SSHRC funds research at WLU


Photo by Heather Davidson Justin Cavallo was one of five researchers to receive Insight grant at Laurier
Photo by Heather Davidson
Justin Cavallo was one of five researchers to receive Insight grant at Laurier

Receiving $1.2 million in research funds, 14 Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) researchers, both new and established, will be receiving funding from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Announced on Sept. 16, the Laurier researchers received the grants as a part of the Insight Grant and Insight Development Grant competition through the SSHRC. They are  part of the larger 767 grants awarded this year, with close to $107 million offered in grant money.

“The grants allow for a generation of insight and knowledge into exactly who Canadians are, as well as how they become that way,” explained Brent Herbert-Copley, vice-president of research capacity at SSHRC. “From the two grant programs offered, it allows for the initiation of thoughts and behaviors into themes discussed in the social sciences.”

Jason Roy, associate professor of political science, was among nine  researchers at Laurier to receive grant money from the Insight Development Program, which supports research in its initial stages.

With the grant money, Roy now believes it is possible to fund his research by using the grant to launch global experiments, as well as attending conferences and workshops.

“With the money left,” he explained, “I plan to use the funds for global experiments, eventually branching off into the UK.”

Beyond the financial support he received from the SSHRC, the grant has allowed him to hire student support, which in turn he believes will improve his success.
Justin Cavallo, associate professor in psychology at Laurier, was one of five other researchers at Laurier to receive an Insight grant, meant to support long-term research by both new and established scholars.

To Cavallo, receiving the grant is an enormous opportunity.

“The larger the grant received, the more research that can be conducted,” he explained.

As such, the funding will allow him to pay study participants, for compensation and for time spent. As well, it allows him to purchase equipment that would further improve the quality of his research, such as a video camera. Finally, the grant will allow him to hire graduate students to assist him in the gathering and delivering of his research and experiments.
According to Herbert-Copley, well over 3,000 applicants from around Canada apply for funding each year. Using a merit-review process, a 218 member committee goes through applications and distributes funding according to how qualified the committee thinks the candidates are.

When asked about the researchers employed at Laurier, Herbert-Copley stated that as the application is competitive, the “list is emblematic of the researchers overall.” By offering the necessary funding for research to be carried out, the SSHRC has allowed for researchers across the country to engage in the academic realm of what it means to be Canadian.

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