Partnership Award: Susan McGrath

Susan McGrath

Partnership award:

Susan McGrath

York University


York University’s Susan McGrath, winner of SSHRC’s 2015 Partnership Award, is a dynamic research leader of global stature. Her consistent success over the past decade in forging innovative partnerships—interdisciplinary, equitable and cross-sector—revolutionized the fields of refugee studies and forced migration.

As director of York’s Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS), McGrath guided it to become North America’s leading research centre in the field and helped establish major international research organizations in the study of refugees and forced migration.

McGrath was also instrumental in establishing the Refugee Research Network (RRN). A global network of researchers and practitioners, the RRN is the product of McGrath’s vision to create a global refugee research network with a wide-ranging and progressive impact on research and policy, both in Canada and globally.

Named a Member of the Order of Canada for her contributions, McGrath has consistently proven her unwavering commitment to collaborative research and effective knowledge mobilization. Her efforts have built bridges between researchers, policy groups and grassroots organizations, helped strengthen global policies and practices for refugee protection and significantly changed how refugees are incorporated into public policy debates worldwide.

About the award

The annual Impact Awards recognize the highest achievements in SSHRC-funded research, knowledge mobilization and scholarship.

SSHRC’s Partnership Award recognizes an outstanding partnership whose mutual cooperation and shared leadership have advanced research, research training, partnership approaches or knowledge mobilization, to the greater benefit of research and society.

Susan McGrath shares her thoughts on research partnerships, critical issues in her field and the role of the social sciences and humanities in shaping Canada’s future:

A major element of your work on refugee rights is the pursuit of greater research collaboration among scholars. Why are these kinds of partnerships so important?

These partnerships have engaged new and experienced scholars from countries across the Global North and Global South in forging new relationships and networks. These are generating interdisciplinary knowledge, to the benefit of people who have been forcibly displaced.

What aspect of your research is most crucial for Canadians to better understand?

The research shows that refugees are making strong contributions to Canada, both socially and economically. Bringing in refugees is not only a humanitarian act, it serves our interests.

In what area do you see the greatest potential for social sciences and humanities research to make a greater contribution to knowledge?

The current global refugee crisis is not going away. Addressing these tough social, political and economic problems requires the collaborative knowledge of both social scientists and natural scientists.