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McMaster researchers partner in 11 multi-sectoral projects thanks to SSHRC investment

Danelle D'Alvise, Research Communications
June 1, 2012

Twenty two McMaster researchers will be collaborating on 11 of the 92 research projects recently funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The 11 research teams include academics from virtually every university across Canada, as well as community and not-for-profit groups, public, private, and government partners at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

Mike Veall

Two of the projects will be led by McMaster researchers: operations management expert Elkafi Hassini and economist Mike Veall. Hassini is the lead applicant on a project partnered with the Canadian Supply Chair Sector Council and the Purchasing Management Association of Canada for a 3-year $198,5000 project titled Sustainable procurement: practices, training and metrics. Veall will lead a team – including co-applicant and fellow economist Svetlana Demidova – on the project Building a network to study productivity in Canada from a firm-level perspective, garnering $199,600 over two years.

Veall's team will target Canada’s productivity problem at its most basic level – the level of the firm – where factors are brought together to produce output. Along with key partner Industry Canada and 13 co-applicants – including Don Drummond from Ontario's Ministry of Finance – the team will explore Elkafi Hassiniopportunities to

answer potential research questions through the existing research and data available from Industry Canada and Statistics Canada. Hassini's group will study procurement sustainability practices in Canadian companies to develop and test frameworks for sustainability training and metrics.

Mo Elbestawi, vice-president, research and international affairs said, “The projects led by Professors Hassini and Veall focus on sustainability, best practices, and productivity – research that will contribute to Canada’s growth and long-term prosperity. We also have more than a dozen researchers participating in nine projects that are exploring everything from future research policy for our Great Lakes, to innovative policy directions for newcomer integration. These projects create research partnerships between our University and others in the academic, private and public sector which have the potential to provide answers to some of our country’s most pressing social, economic and cultural issues.”

Partnership Development Grants "provide support over one to three years to teams/partnerships, led by a project director, to: develop research and related activities in the social sciences and humanities, including knowledge mobilization and the meaningful involvement of students and new scholars, by fostering new partnerships for research and related activities involving existing and/or potential partners; or design and test new partnership approaches for research and/or related activities that may result in best practices or models that either can be adapted by others or have the potential to be scaled up to a regional, national or international level."

In addition to the projects led by Elkafi Hassini and Mike Veall, the following are participating on the four projects detailed below:

  • Ontario Chair in Early Child Development, Magdalena Janus, is a co-applicant on The KidsInPlaces initiative: an international partnership for the study of societal resilience and early child development project. Janus, an associate professor in the department of psychiatry & behavioural neurosciences, will be partnering with researchers and community organizations from Ottawa, BC and Italy for the three-year project, funded for $196,610.

  • Civil engineer, Gail Krantzberg, Director, Centre for Engineering and Public Policy, is a co-applicant with both Canadian and American universities on the project Towards a Great Lakes policy research partnership, funded for $200,000 over two years.

  • Liss Platt, associate professor in communication studies and multimedia, is a co-applicant on the project Building and mobilizing knowledge on race and colonialism in Canada – a two-year $198,480 grant which features a collaboration between various Canadian universities, the National Film Board of Canada, and partners from across Canada.

  • David Harris Smith is a co-applicant on Intimate interfaces for people with disabilities, collaborating with researchers from Ryerson University and partners from disability organizations on the three-year, $199,964 project.

Partnership Grants "provide support for new and existing formal partnerships over four to eight years to advance research and/or knowledge mobilization in the social sciences and humanities through mutual co-operation and sharing of intellectual leadership, as well as through resources as evidenced by cash and/or in-kind contributions. The researchers below are involved in the following projects:

  • Jacques Carette, associate professor, computing and software is a co-applicant, and Andrew Mactavish, associate professor, multimedia is a collaborator on IMMERSe: the interactive and multi-modal experience research syndicate project, which involves researchers from a dozen universities and private sector partners such as Microsoft and Electronic Arts. The project was awarded $2,549,960 over seven years.

  • Gail Krantzberg, Director, Centre for Engineering and Public Policy, is a co-applicant on two Partnership Grants. She will be collaborating with a mix of academic, private sector and community not-for-profit organizations and various researchers on the eight year, $2,499,000 project Community first: impacts of community engagement CF:ICE, as well as a seven year, $2,311,283 grant to establish a Water economics, policy and governance network, which involves researchers from across Canada, provincial and federal partners, as well as local, national and international environmental organizations.

  • Stephanie Premji , assistant professor, health, aging and society is a co-applicant with researchers from across Canada as well as partners from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors on an eight year, $2.5M project titled On the move: employment-related geographical mobility in the Canadian context.

  • Karen Bird, associate professor, political science; Katholiki Georgiades, associate professor, psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences; Bruce Newbold, Professor, School of Geography & Earth Sciences, Director, McMaster Institute for Environment & Health; Victor Satzewich, professor, sociology; William Shaffir, professor, sociology; and Olive Wahoush , assistant professor, nursing, will be collaborating with a multitude of researchers from across the country and more than 100 partners, including government agencies and departments such as Citizenship and Immigration Canada, community groups and not-for-profit organizations to explore Pathways to prosperity: new policy directions and innovative local practices for newcomer integration and attraction, a $2,513,360 initiative funded over eight years.