Category Research spotlights

Improving Research Data Management at Bishop’s, thanks to the RESEARCH SUPPORT FUND

The Research Support Fund (RSF) 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. The RSF contributes to the salaries and benefits of employees who support the federally funded research enterprise, including the staff working in the Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS), the Library Learning Commons (LLC) and the Information and Technology Services (ITS). It also contributes to the tools and informational resources necessary to carry out Bishop’s research programs, for example library resources, software and other digital tools, computing and network infrastructure, and research data sets.

Thanks to the RSF, the ORGS can work collaboratively with the LLC and ITS to develop Bishop’s new policy on Research Data Management (RDM), in compliance with the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy. RDM involves the active organization and maintenance of data throughout the research process, and suitable archiving of the data at the project’s completion. It is an on-going activity throughout the data lifecycle.

The three federal granting agencies that promote and support research in Canada believe that research data collected through the use of public funds should be responsibly and securely managed and be, where ethical, legal and commercial obligations allow, available for reuse by others. To this end, each postsecondary institution and research hospital eligible to administer funds from those agencies is required to create an institutional RDM strategy by March 1, 2023. The LLC recently hired a new resource, Mathieu Cloutier, to support the development of this RDM strategy and help researchers with their data management plans. This working group will set the stage for a digital data deposit where grant recipients will be able to share relevant research data and code. In the implementation of this policy, the RSF will also support improved information resources and professional development training in the coming months.

Yaffle: Discover Bishop’s New Knowledge Brokering Tool

YaffleIn Spring 2021, thanks to Research Impact Canada, Bishop’s University was selected to become the first expansion of Yaffle, a powerful knowledge mobilization platform. Developed at Memorial University and launched in 2009, Yaffle is a cloud-based online public engagement tool that serves as a searchable repository of expertise and research projects. It is also a tool for brokering research collaboration opportunities between research institutions, other sectors and the public, as it acts as a window for the public to and from our institution. Any new instances of Yaffle that will be created will be searchable and able to communicate with each other, allowing for inter-university collaboration.

It is thus with great pleasure that the Office of Research and Graduate Studies can now announce the launch of our own instance of Yaffle. Starting December 8, 2021, members of the Bishop’s Community will be able to start exploring Yaffle. Members of the Bishop’s University research community will be invited by internal communications to complete their information for BU Yaffle.

The type of content that you will find in Yaffle includes:

Profiles are where a user’s information resides in the system. Customizable to your liking, it can include research interests, contact information, affiliations, expertise, projects, opportunities, and collaboration. The profiles will be searchable within the platform and can be filtered, making it easy for users to find individuals with expertise in a specific area of interest.

Projects are the activities of the users. Projects may include research, engagement, programs or publications- the sky’s the limit! Projects make the complex work of universities and research institutes available and usable to the public.

Opportunities are where it is open to collaboration. This includes research collaborations, searches for partnerships (academic or community), or ideas for engagement. It is through opportunities that Yaffle connects people and facilitates the co-creation of knowledge.

Networks can be created to form clusters of individuals working around specific topics or areas of interest. It is a way for groups to demonstrate their reach through the people with whom they collaborate and the work that they do.  Users can create content at any time, which will then need to be approved by the admins before it is published to the website.

To help you navigate this new platform, our knowledge brokering intern Salma Amazit is preparing a series of video tutorials that will be available here. We invite you to start exploring the platform, and join Salma on January 19, 12:00 p.m. (link on MyBU – Research Office) for an information and Q&A session on all things Yaffle!

CIHR: Bishop’s Researchers Studying the Impacts of COVID-19 on Children

To address the health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) launched, among other competitions, the Operating Grant: Understanding and mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children, youth and families in Canada funding opportunity. This program focuses on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions related to associated public health mitigation measures, on the health and well-being of families, children and youth in Canada. Projects supported through this initiative must aim to understand the implications of these events, hopefully allowing mitigation of the challenges, as well as inform policy and the development of approaches to address both recovery and long-term consequences. Two Bishop’s researchers obtained this grant: Dr. Heather Lawford and Dr. Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise. This is the first time Bishop’s researchers obtain a CIHR grant as principal investigators.

