Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada
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The NCE highlights the important contributions of the social sciences and humanities at Congress 2013

Research into human thought and behaviour is an essential part of successful innovation and addressing the complex challenges facing Canadians.

From June 1-4, the NCE attended the This link will take you to another Web site 2013 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Victoria to highlight the importance of the social sciences and humanities in NCE-funded networks and centres.

Read more about how unique contributions from the social sciences and humanities help NCE-funded networks and centres address the full scope of their mandates.

ArcticNet (Network of Centres of Excellence)

Improving Inuit Education in Canada’s Arctic

ArcticNet researchers Thierry Rodon, a political science professor at Université Laval, and Fiona Walton, a University of Prince Edward Island education professor are helping transform secondary and post-secondary education in Canada’s North by identifying gaps in northern education and improving access to higher quality learning for Northerners. Working with northern students, educators, school boards and Inuit organizations, their successful initiatives include the online Tukitaarvik Inuit Student Centre and the documentary film, Alluriarnaq-Stepping Forward: Youth Perspectives on High School Education in Nunavut.

ArcticNet continues to exceed expectations and evolve in response to the needs of Arctic researchers, indigenous peoples, northern residents and industry partners. Projects of particular importance to Inuit in the areas of human health, education and social and political science will contribute to the body of knowledge required to be more responsive and timely in our ability to understand and address paramount questions relating to Inuit health, governance, human rights, and education.

- Duane Smith, President, Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada and Co-Chair, ArcticNet Board of Directors

AUTO21 (Network of Centres of Excellence)

Designing safer ambulances

Emergency personnel and patients in the rear of the ambulance have higher rates of injuries and fatalities than the general driving public. Jeff Caird, a psychology professor at the University of Calgary and an AUTO21 project leader, is working with the Alberta Health Services (AHS) to study patient and equipment access issues associated with ambulance designs. Dr. Caird and his team plan to explore how EMS staff work in the patient compartment of ambulances to improve the design and configuration of future ambulances.

Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts (Knowledge Mobilization NCE)

Putting knowledge into practice to protect youth

A two-day Knowledge Mobilization Simulation event hosted by the CYCC network brought together researchers, service providers, policy makers, and youth to develop strategies for moving knowledge across disciplines, to improve how we provide services for vulnerable children and youth. Lessons learned will be used to turn evidence into policies, practices, and programs for child and youth mental health.

The incredible new challenge for the social sciences is disseminating good qualitative research and best practices efficiently. The CYCC Network is an exemplar of this, innovating dissemination and knowledge mobilization (through videos and simulations for example) to improve service delivery to and increase resilience in children and youth in challenging contexts.

- Marc Renaud, CYCC Network Governing Board Chair

Graphics, Animation and New Media Canada (GRAND) (Network of Centres of Excellence)

Building a better future for Canada’s games industry

Two Concordia University sociologists’ ethnographic work at Montreal game studios, featuring a key study of GRAND’s unique internship program with international game publisher Funcom, is evaluating the alternative production and funding models of Canada’s changing games industry. By studying the day-to-day experiences of video game developers, sociologists Bart Simon and Jennifer Whitson are helping to better understand the socio-economics of the new games ecosystem.

The study of games and game development culture is of critical importance for the industry. GRAND researchers are finding out how game development teams actually work, how independent studios can succeed, and how we can create more sustainable careers for developers. This research will contribute to building a better future for games companies in Canada.

- Kellogg Booth, Scientific Director, GRAND

Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence network (PREVNet) (Knowledge Mobilization NCE)

Preventing bullying and creating healthy relationships

Those who work with children and youth in Canada are well trained to monitor and supervise the children in their care, but lack specific training to create healthy relationships with children and youth, ensure that children are having healthy relationships with each other, and model healthy relationships. PREVNet developed the Healthy Relationships Training Module, which has been incorporated into the training materials of Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Canadian Red Cross, and Scouts Canada and could reach over 100,00 children per year.

PREVNet’s evaluation of our training resources came at a perfect time as we embarked upon a comprehensive updating of our national training resources. PREVNet provided insight and support. Our co-development of the Healthy Relationships and Duty of Care resources has advanced our knowledge. We have incorporated PREVNet feedback and resources, and consider our training and support stronger as a result.

- Susan Climie, Director of Training, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Stem Cell Network

Monitoring ethics, laws and social impacts

A research database created in 2001 through the Stem Cell Network has become the most comprehensive international resource for policy makers and others on the socio-ethical and legal aspects of stem cell research and related therapies. StemGen offers free access to policies, laws and other documents from countries and organizations around the world. Getting more than 5,800 hits per day, its features include a world map that describes current policy approaches in more than 50 countries.