Category Research spotlights

Supporting Graduate Studies at BU Thanks to the RESEARCH SUPPORT FUND

The Research Support Fund of the Government of Canada is a program that provides funds to cover a portion of the costs associated with managing the research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Research Support Fund grants are based on the funding received by researchers from the three federal agencies in the three most recent years for which data are available.

Bishop’s University’s Research Office has been transformed and expanded to become the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. What will this change involve?

  • The Research Officer will continue and further her support and mentorship of students applying for graduate-level scholarships from federal and provincial granting agencies. She will lead information sessions on the application process, meet students individually to provide personalized advice and feedback, and represent the University at annual meetings between the granting agencies and Quebec universities’ Scholarship Liaison Officers. She will also support and report on students who hold external graduate funding at Bishop’s University;
  • The Office of Research and Graduate Studies will also support faculty members who wish to supervise or co-supervise graduate students at Bishop’s and in other institutions;
  • Finally, the Office of Research and Graduate Studies will contribute to the development of new graduate programs that are relevant, that provide rich research training opportunities for our students, and that contribute to enhancing our institution’s academic reputation. The creation of the new Graduate Certificate in Knowledge Mobilization is but one example of initiatives that have been made possible thanks to this support!

This expansion of the Research Office’s mandate and its related activities are supported by the Research Support Fund.

Undergraduate Students of Sociology Publish Their Research on Canadian Criminal Justice

Students of the Honours: Special Topics (SOC 402) course, led by Dr. Vicki Chartrand of the Department of Sociology, published or co-published research papers in the Canadian Criminal Justice Association’s Justice Report. The CCJA is an independent national voluntary organization working for an improved criminal justice system and Canada, aims to promote rational, informed and responsible debate in order to develop a more humane, equitable, and effective justice system.

Student Jennifer Moore’s article, entitled “Solitary Confinement as a Function of the State’s Power Over Life,” examines the excesses of state power over the lives of its citizens, particularly through the criminal justice system. Recalling past abuses of state power in relation to corporal punishment, such as public hangings, whippings, etc. Moore sets the stage for a lively and well-informed discussion of current abuses of state power in prisons within a context of solitary confinement and Lisa Guenther’s notion of social death.

Student-author Aliosha Hurry penned an article entitled “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women: Police Negligence Rooted in Colonial Sentiment,” in which she police negligence regarding cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women throughout Canada as a barrier to justice for Indigenous families and communities and as a factor in the perceived slow response time by the Canadian government. Pointing out that this pervasive, longstanding, and systemic police neglect is increasingly viewed as driven by the historical force of colonialism, Hurry looks to colonial past and for answers and illustrates that colonial sentiment in Canada lingers in present day.

Finally, Dr. Vicki Chartrand and student Emily Lampron published an overview of the Centre for Justice Exchange’s activities. The Centre for Justice Exchange was created in 2012 and is currently running in the Bishop’s University Sociology Department. The group is comprised of academic, student, and individual volunteers who respond to information requests from people in prisons across Canada. This outreach aims to advance more consultative and inclusive forms of justice and accountability and is predicated on the belief that without access and resources, people in prison are isolated from much needed supports and information. The Centre recently held its first prison art exhibit at which Reuben Robertson, a Mi’gmaq/Acadian, speaking on his own incarceration experience, highlighted the inherent power dynamics at play within the Canadian criminal justice system.

Dr. Vicki Chartrand
Dr. Vicki Chartrand, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

New Publication by Dr. Courtney Plante

Dr. Courtney Plante, recently hired Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, has co-authored a new monograph: Meet the Bronies: The Psychology of the Adult My Little Pony Fandom (McFarland Books, 2019).

In 2010, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic premiered on television. A large, avid fandom soon emerged—not the pre-teen female demographic earlier versions of the franchise had been created for, but a roughly 80 percent male audience, most of them age 14–24. With this came questions about the nature of the audience who would come to call themselves “bronies.” A new field, “Brony Studies,” was born. Approaching the fandom from a perspective of clinical, social and experimental psychology, this study presents eight years of research, written for academics and fans alike. An understanding of the brony fan culture has broader application for other fan communities as well.

Read more about the book and its authors on McFarland.

Meet the Bronies: The Psychology of the Adult My Little Pony Fandom

Féminin et masculin : Photos d’affiches publicitaires – New Publication by Dr. Osire Glacier

Dr. Osire GlacierDr. Osire Glacier of the Departments of History, Religion, and Politics and International Studies has recently published Féminin et masculin : Photos d’affiches publicitaires (M Éditeur, 2019).

In preparation for writing this book, which is both a creative process and a further reflection on one of her areas of academic interest, that is, the representation of gender across cultures, Dr. Glacier walked through the streets of Montreal and photographed advertisements featuring male and female bodies. She then reflected on the persistent gender stereotypes that still invade the public space today. In the book, Dr. Glacier asks the following questions: can the female body be used as merchandise serving to sell other types of merchandise without threatening gender equality? Is women’s dignity at risk when the public sphere contains degrading images of women’s bodies? Why do images representing male bodies tend to represent an “ideal” form of manliness? What impact do these images have on our collective imagination?

