By Amanda Testani
On July 17, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced an investment of more than $285 million through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to support research in social sciences and humanities across Canada. In addition to 35 SSHRC Insight Development Grants, McGill faculty were awarded 34 Insight Grants, and four Partnership Development Grants. Cumulatively, these grants bring a total of $8.9 million to the University’s research community.
Also announced were 115 Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships awarded to McGill doctoral and masters level students. 34 McGill doctoral students received scholarships valued at $105,000, and 81 masters level students received scholarships valued at $17,500. In addition, 12 SSHRC postdoctoral fellowships were announced valued at $90,000, and 23 doctoral fellowships were announced valued between $20,000 and $81,000.
“McGill is very excited about this significant investment by SSHRC to support both fundamental as well as partnered social science and humanities research in Canada,” said Martha Crago, Vice-Principal, Research and Innovation. “Congratulations to all McGill faculty and students whose research will benefit from these grants and scholarships.”
Among the 34 Insight Grant recipients, Assistant Professor David Wachsmuth, of the School of Urban Planning, will use a $400,000 SSHRC grant to study how short-term rentals (STRs) like Airbnb and HomeAway influences the economy, governance and quality of life in cities around the world.
Prof. Wachsmuth and his team will apply cutting-edge machine learning and use systematic online surveys to measure the impact of STRs on housing availability, housing affordability, and social dynamics of cities. They will also work to develop principles for the inclusive governance of the home-sharing economy to guide policymakers, communities and scholars around the world.
Professor Lisa Starr from the Faculty of Education was awarded a $200,000 Partnership Development Grant for the NEXTschools project, a collaboration among three English Montreal schools, the Department of Integrated Studies at McGill University and LEARN (the Leading English Education and Resource Network), a non-profit educational organization charged with supporting English education in Québec.
Working together to develop a plan for innovative educational change, the project will focus on documenting, analyzing, and assessing the strengths and challenges of teacher and student experiences, while investigating research findings related to educational reform. The uniquely cross-sector partnership process will be shared with other interested schools in Québec, Canada and internationally.
“The social sciences and humanities are integral towards building a healthier, stronger and more prosperous Canada,” said Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science. “Since taking office, our government has worked hard to put science and research back to their rightful place. Today’s grant recipients will help us make informed decisions about our communities, economy, health and future prosperity.”