Top Ten

February 12, 2020

McGill, UQO partner to offer Med-P program in Gatineau

McGill University and the Université du Québec en Outaouais are partnering to offer the McGill Faculty of Science’s Medicine Preparatory Program in Gatineau in September 2020. The program consists of ten courses, which will be taught by McGill and UQO faculty in French. The goal of the program is to prepare CEGEP graduates for McGill’s Undergraduate Medical Education Program. "It is gratifying to know that the Faculty of Science, in collaboration with UQO, will help CEGEP graduates on their path towards becoming McGill medical graduates," said McGill Faculty of Science Dean Bruce Lennox. "By offering this program in French in Outaouais, our two universities are partnering to provide excellent preparatory training locally.”  McGill  (QC)

Class-action lawsuit against Niagara reaches settlement

A group of international students and Niagara College reached a settlement earlier this month. The lawsuit was related to a situation in 2015 where several international students’ work permit applications were rejected because they were earning credits through Niagara’s online courses. The students alleged that the school and its representatives misled them to believe the mostly-online program would qualify for a three-year work permit. “This has set a great precedent that will benefit future international students in Canada,” said international student Anish Goyal. “International students are here to be a positive part of Canada.” According to settlement terms, the college has offered to compensate each student up to $20K, depending on their circumstances. The Star reports that at least 100 former international graduates have been identified as part of the lawsuit, but that the numbers could reach as many as 500.   The Star  (ON)

CNC partners with local outreach dental clinic to provide services to in-need populations

The College of New Caledonia has partnered with the Prince George Emergency Dental Outreach Clinic to provide dental services to people in need. Working with community dentists, the agreement allows CNC dental assistant students to get first-hand experience while assisting practice, while dental hygiene students can meet some of their course requirements by providing local anesthetic to patients. “CNC’s dental studies students are training to become health professionals,” said CNC Interim Associate Dean of Health Sciences Wendy Male. “Part of becoming a health professional is understanding the responsibility we have to help those most in need in our community.”   CNC  (BC)

UofT researchers call for creation of independent complaint processes tackling abuse in sport

As complaints and investigations into cases of sexual misconduct at the hands of postsecondary athletics leaders continue to emerge, researchers at the University of Toronto are calling for independent complaint processes to address abuse in Canadian sports. While there are already several commitments to safe sport in Canada, such as the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS), researchers argue there is more work to be done. Specifically, U of T Professor Gretchen Kerr suggests that much debate revolves around the extent to which the complaint and investigative processes should be independent from sport organizations. “By creating a single, independent, pan-Canadian independent body of investigation, adjudication and compliance, consistency in application of the UCCMS would be assured to all athletes regardless of sport, geographical location in the country or access to external supports and resources,” said Kerr.   UofT  (ON)

Investigating problematic funding trends in Canadian scientific research

"Over the past four decades, governments worldwide have been steering research policy towards stimulating innovation and commercialization, [and] the Canadian government is no exception," writes Emina Veletanlić. While the author recognizes that investing in use-inspired basic and applied research can be beneficial to accelerating solutions to various social problems, the author also argues that the increasing commercialization of scientific research has met much backlash within the academic community. To substantiate these claims, Veletanlić conducted a co-authored longitudinal study of NSERC's Research and Development funding data over 25 years. "Policy decisions on science funding have led to very real trade-offs, skewing investments towards short-term outcomes at the expense of unfettered research within primarily science-funding agencies," concludes Veletanlić. "As we argued elsewhere, funding mechanisms must be carefully conceived to encourage innovation without undermining fundamental research capacity."  University Affairs  (National)

UWindsor receives $1.76M from ON for local research projects

The University of Windsor has received $1.76M in funding from the Government of Ontario to support nine local research projects. The funds, provided by the Ontario Research Fund's Small Infrastructure Program, will support projects in the field of advanced biotechnologies, catalysis, energy systems, and structural engineering. “These projects will train the next generation of scientists and engineers and develop high-value products that will lead eventually to economic gains and job creation," said UWindsor Vice-President of Research and Innovation Michael Siu. The project to receive the largest sum, $1.05M, will continue an ongoing environmental fish DNA study to help improve sustainability in the Great Lakes.  UWindsor  (ON)

MHC launches token program to reduce food waste, food insecurity

Medicine Hat College’s Enactus Club has announced the launch of the Square Roots Token Program, which reduces food waste from restaurants and food insecurity on-campus. The program, which was previously initiated by Saint Mary’s University, allows students to buy a $5 token from the Students’ Association office and redeem it for a meal at the cafeteria. “It’s a cheaper way for [students] to get food, and it’s a way for that restaurant to get rid of their excess food at the end of the day, and still make some money,” said project lead Sydney Campbell. “I work in the Students’ Association and people come in every day for the food bank, so definitely food insecurity is a real issue, and it’s a necessity we all need.”    Chat News Today  (AB)

U of A looks to acquire coronavirus for research

Researchers at the University of Alberta’s Li Ka Shing institute of virology are trying to get the novel coronavirus under their microscopes in order to examine potential antivirals and vaccines. "We built the facilities so that we can handle the virus," said institute Director Lorne Tyrrell. "We have a number of labs that are very keen to work on this virus, either on parts of the virus or the whole virus." CBC notes that the CIHR recently announced two-year, $1M grants to researchers working on counter measures to the virus, with the deadline for applications closing within a week’s time. The institute is aiming to raise up to half a million dollars in funding, including grants from the CIHR, to work on the novel coronavirus and has already recruited coronavirus experts for the initiative.    Edmonton Journal  | CBC  (AB)

RRU, VFS establish accelerated degree pathway for communications students

Royal Roads University and Vancouver Film School have signed an agreement that will allow students to earn a bachelor degree and a diploma in as little as two years of full-time study. Qualifying students enrolled in VFS’s production diploma program will be able to enter into the third year of the Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication at RRU. “This pathway partnership offers unparalleled value for VFS students wanting to earn an undergraduate degree and join the thriving creative economy,” said VFS Director of International Admissions and Business Development Scott Steiger. “Royal Roads University’s innovative BAPC program enhances VFS graduates’ educational experience for those seeking careers in public relations, advertising, journalism, marketing, or corporate, technical or web-based communication.”  RRU  (BC)

How to investigate workplace culture in job, school searches: Opinion

"Ensuring that you know the type of environment where and the colleagues with whom you'll do your best work is an often-overlooked part of the job search process," writes Natalie Lundsteen. In this piece, the author makes a case for starting a workplace culture investigation early in a job or graduate school search. According to Lundsteen, such investigations will not only help one determine if a workplace culture align with one's skills and preferences, but will also help put together strong cover letters and query emails. The author then provides a list of questions one might ask current and future employees or students toward understanding an institution's culture. For example, one might ask: "What makes you excited to come to work every day?" or "If you could change anything about this organization, what would it be?" The author concludes by stressing that, "no matter the amount of preparation you undertake [...], once you physically step into the workplace, you will have your greatest opportunity to assess that culture by seeing real-time interactions."  Inside Higher Ed  (International)