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    Queen’s secures second consecutive top 10 position globally in Times Higher Education Impact Rankings

    Queen’s places 7th in international rankings out of over 1,500 institutions in advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

    [7th in the world - 2022 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings]

    Capturing 7th position globally, Queen’s is ranked in the top 10 of the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings for the second year in a row. The rankings measure the actions universities are taking to advance the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) both within and beyond their local communities. This 2022 international competition saw participation from over 1,500 post-secondary institutions (up from 1,240 in 2021).

    Created in 2019, the THE Impact Rankings are the only international assessment to evaluate how universities’ programs and initiatives align with the SDGs. This set of 17 wide-ranging goals is central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a universal call to protect the planet and its people.

    "I am incredibly proud of the Queen’s community for this repeat stellar performance," says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University. "The ranking recognizes the sustained impact we are having in our local and global communities, but also serves to inspire future action fueled by our collective intellectual curiosity, passion to achieve, and commitment to collaboration – key to our mission and values."

    Using calibrated metrics and indicators across four key areas – research, teaching, outreach, and stewardship – the rankings assess hundreds of data points and qualitative evidence that tangibly measure the impact of higher education institutions in addressing urgent global challenges. Since its inaugural year in 2019, participation in the THE Rankings has increased from 450 institutions to 1,500 participating institutions across 110 countries in 2022. This includes 400 first-time ranked institutions and 24 Canadian universities.

    "The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings are unique in examining universities’ impact on society, through each of the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals," says Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer, Times Higher Education. "Canada is one of the outstanding performers in this ranking, with ten universities in the world top 50 – and it is great to see Queen’s among Canada’s leading institutions, making the world top 10 and excelling in its contribution to SDG 1, and SDG 11, and SDG 16, in particular. It is important to be able to identify and celebrate the work universities do to make the world a better place."

    Queen’s performance

    Queen’s results once again reflect the cross-university collaboration and partnership of dozens of units across faculties, portfolios, and departments. Highlights from the 2022 rankings include:

    • Queen’s was ranked across all 17 SDGs
    • 2nd worldwide for SDG 1: 'No Poverty.' Queen’s strong performance acknowledged the Commitment Scholars program, which provides financial support for students who are members of underserved or underrepresented groups and who have demonstrated leadership in, and commitment to, racial justice, social justice, or diversity initiatives, and Swipe it Forward, a peer-to-peer program that facilitates the donation of meals to students facing food insecurity
    • 3rd worldwide for SDG 11: 'Sustainable Cities and Communities.' Queen’s supports public access to green spaces, including self-guided tours of the university’s Snodgrass Arboretum, free trail access at Elbow Lake Environmental Education Centre, and the castle gardens at the Bader International Study Centre in the UK. State-of-the-art cultural facilities – including the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre – showcase world-class performing arts and collections to the community
    • 2nd worldwide for SDG 16: 'Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.' In addition to significant collaboration with all levels of government and training the next generation of policy makers though the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s supports academic freedom and is a member of the Scholars at Risk program, which arranges temporary research and teaching positions for scholars whose lives, freedom and well-being are under threat
    • Queen’s ranked in the top 100 of 12/17 SDGs and in the top 30 of 8/17 SDGs

    Evidence of impact

    [Report Cover - Queen’s contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals Advancing social impact | 2020-2021]
    Read the report: Queen's contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Advancing social impact | 2020-2021 [PDF Report 13 KB]

    More than 600 pieces of quantitative and qualitative evidence looked at Queen’s research, teaching, outreach, and stewardship and included:

    • Queen’s partnership with the Karta Initiative to provide educational opportunities to low-income youth from rural India
    • The new Queen’s Institute for Global and Population Health, created to boost research, education, service, and collaborative projects that will help advance and decolonize global health systems
    • Black Youth in STEM, an outreach program engaging Black elementary students in science, technology, engineering, and math programming through fun, hands-on activities in a Black-positive space
    • Leanpath Spark, a program to measure food waste and foster education and inspire action in Queen’s dining halls
    • A new Campus Map focused on accessibility to assists campus visitors in navigating Queen’s buildings and accessible routes, entrances, washrooms, and more
    • The Queen’s University Biological Station, one of Canada’s premier scientific field stations dedicated to environmental and conservation research and outreach
    • Supporting and connecting women of all ages through the Ban Righ Centre, dedicated to diversity and community building
    • Queen’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and meeting its goal for a 35 per cent reduction in emissions between 2008 to 2020
    • A website and report created to illustrate Queen’s commitment to the SDGs and showcase programs and initiatives that address some of the world’s most pressing challenges

    The Queen's University’s community of exceptional students, researchers, staff, and alumni all contribute to making a positive contribution to social impact and sustainability. For more information on the THE Impact Rankings and how the university is contributing to the SDGs, visit the Advancing Social Impact website.

    [Illustration of Queen's campus and collaborations]

    Queen’s impact on world health

    On World Health Day learn more about how Queen's researchers and educators are working to advance better global health for all.

