Top Ten

January 13, 2022

Canada invests over $550M to support over 5,500 Canadian researchers

The Government of Canada has announced a $550M investment into Canada’s science and research sector to strengthen the country’s research enterprise. The new funding includes $144M in grants for large-scale, interdisciplinary projects through the New Frontiers for Research Fund (NFRF) Transformation stream; $151M to support 188 new and renewed chairs through the Canada Research Chairs program, and over $260M to the granting agencies’ scholarships and fellowships programs. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that we can harness the power of science to solve major problems facing our country and the world,” said Minister of Health Jean-Yves Duclos. “This funding shows how much we value our researchers and reinforces our commitment to helping them do outstanding work for Canadians in all fields of science.” Canada (National)

FNU launches Indigenous Continuing Education Centre

The First Nations University of Canada has launched the Indigenous Continuing Education Centre (ICEC). ICEC will aim to share Indigenous knowledge and strengthen connections by offering Indigenous-focused short course programming. Individuals, professionals, communities, and businesses will be able to participate and earn digital credentials. FNU has partnered with the Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada (ARUCC) and MyCreds to provide a Digital Credential Wallet for learners so that they can access and share their credentials. “The Centre promotes a renewed relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Canadians through transformative learning about truth and reconciliation, and it offers much-needed programming for Indigenous people and communities” said Director, Indigenous Continuing Education Centre Reila Bird. FNU (PDF) (SK)

YorkU, Qatar University launch International Cardiac Rehabilitation Registry

York University and Qatar University have announced the launch of the International Cardiac Rehabilitation Registry. The registry will support cardiac rehabilitation programs in settings with low resources and will enable programs to benchmark their quality against other programs. The registry team will then support these programs in areas where they are struggling. The registry will also support international research and the study of cardiac rehab in countries where it has previously never been studied. YorkU | Journal Article (ON)

Bell Let’s Talk provides $1M in grants to 16 institutions to support mental health initiatives

Bell Let’s Talk has announced $1M in grants for 16 colleges, universities, and cégeps in Canada which will go towards supporting mental health initiatives for students. The funding will help support the institutions in implementing initiatives aligned with the National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students or the Québec Action Plan on Student Mental Health for Higher Education. “The Bell Let's Talk Post-Secondary Fund will contribute to the development of a pilot project to integrate psychological health concepts into certain courses starting this fall,” said Executive Director of the Cégep de Sherbrooke Marie-France Bélanger. “We hope this initiative will then be extended to all students.” News Wire (National)

New agreements enable CNA students to ladder into degrees at RRU, UNB, Memorial, CBU, SMU

College of the North Atlantic has announced that it has entered several multi-year articulation agreements that will allow CNA students and graduates to pursue further education at other postsecondary institutions. Students and graduates will be able to apply their previous diploma program education towards a degree. CNA has signed articulation agreements with Royal Roads University, the University of New Brunswick, Memorial University, Cape Breton University, and Saint Mary’s University. “[O]ur team is continuously exploring opportunities with other post-secondary institutions that will further our students and graduates’ desire to build upon and expand their knowledge and skillsets for today’s challenging workforce,” said CNA President Liz Kidd. CNA (NL)

Moving from graduate researcher to a career in Educational Development: Editorial

A new article from University Affairs discusses the growth of the Educational Development (ED) industry and how graduate researchers have found careers in teaching and academic-adjacent careers. Three University of Toronto educational developers – Mike Kasprzak, Cristina D’Amico, and Samantha Chang – share their experiences in the field. Kasprzak explained that the work is collaborative in nature and provides potential for growth, while D’Amico discussed the process of seeking out resources to support a career transition. Chang discussed how her work allowed her to use experiential knowledge she previously thought was irrelevant to inform her work on accessibility in course design. The article encourages those interested in the industry to connect with the ED community, research the profession, and reflect on the skills that would make them a good fit for an ED job. University Affairs (Editorial)

Mohawk to deliver most classes online for remainder of Winter semester

Mohawk College has announced that it will be delivering most classes online during the Winter semester due to the spike in COVID-19 cases. “Required” in-person learning will continue, while all other classroom teaching will take place virtually for the remainder of the Winter term. “We know the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant is frustrating and heightens the anxiety that some people may be feeling,” said Mohawk President Ron McKerlie. “This decision will allow students to plan ahead with certainty.” While the semester will be online, Mohawk may plan in-person extracurricular activities and events if the situation improves. CBC | Global News (ON)

Dal, UCalgary partner to address health inequities of incarcerated Indigenous women

Dalhousie University and the University of Calgary are collaborating to address the health inequities of incarcerated Indigenous women. Co-principle investigators Dr Jennifer Leason of UCalgary and Martha Paynter of Dal have received a $500K grant from CIHR for the project, which will also involve knowledge keepers, clinicians, and researchers from Dal, McMaster University, Lakehead University, Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Saskatchewan. “We have an ethical imperative to address this,” said Paynter. “The Truth and Reconciliation Commission demands it, as does the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.” Dal (NS | AB)

How Canada can strengthen its position in postsecondary education: Opinion

A new article from Contact North discusses the steps Canada can take to build on previous successes and continue to strengthen its postsecondary education system. Contact North encourages Canada to create a CanadaLearn portal to improve the accessibility and ease of the postsecondary application process and fund a national centre for competency and knowledge assessment so that individuals can have their prior learning recognized. The authors also encourage Canada to refocus on apprenticeship and competencies, initiate an approach to credentials that funds outcomes, and strengthen postsecondary instruction by certifying teachers. Contact North (Editorial)

SIIT makes position for “auntie-in-residence” to mentor Indigenous students

The Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies has created a new position for an “auntie-in-residence” who will mentor Indigenous students who are interested in entrepreneurship. The auntie-in-residence position will be similar to that of an elder-in-residence, and will provide students with a safe space to come receive support. “We have a strong emphasis on community and kinship amongst our students and so by having this auntie-in-residence, it’s one of our ways to nurture our students,” said SIIT’s co-ordinator of Strategic Initiatives, Academics Samantha Ouellette, who is Cree. “You don’t always get that at postsecondary institutes or educational institutes at all, and so even within this program, we have our Indigenous knowledge systems embedded within the curriculum.” CBC (SK)