Top Ten

November 22, 2019

Study finds gendered disparities in early-career NSERC grant funding

A recent study has found that early-career women scientists experience higher rejection rates and slightly less funding than men when applying for Discovery Grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Career stage, which was inferred from available data, was the most important predictor of award value, showing that women were 7% more likely to receive rejection in the early-career phase. The average grant size was $33,155 per year, with men at a similar career stage and discipline receiving an average of $1,756 more. In a prepared statement, NSERC Senior Communications Advisor Martin Leroux said, “the granting agencies are working together to address broader cultural and systemic issues in academia and create an inclusive research enterprise that goes beyond gender equity to recognize diversity in the broadest sense.” University Affairs (National)

Niagara, Trois-Rivières, Lambton top list of Canada’s best 50 research colleges

Niagara College, Cégep de Trois-Rivières, and Lambton College have taken the first, second, and third spots in this year’s rankings of Canada’s Top Research Colleges by Research Infosource. Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Iles and Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe rounded out the top five, respectively. When filtered by research income per researcher, the top five colleges in order of rank were Niagara, Cégep de Sept-Îles, Red River College, Collège d'Alma, and Cégep de Trois-Rivières. Research Infosource (National)

Survey of nearly 24,000 Québec university students reveals high levels of psychological distress

A recent survey of approximately 24,000 Québec university students has revealed that 58% received a score indicating they had high levels of psychological distress. The survey, which was prepared by the Québec Student Union (QSU), revealed that survey respondents were three times more likely than the general population to say they had suicidal thoughts, and twice as likely to say they had attempted suicide. The survey also revealed that certain groups of students—such as LGBTQ+ students, students with disabilities, and first-generation immigrants—were more at risk of mental health issues than others. “They survey’s results are worrying,” said QSU President Philippe LeBel. In response to the survey, the QSU is urging QC government to create a policy to improve the mental health of university students and to give schools money to offer psychological services. Montréal Gazette (QC)

Why students continue to study English literature: Opinion

A lot of the public does not realize that English Literature was first introduced to universities—which were previously dominated by the study of Greek and Latin—in order to “prepare students for a career which would enable them to contribute to society,” writes McGill Professor Maggie Kilgour. The author adds that the real-world importance of studying English, and the humanities in general, has not diminished since then. Based on many conversations with student who continue to study English, the author notes that while these students are concerned with jobs, they also seek “a chance to think deeply and widely, to experiment, to study worlds and ways of thinking vastly different from their own. Kilgour concludes that this type of inquiry “is not a luxury for either themselves or society. In a world which increasingly measures success only in economic terms, it’s a necessity.” Montreal Gazette (QC)

ON government dismisses 2017 report on risks of collaborations between public, private colleges

The ON government has challenged a 2017 report that warned the government of the threat that partnerships between public colleges and private career schools pose for the college system. The report, written by David Trick—who was at the time working as a consultant—identified several risks that the public college-private career school partnerships posed for students, such as: the risk of an inferior educational experience, insufficient oversight caused by distance from college administrators, possible lower levels of service, and accessibility issues for students with disabilities. Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano dismissed the report as the work of "a political friend” of the previous Liberal government. Globe and Mail (ON)

URegina-USask research team receives $3M to improve lives of adults living with dementia in rural SK

A University of Regina-University of Saskatchewan research team has received a $3M grant to develop a five-year research project to improve the lives of older adults living with dementia in rural Saskatchewan. Funded by the Employment and Social Development Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, the project is hosted through the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit. This bi-university research centre will focus on improving public awareness of the stigma and social isolation experienced by people with dementia, while also increasing the availability of family and community supports for these people and their care partners. “Saskatchewan, with its wide-spread rural population, is an ideal place to explore what interventions can best enhance the quality of lives of people with dementia that live in smaller communities and rural areas,” said project leader Bonnie Jeffery. URegina (SK)

McMaster reaches tentative agreement with teaching assistant union

McMaster University and CUPE local 3906, the local union representing teaching assistants, have reached a tentative agreement after two days of bargaining assisted by a provincially appointed mediator. In a press release, CUPE 3906 said that members will meet and hold a ratification vote sometime early next week. "We look forward to bringing this agreement before our members so they can have the opportunity to review its contents and vote on whether or not to accept it," said Chair of CUPE 3906 Nathan Todd. CBC (ON)

UoGuelph launches Arts Apprenticeship Program to bridge graduation-employment gap

The University of Guelph has announced the launch of the new Guelph Arts Apprenticeship Program (GAAP) to come in January 2020. Delivered in collaboration with the City of Guelph, local businesses, and donor Alan Rottenberg, the program gives grads job readiness skills while connecting them with employers who are eager to hire young talent. To help accomplish this, Rottenberg will provide a career-building incentive for 10 grads initially by funding salaries for the first four months of their one-year apprenticeships. Through its Invest in Guelph program, the City will also identify companies willing to participate in the program. UoGuelph (ON)

WLU partners with Shad to deliver STEAM programming for secondary students

Wilfrid Laurier University has partnered with Shad to deliver the company’s STEAM programming at the institution’s campuses. Joining 18 other Canadian universities, WLU will deliver the month-long program for students in grades 10 and 11 who will work together to design a solution to a real-world problem such as food security, water management, and waste. “Shad Canada’s emphasis on hands-on learning, community-building, and culturally diverse and Indigenous programming, strongly align with Laurier’s strategic focus preparing future-ready students within a culture of engagement,” said WLU President Deborah MacLatchy. WLU | Shad Canada (ON)

King’s School of MEM accepted into Chartered Financial Analysts Institute program

King’s University College’s School of Mathematics, Economics, and Management (MEM) has announced that the institution has been accepted into the Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) Institute University Affiliation Program. The affiliation will provide credible recognition to the BMOS - Finance and Administration (Honours Specialization) program, strengthen King’s relationship with the CFA Institute, improve programs’ curricula and keep them in line with developments in the financial industry, and provide direct financial benefits to students planning to take the CFA exam. King’s (ON)