Recipients: Susan Bartels, Christopher Booth, Pascale Champagne, Marc Epprecht, Christina Godfrey, Anthony Goerzen, James Miller, Michael Rainbow, Dongsheng Tu, and Suning Wang.
– To further her work on “peace babies,” Dr. Susan Bartels has proposed a multidisciplinary research project to study children fathered by peacekeepers and born to local women in the host country. Combining professors from Queen’s and the University of Birmingham, this project seeks to determine the number of peace babies around UN bases in the DRC and Haiti, and to analyze the challenges faced by these children and their families. Oftentimes, women raising ‘peace babies’ face judgement and stigma from their communities, and this study will help elucidate exactly how this affects them and the children they are raising. Dr. Bartels has years of experience working in humanitarian settings, and the project’s team will bring together viewpoints and expertise from many disciplines. The results of this study will help inform policies of United Nations and the training of future peacekeepers. The work will also provide an excellent learning opportunity for several graduate students whose projects will be facilitated by this study. The collaborations with the University of Birmingham will strengthen Queen’s knowledge about children born of war and pave the way for future international collaborations in this growing field.
– Dr. Christopher Booth is creating strong ties with a leading cancer hospital in Kerala, India. His project, entitled “Cancer health services research collaboration at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC), Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India,” will see the start of two major studies with Dr. Aleyamma Mathew of the RCC as the co-Principal Investigator. Low and middle-income countries have seen few studies analyzing the outcomes of treatment for cervical cancer and the impact of lower socioeconomic status on cancer survival rates. Dr. Booth’s award from the International Fund will allow him and Dr. Mathew to begin studies on both of these issues, which will improve the treatment and preventative measures put in place for patients. This will benefit the Indian healthcare system that is overburdened with cases of cancer and help researchers understand the predetermining factors that lead to these cases. These studies will assist in creating a long-term collaboration between Queen’s and the RCC.
– The treatment of wastewater is global concern, and the city of Quito, Ecuador is no exception. In her project “An integrated algal system as a potential eco-engineered wastewater treatment process in Ecuador,” Dr. Pascale Champagne is hoping to ascertain the feasibility of using an integrated algal system to treat wastewater in Quito. In collaboration with Dr. Ochoa-Herrera and her undergraduate student Maria Belen Benitez and graduate student Sofia Barrera at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), Ecuador, Dr. Champagne will assess how much nitrogen and phosphorus can be removed from the water samples using an algae culture. This project could have huge ramifications for the city of Quito, which is currently lacking a wastewater treatment plant. If successful, Dr. Champagne’s system could be used not only in Quito, where wastewater is a major environmental concern, but in many other Latin American cities as well. The collaboration between Dr. Champagne and Dr. Ochoa-Herrera will also involve the exchange of undergraduate and graduate students, providing an excellent learning opportunity for students of both countries.
– With his award from the International Fund, Dr. Marc Epprecht will develop Queen’s as a leader in African studies through his proposal for the creation of a “Matariki Network for African Studies.” By cooperating with colleagues at Dartmouth College, specifically Dr. Ayo Coly, Dr. Epprecht will create the necessary framework within the Matariki Network of Universities MNU to promote collaborations with each other and with their African partners. This grant will fund two upcoming colloquia focused on promoting sexual minority rights in Africa through economic development and capacity building. One colloquium will be held at Queen’s on Africa Day 2016 and will involve presentations from faculty in multiple disciplines. The other will occur at Dartmouth College in October 2017 and will concern itself with understanding existing African models for engagement in health and wellness. These colloquia will also assist in preparing for the 2018 Canadian Association of African Studies conference being hosted by Queen’s. Dr. Epprecht anticipates several publications regarding conceptions about African sexual minority rights to come from these conferences, developing Queen’s reputation as a leader in the study of LGBTQI minorities across Africa.
– As the scientific director of the Queen’s Joanna Briggs Collaboration QJBC), Dr. Christina Godfrey is hoping to enhance evidence synthesis at seven healthcare centers in six African countries with her project “Building skills in evidence synthesis to advance healthcare.” Her mission is to provide training and support for African healthcare centres implementing evidence synthesis. Using the International Fund, Dr. Godfrey will be able to conduct a needs assessment for seven centres and develop a platform that will enable interactions between QJBC and these seven centres. The fund will also support a six-week training program at Queen’s for one or two centre participants who will receive extended training about evidence synthesis and conduct their own evidence synthesis project. The findings from Dr. Godfrey’s study on the effectiveness of the methods used at the seven centres will also set the stage for future publications and conference presentations. This collaboration with the seven African centres will expand QJBC’s international collaborations to a third continent and assist the sharing of knowledge between the centres themselves. It will also continue the positive pattern of mentorship and support within all Joanna Briggs Institutes.