More information on this new book can be found on M Éditeur.

Féminin et masculin : Photos d’affiches publicitaires

New Publication by Dr. David Webster

A Samaritan State Revisited: Historical Perspectives on Canadian Foreign Aid, co-edited by Dr. David Webster of the Department of History, has recently been published by University of Calgary Press. The book sheds light on Canada’s 70-year history of foreign aid to all regions of the Global South. Bringing together governmental and non-governmental perspectives, this book allows readers to discover the historic forces that have shaped Canada’s aid policy. Contributors to this volume provide valuable insight to the little-known history of Canada’s overseas development aid initiatives. More information about his publication is available on University of Calgary Press.

Dr. Webster is keenly aware of the unequal access to information by citizens and scholars from around the world, and has aimed to ensure publications and projects be made available in open access. For this reason, his latest publication as well as his earlier volume, Flowers in the Wall: Truth and Reconciliation in Timor-Leste, Indonesia and Melanesia are freely available in open access on the University of Calgary Press website. This same concern underlies another project, entitled “Timor International Solidarity Archive”, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canada Foundation for Innovation. This new website shares digitized documents from the global solidarity movement which operated from 1975 to 1999 in diverse countries, including Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Portugal and Timor-Leste itself. The project aims to share new documentary evidence from multiple archives and make this evidence available to researchers and the general public.

A Samaritan State Revisited: Historical Perspectives on Canadian Foreign Aid

NSERC’s Science Odyssey Comes to Life in Lennoxville with Dr. Estelle Chamoux

NSERC’s Science Odyssey Comes to Life in Lennoxville

From May 4th to May 19th, 2019, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) invites Canadians from all over the country to take part in Canada’s biggest festival of science and technology aimed at explorers of all ages. Dr. Estelle Chamoux of the Department of Biology happily took part in this initiative and introduced some of the wonders of science to local youth in a number of science outreach activities held at Bishop’s University and at Alexander Galt Regional High School.

On May 8th and 15th, third- and fourth-graders from the École primaire Saint-Antoine trekked out to the Bishop’s campus for an activity entitled Microscopes en folie (“Microscopes Gone Wild”), where they got to explore one of the university’s biology laboratories, look through microscopes to discover spectacular tissues such as carrot root, pollen, human skin, brain, insect wings and chicken embryos. With great enthusiasm, they also learned about human anatomy by carefully examining Oscar, the department’s anatomical dummy.

Teens studying science with their teacher Mr. Mark Learned at Alexander Galt Regional High School also had the opportunity to experience a novel, hands-on approach to human genetics in an activity entitled “Inspector Genetico,” where they recreated a familial pedigree to better understand how scientists work to find the genes that may be responsible for the transmission of a genetic disease. This is a complex topic that was made compelling and accessible thanks to Dr. Chamoux’s novel approach to active teaching and learning. She was assisted by a student and a graduate of Bishop’s University’s Department of Biology, Katina Landry and Sonya Anvar ‘19, who were eager to share their love of science with youth. And who knows? Dr. Chamoux, Katrina and Sonya may just have inspired a few of these students to consider studies in cellular biology or in genetics!

Estelle with kids and microscope

Estelle at Galt

Katrina with kids

Dr. Sarah-Myriam Martin Brûlé Designs and Leads Scenario-Based Training for Senior UN Women Leaders

From March 4th to 8th, 2019, Dr. Sarah-Myriam Martin-Brûlé of the Department of Politics and International Studies facilitated for the second time a scenario-based training on UN peacekeeping operations in Entebbe, Uganda as part of the Senior Women Talent Pipeline. The SWTP stems from a UN initiative to increase the number of women in senior positions in UN peace operations. The SWTP course has been put together by the UN and the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), a government agency under the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs which focuses on peace, security and development.

The scenario written by Dr. Martin-Brûlé ran twice as part of the Senior Women Talent Pipeline course. A total of approximately sixty women underwent this three-hour long simulation facilitated by Dr. Martin-Brûlé. These women already had significant expertise in missions administration and support, political affairs and mediation, civil affairs, rule of law and security institutions, and/or public information. Should they be deployed, they will be posted in UN peace operations in Africa or in the Middle East and will be called upon to manage large, diverse and multifunctional teams. As a result of her contribution to this training process, Dr. Martin-Brûlé’s research on senior-leadership training, gender and on the success and failure of peacekeeping missions can achieve greater impact on the organizations that may most benefit from her expertise.

United Nations Regional Service Centre, Entebbe

Photo credit: United Nations Regional Service Centre, Entebbe

Dr. Osire Glacier and Dr. Jason Rowe Receive the 2019 Emerging Scholar Award

The Senate Research Committee at Bishop’s University has awarded the 2019 Emerging Scholar award to two outstanding researchers in their respective fields: Dr. Jason Rowe, of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Dr. Osire Glacier, of the Departments of Politics and International Studies, History and Religion.

