The past year was certainly a challenging one for all of us at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Most of our colleagues saw their research curtailed, if not interrupted outright. At the Faculty we also recognize that the pandemic has not affected all of our researchers equally, and we have had a number of discussions in our Faculty Research Committee and at the Research Commission to determine how we can best address these inequalities. Some modifications were made to our internal competitions, but there is more to be done to ensure that all our colleagues can successfully relaunch their research as restrictions begin to ease.
The onset of the pandemic required our research office to pivot to providing online services. I thank our team for adapting to this new reality so quickly and so well. The team not only adapted to the challenge of wholesale change in our operations, but also to absences and the integration of new team members who have not even met all of their colleagues face to face. I am grateful to Sophie, Anoush, Charles, Julie, Audrée, Clovis, Mélanie, Oneyda, and Mireille for all their efforts over the past year.
Despite all of this, research in the Faculty went on. We have continued to show strong growth in research funding, year after year, and we boast researchers, research chairs, and research centres that have contributed greatly to our understanding of the pandemic and its implications for our lives. Faculty research has been widely covered in the media, and our colleagues have been highly visible in sharing their expertise with Canadians in the media. The Faculty also welcomed the Institute of the Environment this year; the Institute will certainly enhance the already strong capacity of the Faculty on this important issue.
As I finish my mandate as vice-dean, I wish to thank Mark Salter for taking on the role of Interim Vice-Dean during my academic leave. I also thank all of my colleagues who were so supportive of me. The Faculty has witnessed incredible growth over the past few years, yet the future promises even greater success.