Today's Top Ten

July 19, 2019

Canada invests in over 6,900 social sciences and humanities researchers, students

The Government of Canada has announced over $285M for over 6,900 researchers and graduate students across Canada through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The SSHRC funds will support research in areas such as education, immigration, Indigenous health, and the environment. “Researchers in the social sciences and humanities generate ideas and innovations that improve the lives of Canadians,” said SSHRC President Ted Hewitt. “This investment will strengthen research training for students, connect Canadian and international researchers across disciplines and sectors, and equip Canada with the talent, knowledge and insights that are essential to meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow.” Canada (National)

George Brown partners to introduce new tech into nursing simulation

George Brown College is partnering with FlexITy to enhance learning opportunities at its Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing by infusing new technology into the college's nursing simulation centre. A George Brown release notes that the school is the only one in Canada that is accredited by the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, and that healthcare technology like FlexHealth can offer better patient care and outcomes when nurses are educated on its use. "At George Brown's Sally Horsfall Eaton School of Nursing we always want to leverage the latest technology in order to provide the most relevant educational opportunities to our nursing students, so they are prepared to enter the medical field," says George Brown Dean, Community Services Lori Cranson. George Brown (ON)

SMUEC delivers social enterprise training across Canada

The Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre (SMUEC) is offering its social enterprise development service, known as The Pipeline, to partners across Canada in an effort to build sustainable businesses and address community challenges. Last month, SMUEC team members Mitch Harrison and Jason Turner traveled to Saskatoon to deliver the first installment of The Pipeline’s train-the-trainer program. They were met by participants representing organizations including the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance, Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan, the National Aboriginal Council Corporations Association and numerous chapters from Community Futures Canada. NationTalk (NS)

Why I’m giving my research data away: Durcan

“Science is a competitive field, and finding a way to cure a major disease can be the ticket to rarified air,” writes Thomas Durcan, assistant professor of neurodegenerative disorders at McGill University. But the impulse to compete and safely guard one’s data runs counter to the way that science actually advances, the author adds, especially in the realm of neuroscience, where developing potential cures “takes a massive amount of fundamental research done through collaborations.” We live in a world where private industry spends billions every year on research that has already been done, the author adds, the reason being that researchers keep their data to themselves. But if science is going to make the impact it is truly capable of, Durcan concludes, more scientists will need to share their data freely. University Affairs (National)

Concordia, CUUSS-TS celebrate strong relationship with signing of new collective agreement

Representatives from both Concordia University and the Concordia University Union of Support Staff - Technical Sector celebrated a “better understanding” of each other with the signing of their most recent collective agreement. “Thank you very much for your efforts,” said Carolina Willsher, associate vice-president of Concordia’s Human Resources. “We’re really pleased to be here to sign the agreement. It’s going to hold us in good stead for the next round of bargaining.” Alex Macpherson, president of CUUSS-TS, noted that this round of bargaining was the shortest in his 10 years in his position, adding: “The time spent working together has paid off because there’s a better understanding between us.” Concordia (QC)

New CityStudio network institution looks to make major impact in London, ON

London, Ontario has welcomed a new centre for civic innovation and city-campus collaboration into its fold. CityStudio London, led by Pillar Nonprofit Network in collaboration with the City of London, Western University, Fanshawe College, Huron University, King’s University College, and Bresica University College, is the eighth CityStudio to launch in Canada. A release states that CityStudio London will help increase the problem-solving capacity of city staff by leveraging the skills, knowledge, and creativity of post-secondary students and faculty in the city. Working together, students and staff will co-design experimental projects that contribute to key strategic goals and priorities in the city to advance sustainability, increase engagement, and make the city more liveable. City Studio (ON)

How one US university plans to move forward by cutting undergrad enrolments by 20%

While many US universities are struggling to maintain or increase their enrolments, George Washington University is pursuing the growing trend of “right-sizing” by cutting its undergraduate student body by 20% over the next five years. The Chronicle reports that the move will effectively reverse the effects of the school’s recruitment push over the past half-decade. “Our intention is to continue to improve everything we do at GW by being even more focused on quality and less focused on quantity,” said school President Thomas J LeBlanc. The president added that the move comes after many institutional stakeholders expressed concern that the school’s recent expansion had pushed its staff and facilities to the point that quality of education might be adversely impacted. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required) (International)

TRU looks to support early childhood educators with new funding boost

Access to affordable childcare is directly impacted by retention of early childhood educators, which is why Thompson Rivers University is looking to support this profession with the help of over half a million dollars in new provincial funding. A TRU release reports that TRU researcher Laura Doan will use the funds to develop programming designed to keep educators in the field. “Early childhood educators are vital to the health and wellbeing of our youngest and most vulnerable citizens, and this kind of research being conducted right here in our community, will create necessary improvements with provincial impact,” said TRU President Brett Fairbairn. TRU (BC)

CBU introduces program to put students to work across Cape Breton Island

Cape Breton University has announced a new program that will “put students to work” and address labour market shortages across Cape Breton Island. With support from the Government of Canada’s Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, students will be matched with employment opportunities. CBU will be operating a shuttle to help student workers travel to and from their workplaces each day. “During our strategic planning process, we consistently heard from employers in all counties in Cape Breton about the need for seasonal employees and challenges associated with limited short-term accommodations in rural areas,” said CBU President David Dingwall. “This program has the potential to strengthen the tourism sector in Cape Breton and provide our students with an enhanced educational experience– two key areas of focus within our strategic plan.” CBU (NS)

NL, Canada invest $4.8M in health research

The Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland, along with Memorial University and industry partners, have announced a joint investment of $4.8M into health research. The funds will go towards a group of researchers at MUN's Faculty of Medicine to test the effectiveness of an app designed to lower emergency room wait times. “This is the story of two front line clinicians who saw a problem and took the initiative to solve it,” said Minister of Health and Community Services John Haggie. “This app is a homegrown Newfoundland and Labrador solution that has generated national attention. We are pleased to join with the Government of Canada to support a project that will have a direct impact on patients and the health care sector." MUN (NL)