SSHRC awards more than $8.9 million to York U researchers

Researchers at York University have been awarded more than $8.9 million in funding from the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

York professors Jennifer Jenson and Annie Bunting received more than $4.5 million in funding over seven years through the SSHRC Partnership Grants program.

photo of Prof. Jennifer Jenson

Prof. Jennifer Jenson

Jenson, a professor in the Faculty of Education, will receive $2,498,116 to lead a project titled “Re-figuring Innovation in Games”. The project enables and supports a timely re-thinking and “re-configuring” of an industry in which innovation is impeded by gendered inequality. Women and girls have largely been absent from games culture − as players, makers and protagonists. Represented in games most typically as hyper-sexualized bodies and stereotyped “characters”, women make up just 22 per cent of the industry workforce and, although now 48 per cent of women report that they play games, female gamers face severe online harassment. The exclusion of women from this extensive and significant sector of Canada's techno-cultural economy is unacceptable from an equity standpoint, and actively impedes innovation and creativity.

Key outcomes of this international cross-sectoral partnership project include the development of: an inclusivity toolkit for the games industry, gender-inclusive curricula for game programs and incubators, and high-impact blogging, journalism, scholarly presentations and publications that inform and prepare the next generation of researchers and game-sector employees to rebuild a games industry and culture that supports inclusion and innovation.The project includes 20 partners from Canadian and international universities, gaming companies, gaming collectives, gaming NGOs, and professional associations.

photo of Prof. Annie Bunting and her research team

Prof. Annie Bunting (centre) with her research team, Freetown Sierra Leone. Photo credit: York graduate student Karlee Sapoznik.

Bunting, an associate professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, will receive $2,049,938 in funding to lead a project called “Conjugal Slavery in War”. The project will document cases of so-called forced marriage in conflict situations, place this data in historical context and impact the international prosecution of crimes against humanity as well as local reparations programs for survivors of violence. With the central participation of community-based organizations in Africa, this project will strengthen women's and organizations' capacity to prevent violence, and advance understanding of the use of conjugal slavery as a tool of war through evidence-based research.

The study will explore the experiences of men and women who were subject to or participated in enslavement in the conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Uganda, and Mali. The study includes nine partners from other universities, research institutes and non-governmental organizations.

Twenty-five York researchers received more than $3.8 million to fund their research projects through SSHRC’s Insight Grants and Insight Development Grants programs. Insight Development Grants support initial stages of research over one to two years, while Insight Grants are for longer-term projects of three to five years. The funding was granted for research covering a wide range of topics including:

  • Body Worn Cameras, Surveillance and the Question of Police Accountability
  • Advancing social inclusion in Canada's diverse communities
  • Designing effective negotiation teams: A mixed-method investigation
  • Evaluating Strategic Political Partnerships: The Case of the Women's Movement and the State in Contemporary Brazil
  • The impact of high-rise revitalization on suburban public spaces in Canada and France
  • Polarization, Entrepreneurship and Search: an International Perspective

Three York researchers also received $584,918 in funding under the Partnership Development Grants Program, which provides support to foster new research and related activities with new or existing partners; and to design and test new partnership approaches for research and/or related activities. This funding will support partnerships between York researchers and Canadian and international universities, charitable organizations and international associations.

Graduate students at York University received more than $5.7 million in funding through the Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarships, SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships and Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master's Scholarships.

“We are delighted by the results of the recent SSHRC competitions,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research and innovation. “Our researchers are continuing to show leadership in conducting innovative and collaborative research with partners in government, academia and public sector organizations.”

For a complete list of recipients, visit the SSHRC website.

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