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Welcoming promising new researchers

Queen's attracts six Vanier Canada Graduate Scholars and one Banting Post-Doctoral Fellow through national programs.

2020 Banting and Vanier recipients
Surulola Eke (Political Studies), top left, is a 2020 recipient of the Banting Post-Doctoral Fellowship. The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship recipients are, clockwise: Jasmine Khan (Neuroscience); Erin Lee (Mechanical and Materials Engineering); Cailie McGuire (Kinesiology and Health Studies);  Rogney Piedra Arencibia (Philosophy); Thomas Sears (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Mona Kanso (Chemical Engineering).

Queen’s University is welcoming seven new promising researchers through the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and Banting Post-Doctoral Fellowship programs.

The 2020 Vanier scholars are: Jasmine Khan (Neuroscience); Mona Kanso (Chemical Engineering); Erin Lee (Mechanical and Materials Engineering); Thomas Sears (Electrical and Computer Engineering); Cailie McGuire (Kinesiology and Health Studies); Rogney Piedra Arencibia (Philosophy). The 2020 Banting fellow is Surulola Eke (Political Studies).

“The Vanier scholarship and the Banting fellowship recognize academic excellence and outstanding leadership of the recipients. Queen’s University is honoured to host each of these award holders and we look forward to supporting them to ensure their continued success,” says Fahim Quadir, Vice-Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. “We strive to be a place where graduate and early career researchers can refine their research focus, develop skills, and advance academic and professional goals. I look forward to hearing how these scholars champion new thinking and uncover groundbreaking discoveries through their academic and research endeavours.”

Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the programs help Canadian universities attract the best doctoral students and postdoctoral applicants, both internationally and nationally.

Each of the 166 Vanier scholarships is valued at $50,000 per year for three years during doctoral studies. Each of the 70 Banting fellowships are valued at $70,000 per year for two years.

Taking the next step

Surulola Eke arrives at Queen’s as a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow after receiving his PhD at University of Manitoba. His research explores why conflicts between autochthonous ethnic groups and more recent arrivals occur in some conflict-stricken areas of West Africa and not in others.

“Earning one of these fellowships is a life-changing opportunity for me,” he says adding that his motivation for applying is the essence of the program – he will now make an income while also continuing to pursue further knowledge. “I know I have made tremendous progress as a political science student and researcher since coming to Canada five years ago, but I recognize that there’s a lot more to learn. The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship provides me the opportunity to achieve this goal.”

Dr. Eke will be working with professor and researcher Andrew Grant (Political Studies), whose knowledge and extensive work in West Africa will be a valuable resource for his research program.

“If I wrote a story about my dream for my early post-PhD years, this would have been the plot,” Dr. Eke adds.

Continuing at Queen’s

Erin Lee is taking a different route as she begins her Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, remaining at Queen’s after completing her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering (Sci’19).

Her research focuses on the mechanics of the human shoulder joint and specifically is trying to understand how the shape of the bones in the shoulder, as they have evolved, affects the mechanical function of the joint. Clinically, this will uncover the biomechanical reasons why certain shoulder shapes are predictive of injury while others are not – which can ultimately help clinicians design more effective patient-specific treatments.

An award-winning competitive swimmer during her time at Queen’s, she will be working with professor and researcher Michael Rainbow (Mechanical Engineering).

“I was first exposed to this research during my undergrad when I joined the Skeletal Observation Lab as a summer student,” Lee says. “I really enjoyed working with Dr. Rainbow and the graduate students and decided it was a fantastic environment to pursue a graduate degree.”

Lee also recently published a paper in Clinical Biomechanics[EL1]  on shoulder function and dysfunction using a novel approach that leverages expertise and collaboration from several fields including orthopaedic surgery, evolutionary biology, and engineering.

The paper sheds new light on how differences in shoulder anatomy can alter mechanical function and potentially lead to rotator cuff tears.

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Recipients and Title of Research Proposal:

Banting Post-Doctoral Fellowship

  • Surulola Eke – Resource Scarcity, Exclusionary Politics and the Spatial Variation of Autochthonous Conflicts in Ghanaian and Nigerian Cities

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship

  • Jasmine Khan – Effects of Low Cerebral Perfusion on Delirium and Long-Term Outcomes in Critically Ill Patients: A Multi-Centre Study
  • Mona Kanso – Molecular Architecture and Polymer Flow
  • Erin Lee – Mapping the relationships between morphology and function in the human shoulder: an interdisciplinary approach for understanding human evolution and injury
  • Cailie McGuire – Sport as Vehicle for Enhancing Mental Health Literacy in Youth.
  • Rogney Piedra Arencibia – The Peculiar Objectivity of Ideal Objects in Science. The Epistemological Potential of Activity Theory
  • Thomas Sears – Distributed Simultaneous Localization and Mapping for Collaborative Guidance, Navigation, and Control of Multiple Mobile Robots on Mars