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$4.2 million for Memorial: Federal investment empowers researchers

By Jeff Green | Dec. 23, 2015

Archaeology professor Dr. Meghan Burchell in the field on North Calvert Island, B.C.Dr. Meghan Burchell will start the New Year off right.

The assistant professor in the Department of Archaeology in the Faculty of Arts has been awarded a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) valued at $234,709. She’s one of 32 researchers at Memorial — ranging from master's and PhD students to researchers from arts, social work, medicine, music, business and science — who received a combined total of more than $4.2 million in federal support for grants, fellowships and scholarships.

Dr. Burchell is directing a four-year project examining the human and environmental interactions in the Gulf of Georgia in British Columbia. Dr. Vaughan Grimes, assistant professor, archaeology, is collaborating on the project. Dr. Burchell says the SSHRC funding will give her study depth.

“The funding allows me to expand my research area and questions and experiment with new techniques that will help archaeologists understand long-term archaeological histories in coastal landscapes,” she said.

She says she’s taking a different approach to her archaeology research.

“I don’t dig or look at artifacts but I do ask questions about the human past — I use shells as a proxy to answer these questions,” she explained. “Some of the material I’m analyzing was excavated almost 100 years ago. To date, I’m the only archaeologist that’s been able to work in this kind of project over such a large temporal and spatial scale. Although the data I generate from archaeological shells are the size of microns, my research stretches over the course of several millennia and I think these scales of analysis in the social sciences are very interesting.”

Dr. Richard Marceau, vice-president (research), says SSHRC’s support allows Memorial researchers to examine issues of economic, social and cultural relevance to Canadians and people around the world. He says the latest support will empower researchers.

“Memorial’s research strengths address provincial, national and international issues and problems,” said Dr. Marceau. “This latest investment from SSHRC allows our emerging and established researchers the opportunity to enrich the knowledge of important innovative projects. The end result will be a stronger Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada. I applaud SSHRC for its incredible support for Memorial researchers.”

Included in the Dec. 16 announcement was the more than $2.2 million SSHRC announced in October for a project titled Tradition and Transition Among the Labrador Inuit led by Dr. Tom Gordon, professor emeritus, School of Music.

Meanwhile, a number of researchers from a variety of disciplines have received support through SSHRC’s Insight and Insight Development Grants, allowing them to advance knowledge and build research expertise in areas such as youth interrogation, adult learning in a digital age and climate change.

Student support
SSHRC also announced funding for graduate students. Sixteen master’s students received the Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships, valued at $17,500 each. Megan Walsh of the Faculty of Business Administration received the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program doctoral scholarships, valued at $105,000. And PhD students Hayley Crichton (arts), Emily Doyle (medicine) and Kari Sawden (arts) each received the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship. Their support is valued at $80,000, $40,000 and $60,000, respectively.

The full list of Memorial researchers receiving SSHRC support is below.

Insight Grants: October 2014 Competition Awards

  • Dr. Brent S. Snook, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science: Safeguarding Youth Interrogation Rights: Testing Assumptions About Youth Understanding and Interrogator Abilities, $113,383
  • Dr. Mark C.J. Stoddart, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts: The Oil-tourism Interface and Social-ecological Change in the North Atlantic, $188,423
  • Dr. Jeffrey B. Parsons, Faculty of Business Administration: Open Information Environments: Challenges, Opportunities and Principles, $202,450
  • Dr. Meghan E. Burchell, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts: Human-environmental Interactions in the Gulf of Georgia, British Columbia: Archaeological Histories of Seasonality, Subsistence and SHttlement through high-resolution Biogeochemistry, $234,709
  • Dr. Vernon R. Curran, Centre for Collaborative Health Professional Education, Faculty of Medicine: A Mixed Methods Study of the Self-directed Learning Habits of Adult Learners in a Digital Age, $201,050      