Dr. Jason RoweDr. Jason Rowe holds a Canada Research Chair in Exoplanet Astrophysics and has been a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy since July 2017. He has been a member of the Kepler team as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow; his contributions to the first Kepler discoveries and his work on the measurement of the fundamental parameters of exoplanets earned him NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. He was also a member of the SETI (“Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence”) team as a research scientist, where he contributed to the discovery of several Earth-sized exoplanets. He subsequently received a second NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal. He has authored or co-authored over 200 publications and was named by Clarivate Analytics as one of the world’s top 1% most cited researchers in their respective fields in 2017. He continues to collaborate with NASA and with the Canadian Space Agency.

Dr. Osire GlacierDr. Osire Glacier is a scholar of women’s history, of the politics of gender, sexuality and human rights in postcolonial Morocco and a prolific author. She has published five peer-reviewed monographs since 2013: Femmes, Islam et Occident (Pleine Lune, 2018); Femininity, Masculinity and Sexuality in Morocco and Hollywood (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017; translation, Le sexe nié : le féminin, le masculin et la sexualité au Maroc et à Hollywood, published by Pleine Lune in 2019), Les droits humains au Maroc: entre discours et réalité (Tarik Editions, 2015), Universal Rights, Systemic Violations and Cultural Relativism in Morocco (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), Des femmes politiques d’hier à aujourd’hui (Tarik Éditions, 2013; translation, Political Women in Morocco : Then and Now, Africa World Press, 2013), as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Glacier has also been very active in engaging in knowledge mobilization activities, including engaging in a local Café scientifique, giving radio interviews for Radio-Canada’s French-language and Arabic radio stations, contributing to documentaries, contributing articles or op eds for several mass media outlets in Canada and abroad, and taking part in community roundtable discussions in order to share her expertise. She also disseminates her research on very timely and relevant topics in easily accessible terms on her website,

New Publication by Dr. Jack Eby

Dr. Jack EbyDr. Jack Eby of the Department of Music has recently published a new monograph entitled François Giroust (1737-1799): Composer for Church, King and Commune (Olms, 2019). This is the first detailed biography and musical catalogue dedicated to François Giroust, Surintendant of the King’s music at the court of Louis XVI. Giroust was a major musical figure of the 18th century whose early and spectacular rise to fame earned him a position at the Royal Chappel in 1775, at the court of Louis XVI. He composed music for just about all revolutionary events in Versailles in the years leading up to the French Revolution. His motets and masses represent the finest sacred music in France at the end of the Ancien Régime.

Jack Eby has been studying and researching François Giroust’s musical oeuvre and legacy for years, and this volume is the culmination of his careful and painstaking work in the archives of Versailles. He is an associate researcher with the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles.

François Giroust (1737-1799): Composer for Church, King and Commune

Bishop’s Physics Student Accepted at the Perimeter Institute

Jeremy Côté

Jeremy Côté, a senior undergraduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Bishop’s University, is one of the few Canadians to be accepted to the Perimeter Scholars International Program, a “one-year master’s level course in theoretical physics designed to bring highly qualified and exceptionally motivated graduate students to the cutting edge of the field in an intense, interactive training environment.” This internationally-renowned institution is, according to Dr. Valerio Faraoni, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Bishop’s University, “a dream that came true, a place of genius and inspiration. It is hard to imagine a better place to study, to do research and to be inspired and transformed for a young scientist interested in fundamental questions.” Admission to this program is a privilege that very few scholars get to enjoy; indeed, only 30 students are chosen among the hundreds of applications received yearly, and the institution receives applications from top young scholars around the world. Jeremy’s success is a testimony of his hard work and dedication throughout his undergraduate studies, and of the extraordinary department that supported and guided him throughout his undergraduate career. Careful mentoring on behalf of the members of this department (faculty and graduate students) gave Jeremy some insight into the doors that graduate studies would open for him: “One of the big factors for deciding to pursue graduate studies was the summer research that I got to do at Bishop’s,” Jeremy says. “I’ve worked as a research assistant for the past two summers (and will do so again this upcoming summer), and this work has allowed me to see the professional possibilities in physics.” For Jeremy, studying at the Perimeter Institute will be a unique opportunity because it will allow him to sample various fields of physics without having to specialize too early on in his career.

As Dr. Faraoni notes, “the Perimeter Institute accelerates the process of creating the future of theoretical physics. Thanks to an unmatched vision, generous private and public support, clever and enthusiastic administration, and an outstanding board of directors and advisors, funding and other issues that are challenges in other institutions become forces to drive progress.” Jeremy’s studies at the Perimeter will be fully funded, including a personal stipend, and meals, accommodation, books, IT equipment and a travel supplement will be provided.

With his Master of Science from the University of Waterloo in hand, Jeremy hopes to pursue a career that will allow him to indulge in his passion for education. “I’m interested in solving new problems in physics in order to better our understanding of the world,” Jeremy notes, “and in helping others learn about physics and mathematics so that they can solve problems that captivate them.” The tremendous experiences and learning opportunities that await him in the coming year will surely allow him to achieve this goal!