Dr. Heather Lawford of the Department of Psychology received a CIHR Operation Grant: Understanding and mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children, youth and families in Canada for the project Sharing Youth’s Stories of COVID: Youth voice as a basis of understanding the broader impacts of adaptations in youth programming with a focus on micro populations. With colleagues from Brock University, the University of Ottawa and the Students Commission of Canada (SCC), Dr. Lawford will invite Canadian youth from equity-seeking groups to share how COVID-19 and the restrictions it caused affected them. They will explore how unique populations of youth might have been affected in different of similar ways by program and services changes through the pandemic, and how those changes affected their mental and physical health, their growth and development, as well as their relationships. Findings from this study will be shared with decision-makers, policy-makers and youth present at the SCC annual #CanadaWeWant events. One of the great strengths of this project is the partnerships with youth and community organizations to codesign this project and use the findings to serve youth who might be further from opportunity. We are so grateful to CIHR for championing community-based research, says Dr. Heather Lawford.

Dr. Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise of the Department of Psychology received a CIHR Operation Grant: Understanding and mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children, youth and families in Canada for the project École à Ciel Ouvert: Efficacité d’un programme d’intervention impliquant la nature pour atténuer les impacts des perturbations scolaires liées à la COVID-19 sur la santé mentale et les saines habitudes de vie des enfants et des adolescents. With colleagues from McGill, Université de Montréal, CHU Sainte-Justine, Université de Sherbrooke and Université du Québec en Outaouais, Dr. Malboeuf-Hurtubise will test the effectiveness of an intervention program of outdoor education, called École à Ciel Ouvert, involving contact with nature to reduce mental health problems and improve the level of physical activity of children attending schools across the province. This is a flagship project of the Observatory for Children’s Education and Health, whose mission is to observe the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth education and health. We are absolutely thrilled that our project combining outdoor education and nature therapy for elementary school children has been funded. With this province-wide randomized clinical trial, we will be able to evaluate whether spending time in nature while being at school can have a beneficial impact on children’s mental health, says Dr. Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise about the project.

We wish to congratulate both successful applicants and hope to continue this success for many years to come! Follow both Dr. Lawford and Dr. Malboeuf-Hurtubise on Twitter for updates on their research.


Dr. Heather Lawford




Dr. Catherine Malboeuf-Hurtubise

New Publication by Courtney Plante – CAPE: A Multidimensional Model of Fan Interest

Dr. Courtney Plante of the Department of Psychology has co-authored a new monograph entitled CAPE: A Multidimensional Model of Fan Interest in October 2021.

Researchers across disciplines have been studying the psychology of fans for decades. Seeking to better understand fan behavior and the various factors motivating fans, researchers have studied dozens of variables in hundreds of studies of different fan groups. To date, however, there have been relatively few attempts to integrate this sizable body of work, pulling together findings across from the field with a broader, more holistic perspective. This book does exactly that, identifying and concisely summarizing research on 28 separate lines of inquiry on the psychology of fans and integrating it all into an empirically-validated model known as the CAPE model. Useful as a textbook for a fandom studies course and as a handbook for fan researchers, this book is essential reading for anyone looking to better understand the state of fan psychology and wanting to conduct their own research exploring the ins and outs of fans of all sorts!

Dr. Plante’s new book is available on this website.

CAPE: A Multidimensional Model of Fan Interest


Bishop’s University Research Awards 2021

The Senate Research Committee at Bishop’s University has awarded the 2019-2020 Research and Creative Activity Award and the 2020-2021 Emerging Scholar Award to two outstanding researchers in their respective fields: Dr. Jade Savage, of the Department of Biological Sciences, and Dr. Dawn Wiseman, of the School of Education.

The objective of the Research and Creative Activity Award is to recognize the outstanding professional accomplishments of the University’s finest researchers, scholars and creators. The award is designed to recognize someone that is well-established in their field and in the mid- to late stage of their careers. Dr. Jade Savage’s research activities have contributed to the advancement of biodiversity science by addressing questions related to the taxonomy, distribution, and ecology of arthropods. A member of the Department of Biological Sciences since 2004, she has published thirty peer-reviewed articles, supervised numerous graduate and undergraduate students and secured major uninterrupted external funding. Dr. Savage is an internationally recognized expert on muscoid flies and contributed to a better understanding of Canadian insect pests and parasites. She also created the eTick citizen science initiative, a web platform that invites the public to participate in the monitoring of ticks in Canada by submitting tick photos for identification by trained personnel.