Total: $940,015

Insight Development Grants: February 2015 Competition Awards

  • Dr. Paul Adjei, School of Social Work: “Effective Parenting” What do People of African Descent or Blacks in Toronto, Winnipeg and St John’s have to say about it?, $74,928
  • Dr. Sonja Boon, Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts: Saltwater Stories: Migration, Memory and Identity at the Water's Edge, $73,970
  • Dr. Joel Finnis, Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts: Perceiving Climate Variability: A Community-based Study to Identify Frameworks for Understanding and Interpretation, $59,010
  • Dr. Neil Kennedy, Department of History, Faculty of Arts: Bermuda Bound: Patrick Williams and the Limits of the Abolitionist Atlantic, $54,141
  • Dr. Max Liboiron, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts: Action Research Methodologies for the Anthropocene: Knowing Ocean Plastics Through Participatory Citizen Science, $73,347
  • Dr. Barry Stephenson, Department of Religious Studies, Faculty of Arts: Remembering Hus: Cultural Memory in Contemporary Festivity, $74,935

Total: $410,331

Partnership Grants: November 2014 Competition Awards

  • Dr. Tom Gordon, School of Music: Tradition and transition among the Labrador Inuit, $2,296,351 over five years.

Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s Program: December 2014 Competition Awards (each valued at $17,500)

  • Joshua A. Barrett, Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts: How Does Employment Mobility Affect Community Development in Source Communities  
  • Jeanette Carney, Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts: Asbestos Hill Mine: History and Legacy   
  • Amy A. Chase, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts: On the Origins of Art and Symbolism: The Case of Neandertals in Northern Spain 
  • Kendsey A. Clements, Department of French and Spanish, Faculty of Arts: L’importance de l’émigration comme thème dans L’ignorance de Milan Kundera                
  • Cassy C. Compton, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science: Interfering with Justice: The Effects of Preparation on the Perceived Veracity of Children’s Statements   
  • Lesley S. Derraugh, Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts: Performances of Hegemonic Masculinities and the Contribution to Violence Against Women        
  • Deidre A. Elliott, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts: Investigating the Effects of European Contact on Inuit-animal Interactions in Northern Labrador                
  • David T. Ewenson, Ethnomusicology Program, School of Music: The Simpa Drums of Tamale
  • Alison J.T. Harris, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts: Exploring Human-canid Interactions Among the Dorset of the Eastern Arctic        
  • Zak Keeping, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science: The Effect of Social Influence Tactics on Witness Information Provision   
  • Natasha Leclerc, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Arts: Seasonal Subsistence and Settlement Strategies of Hunter-gatherers on the Southern British Columbia Coast     
  • Nicholas M.J. Mercer, Environmental Policy, Division of Social Sciences, Grenfell Campus: A Policy Framework for Energy Transition in Newfoundland and Labrador: Public Support for Small-scale Renewable Energy 
  • Erin N. Mobley, Department of Gender Studies, Faculty of Arts: Failed School Spaces: Trans Youths’ Experiences of High School   
  • Emilie S. Pond, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Science: Perfectionism as a Mediator of Suicidal Ideation in Patients with Obsessive-compulsive Disorder
  • Theresa D. Powell, Department of English, Faculty of Arts: Early Modern Pamphlets: Tudor England's Social Media 
  • Vanessa L. Shalton, Ethnomusicology Program, School of Music: Tiens-toé ben - Hold On: Performance Tactics and Repertoire Choices in Swing’s Hybridic Music

Total: $280,000

Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program – Doctoral Scholarships: November 2014 Competition Awards

  • Megan M. Walsh, Faculty of Business Administration: Thriving Leaders: A Multi-method Analysis of Leaders’ Resilience to Stress, $105,000

SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships Program: November 2014 Competition Awards

  • Hayley K. Crichton, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts: The Effects of Voluntary and Involuntary Solitary Confinement on Societal Integration Post-incarceration, $80,000
  • Emily C. Doyle, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Faculty of Medicine: An Assessment of the Current School Food System in Newfoundland and Labrador, $40,000
  • Kari L. Sawden, Department of Folklore, Faculty of Arts: Revealing Stories: Divination in 21st Century Canada, $60,000

Total: $180,000