Research in the Faculty of Social Sciences has never been stronger and more dynamic. This past year has seen the addition of a new University Research Chair (Michael Williams, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs) as well the hiring of a new Canada Research Chair (Monnica Williams, School of Psychology). The Research Centres and Institute in the Faculty have seen their budgets grow while gaining improved administrative support. Funding for research in the Faculty also continues to grow, with over $11M in research funding secured last year, as our colleagues continue to be recognized for the significant contributions to their fields of research.
Much work is required to ensure that our research continues to grow and prosper. This year saw the revitalization of our Faculty’s Research Committee. The committee was expanded to include representation from all units, our research chairholders, and our Centres and Institutes. The committee worked in subcommittees devoted to informing the renewal of our strategic plan for research, developing a plan for prizes, and adjudicating and making recommendations to improve our internal competitions.
Our work on the renewal of the Faculty’s strategic plan for research began through consultations with researchers at various stages of their careers from across the Faculty, to hear about their ideas for how to strengthen research in the Faculty. Discussions continued in the Faculty Research Committee, as well as with the Faculty’s Executive. From this work, we have identified new research priorities that will guide us moving forward.
This year the Faculty was able to support a significant increase in its funding for research through a one-time competition. The competition offered research support up to $20,000 per award up to a total of $100,000. The great success of this competition will inform the renewal of our research competitions with an eye toward offering more substantial and relevant support to our researchers in the future.
This year will also see the launch of our new IMPACT 2019 initiative, led by Jennifer Wallner of the School of Political Studies. The goal of this initiative is to provide a platform to promote the insight and research of our colleagues during the upcoming Federal election. It is my intention to continue to work with our colleagues to find new ways to collaborate on growing and promoting research in the Faculty.
The coming year will also see a renewal of our Research Office; with additional positions and new faces, we will endeavour to maintain our tradition of exceptional service but also work toward increasing our capacity to support our colleagues.
The Faculty of Social Sciences has a remarkable legacy of achievement in research. Yet, it is clear that greater successes lie ahead. I look forward to continuing to work with you and with our new Dean, Victoria Barham to ensure this promise will be fulfilled.
John Sylvestre, Vice-Dean, Research