More than $19.5 million awarded to York-led research projects by SSHRC and partners, and to support York graduate students


York University addresses major societal challenges and leads the country in the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada’s (SSHRC’s) large-scale awards competitions valued at $1 million or more.

TORONTO, June 4, 2013 − Five York-led research partnerships have received a total of almost $14.3 million through the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada’s (SSHRC) Partnership Grants program, Partnership Development Grants program and partnership contributions from external research partners participating in the projects. In addition, more than $5.2 million was awarded to 145 York master’s and doctoral students to support scholarships and fellowships from SSHRC’s Talent Program.

Stephen Gaetz, Professor and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Education, has received more than $2.5 million in funding over seven years to lead “Canadian Observatory on Homelessness”, with more than 27 researchers – including Professor Janet Mosher at Osgoode Hall Law School, Professor Valerie Preston in the Department of Geography and Professor Stan Shapson in the Faculty of Education − and 29 partner organizations. The project, a non-partisan research and policy partnership, aims to evaluate current policy directions and programmatic approaches to preventing and reducing homelessness, address key policy questions, and support the development and implementation of effective and sustainable solutions to homelessness in communities across Canada. The goal is to mobilize research on homelessness so that it has a greater impact on policy and practice, leading to more effective solutions to homelessness. The project, which will also receive more than $2.5 million in matching funding and contributions from partnering organizations, will leverage the collaborative and research and knowledge mobilization capacities of participating individuals and organizations.

Anna Hudson, Professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts, has received more than $3.5 million over six years to lead a major project titled “Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage: a multi-media / multi-platform
re-engagement of voice in visual art and performance”,
with 10 researchers – including Professor Susan Dion in the Faculty of Education and Professor Angela Norwood from the Faculty of Fine Arts – and nine partner organizations. The goal of the project is to conduct collaborative research on the contribution of Inuit visual culture, art, and performance to Inuit language preservation, social well-being and cultural identity. The project will address the current disconnect for Inuit today between orality – being the voice that defines the self in relation to others – and materiality – being the environment in which one lives well together through three primary objectives: access to advanced information and communication technologies; connection of Inuit voice to objects of Inuit cultural heritage; and expanded creation of Inuit cultural capacity. It will receive an additional $1.9 million in matching funding and contributions from partnering organizations.

Leah F. Vosko, Canada Research Chair in the Political Economy of Gender and Work and Professor in the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, has received more than $2 million in funding over five years to lead a major national project with 33 researchers – including Professor Mark Thomas in the Department of Sociology and Professor Eric Tucker at Osgoode Hall Law School − and 16 partner organizations. The project, titled “Closing the Enforcement Gap: Improving Employment Standards Protection for People in Precarious Jobs”, will examine the role of employment standards enforcement in ensuring minimum conditions in areas such as wages, working time, vacations and leaves for workers in precarious jobs in Ontario, characterized by job insecurity, low income and limited access to regulatory protection. The objectives of the project, which will receive more than an additional $1.3 million in matching funding and contributions from partnering organizations, are to map the nature and scope of employment standards violations, document enforcement practices in order to identify regulatory challenges and develop alternative models of enforcement that may be applied in Ontario and other jurisdictions in Canada and internationally.

“We are delighted by the results of these recent SSHRC competitions, enabling York to maintain our track record in leading the country in the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada’s large-scale awards competitions valued at $1 million or more,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research and innovation. “The projects led by York Professors Stephen Gaetz, Anna Hudson and Leah Vosko enable our researchers to work together with research partners to address persistent, social and economic challenges facing our society today. It will also enable our researchers and graduate students to make important contributions to our country’s knowledge base.”

Two York researchers were also awarded more than $397,000 in SSHRC funding through the Partnership Development Grants program. The Partnership Development Grants program encourages applicants to work collaboratively with partners to develop research in the social sciences and humanities. This funding will support partnerships between York researchers and Canadian and international universities, a charitable organization and an international association.

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, federal minister of state for science and technology, announced the funding on Friday, May 31, at the launch of the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.  In total, more than $63 million is being awarded over a period of seven years to support 78 research teams across the country through SSHRC’s Partnership Grants and Partnership Development Grants. An additional $104 million from SSHRC’s Talent Program will support more than 3,700 master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral scholarships and fellowships.

An analysis conducted by the Strategic and Institutional Research Initiatives Unit, in the Office of Research Services at York, revealed that between 2006 and 2013, York researchers received more SSHRC awards valued at $1 million or more than any other institution in Canada. SSHRC’s large-scale awards offered between 2001 and 2013 have included the Community-University Research Alliance (CURA), Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI), the Strategic Knowledge Clusters and the SSHRC Partnership Grants.

For a complete list of Partnership Grant and Partnership Development Grant awards, visit the SSHRC website.

York University is helping to shape the global thinkers and thinking that will define tomorrow. York’s unwavering commitment to excellence reflects a rich diversity of perspectives and a strong sense of social responsibility that sets us apart. A York U degree empowers graduates to thrive in the world and achieve their life goals through a rigorous academic foundation balanced by real-world experiential education. As a globally recognized research centre, York is fully engaged in the critical discussions that lead to innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global social challenges. York’s 11 faculties and 28 research centres are thinking bigger, broader and more globally, partnering with 288 leading universities worldwide. York's community is strong − 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and more than 250,000 alumni.


Media Contact:

Joanne Rider, Media Relations, York University 416 736 5593 /