York announces inaugural recipients of new research fund backing Black scholars

Two Black women talk together

In February, York University announced the establishment of the York Black Research Seed Fund to provide mentorship and $150,000 in total funding in support of the research activities of Black academics, with preference given to emerging and early-career researchers.

Supported by the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation (VPRI) in collaboration with the Office of the Vice-President Equity, People and Culture (EP&C), the fund was created as part of the University’s commitment to addressing the systemic anti-Black racism and white supremacy that pervades academia.

“York University is committed to excellence and inclusiveness in research, scholarship and knowledge creation,” says Amir Asif, vice-president research and innovation. “Black scholars face significant barriers in academic research. This new fund strengthens the University’s ongoing commitment and long-term support in advancing equity and inclusion and removing systemic barriers that have hindered the success of Black scholars for so long.”

The fund consists of two streams: the Open Research Stream with three awards of $25,000 each for a duration of 24 months; and the Collective Research Stream, with three awards of $25,000 each aimed at Black early-career researchers who plan to collaborate with a Black scholar on a 24-month research project.

Applications were accepted through March, and the six recipients are:

Oyemolad Osibodu, Faculty of Education (Open Research Stream)
Research project: “Envisioning Diasporic Mathematics Literacies with Black Youth”

Gerald Bareebe, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (Open Research Stream)
Research project: “Why Peace Fails to Endure: Explaining the Recurrence of Civil Wars in East Africa”

Ruth Murambadoro, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (Open Research Stream)
Research project: “Women’s Politics in Zimbabwe: Aftermath of the 2013 Constitution”

Celia Romulus, International Studies, Glendon (Collective Research Stream)
Research project: “Decolonizing knowledge and promoting Afrofeminist narratives”

Jude Kong, Faculty of Science (Collective Research Stream)
Research project: “Modelling resilience: Post-pandemic Recovery, participatory governance, data gaps, equitable institutions, and human interdependence”

Solomon Boakye-Yiadom, Lassonde School of Engineering (Collective Research Stream)
Research project: “Machine Learning and Laser Powder Bed Fusion Technologies for Materials Discovery”

“Black scholarship is vital to advancing knowledge creation that will have a positive impact on the communities we serve,” says Sheila Cote-Meek, vice-president equity, people and culture. “The York Black Research Seed Fund is one step forward in addressing the challenges that Black scholars face in advancing their careers and will set in motion a future that promotes excellence and inclusiveness in research.”

In addition to the York Black Research Seed Fund, the University has committed $100,000 to back the research activities at the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) and the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas – two organized research units (ORUs) based at York.