    This article was originally promoted by the Queen's Health Sciences communications team.

    [Art of Research photo: This is EPIC by Monakshi Sawhney, Nursing]
    Queen's Art of Research PhotoThis is EPIC: Simulation Education with Patient Actors to Improve Care by Monakshi Sawhney (Nursing).

    Queen’s Health Sciences is helping to fulfil the university’s vision to "solve the world’s most significant and urgent challenges with their intellectual curiosity, passion to achieve, and commitment to collaborate."

    QHS researchers and educators – and their international partners – are changing the lives of people around the globe in areas such as community-based rehabilitation, cancer care, training, health equity, and humanitarian aid. As the planet celebrates another World Health Day, Queen’s ongoing impact can be felt in places as wide-ranging as Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, Asia, and the Caribbean.

    Case in point, a new $89,925 grant recently awarded to researchers in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine – alongside the Department of Public Health Sciences and partners at the University of Rwanda. The International Development, Aid and Collaboration (IDAC) grant from Royal College International will build upon ongoing educational work, and help foster anesthesiology training, mentorship, and sustainable health workforce development.

    Meanwhile, Queen’s International Centre for the Advancement for Community Based Rehabilitation (ICACBR) continues to partner on research, educational initiatives, and policy and infrastructure development that improve health and social services for people with disabilities, their families, and their communities.

    [Photo of Christiana Asantewaa Okyere with a student]
    Queen's PhD candidate Christiana Asantewaa Okyere (Rehabilitation Therapy) with ICACBR working with a student in Ghana.

    For example, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is a collaboration between Queen’s and the University of Gondar (UoG) in Ethiopia. Halfway through a 10-year partnership, the initiative is advancing inclusive higher education for young people with disabilities, developing a new occupational therapy undergraduate degree at UofG, and fostering research for inclusive education and community-based rehabilitation. Early success stories include eight collaborative research projects, and the development of a Community Based Rehabilitation certificate program will be offered to 175 Mastercard Foundation Scholars at UoG. Four of the program’s Queen’s graduates have now returned to UoG to establish the institution’s first Occupational Therapy department and first Occupational Therapy clinic.

    Elsewhere in Ethiopia, Queen’s University continues to partner with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) and Haramaya University to develop new residency programs and a sustainable program of training specialist physicians in Ethiopia (learn more in this video). The Haramaya Project is working to improve access to health services, quality of care, and patient outcomes for the underserved population. Early successes include the recruitment of trained physicians that enabled the establishment of three specialty departments; and launch of two of three planned residency training programs at Haramaya University in 2021: Anesthesiology and Emergency Medicine.

    [Art of Research photo: Immnuofluorescence Stain]
    Queen's Art of Research Photo: Immunofluorescence Stain by Shakeel Virk and Lee Boudreau, CCTG Tissue Bank.

    Queen’s University is an international leader in cancer research thanks to collaborative partnerships, dynamic faculty – including the Global Oncology team – and the campus serving as the proud home of the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG). Supporting these groundbreaking efforts, the Canadian Cancer Society recently renewed a $30 million grant for the CCTG. Recent global cancer research highlights include:

    • A 2022 study led by Queen’s and University of São Paulo (Brazil) that saw researchers develop a new tool to help set priorities for building radiotherapy infrastructure – helping to improve access to cancer care.
    • Research published in the fall 2021 by Dr. Chris Booth – in collaboration with the World Health Organization – that showed patients in most countries of the world do not have access to basic cancer medicines.
    • An international group of researchers and physicians based at Queen’s and institutions in Sri Lanka teamed up to develop the first database of cancer patients in Sri Lanka – a project that will make important contributions to cancer care in the South Asian country.
    • Dr. Bishal Gyawali’s ongoing work in Nepal to help establish a training program for primary care doctors – an effort order to build capacity to deliver basic cancer treatment in rural settings.    

    Also established at Queen’s, A Research Collaborative for Global Health Equity (ARCH) serves as an interdisciplinary, collaborative platform for conducting and sharing global health research that leads to positive change. One member of the collaborative, Canada Research Chair Dr. Susan Bartels, is primarily focused on areas of the world affected by conflict and disaster. Her research aims to improve the science and practice of delivering emergency medicine and humanitarian aid, and understand health impacts on women and children. Dr. Bartels has studied the effects of civil war on Syrian refugees in Lebanon, sexual misconduct by UN peacekeepers in Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as sexual and reproductive health and parenting in adversity across a variety of conflict zones.

    Of course, issues such as access to care and reducing disparities in health outcomes locally are also part of the global health picture. Queen’s researchers are addressing domestic patient needs and healthcare inequities through efforts to enable better access to healthcare by bringing a portable MRI scanner to Canada’s north for the first time and bringing interactive ultrasound training to remote communities.

    QHS’s ongoing impact on world health also aligns with its own new strategic plan – Radical Collaboration for a Healthier World – which calls for leveraging "unique interdisciplinary strengths to discover and share solutions to the world’s most pressing questions in the health sciences."

    Learn more about Queen’s global health initiatives.

    Queen's increases support for forcibly displaced students, faculty, and researchers

    University launches Principal’s Global Scholars and Fellows Program for those affected by war, conflict, and political instability.

    Humanity is facing the highest levels of displacement on record. According to the UN Refugee Agency, more than 82.4 million people have been forcibly displaced due to conflict, persecution, human rights violations, and violence. 

    “Recent and ongoing conflicts worldwide, including in Afghanistan and Ukraine, have illustrated the disastrous consequences of physical and political violence,” says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “Queen’s is a global institution that champions diversity, inclusivity, academic freedom, and peace. It is critical that we act on these ideals.”

    As a result, Queen’s is launching the Principal’s Global Scholars and Fellows program to increase its support for students, post-doctoral fellows, and faculty members forcibly displaced by conflict, political instability, violence, and persecution. The university has made an initial commitment of $1.25 million to this program which aims to offer sanctuary and assistance while also bringing a diversity of insights, talents, and experiences to the university.

    The Principal’s Global Scholars and Fellows Program is comprised of two streams. The first—Principal’s Global Scholars—serves to connect undergraduate and graduate students with streamlined admission options and funding to support their learning. The second stream—Principal’s Global Fellows—provides displaced faculty members and post-doctoral fellows with one year of support to continue their academic work. 

    Queen’s will continue its long-standing relationships with World University Service of Canada (WUSC)Scholars at Risk, and Artist Protection Fund to implement these programs and is also developing alternative pathways to be flexible to the individual needs and aspirations of applicants. More information can be found on the Principal’s Global Scholars and Fellow Program webpage.

    “Queen’s has a social responsibility to support students and colleagues who have been forcibly displaced. The need is great, and we will grow this initiative,” says Sandra den Otter, Vice Provost, International. “We recognize that people from all over the world suffer from forcible displacement and that marginalized people experience heightened barriers to finding sanctuary. This program is open to people from all geographic and social locations. We are committed to working with Queen’s colleagues and partners to ensure the ongoing equity of this program.”

    The Principal’s Global Scholars and Fellows program originated from the recommendations of a campus working group tasked with operationalizing the global engagement elements of the new Queen’s Strategy, alongside activity to expand support for refugee students from Afghanistan who arrive on campus in September 2022. 

    Advancement has created a donations page for the Principal’s Global Scholars and Fellows Program so that anyone who wishes to do so can contribute to the university’s support for at-risk people around the globe.

    A tool to boost cancer care access

    New index assesses need for radiotherapy equipment and can guide investments in cancer care infrastructure.

    Linear accelerator (LINAC)
    Radiation therapy is one of the pillars of cancer treatment. However, many countries lack the appropriate infrastructure, compromising access to cancer care. (National Cancer Institute/ Unsplash)

    Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, is one of the pillars of curative oncology and plays a key role in providing better outcomes for patients with some of the most common cancers, like prostate or breast cancers. In high-income countries, over a half of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy to cure or control the disease, and sometimes for palliative care. However, many developing countries still face radiotherapy equipment shortages that compromise access to even basic or standard cancer care.

    In a study led by Queen’s and University of São Paulo (Brazil), researchers developed a new tool to help set priorities for radiotherapy infrastructure building: an index that combines information on linear accelerators (LINACs) – the primary technology used in radiation therapy – distribution, cancer incidence, and the distance patients need to travel to access radiotherapy services.

    A pilot analysis was conducted using data from the public health system in Brazil. Results, published in Lancet Oncology show that all Brazilian states have insufficient numbers of LINACs. “There is a national LINAC shortage: Brazil has 121 per cent less than the required radiotherapy capacity,” highlights Fabio Ynoe de Moraes, oncologist and assistant professor in Queen’s Health Sciences, who led the study.

    Although the situation is worse in Brazil's poorer regions, like Midwest, North, and Northeast, even states with stronger healthcare infrastructure face equipment shortages. Dr. Moraes was surprised to realize that only 30 per cent of cancer patients in the São Paulo state, the wealthiest in Brazil, are receiving radiation therapy. “Literature suggests that 50-60 per cent of patients should receive radiotherapy during their cancer journey,” he says.

    Fabio Moraes
    Fabio Ynoe de Moraes, oncologist and assistant professor in Queen’s Health Sciences.

    Another concerning result is that, because some states have little to no available equipment, patients often must travel long distances to access therapy. For instance, the data show some patients in Amazonas needed to travel an average of 3,841 kilometers to São Paulo to receive treatment.

    The team hopes the analysis can assist in public health planning, prioritizing regions with the most need for radiotherapy infrastructure. “Connecting to decision makers and high-level politicians is our end goal now in Brazil, but we know how challenging it can be. We started by engaging some key stakeholders, like the Brazilian societies supporting oncology and NGOs, and distributing our results via our social media networks,” says Dr. Moraes.

