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Interdisciplinary Research Fund awards six research teams

Inaugural funding competition attracts applications from 35 teams

February 22, 2016
Maria Lee Fook

Six teams involving researchers from across the disciplines have received funding from the Interdisciplinary Research Fund (IRF).

The IRF supports research projects involving two or more Faculties and is intended to build and strengthen academic, industry and community networks to better position research teams to apply for major external grant awards.

Bonny Ibhawoh, acting associate vice-president, research, who spearheaded the initiative, says each project will receive $20,000 from the fund in addition to contributions from each Faculty.

The competition attracted over 35 applications and included more than 125 researchers from all six Faculties and a number of centres and institutes.

“The crux of these awards was to bring together researchers from across all Faculties who share a common research interest,” says Ibhawoh, adding that the response demonstrates there is a collective desire to tackle research projects from a variety of perspectives.

“The strong response to this initiative is a true testament to the versatility and innovative spirit of our researchers here at McMaster,” he says.

Interim Vice-President, Research, Allison Sekuler, agrees and notes that McMaster has built its brand on creating a culture of collaboration.  

“The Office of the Vice-President, Research, is excited to put more resources behind this effort by contributing to these awards, fostering cross-discipline activity and realizing our research potential to promote economic, social and cultural prosperity,” she says,

The IRF awards are supported through the Forward with Integrity initiative and the Office of the Vice-President, Research.

Project Title: Design thinking for a cross-faculty and community partner collaboration: A transformative approach to addressing the mobility needs of our aging population

Includes researchers from the Institute of GeroScience, Gilbrea Centre on Aging, Institute of Healthier Environments and Thrive Group (Community Partner) –Led by Brenda Vrkljan, Rehabilitation Science. Participants: JimDunn, Jessica Gish and Amanda Grenier, Health Aging & Society; Antonio Paez, Geography & Earth Sciences; Stuart Phillips, Kinesiology; Jamal Deen, Electrical & Computer Engineering; Qiyin Fang, Engineering Physics; Robert Fleisig, W. Booth School of Engineering Practice; Ravi Selvaganapathy, Mechanical Engineering; Parminder Raina & Lauren Griffith, Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics.

Brenda Vrkljan

Project Title: Performance, publics, and power: Using performance-as-research to confront 'misrecognition'

Includes researchers from the Arts-Centered, Community-Engaged Social Sciences Collaborative – led by Christina Sinding, Social Work. Participants: Catherine Graham, School of the Arts; Elysee Novet, Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics.

Christina Sinding

Project Title: Authentic Indigenous research partnership

Includes researchers from the McMaster Water Network –led by John Preston, Engineering Physics. Participants: Chelsea Gabel, Health Aging & Society; Sarah Dickson, Civil Engineering; Nancy Doubleday, Philosophy; Bernice Downey, Indigenous Studies; Dustin Garrick, Political Science;Susan Watt, Social Work; Joanna Wilson, Biology.

John Preston

Project Title:The McMaster biomechanics training program: Interdisciplinary training for innovation

Includes researchers from the McMaster Biomechanics Group – led by Monica Maly, Rehabilitation Science.  Participants: Peter Keir, Kinesiology; Cheryl Quenneville,and Gregory Wohl, Mechanical Engineering.

Monica Maly

Project Title:Enhancing the management of military PTSD using machine learning

Includes researchers from theMcMaster Psychiatry-Engineering Group – led by Dr. Gary Hasey, Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences. Participants: James Reilly and Hubert deBruin, Electrical & Computing Engineering; Donald Richardson, Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences; and Lisa King,Operational Stress Injury (OSI) Clinic, Parkwood Institute.

Gary Hasey

Project Title: Piloting an LRT node to envision transit-oriented development & investment in Hamilton

Includes researchers from the macGRID Simulation Research Network – led by David Harris Smith, Communication Studies and Multimedia. Participants: Pavlos Kanaroglou, Geography & Earth Sciences; James Dunn, Health Aging & Society; Robert Fleisig, W. Booth School School of Engineering Practice.



David Harris Smith