The objective of the Emerging Scholar Award is to recognize the outstanding researchers and creators whose work has made a significant impact on their disciplines or fields. The award can be for work done in a single year or over a number of years. The award is designed to recognize someone who have not yet had the opportunity to establish an extensive record of research achievement, but are in the process of building one. Dr. Dawn Wiseman’s research activities revolve around the ways that Indigenous and Canadian ways of knowing, being, and doing circulate together in education, teaching practices, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teaching and learning from kindergarten through post-secondary levels. A member of the School of Education since 2018, her research, teaching and service has contributed greatly to the scholarly community, to public and private education in Quebec, and to research-driven initiatives and conversations across Bishop’s. Dr. Wiseman is committed unlearning colonialism through research that makes a difference in K-12 classrooms, teacher education, and post-secondary STEM.

Dr. Jade Savage


Dr. Dawn Wiseman

Bishop’s researchers will contribute in the creation of the Réseau québécois de recherche en agriculture durable

On October 8, 2021, the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT), along with its partner the ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation (MAPAQ) announced the creation of the Réseau québécois de recherche en agriculture durable (RQRAD), a flagship measure of the Plan d’agriculture durable 2020-2030 (PAD).

Coordinated by four co-holders (from UdeM, ULaval, INRS and McGill) with widely recognized expertise in sustainable agriculture, the creation of RQRAD is rooted in the government’s commitment to focus on agriculture to produce high quality food in an environmentally responsible manner. The RQRAD will make a key contribution to the work and efforts in this area. This grant of $2.5 million over five years follows a call for proposals issued last April.

The RQRAD’s programming is based on four research axes that allow the pooling of forces committed to accelerating the development of knowledge related to soil health and conservation and the reduction of pesticide use in a context of climate change. Digital tools, precision agriculture and massive data as well as socio-economic aspects are also integral parts of the network’s programming.

Bringing together over 200 researchers from 15 universities, five college technology transfer centers and several provincial and federal research centers, the RQRAD will ensure concerted and coordinated efforts in the area of sustainable agriculture in order to guarantee that the research produced is well aligned with the knowledge needs of the user communities concerned.

Six of those 200 researchers are Bishop’s faculty members: Dr. Darren Bardati, Dr. Jane Morrison, Dr. Bryan Dale and Dr. Mirella Aoun of the Department of Environment and Geography, and Dr. Jade Savage and Dr. Patrick Bergeron from the Department of Biological Sciences. Dr. Morrison is the assistant co-holder of the second axis of the project (Axis 2: Conservation and restoration of the health of agricultural soils, natural environments and biodiversity). Having six Bishop’s-based researchers involved in this Quebec-wide research network allows our University to be an important actor in Sustainable Agriculture research, especially as we develop our new Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (SAFS) programs. We look forward to working collaboratively with colleagues across the province to find creative solutions for our agricultural sustainability challenges, says Dr. Darren Bardati, Chair of the Department of Environment and Geography.

Drone photo of the campus and farmPhoto: Tim Doherty

Creative Activities at BU: Dr. Mathieu Désy Performs on Belle et Bum

On October 2nd, Dr. Mathieu Désy of the Department of Music was invited on the Belle et Bum variety show on the Télé-Québec channel to perform on the polyphonic double bass. This is far from his first appearance on our screens, and Dr. Désy can be credited with several stage, television and radio productions. It was a blast to play my music in such a big venue, said Dr. Désy on his experience on Belle et Bum. It’s great that the show decided to present some musicians/creators who are not coming from the mainstream scene. I consider my music to be artisanal, and therefore not necessarily meant for such great exposure. Still, I already got several good comments about the performance, its good vibe, and the apparent bond percussionist Mélissa Lavergne and I shared on stage. I’m so grateful for this opportunity, a good pat on the back for me to continue composing and playing my Polyphonic Double Bass.

