Bishop’s new interdisciplinary Research Team Grants – Encouraging Innovative Research!

Bishop’s new interdisciplinary Research Team Grants – Encouraging Innovative Research!

Research and research creation are fundamental in Bishop University’s mandate as a post-secondary institution in the Quebec and Canadian landscape and beyond. Bishop’s Interdisciplinary Research Team Grants aim to facilitate the emergence and development of new Teams and allow the consolidation of existing Teams who conduct cutting-edge collaborative and interdisciplinary research. In 2020, the Senate Research Committee awarded funding to seven teams comprised of like-minded BU researchers and, in some instances, collaborators beyond Bishop’s.

Consolidating and Supporting Ongoing Expertise Around our Canada Research Chairs

Recognized for consistent success and excellence, the STellar Astrophysics and Relativity Interdisciplinary Group (STAR II) integrates researchers of the Department of Physics and Astronomy (Dr. Valerio Faraoni, Dr. Lorne Nelson, Canada Research Chair Dr. Jason Rowe, Dr. Fayçal Hammad, visiting scholar Dr. Kelsey Hoffman) alongside researchers from the Department of Mathematics (Dr. Trevor Jones, Dr. Brad Willms). Members of STAR II will collaborate closely with Prof. Jonas Goliasch, Dr. Patrick Labelle, Dr. Sylvain Turcotte, and postdoctoral fellows Dr. Andrea Giusti and James Sikora of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Members, collaborators, and their graduate students will combine their expertise to tackle some of the fundamental questions in both physics and astronomy. This Team will also be supported by the arrival of a new Canada Research Chair nominee in Multi-Messenger Astrophysics, Dr. John Ruan. STAR II also plans to grow their collaborations, both locally and internationally.

Building on the successes of the former Indigeneity axis, the Indigeneity Research Team, composed of Dr. Mary Ellen Donnan (Sociology), Dr. Jean Manore (History), Dr. Dawn Wiseman (Education), Dr. Vicki Chartrand (Sociology), Dr. Linda Morra (English), Dr. Jerald Sabin (Politics and International Studies), Dr. Avril Aitken (Education) and Dr. Lisa Taylor (Education), will be addressing questions relative to self-identification, recognition and/or marginalization of groups occupying, having occupied or willing to occupy a specific territory, to explore concepts of race and indigeneity. The Indigeneity Research Team will also welcome a Canada Research Chair in the near future. This Team’s objectives align perfectly with Bishop’s ongoing efforts relating to reconciliation with indigenous communities in Canada. It is thus fitting for our University to establish a dedicated interdisciplinary Research Team in Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation.

Dr. Sunny Man Chu Lau of the School of Education, together with Dr. Sarah Théberge and Caroline Dault of the Département d’études françaises et québécoises, in the Plurilingual Pedagogies Team, will explore the use of plurilingual strategies to facilitate Chinese transnational students’ learning of French as an additional language. This Team aligns with the focus of a new Canada Research Chair in Plurilingual Education. Members of this Team also have strong collaborations with the Université de Sherbrooke and the Cégep de Sherbrooke, through multiple multi-institutional projects, taking part in Bishop’s goal of increasing research connections among its researchers and colleagues in other institutions.

Beyond Canada Research Chairs: Endorsing New Interdisciplinary Collaborations

Also building on multi-institutional research connections, Dr. Patrick Bergeron, Dr. Jade Savage and Dr. Michael Richardson of the Department of Biological Sciences, together with Dr. Darren Bardati of the Department of Environmental Studies and Geography, will join forces with biology researchers Dr. Dany Garant and Dr. Denis Réale, respectively of the Université de Sherbooke and Université du Québec à Montréal, to study how agricultural practices influence environmental quality by comparing bio-indicator species development between conventional/industrial and organic farms. The Agro-Biodiversity Team will be collaborating with Dr. Jérémie Petitclerc, retired research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, who is a board member of an organization preserving the health one of the lakes included in the Teams study area. This will be great staple of how community partnership can ensure knowledge transfer to the local community and engage partners in the continuation of the project.

Climate change, education, and psychological health are the interdisciplinary concepts that Dr. Dawn Wiseman and Dr. Mitchell McLarnon-Silk, of the School of Education, together with Dr. Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise, of the Department of Psychology, will address. Educators engaging with students about climate change can influence their students’ perceptions on the subject, for better or worst. The Applied Radical Optimism for Climate Change Hope in Education (AppROCCHE) Team will examine barriers, such as anxiety, grief and paralysis, to teaching and learning about/within the context of climate change and develop innovative means of supporting educators and young people in living out the experience of climate change with hope.

A highly multi-disciplinary team, the Heart-Rate Variability and Academic Performance Team is composed of Dr. Russell Butler (Computer Science), Dr. Rafael Tedesqui (Sports Studies), Dr. Adrianna Mendrek and Dr. Suzanne Hood (Psychology), and Dr. Estelle Chamoux (Biology). Their objectives are to determine how students’ heart rate variability during lectures, exams, and as a function of circadian cycle and personality characteristics can predict their academic success. The research program proposed by this Team has exciting potential for interdisciplinary academic programming and potential practical implications for student success and retention.

Moving towards a process of inclusive digital history, Dr. David Webster of the Department of History and Dr. Claire Grogan of the Department of English, with the help of Catherine Lavallée-Welch, University Librarian, will be working on digitization and archival creation in the Rescuing the Archive Team. The results will increase availability of digitized material on local and international histories, and enhanced understanding of best practices in digital archive creation. It is exciting for Bishop’s to support an interdisciplinary research team as one way to contribute to the University’s strategic objective to reimagine and revitalize the humanities.

Congratulations to all those BU researchers for their successful Interdisciplinary Research Team grant, which will help them to continue their contributions to the generation of new knowledge, to mobilizing this knowledge to relevant community partners and users of the research and, in doing so, contribute to Bishop’s academic reputation as well as the innovation and economic development of the region, province and country.