    In addition to advocating for better cancer care in Brazil, Dr. Moraes and his colleagues also plan to use the same index to evaluate radiation therapy infrastructure in other countries, including Canada and the US.

    “The problems of access and distribution of LINACS are not unique to Brazil,” Dr. Moraes states, noting that even higher-income countries face challenges regarding equality in cancer care. Even in these nation access to LINACs, he believes, is usually uneven and tends to benefit wealthier patients. 

    In Canada, we see patients needing to travel hundreds of kilometers to reach a cancer care centre, and treatments can be limited by patients’ ability to access transportation or financial constraints. “If you consider that a standard radiotherapy treatment encompasses five to 35 visits to a cancer centre, it will translate to thousands of kilometres travelled, and also expenses on gas, hotel, food, and parking,” warns Dr. Moraes.

    Accessing appropriate infrastructure, while fundamental for cancer care, is not all, and countries face additional challenges in guaranteeing long-term sustainability of radiation facilities, including training human resources, doing overtime maintenance and, when needed, upgrades. Regulatory, technical, and societal investments are also needed to expand access to radiation therapy, including, for instance, safety regulations, power supply chains, and meeting parking and road needs.

    Dr. Moraes hopes that the new tool can be used to inform decisions regarding cancer care access worldwide. “We believe that the LS index can have a substantial impact on public health planning and investment not only in Brazil, but globally,” he says.

    Experiencing Queen’s Global Summer

    Students can participate in a new cross-disciplinary experiential learning summer program focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    [Photo of Queen's campus in the summer]

    For students looking to broaden their understanding of global challenges and develop an interdisciplinary skill set focused on solving complex problems, the Faculty of Arts and Science recently launched Queen’s Global Summer (QGS). The six-week program focused on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals offers a selection of cross-disciplinary courses, events, research showcases, and professional development opportunities.

    Graduate Summer Symposium: Science and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
    Current Queen’s graduate students whose research focuses on science, technology, and innovation intersecting with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are encouraged to apply for the in-person conference taking place from Aug. 5-6, 2022. Proposals for oral and posters presentations will be accepted until May 15, 2022.

    Students enrolled in the on-campus summer program will combine for-credit undergraduate courses with meaningful engagement with the local Kingston community. For instance, the flagship course QGSP 200 – Global Goals: Introduction to the Sustainable Development Goals examines global issues with a focus on building skills in interdisciplinary problem solving. Guest lectures by faculty members across Arts and Science and Indigenous Elders will be coupled with fieldwork and learning opportunities at research facilities such as Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS). QGSP 200 also includes a capstone group project where students partner with community organizations to support local initiatives related to sustainable living and commuting, food security, and energy conservation, among others.

    “The Queen’s Global Summer will perform the very important role of raising the awareness of issues of global relevance and advance our understanding of the UN SDGs,” says Dr. Amitava Chowdhury (History), Special Advisor to the Dean of Arts and Science on Global and Decolonization Initiatives and QGS project leader. "It provides our students with a unique and exciting opportunity to enroll in interdisciplinary problem-solving and engage in experiential learning opportunities in our local Kingston community.”

    Additional course-offerings range from memoir and migrancy, to marine environmental issues, and life, death, and meaning, among others. Graduate students participating in the program will have access to a series of unique activities focused on training in research methods, writing support, and career development, such as the Graduate Summer Symposium on the topic of Science and the Sustainable Development Goals. QGS is also partnering with community organizations to offer public events, workshops, and film festivals on SDG topics throughout the summer, such as the Sustainable Freedom Lecture Series.

    To learn more about this new program and for information on how to register, visit Queen’s Global Summer or attend the upcoming virtual info session on March 31.

    Queen’s University has launched a new website and report focused on social impact to highlight our community’s progress in advancing the UN SDGs: www.queensu.ca/social-impact

    Actioning the Sustainable Development Goals

    Queen’s community takes part in global initiative to highlight progress and leadership in advancing sustainability and responding to the world’s most urgent challenges.

    [Sustainable Development Goals Action and Awareness Week]

    Recently, Queen’s University joined the University Global Coalition (UGC), a platform of higher education institutions around the world committed to advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Founded in 2019, UGC promotes the incorporation of the SDGs into post-secondary teaching, research, operations, and partnerships through sharing of resources and best practices that support institutions in addressing the global goals. In signing the UGC’s six-principle declaration, Queen’s is strengthening the university’s global engagement and signifying the international alignment of the mission and vision of the new Queen’s Strategy. This is in coordination with the active role Queen's is playing in the fight against climate change with our institutional commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 through the Climate Action Plan

    Action and awareness

    [Report Cover - Queen’s contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals Advancing social impact | 2020-2021]
    Read the report: Queen's contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Advancing social impact | 2020-2021 [PDF Report 13 KB]

    One such initiative is the UN SDG Action and Awareness Week where UGC members are invited to take part in virtual SDG events hosted by universities around the world. Taking place from Feb. 28 to March 4, the week promotes awareness of the SDGs among students in higher education, inspiring them to be leaders in furthering the goals on their campuses and in their local communities. This year, Queen’s is participating in this week with several events and activities that showcase student initiatives and highlight collaborations across the university between faculty, staff, administration, alumni, and students in responding to these global challenges.

