Mitacs Fellows to Help Advance Reconciliation and Green Growth Policy

One of SSHRC’s key goals is to fund research that will lead to evidence-based policy. The newly announced Canadian Science Policy Fellowship program will help do just that.

Created by Mitacs, a national organization that funds research and training, this innovative program is bringing 11 accomplished researchers from various Canadian universities to work with federal government ministries and agencies, starting in fall 2016. For 12 months, the fellows will engage with partners in government to share scientific knowledge and research data that can help decision-makers form policy.

SSHRC is pleased to host fellows Carin Holroyd, from the University of Saskatchewan, and Aaron Franks, from Queen’s University.

“Based on my long-term study of green growth in Japan, I hope to work on Canadian strategies that combine technological innovation, the commercialization of science, and an effective national strategy that contributes to the global struggle with climate change,” says Holroyd.

Holroyd is an associate professor of political studies and chair of the University of Saskatchewan’s International Studies Program, and has studied and worked in Japan. Her main research area focuses on government policy and the development of environmental technologies.

Holroyd has won several research grants, including five from SSHRC and three Japanese grants. Her Canadian Science Policy Fellowship project is titled, “Supporting policy development work on the culture of innovation in Canada.”

“This is a pilot project with Mitacs, so nearly everything about the fellowship has been created collaboratively,” says Franks.

He comes to SSHRC with extensive knowledge in Indigenous creative practice and decolonization.

“My job is to help SSHRC take up [Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada] Call to Action 65,” says Franks, “which tasks SSHRC to work with universities and Indigenous communities to develop ongoing research programs that advance understanding of reconciliation.”

A postdoctoral researcher in the Cultural Studies program at Queen’s University, Franks holds a PhD in human geography from the University of Glasgow. He is working on a unique study at Queen’s that links Indigenous and Scottish self-determination movements.

As Canada sets out on a course of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians, Franks’ contributions are as timely as they are important. His fellowship project, “Supporting the continuous development of policy and programming related to Aboriginal research and reconciliation,” aims to provide the insight needed to develop policy that leads to a stronger future for Canada’s Indigenous people.

“My goals for this year are to participate in, and support, the many conversations on reconciliation going on behind the scenes at SSHRC,” he says, “and to facilitate learning from the many nodes of activity in Indigenous research, community outreach, teaching and learner support, and critical engagement with reconciliation that Indigenous higher education workers are already leading themselves.”

SSHRC welcomes both of these accomplished researchers, and wishes them success.