York researchers receive $9.65 million in SSHRC funding

Researchers, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at York University have been awarded a total of $9.65 million from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The grants, part of $197.5 million in funding and awards announced by SSHRC President Chad Gaffield in June, will intensify York research and lead to the development of new knowledge in areas that will improve the quality of life of Canadians, and address important socio-cultural and economic issues.

Thirty-five York faculty research projects have received $2.56 million through SSHRC’s Standard Research Grants program, which awarded $77.8 million to more than 2,800 projects involving 1,581 researchers across Canada. At York, these projects range from corporate governance,managerial equity incentives and firm productivity, to bioregional food sustainability, biosecurity, synthetic biology and the process of forgiving.

“SSHRC’s investment in humanities and social sciences research allows our scholars to contribute substantially to Canada’s knowledge base, to our culture and to our quality of life,” said David Dewitt, York’s associate vice-president research, social sciences & humanities. “This research helps us to better understand the world around us and the most pressing economic, political and social issues of our time.”

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows also benefited from the announcements: 149 York student researchers at the master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral levels of study have won $4.99 million in scholarships and fellowships. In all, 2,394 graduate and postdoctoral projects with a total value of $105 million will be funded at institutions across Canada.

York to lead Canadian Business Ethics Research Network (CBERN)

SSHRC has also earmarked $14.7 million to create seven new national research networks to intensify and broaden the impact of Canadian research in the social sciences and humanities across the nation and around the world.

York University has received $2.1 million to support the Canadian Business Ethics Research Network (CBERN), a new national network for business ethics research, for the next seven years.

Led by York Professor Emeritus Wesley Cragg (left) in the Schulich School of Business, CBERN will mobilize Canada’s rich pool of business expertise by engaging university researchers in dialogue with leaders and researchers in business, government and the voluntary sector.

”CBERN creates opportunities for sharing and engaging in research across academic disciplines and faculties,” says Cragg. “The network will weave together the currently fragmented ethical insights and themes in corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship, corporate governance, environmental sustainability, sustainable development and triple bottom line reporting. We want to encourage effective community engagement, community development and public dialogue.”

CBERN’s team includes co-applicant Professor Mark Schwartz (right) in York’s Atkinson School of Administrative Studies and five other York University professors. Representatives from more than 45 Canadian and international universities, government departments and non-governmental organizations will take part in the project. CBERN will also encourage francophone and anglophone research and research clusters to develop, both regionally and nationally, while welcoming First Nations learning and perspectives.

“These networks provide unique opportunities for scholars, in partnership with non-academic stakeholders, to mobilize research knowledge to issues of social, economic, political and cultural importance,” says Stan Shapson, York vice-president research & innovation. “These initiatives align well with York University’s commitment to building community partnerships and with the priorities outlined in the new federal science and technology strategy.”

Over 57 research teams competed for funding in the rigorous peer-reviewed competition for the national research networks.

York professors are co-applicants for two other research networks: Professor Bernard Lightman is a member of a network focused on Canadian humanist and social studies of science, while Professor Colin Coates is a member of NiCHE: Network in Canadian History and Environment (see the June 17, 2005 issue of YFile). The University is a partner institution in both research networks.

SSHRC is an independent federal government agency that funds leading-edge university-based research across Canada, annually investing more than $300 million to support Canadian students and researchers. Each application is evaluated by a team of independent experts for academic excellence.

A complete list of SSHRC-funded faculty research projects at York University is available on the SSHRC Web site, along with complete lists of national network cluster, graduate and postdoctoral projects.

Submitted to YFile by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer.