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Are you looking for an expert to provide insight on a current event or issue? SSHRC funds the top research talent in the social sciences and humanities whose work is shedding light on pressing societal changes, such as the aging population, safety and security, youth, immigration, culture, education, the economy and more.

Here are this week’s top trending topics:

September 5: International Day of Charity and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Abigail Payne, professor of economics at McMaster University, is researching charitable giving in Canada and the United Kingdom. She is exploring what motivates individuals to give, how government funding affects giving, and the effects of increased community diversity on giving and charity operations.

Adrian Owen, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at Western University, is studying the cognitive deficits (problems in perceiving, thinking, reasoning and remembering) in patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Janice Robertson, Canada Research Chair in Molecular Mechanisms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis at the University of Toronto, is researching the causes of ALS. She hopes to provide biomarkers to aid in the earlier diagnosis of the disease, and to develop effective therapeutics and, ultimately, a cure. She says the Ice Bucket Challenge has been a huge success in terms of both fundraising and raising awareness of the disease.

September 8: International Literacy Day and Back to School

Victoria Purcell-Gates, Canada Research Chair in Early Childhood Literacy at The University of British Columbia, is examining early literacy development in both community and pre-school environments and looking for similarities and differences in socioculturally rooted literacy practices, texts, functions, and values.

Beverly A. Baker, of the department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University, is investigating the assessment literacy of standardized language test score users in Canadian higher education.

John Douglas Willms, Canada Research Chair in Literacy and Human Development at the University of New Brunswick, is developing a program to increase the reading skills of children from kindergarten to Grade 3 in schools with a high concentration of vulnerable children.

Philip Abrami, of the department of Education at Concordia University, is looking at software development and research for enhancing the emerging literacy skills of young children.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Steve Saideman is Paterson Chair in International Affairs at Carleton University. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of intervention in intra-state conflicts. His most recent book, NATO in Afghanistan (co-authored with David P. Auerswald), explores how government structures and party politics in NATO countries shape how battles are waged in the field.

Joan DeBardeleben is associate director at Carleton University’s Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies. Her research focus is on politics and society in the Soviet successor states. Her current research projects include Russian federalism and elections in Russia. She is the recipient of many SSHRC grants for her research on the impact of globalization and regionalism on Russian approaches to multi-level governance, governance structures in EU-Russian relations, Canada and the new Europe, and Canada-Europe transatlantic dialogue.

David Carment is professor of international affairs at Carleton University and Fellow of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute. He is also a NATO Fellow. His expertise is in conflict analysis, mediation, international organization, negotiation and policy analysis. His research interests include the international dimensions of ethnic conflict, peacekeeping, conflict prevention and Canadian foreign policy analysis.

For more information about these and other SSHRC‑funded experts, contact:

Julia Gualtieri
Media Relations Adviser
Tel.: 613-944-4347

David Holton
Communications Adviser
Tel.: 613-996-0520