Lethbridge College has received its first institutional grant funding from the federal government’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), a relative rarity for colleges.
Over the past three years, only 10 Colleges and Institutes Canada members have received SSHRC institutional grant funding. Lethbridge College’s SSHRC grant will provide $45,000 over three years to support small-scale research and related activities. Faculty will be invited to submit applications which will be evaluated through a peer review process.
“They are keen for colleges to participate and we have the capacity to undertake social science research,” says Dr. Kenny Corscadden, Lethbridge College’s Associate Vice President Research and Dean of the Centre for Technology, Environment and Design.
The college has a track record of such research through efforts including:
- the Citizens Society Research Lab. Led by research chair Dr. Faron Ellis, students conduct public opinion research on a range of social issues of provincial and national interest.
- the college’s Early Childhood Education program is championing outdoor play and will be contributing to the body of research of its importance to children.
- Dr. Jennifer Davis, a General Studies instructor, is a co-investigator on a study of parental advocacy for transgender youth — work led by a researcher at Memorial University with funding from a SSHRC Insight grant.
- the college’s highly regarded School of Justice Studies and its rapidly expanding reputation in virtual reality technology are other natural fits for social science research.
Corscadden says he expects these small grants – potentially five, $3,000 awards per year – will create more opportunities for students by providing for pilot projects or work that will be foundational to larger research efforts. He’s intrigued to see who will apply and for what purposes, given the college’s diverse expertise.
“Applied research provides pragmatic solutions to real world problems,” says Corscadden. “It’s a natural fit for colleges and our mandate. It has benefits for students, faculty, community and industry.”
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and research training in the humanities and social sciences. By focusing on developing Talent, generating Insights and forging Connections across campuses and communities, SSHRC strategically supports world-leading initiatives that reflect a commitment to ensuring a better future for Canada and the world.
Lethbridge College’s SSHRC institutional grant will be administered through the Centre for Applied Research and Innovation. The application process is expected to open in September.
-Dr. Kenny Corscadden, Lethbridge College’s Associate Vice President Research and Dean of the Centre for Technology, Environment and Design