– In an increasingly complex system of globalized supply chains, Dr. Anthony Goerzen is focused on understanding the environmental and social impacts of these large enterprises. His project, entitled “Global supply chain management practice − environmental and social sustainability,” seeks to gather information on practices used by multinational corporations (MNC) such as auditing, sourcing, production, and risk. This information will be used to build a database on Canadian MNC policies which will be accessible to faculty and graduate students. Dr. Goerzen’s model will be replicated at the University of Technology Sydney in Australia, Bocconi University in Italy, University of St Gallen in Switzerland, and University of Nuremburg in Germany, leading to a global database on the policies and practices of MNCs. Dr. Goerzen’s project will provide effective risk mitigation strategies for MNCs that can benefit stakeholders and companies alike when creating policies on supply chain management. Creating these strategies is essential in preventing tragedies like those of the Rana Plaza fire by creating greater transparency surrounding supply chains within a company. The project will also enable Queen’s to create research partnerships with institutions that previously had only student exchange-based relationships.
– Dr. James Miller, through his project
“Decentering critical theory,” is seeking to reframe the interactions between Chinese and Western cultures. His research focus is the ways in which both cultures perceive the human body in relation to society and nature, which is a topic that will become more important as China rises as a major global power in many fields. Dr. Miller’s project involves several colleagues at five leading institutions across four countries. They have formulated four research questions to be answered individually, one each year for four years, that are aimed at decentering critical theory from its past Western focus. Their papers will be presented at the annual summer institute at Beijing National University. The collaboration will result in several journal publications each year and four edited volumes of their work. Dr. Miller’s project will also allow for greater ties to be built between Queen’s and Beijing National University, and will facilitate bicultural research for students in many disciplines at Queen’s. His project will create new frameworks for interaction and information-sharing across Chinese and Western cultures, and has the potential to be replicated in various other cross-cultural relationships.
– Dr. Michael Rainbow is gaining greater insight into the function of the human foot in his project “An international collaboration to understand the neuromechanics of the human foot.” Together with researchers from the University of Queensland, INRIA in France, and Brown University, Dr. Rainbow is using several technologies to analyze arch biomechanics and the structures that modulate stiffness in the medial longitudinal arch of the foot. By charting the movements of the individual structures of the foot in the context of full body motion, the team will be able to better understand the neuromuscular and mechanical function of the foot and its contributions to the human musculoskeletal system. Dr. Rainbow’s research on the foot can have major impacts in the fields of prosthetics and chronic foot injuries. Prosthetics engineers may be able to use this new data to create more effective foot prosthetics that can mimic the function of the intricate structures inside the foot. Foot injury treatment can also benefit from this research by increasing our knowledge of the underlying mechanisms. Dr. Rainbow is also strengthening the relationships between the Human Mobility Research Centre at Queen’s and his collaborators in the United States, Australia, and France.
– In his project “Collaborative research on statistical models for the joint analysis of quality of life and survival data,” Dr. Dongsheng Tu will develop new statistical methods to analyze quality of life (Qol) data collected directly from cancer patients. He has partnered with Professor Guoyou Qin of Fudan University’s School of Public Health and colleagues from other Chinese universities to combine his own knowledge of cancer treatment and survival analysis with expertise of his partners in longitudinal data analysis. Thanks to the International Fund, Dr. Qin and other researchers from China will be able to visit Queen’s during the summers of 2016 and 2017 to analyze the data gathered by the research team at Canadian Cancer Trials Group and explore new statistical models. The partnership between Dr. Tu and his Chinese colleagues on this project will enable future collaborations between researchers and students at Queen’s and Chinese Universities. This project will also generate new statistical methods for the analysis of quality of life data which will enable more efficient and accurate assessment of cancer prevention and treatment strategies in clinical trials and from the perspectives of cancer patients.
– In a unique collaboration with Japanese and German institutions, Dr. Suning Wang and Dr. Cathleen Crudden are expanding Queen’s international reputation in the field of catalysis and materials science. The project, entitled “Collaborative research on catalysis and materials with researchers at Nagoya University and Kyoto University,” brings together researchers and students from Kyoto University, Nagoya University, Freie Universitat Berlin, and University of Munster. Projects undertaken by this group include Dr. Wang’s work on creating boron-based material for organic light-emitting diodes and Dr. Crudden’s work on creating cost-effective and environmentally friendly metal-free catalysts. The research network also facilitates exchanges to each other’s laboratories for graduate students, allowing students to gain valuable international experience. There are two annual meetings in Canada, Germany, or Japan that facilitate presentations of each lab’s work and continue to foster a collaborative environment for the researchers. Queen's already hosted the first of these symposia on June 29, which featured 19 fascinating oral presentations from seven research teams. Dr. Wang’s grant from the International Fund will assist the teams in their travels and collaborations with network members. As the only Canadian school involved in this network of leading institutions, Dr. Wang and Dr. Crudden have placed Queen’s at the forefront of catalysis and materials science research.