Canada’s top social sciences and humanities researchers honoured for extraordinary achievements
Work of Impact Award recipients represent very best in cutting-edge research
November 30, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario
Social sciences and humanities research and talent provide us with a deeper understanding of the human condition to inform public policy benefiting all Canadians. By fostering inquiry and innovation in these fields, the Government of Canada is working to build a more resilient, equitable and just society.
Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the winners of the 2021 Impact Awards, celebrating the most accomplished social sciences and humanities researchers in Canada.
The annual Impact Awards are the highest honour bestowed by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Recipients and finalists represent the very best in cutting-edge research pushing our understanding of humanity forward, uniting diverse partners to serve common goals, and helping us change society for the better.
This year’s Impact Awards recipients include:
- Lynne Viola, of the University of Toronto, is honoured with the Gold Medal, SSHRC’s highest research honour, for her notable contributions to the study of 20th century Russian history and Stalinism, focusing on political and social history, as well as her commitment to justice and human agency;
- Banting Postdoctoral scholar Maïka Sondarjee, of the University of Montréal, wins the Talent Award for shining a light on the importance of including local populations in development policymaking in international organizations, on how feminist theories are marginalized in international relations and on the white saviour complex in international development;
- André Blais, of the Université de Montréal, receives the Insight Award for bringing valuable new insight on how citizens interact with their democratic institutions. Professor Blais is one of the world’s leading experts on voting behaviour and electoral systems;
- Carole Lévesque, of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), will accept the Connection Award on behalf of the team behind the DIALOG Network, which is transforming research practice by bridging the gap between Indigenous knowledge keepers and academics. This project brings reconciliation into the very fabric of research work; and
- Rashid Sumaila, of the University of British Columbia, receives the Partnership Award on behalf of the OceanCanada Partnership. Their interdisciplinary work to understand and address threats facing Canada’s coastal regions is developing a shared vision for the future of Canada’s oceans that promotes the well-being of people living on coasts as well as the marine environment.
“From reconciliation to environmental conservation, Canada’s top researchers are pushing the frontiers of human knowledge to help us change society for the better. Congratulations to the Impact Award recipients, who are fueling the evidence-based decision making and policy that is foundational to Canada’s bright future.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“This year’s Impact Award winners, as well as the finalists, are celebrated for their achievements, innovation and advancements in their fields. They have each made significant contributions to the national and global research enterprise and are a driving force behind what makes Canada a leader in social sciences and humanities research.”
- Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
The Gold Medal is SSHRC’s highest research honour and is awarded to an individual whose sustained leadership, dedication and originality of thought have inspired students and colleagues alike.
The Gold Medal recipient will receive $100,000 for future research. The winners of Talent, Insight, Connection and Partnership Awards will each receive $50,000 in research funding.
The Talent Award recognizes the outstanding academic achievement of a current SSHRC doctoral or postdoctoral scholarship or fellowship holder.
The Insight Award is given to an individual or team whose project has made significant contributions to the knowledge and understanding of people, societies and the world.
The Connection Award recognizes an outstanding initiative facilitating the exchange of research knowledge within or beyond the social sciences and humanities community to generate intellectual, cultural, social or economic impacts.
The Partnership Award recognizes a formal partnership, through co-operation, shared intellectual leadership and resources, that has impact within or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community.
For each award, eligible institutions nominate candidates, who are evaluated by a multidisciplinary jury made up of distinguished individuals from academia, as well as the private, not-for-profit and public sectors, from Canada and abroad.
The jury selects award recipients according to the selection criteria associated with each of the five awards.
The Talent, Insight, Connection and Partnership awards reflect the four main funding programs administered by SSHRC.
The following individuals were finalists for each award:
- Talent Award:
- Graham Jensen, University of Victoria; and
- Krista Zawadski, Carleton University.
- Insight Award:
- Jan Grabowski, University of Ottawa; and
- Victoria Talwar, McGill University.
- Connection Award:
- René Audet, Université Laval; and
- Jessica Coon and Janine Metallic, McGill University.
- Partnership Award:
- Susanne Lajoie, Reinhard Pekrun, James Lester and Roger Azevedo, McGill University; and
- Fannie Lafontaine, Joanna Harrington, Valerie Oosterveld, Penelope Simons, Pascal Paradis and Jayne Stoyles, Université Laval.
- Talent Award:
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