    "I am pleased that our university has joined the UGC alongside other institutions that share our vision for research, teaching, and student leadership through the lens of the UN SDGs," says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. "Queens’s University is committed to making a global impact through our work and we have made significant progress as an institution. Participating in the SDG Action and Awareness week provides us with an opportunity to both reflect and act upon our aspirations as a university for the future."

    Celebrating progress and social impact

    To highlight the community’s progress in advancing the SDGs, Queen’s has launched a new website and report focused on social impact. Organized under the themes of research and innovation, teaching and student life, community impact, global reach, and operations, the website and report provide a snapshot of activity and collaborations specific to each of the 17 SDGs with impact across our campuses and beyond, such as stewardship activities and responsible investing strategies. These initiatives will be highlighted throughout the week as part of a social media campaign.

    Queen’s SDG Student Hub

    The Queen’s SDG Student Hub, an initiative that aims to support and encourage students to learn, engage with, and act on the 17 SDGs, will be hosting a week-long virtual speaker series. Throughout the week, there will be talks led by Queen’s faculty, staff, students, and Kingston community leaders on the topics of SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and SDG 13: Climate Action and each will identify how participants can get involved in SDG action locally. The SDG Student Hub is part of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Youth, a division of SDSN which is a global movement of 1,300 institutions, including Queen’s, dedicated to promoting practical solutions for sustainable development.

    Impact Rankings
    As a further commitment to measuring our institutional progress in addressing the SDGs, Queen’s will again be participating in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. The only global performance tables that assess a university’s societal impact across research, teaching, outreach, and stewardship, the efforts of Queen’s community resulted in a ranking of first in Canada and fifth in the world in 2021.

    17 Rooms event

    Brainstorming on future opportunities, nearly 300 members of the Queen’s community participated in a 17 Rooms event in June focused on how the university could mobilize the SDGs in significant and innovative ways. A fast-paced exercise used by institutions worldwide, the 17 Rooms event brought staff, faculty, and students together to raise awareness about the SDGs. The reports from each room are now available on the Office of the Principal’s website. The brainstorming sessions highlighted potential avenues for SDG action, some of which have already inspired and will continue to shape university initiatives.

    Art of Research

    For Queen’s community members looking to get involved in promoting action and awareness of the SDGs, University Relations is launching a re-imagined SDG-focused Art of Research photo contest this week. Open from Feb. 28 to April 6 to all Queen’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni, the contest celebrates its sixth year of showcasing the ground-breaking research of the Queen’s community. The new categories reflect Queen’s researchers’ active contributions to the SDGs and the university’s commitment to making a global impact.

    To learn more about Queen’s initiatives and activities during UN SDG Action and Awareness week, follow Queen’s University on Twitter at @queensu.

    Tuning in to sustainable practices across the pond

    The crew of a hugely popular BBC Radio program visits the Bader International Study Centre to learn more about sustainability and biodiversity efforts to preserve the natural environment.

    A BBC panel of experts learns about biodiversity at the BISC.
    A BBC panel of experts learns about biodiversity at the Bader International Study Centre (BISC). (Supplied)

    With its more than 600 acres of land containing medieval parklands, ancient woodlands, meadows, ponds, marshlands, and formal gardens, Queen’s University’s Bader International Study Centre  (BISC) serves as the backdrop to the latest episode of the hugely popular Gardeners Question Time (GQT) on BBC Radio 4.

    “The idea to do a special broadcast from the BISC sprang from a climate change gardening workshop in the Autumn this year,” says Director of Corporate Development at the BISC, Duncan Adams. “Peter Gibbs, who chairs the panel of horticulture experts, was intrigued by the idea of the Castle’s efforts to increase biodiversity and sustainability, and thought it would be of interest to many listeners across the UK and beyond.”

    As part of the broadcast, a panel of horticulture experts were hosted by the Castle’s Gardens and Grounds Manager, Guy Lucas, with the location being chosen to showcase some of the work undertaken on the estate to increase its biodiversity and sustainability. The panel had access to the entire estate but were guided through some key areas, including the Castle Courtyard, the Elizabethan Garden, Rose Garden, and Shakespeare Garden.

    Over the centuries, numerous changes, both inside and outside the castle walls, have resulted in a loss of biodiversity and preservation of the unique grounds. In order to improve and restore the estate’s surrounding environment, Lucas and his team of gardeners and grounds staff are implementing sustainable ecological practices such as rewilding to repair damaged ecosystems and restore the grounds to their original state through natural processes. Sustainability and biodiversity are combined to help nurture and preserve the natural environment, while providing a living lab for students, staff, and members of the public. 

    The 42-minute episode also included a wander through the grounds as panelists answered diverse questions from listeners about their own gardens, including how to encourage slugs, the lifespan of potting soil, and, just in time for the holidays, how to thicken a holly hedge.

    Adams says the radio experience will help to raise the BISC’s profile.

    “We really want listeners to have a better understanding of what we are doing here on the estate, how hard we work on it and how important it is to not only the Estate but the local habitat too. “

    The Castle grounds are now closed for the winter, with next year’s season launching in mid February.

    The BISC prides itself in it’s academic quality, offering six programs with over 60 courses for students in Arts and Science, Commerce, Engineering, Health Studies, Liberal Arts, Social Science and more. A focus on small class sizes, individual attention and experiential learning opportunities throughout the UK and Europe help to develop skillsets that serve graduates well as they head into the workforce.  

    Allowing students to interact with and learn from the estate team’s sustainability and biodiversity agenda is an integral part of the BISC’s mandate. The BISC Skills Award (BSA), which encourages students to participate in university events and programs for personal development, presents an excellent opportunity for student engagement. Recently, this program has incorporated the estate team’s sustainability and biodiversity initiatives into the curriculum by allowing students to partake in projects including invasive species removal, pond maintenance, rare species seed planting, and the designing of a new student services cottage garden.

    “The work we do on sustainability and biodiversity is increasingly embedded into our academic programs” says Adams. “The BISC Skills Award (BSA) helps students build graduate attributes to support their academic qualifications. Our Bees and Trees, and other projects, have this year allowed students to get involved in sustainability programs on the estate learning new skills and giving something back to the environment.”

    The BISC’s focus on sustainability also contributed to Queen’s success in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings revealed that Queen’s University had placed first in Canada and fifth in the world in its global ranking of universities that are advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Queen’s earned its Impact Ranking after successfully implementing programs to improve sustainability within and outside of the local Kingston community.

    Gardeners’ Question Time was broadcast Dec. 17 and 19. You can listen or download the recording here. For more information, visit the BISC and Herstmonceux Castle websites.

    Queen’s PhD candidate finishes second at international 3MT competition

    Samantha Twietmeyer earns runner-up honours at the 2021 Matariki 3 Minute Thesis with her presentation ‘Scared of what’s behind you – Negotiating a double minority dilemma’. 

    Samantha Twietmeyer with Barbara Crow, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science, Sandra Den Otter, Vice-Provost (International), and Fahim Quadir, Vice Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies (SGS)
    Samantha Twietmeyer is congratulated by Barbara Crow, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science, Sandra Den Otter, Vice-Provost (International), and Fahim Quadir, Vice Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies (SGS). (University Communications)

    An 80,000-word PhD thesis takes up to nine hours to present. For competitors in the 2021 Matariki 3 Minute Thesis (3MT) event, they only had 180 seconds.

    Queen’s University PhD candidate Samantha Twietmeyer was named runner-up for her presentation Scared of what’s behind you – Negotiating a double minority dilemma.

    The Matariki Network of Universities (MNU) is an international group of seven universities including Dartmouth College, Durham University, Queen’s University, University of Otago, University of Tübingen, Upsala University, and the University of Western Australia.

    The 3MT competition challenges research students to communicate the significance of their projects to a non-specialist audience in just three minutes using just one slide. The daunting task was just what Twietmeyer says - she needed to increase her confidence and to rediscover her initial excitement about her thesis work.

    “In March I took part in the 3MT workshop through the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) to help me finish writing my thesis,” Twietmeyer says. “In the last couple of years of writing your thesis, you don’t have a lot of opportunity for feedback and I was struggling to keep writing. Colette Steer (Manager, Recruitment & Events, School of Graduate Studies) encouraged me to enter and thought I’d do one and that would be it. I never expected to win.”

    The Matariki event allows SGS to put forward the top two PhD students. Twietmeyer was first overall and Quentin Tsang from Translational Medicine was the next top PhD.

    Twietmeyer comes from a background of musical theatre and drama but the event this year was hosted virtually due to the pandemic. This unique format had its challenges for someone used to presenting in front of a live audience that gives immediate feedback that she overcame that hurdle with a lot of practice and encouragement from Steer and Fahim Quadir, Vice Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies (SGS).

    She also thanked her supervisor John McGarry (Political Studies) for providing invaluable support for her research and encouragement throughout the competition process.”

    And she notes, the competition has given her the motivation she needed to keep writing and she has also put her experience to good use at other public events.

    “The 3MT helped me a few weekends ago when I was at a conference presenting a paper on the customs protocol in Northern Ireland,” Twietmeyer says. “My research is often difficult to disseminate outside of my own area of academia but I used my 3MT during the presentation and it made it so much easier. Other students should give it a try. It isn’t easy but it’s an incredibly valuable to experience it once. And SGS provides all the support required.”

    To view Twietmeyer’s entire presentation and to learn more about the event, visit the Matariki Network of Universities website.

    Pioneering Queen’s chemistry research gets $24M boost

    Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund supporting novel research that could extend the lifespan of metals and potentially save billions across the infrastructure, microchip, and health care industries.

    [Photo of Dr. Cathleen Crudden in the lab]
    Dr. Cathleen Crudden, Canada Research Chair in Metal Organic Chemistry.

    While oxygen may give us life, it constantly eats away at modern living.

    Picture your commute to work or school, to a store or the gym. You may drive a car or take public transit. Your route may take you over a river by bridge or by train. Maybe your phone rings along the way; it’s your friend asking for a pick-up from the airport later.

    These activities, along with countless others in which we routinely engage, rely on the strength and resilience of metals, which play indispensable roles in sectors from automotive and engineering to health care and communications. The problem: when most metals meet oxygen – be it the oxygen in the air or in the molecules that comprise water – they grow unstable and break down.

    With $24 million in newly announced support from Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund, Queen’s chemistry researcher Cathleen Crudden is poised to revolutionize industries worldwide with unique molecular coatings designed to significantly extend the lifespan of vital metals. These advances could not only improve our daily lives, but they could also save society billions in infrastructure and manufacturing costs.

    Molecular science. Momentous effect.

    Together with her multidisciplinary team of international researchers and industry collaborators, Dr. Crudden is developing a fundamentally new approach for protecting metal surfaces. Building on her prior discovery that a certain class of organic molecules can form bonds with a wide range of metals, the group is exploring and developing a carbon-on-metal coating that could slow or halt corrosion and degradation caused by oxygen, changes in pH, and heat.

    "Worldwide, countries spend, on average, over three per cent of their GDP each year on corrosion maintenance. Annually, Canada spends around $66 billion across sectors," says Dr. Crudden, professor and Canada Research Chair in Metal Organic Chemistry. "With new strategies, like the innovative coatings we are developing, we could save governments, taxpayers, and industries up to 25 per cent of this cost. We are very excited about the potential this work holds, and grateful for this significant support from the New Frontiers in Research Fund: Transformation Stream."

    These coatings could prevent metals in microchips from breaking down, leading to greater longevity for our computers, phones, and other devices. They could also guard against automobile rust, improve aerospace design, and even be used on a nanoscale, improving targeted chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and refining medical imaging.

    The technology’s potential to improve cancer care is promising, as it could enable new advances to nanomedical precision cancer treatments that could impact the health and wellbeing of one-in-two Canadians who will develop the disease in their lifetimes.

    High-risk. High-reward.

    Drs. Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry), Kevin Stamplecoskie (Chemistry), and Chantelle Capicciotti (Chemistry and Biomedical and Molecular Sciences). [Photo taken in accordance with COVID-19 protocols in effect at the time.]
    Drs. Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry), Kevin Stamplecoskie (Chemistry), and Chantelle Capicciotti (Chemistry and Biomedical and Molecular Sciences). [Photo taken in accordance with COVID-19 protocols in effect at the time.]

    The New Frontiers in Research Fund: Transformation Stream grant awarded to Dr. Crudden and her team is one of only seven grants of up to $24 million announced by the federal government earlier this morning. Distributed to recipients over a six-year span, the funding is designed to support large-scale projects involving high-risk, high-reward, interdisciplinary research. This is the first time New Frontiers in Research Grants: Transformation Stream have been awarded.

    "I am beyond proud of the Canadian institutions and researchers who think outside disciplines and borders to tackle major challenges," says The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. "These programs are a catalyst for amplifying new voices, insights and discoveries that will answer communities’ needs, elevate our innovation hub and shape Canada’s prosperity for years to come. Congratulations to all recipients!"

    The development of new coatings could help position Canada at the forefront of the barrier coatings industry, which has a national economic impact of $31 billion per year, and currently employs 211,000 people across the country.

    "Thanks to support from the New Frontiers in Research Fund, Dr. Crudden and her interdisciplinary team will be able to advance the application of their pioneering research, protecting vital metals across industries," says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University. "This work reflects the importance of research being undertaken at Queen’s and the impact it can have on both human and economic aspects of our society."

    Both Queen’s Office of Partnerships and Innovation and GreenCentre Canada – a Queen’s spinoff led by another Queen’s Chemist Philip Jessop – are on board to assist the project group with research translation and potential commercialization through regular assessments of the technology’s readiness and economic potential.

    International collaboration, learning, and training.

    [Dr. Cathleen Crudden with collaborators and students]
    Dr. Cathleen Crudden (Chemistry) with her team of Queen's collaborators, lab members, and students. [Photo taken in accordance with COVID-19 protocols in effect at the time.]

    Along with multidisciplinary research and industry collaborators across Canada, the US, and Europe, Dr. Crudden is working alongside several Queen’s University colleagues. Chantelle Capicciotti, Queen’s National Scholar and assistant professor of Chemistry and Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, joins Dr. Crudden as a co-principal investigator on the project, while Kevin Stamplecoskie, assistant professor in Chemistry, and Alastair McLean, professor in Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy, are co-applicants.

    "I want to congratulate Dr. Crudden and her team on being awarded this new funding, and thank the Government of Canada for supporting high-risk, high-reward research with the potential for wide-ranging impacts," says Nancy Ross, Queen’s Vice-Principal (Research). "Not only could this project boost Canada’s position in the global high-tech sector, but it will also enhance cross-disciplinary collaborations, support early career professionals, strengthen equity, diversity, and inclusion opportunities, and expand student learning in myriad ways."

    The project’s potential to boost professional and educational development for those involved is significant. Early career researchers like Drs. Capicciotti and Stamplecoskie, stand to gain invaluable leadership, learning, and collaborative experiences while performing vital roles in advancing the work.

    Graduate and post-doctoral students will be involved as well; learning and working alongside, and supervised by, early career and seasoned researchers – building their skillsets and improving future employability. Dr. Crudden is preparing to hire approximately 14 students and post-doctoral fellows to assist with the project.

    Project collaborators

    Project co-principal investigators:

    Western University, Concordia University, McGill University, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Networks

    Project co-applicants:

    University of St Andrews (Scotland), University of Texas (Dallas), University of Jyvaskyla (Finland), University of Toronto, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (US), University of Tokyo, École de technologie supérieure, Département de génie de la construction, Simon Fraser University

    Identified industrial collaborators:

    3M, Solvay, (SFL)-CanUSA, National Research Council Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Centre, Division of Transportation and Manufacturing, NRCan – CanMetMATERIALS, Hydro Quebec and CRDQA, Ocean Networks Canada, Jernkontoret, The Nickel Institute, Intel Corporation, Tokyo Electron Limited, Canadian Cancer Trials Group, Izotropic Corporation, Nano-medicine Innovation Network

    The New Frontiers in Research Funding results were announced as part of a bundled science announcement that included the latest round of Canada Research Chair appointment and renewals and graduate scholarships and fellowships. You can find Queen’s coverage of these funding achievements here.

    Queen’s to train next generation of Egyptian technology leaders

    A signing ceremony of the new agreement between Queen’s and Egypt took place on Sept. 15.

    Queen's University and Egypt enter an international partnership
    Dr. Amr S. Talaat, Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, speaks with Queen’s Principal Patrick Deane who attended the signing ceremony virtually on Sept. 15, 2021.

    Queen’s University has entered into an international partnership with the Government of Egypt to train their next generation of experts in the field of artificial intelligence and data science. 

    Beginning in January 2022, up to 100 Egyptian students will participate remotely in the Queen’s School of Computing’s Master of Data Science and Machine Learning. Their participation in this 12-month program is part of the Digital Egypt Builders Initiative (DEBI) led by the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology — which aims to empower the next generation of Egyptian engineering and computer science graduates.

    The master’s program addresses the growing demand for graduates with a data science and machine learning background from leading technology firms, healthcare companies, automobile manufacturers, research labs and government agencies. Some of the educational outcomes for graduates of this Queen’s program include developing a rigorous understanding of fundamental concepts in Data Science and Machine Learning, and designing, evaluating, and refining data-driven solutions, processes, and infrastructure for effective problem solving. This partnership with Queen’s will assist Egypt in their efforts towards building nationwide capacity in modern technologies.

    We are proud to welcome Queen’s University on board of the ambitious Digital Egypt Builders Initiative. Queen’s University is among the top universities in Canada. I am confident our Egyptian Students will benefit from this exceptional opportunity offered by the Egyptian Government, setting the path for the new generations to become the driving force of technological innovation in Egypt, says Ahmed Abu Zeid, the Ambassador of Egypt to Canada.

    The collaboration reinforces Queen’s commitments to equitable global engagement through sustainable development, civic impact and fostering mutually beneficial partnerships across the globe. Queen’s was recently recognized by THE Impact Rankings for the university’s societal impact based on advancing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This partnership is a continuation of this commitment and the university’s goal to produce and support graduates who will go on to find solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

    “Queen’s is pleased to support this new partnership with Egypt, supporting postsecondary education and preparing students to be leaders in their communities,” says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University. “With the signing of this agreement, Queen’s and the Ministry will be partners in equipping young people with the technological skills needed for success in the 21st century.”

    A signing ceremony of the new agreement, with the Ambassador of Canada to Egypt and the Ambassador of Egypt to Canada as guests, took place on Sept. 15 in Egypt. Representatives from Queen’s University attended remotely including Principal Deane, Sandra den Otter (Vice-Provost, International), Mark Green (Provost and Vice-Principal, Academic), Hossam Hassanein (Director of the School of Computing), Fahim Quadir (Vice Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies), Barbara Crow (Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science), Sharon Regan (Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science), and Tom Collier (Coordinator, International Agreements and Partnerships).


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