Advocacy-based research and knowledge for public good
  • Scholarship that is academically rigorous, but also translated to be accessible to the public (this includes policy briefs, exhibitions, community programs, op-eds, websites, podcasts, feasibility studies, data-based reports, and program evaluations)

Through the creation of the QPSP, the SGSPA reiterates its commitment to developing holistic and innovative frameworks to support student academic development with a focus on socially responsive scholarship. This program empowers community-centered efforts that work toward a more equitable and sustainable future through practical research dissemination, interdisciplinary and intersectoral thinking, and skills development within the next generation of scholars and leaders.

Fahim Quadir, Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, sees the program as part of the SGSPA’s mission to foster a culture of learning and research that enables graduate students to lead the way towards a better future for our global community.

“By shining a spotlight on the rigorous work of our graduate students, the QPSP will showcase their concerted efforts to tackle pressing issues that impact the way we live, work, interact with the environment and more,” Dr. Quadir says. “Through their work, our graduate students strive to create a better world for all of us.”

The QPSP builds on the success of other SGSPA programs, such as the PhD-Community Initiative, and reflects the university’s institutional values and goals as outlined in the Queen’s Strategic Framework.

“Public scholarship has enormous potential to increase the impact of the university in our community and in society at large, and I applaud the SGSPA for this undertaking,” says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane “It speaks directly to Queen’s Strategic Framework and to our goal of being a university responsive and responsible to the great challenges faced by society and the planet today.”

The QPSP will run from September 2023 to August 2024 and will include two streams for student participation. Programming will consist of a series of workshops and activities designed to support students whose research already qualifies as public scholarship. Graduate students who are simply interested in public scholarship and/or want to develop new skills are also welcome to participate. Students who complete six workshops/activities will receive a Public Scholarship Program Certificate of Completion.

The second stream will identify eight inaugural Queen’s Public Scholarship Fellows. These graduate students will receive a $5,000 fellowship to engage in public scholarship activities affiliated with their existing research over the 2023-24 academic year. Fellows will participate in monthly workshops, obtain additional training, and receive one-on-one mentorship. Applications to stream two will be accepted between June 12, 2023 and July 26, 2023.

Want to learn more about the QPSP? Visit the program homepage. Questions about the Queen’s Public Scholars Program? Email the program coordinator, Heather Merla (heather.merla@queensu.ca).

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Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs