Nov. 24, 2022Print | PDF
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) has awarded Insight Development Grants to 15 Wilfrid Laurier University faculty members, for a total of $961,338 in new research funding. The grants support research in its early stages. Laurier’s successful applicants will be studying a diverse range of topics including community safety in Canadian cities, supporting Ontario students with learning disabilities, the effects of blockchain frictions on financial infrastructure and Indigenous policy approaches to asserting self-determination.
“We have Insight Development Grant winners from many disciplines across our institution, representing the depth and breadth of research excellence at Laurier,” says Jonathan Newman, vice-president: research. “Thank you to SSHRC for investing at the inception of this impactful research.”
Katrin Roots, an assistant professor of Criminology, was awarded $64,604 to study strategies for anti-trafficking policing in Canada. In recent years, provincial and federal governments have invested significant funding to address sex trafficking, with a strong focus on law and policing reform. However, Roots’ previous research indicates that little is known about the tactics being used, there appears to be poor coordination between policing units, and current policing strategies are shown to have adverse effects on racialized, poor, migrant and sex-working communities.
With her Insight Development Grant funding, Root and her research team will investigate how the policing of human trafficking is working in practice across jurisdictions; analyze the role of human and digital surveillance; and assess the impacts of anti-trafficking policing on marginalized communities. Her goal is to provide evidence-based knowledge that can inform policing approaches, law and public policy.
Borzou Rostami, an assistant professor of Operations and Decision Sciences, will receive $71,897 to develop data-driven strategies for improving retail shopping. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on customer demand patterns and consumer behaviour, affecting in-person retailers. Though physical retail still dominates over e-commerce, studies show that specific shopping trends may be here to stay, and behaviour changes will reshape consumer decision journeys in the post-pandemic era.
One of the main strategies to increase in-store sales is to optimize the existing space. Rostami’s research will address shelf space planning in relation to new customer behaviour by considering factors such as store congestion, product location and the attractiveness of displays. Using machine learning tools, he will develop mathematical models that determine how to allocate and arrange product categories and achieve the most effective store layout for profitability and customer satisfaction.
Laurier’s additional Insight Development Grant winners include: