York U Professor Carla Lipsig-Mummé recognized with prestigious SSHRC Impact Award

Carla Lipsig-Mummé

York University Professor Carla Lipsig-Mummé, of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, has been recognized for excellence in research by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Lipsig-Mummé is the recipient of the SSHRC’s prestigious Impact Award (Partnership Category). The awards were announced Oct. 3 at a special reception at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

“York is delighted that Professor Carla Lipsig-Mummé has been awarded the SSHRC Impact Award in the Partnership Category,” said Vice-President Research and Innovation Robert Haché. “She is an outstanding research leader in labour and organizing, work and young workers, as well as climate change and the social impact of global warming, and author of more than 200 works.”

Lipsig-Mummé is a professor of work and labour studies at York University. She is currently principal investigator of the “Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces to Respond to Climate Change” project, which brings together 56 individual researchers and 25 partner organizations and unions in seven countries. Its groundbreaking work has been recognized by the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“The SSHRC Impact Award that I’ve won today encapsulates the ways in which SSHRC opens doors for research and makes it possible for young researchers to broaden and deepen their work and their goals,” said Lipsig-Mummé on Oct. 3. “This way of working – use the unsolved questions arising in a finishing project to define and shape the next project – was made possible by SSHRC and has shaped my work through my long career.”

Lipsig-Mummé has a long and very successful career as one of Canada’s pre-eminent researchers. She was founding director of York’s Centre for Research on Work and Society (CRWS) from 1990 to 2001. Over the course of her career, she has been principal investigator on 46 grants, 28 of which were funded by SSHRC, totalling approximately $10 million in funding.

Lipsig-Mummé’s longstanding contributions in the field of work and labour have earned her widespread international recognition. In March 2018, she received the national Sefton-Williams Award for contributions to labour relations. Her scholarly activities linking work to climate change accelerated over the course of her appointment as a research Chair in social and political inquiry at Monash University in Australia. On return to Canada in 2007, she gathered her team from the CRWS to take up the then-emerging threat for Canada. Workplaces are often the linchpin in the climate struggle, as these sites, particularly in developed countries, produce upwards of 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions created by human activity.

The central question informing Lipsig-Mummé’s expansive body of research is: How can the world of work contribute to slow global warming? This question has been at the centre of four SSHRC projects: “What do we know? The implications of global climate change for Canadian employment and work” (2008-09); “Canada’s Work World and the Challenge of Climate Change. Engaging the community” (2011-12); “Work in a Warming World-W3” (2010-17); and “Adapting Canadian Work and Workplaces” (2014-21). Each offers an extraordinary example of community-academic partnerships, with influence on two parliaments (Canada and Australia) and a federal ministry.

Lipsig-Mummé was chosen by the Impact Award selection committee because of the outstanding qualities of her research, the importance and impact of her work, and her commitment to promoting the outcomes of her research. The award distinguishes Lipsig-Mummé as a member of a select group of Canada’s most exceptional researchers in the social sciences and humanities.

The annual Impact Awards recognize the highest achievements from outstanding researchers, students, and research partners in social sciences and humanities research, research training, knowledge mobilization and scholarship, funded partially or completely by the SSHRC.