Sept. 9, 2016
For Immediate Release
WATERLOO – Researchers at Wilfrid Laurier University have received more than $2.16 million in funding through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) 2016 Insight Development and Insight Grant programs.
“We are very proud of these researchers and these awards represent an acknowledgement by their peers of the high-quality research undertaken in the social sciences and humanities at Laurier,” said Robert Gordon, vice-president: research. “This funding not only helps to further our faculty members’ research programs, but also provides the resources necessary to support meaningful research experiences for students.”
A wide range of Laurier research projects received funding, including: a study of the inter-connections between urbanization, food security, and governance in Africa; a study of personal well-being during retirement years; developing a sexual violence prevention program for communities that have experienced violence and war; and a study investigating the effects of campaign polling on elections.
One of the funded Laurier projects, by Associate Professor of Psychology Colleen Loomis, will track outcomes of early childhood interventions. Loomis’ work will add new data to the Better Beginnings, Better Futures (BBBF) project conducted in the 1990s under the direction of Ray Peters, professor emeritus at Queen’s University. The BBBF project assessed the long-term impact of government spending on early childhood development programming for Canadian children between the ages of four and eight. The project assessed participants’ outcomes at age 18.
The new research project will follow-up with BBBF participants at the age of 25, further investigating outcomes related to post-secondary education, employment and social assistance, in addition to the potential for further government savings. The original research found a cost savings of $2.50 for every $1 of government funds invested in early childhood development programming and found positive outcomes for participating youth.
“Our project is designed to build on 20 years of rigorous research by Peters’ team, seizing the opportunity to follow up with 500 young adults,” said Loomis, principal investigator for the project. “I’m so pleased to receive this support for this unique opportunity to track kids over such a long period of time.”
The 2016 Insight Development and Insight Grant programs funding was announced today by federal Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan. The awards included 1,150 research grants totaling more than $160 million. Funded Laurier research projects include:
The federal Insight Development Grants and Insight Grants programs are designed to build knowledge and understanding from disciplinary, interdisciplinary and/or cross-sector perspectives through support for the best researchers in the area of social science and humanities research. Insight Development Grants fund innovative new approaches to research in its early stages, provide high-quality research experiences for students and mobilize research knowledge for economic and social impact. The funding will support research and student training for up to two years. Insight Grants support research excellence in the social sciences and humanities and support longer-term research programs. The funding will support research and student training for up to five years.
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