York receives $3.4 million in research funding from SSHRC

Forty-two diverse research projects at York received funding from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The council announced the funding on Friday, June 3. York received $3.4 million from the council – through the Standard Research Grants Program – and ranked within the top 10 postsecondary institutions in Canada in terms of both the number of grants and the total funding awarded for research.

“These grant awards reflect York’s vibrant humanities and social sciences research community,” said Stan Shapson, vice-president research & innovation. “Investments in social science and humanities research by the federal government, through SSHRC, are a key contributor to Canada’s knowledge base, culture and quality of life. Through these grants, our researchers are able to contribute significantly to scholarship, public policy, and national and international dialogue across the full range of disciplines.”

This investment supports 981 research projects at 77 Canadian universities and colleges in all 10 Canadian provinces. “The research funded today truly demonstrates the wealth of creativity, innovation and expertise that exists in this country,” said Marc Renaud, president of SSHRC. “Canadians from all walks of life will draw on this knowledge to better understand our most pressing economic, political, social and cultural issues.”

Right: A study of personality traits and obesity is one of 42 York projects to receive funding in 2005

Examples of research projects funded at York include:

Professor Carolyn Davis of York’s School of Kinesiology & Health Sciences received $102,500 for a research project titled “Do decision-making deficits contribute to the risk profile for obesity”. Davis’ project will test a casual risk model predicting that certain personality traits which are implicated in a person’s vulnerability to many forms of addiction, may also play a role to a heightened preference for highly palatable foods. Davis’ research is innovative and original in its characterization of overeating as a potentially addictive behaviour. The findings of the research will also have important implications for the understanding and treatment of obesity.

Left: Huddle of members of a non-governmental organization at a meeting in Montreal

Quadir Fahimul, professor of social science and coordinator of the International Development Studies Program in York’s Division of Social Science, Faculty of Arts, was awarded $50,982 for his project titled, “Questioning the triangle: the disappearing boundaries between development NGOs and corporations”. This interdisciplinary study calls into question the theoretical distinction between the state, the market and civil society which dominates contemporary development discourse. The study will examine the growing difficulties in separating development non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from corporations. This provocative study will contribute to knowledge by shedding light on the corporatization of NGOs and will provide a new means of understanding the changing roles of NGOs in human development. It will document the myths about the ability of NGOs to reach and benefit the poor and it will provide better material for decision makers to deliver better development outcomes.

hollis frampton

Right: Hollis Frampton, filmmaker

Professor Michael Zryd of York’s Department of Film in the Faculty of Fine Arts received $65,835 to study the impact of Hollis Frampton (1936-1984), a major figure in American avant-garde cinema, whose massive and never completed film cycle Magellan (1972-1980) remains largely unexamined in film and visual arts. The ultimate goal of Zryd’s project is to conceptually reconstruct the Magellan project in the form of a book-length study. Frampton’s underexamined body of art and writing is central to Zryd’s effort to reframe key debates of modern and postmodern art in relation to current discussions of film’s aesthetic and epistemological limits.

For a full list of York’s 42 research projects to receive standard research grant funding from SSHRC, click here.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is an arm’s-length federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the social sciences and humanities. SSHRC’s Standard Research Grants program awards grants of up to $250,000 over three years to individual researchers and small teams from universities and colleges across the country, following a national peer-reviewed competition. A significant portion of this funding is used to help prepare graduate students for careers in research and in positions throughout the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.