Prof receives $1 million from SSHRC for climate change project

Carla Lipsig-Mummé, professor of work and labour studies in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and research fellow in York’s Institute for Research & Innovation in Sustainability, has received $1 million over six years from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Right: Carla Lipsig-Mummé

The award will fund an international project to study the challenge climate change presents to Canadian employment and workplaces. Lipsig-Mummé will examine seven Canadian employment sectors to seek policy, training, employment and workplace solutions to effectively assist Canada’s transition to a low-emission economy. By combining research, workplace education, policy recommendations and pilot projects in transnational work adaptation, her project will allow Canada to re-enter the international debate about how best to engage the work world in the struggle to slow global warming.

“We need to know more about the chain of processes that comprise work, employment and training in key Canadian industries and professions – and how their decision-makers understand and respond to the challenge that global warming poses to these processes,” says Lipsig-Mummé. “Our second goal is to engage community partners active in the work world and the environmental community in research that identifies critical spaces for adaptation, drawing on their hands-on experience and linking it to the expertise of the academics.”

Community-University Research Alliances (CURA) awards, among the largest awarded by SSHRC, bring postsecondary institutions and community organizations together as equal research partners to jointly develop new knowledge and capabilities, provide research training opportunities, and enhance the ability of social sciences and humanities research to build knowledge in areas that affect Canadians and their changing communities.

“This award is the latest in a series of funding successes that reflect York’s leadership in national and international collaborative research projects,” said Stan Shapson, vice-president Research & Innovation. “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century and climate research and innovation are priorities for York. Our researchers are working with industry, government at all levels, academia, and the community to find ways to address the complex issues it raises.”

Lipsig-Mummé’s research team includes nationally- and internationally-based climate scientists, senior labour market actors and academics from a wide range of disciplines. A total of 23 researchers, 20 partners, and 10 universities in three countries will participate, including York Professors David Doorey, Dawn Bazely, Irene Henriques, Jan Kainer, John-Justin McMurtry, Stepan Wood and Steven Tufts.

Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science & Technology), announced the funding yesterday in Kitchener, Ont. Lipsig-Mummé’s project is one of 20 large-scale research projects funded through SSHRC’s CURA program.

“These grants highlight the excellence of our country’s talented researchers and recognize the importance of fostering collaboration to keep Canada at the leading-edge of research, development and innovation in the 21st century,” said Chad Gaffield, president of SSHRC.

For a complete list of CURA awards, visit SSHRC Web site.