Canada’s top research Storytellers announced for unique SSHRC communications challenge

Ottawa, April 1, 2015—The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) today announced the Top 25 finalists in its 2015 Storytellers challenge.

The annual competition challenges postsecondary students from across the country to demonstrate—in up to three minutes or 300 words—how SSHRC-funded research is making a difference in the lives of Canadians. The top entries this year addressed a range of issues—from water security and immigration, to social justice, education and food security—and highlighted how knowledge from the social sciences and humanities helps Canadians understand and improve the world around us.

“It has never been more important to communicate the value of social sciences and humanities research, and its contribution to Canadians’ well-being,” said Ted Hewitt, president of SSHRC. “This annual competition clearly demonstrates the skills, knowledge and creativity that Canada’s next generation of researchers have successfully acquired in this regard—the skills they will need to be successful in their fields. I congratulate all of them.”

The Top 25 finalists, representing 16 postsecondary institutions across Canada, each receive a cash prize and will go on to compete in The Storytellers Showcase at the 2015 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, May 30 to June 5 at the University of Ottawa.

Starting April 14, SSHRC will feature five of these finalists each week via its website and on social media. In addition, this year a list of Honourable Mentions can be found on the SSHRC YouTube channel.

The Top 25 finalists were selected from among nearly 250 entries by some 30 expert judges from Canada and abroad.

“I was really impressed with the whole process,” said Randy Allan, communications director at CADTH. “The quality of the stories and videos was truly impressive.”

“What I enjoyed most this year was learning how this research is affecting Canadians,” said Jennifer Corriero, executive director of TakingITGlobal, and another Storytellers judge. “Communications has changed, and this contest—these entries—show that.”

Follow SSHRC’s Twitter feed and #SSHRCStorytellers to find out more about the campaign in the lead-up to the Storytellers Showcase at Congress 2015.

The Top 25 finalists are:


Kathryn Boschmann Carleton University
Jessica Bushey The University of British Columbia
Courtenay Crucil The University of British Columbia
Viviane Desbiens Université Laval
Naveen Devasagayam University of Toronto
Émilie Dufour HEC Montréal
Tanya Elchuk York University
Kristine Franks Concordia University
Carla Funk Royal Roads University
Bryan Gallagher Simon Fraser University
Alexandre Harvey Université de Montréal
Holly Howe University of Toronto
Jp King OCAD University
Simon Lisaingo The University of British Columbia
Lingfei Liu McGill University
Glenn McCullough University of Toronto
Jonathan Payton University of Toronto
Alexander Pekic Ryerson University
Heather Prime University of Toronto
Caylee Raber Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Meredith Rocchi University of Ottawa
Daniel Ruiz-Serna McGill University
Erica Siddall University of Ottawa
Joshua Smee Memorial University of Newfoundland
Jona Zyfi Ryerson University