Dr. Désy joined the BU Music Department in Fall 2020, bringing his knowledge and experience in the areas of sound technology and production. He earned several master’s degrees from the Conservatoire de Montréal (double bass performance, harmony, counterpoint) and a doctorate in double bass performance from Université de Montréal. While the double bass is his primary instrument, he is equally versatile on the electric bass, and specializes in classical, jazz and popular music. He is a prolific composer and arranger, has been involved in over 50 distributed albums and toured with many of Quebec’s elite singer-songwriters and performers. Dr. Désy was the co-owner of the Montreal-based Studio Makina, and, since moving to Sherbrooke, he started his own studio Le studio 200.

Before joining Bishop’s, Dr. Mathieu Désy teached at numerous institutions (UQAM, Cégep de Saint-Laurent, Cégep de Sherbrooke, École Mitchell-Montcalm). He held numerous grants and awards, which facilitated his interest in scholarship which includes the publication of his compositions and arrangements book Glow in the Dark: Incandescent Songs for Polyphonic Bass.

Dr. Mathieu Désy’s performance on Belle et Bum will be available online on October 9. You can already listen to his recent performance in the Bishop’s Howard Brown Concert Series.

Mathieu Désy. Photo credits: Claude Dufresne
Photo credits: Claude Dufresne

Mathieu Désy. Photo credits: Claude Dufresne
Photo credits: Claude Dufresne

Graduate Research at Bishop’s: Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s Awardees

The Canada Graduate Scholarships – Master’s (CGS M) program helps develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies. This program supports up to 3,000 students annually in all disciplines and is administered jointly by Canada’s three granting agencies: CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC. During the last competition cycle, two Bishop’s students were awarded the CGS M scholarship.

Berenice G. Rodriguez, a second-year student in the Master of Arts in Education, Leadership, Societies and Languages of the School of Education under the supervision of Dr. Dawn Wiseman and Dr. Mitchell McLarnon-Silk, received a CGS M for her master’s project Co-Curricular Experience and Engagement of International Students at a Canadian University. While there is extensive research on student academic engagement, few studies examine student co-curricular engagement and the unique experiences of international students. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore the experiences of undergraduate international students who are engaged in co-curricular activities at Bishop’s University. Additionally, this study seeks to explore the impact of co-curricular engagement on international students’ sense of belonging at BU. The broader purpose of my study is to increase awareness and understanding of the experiences of international students in this area, which could potentially help guide student services professionals to better support them, while also fostering co-curricular engagement and ultimately improve their global experience and outcomes in the Canadian higher education setting, explains Berenice.

Samuel Gagnon-Hartman, a second-year student in the Master of Science in Physics of the Department of Physics and Astronomy under the supervision of Dr. John Ruan, received a CGS M for his master’s project Developing a Method of Non-Biased Inference on the Hubble Constant. The Hubble constant represents the expansion rate of the Universe. In his project, Samuel is working with a new method of measuring the Hubble constant: multi-messenger gravitational cosmology. In this method, the Hubble constant is inferred using observation of binary neutron star mergers through electromagnetic emission and gravitational waves. However, it has been recently realized that this approach is biased by our ignorance of the geometry of neutron star mergers, explains Samuel. To correct for this, I’m working on applying recent advances at the intersection of statistical inference and machine learning to infer the Hubble constant without relying on perfect knowledge of merger geometry.

Berenice G. Rodriguez
Berenice G. Rodriguez

Samuel Gagnon-Hartman
Samuel Gagnon-Hartman

New Graduate Certificate at Bishop’s: Teaching and Learning in Uncertain Times

Starting this Fall 2021, the School of Education will be offering a new 15-credit graduate certificate in Teaching and Learning in Uncertain Times. This certificate is both timely and unique in Canada, focused specifically on preparing educators for this era of uncertainty, complexity, and multiple crises (the climate emergency, crises of social inequality, civic engagement, human and ecological well-being, and technological revolutions). It is designed to enhance the work of educators in formal and informal settings, curriculum specialists, program developers, and school leaders. It will support those who wish to continue on to a Masters of Education (M.Ed.).

Schools have had to respond to the multiple crises of this pandemic, says Dr. Lisa Taylor of the School of Education. But as educators we’re preparing a generation facing some of the greatest challenges in our human history. In many ways, the generations in schools now need an entirely different education to face these.

Teachers, educators and ministries of education are adapting practice to the technological, mental health, and equity concerns that the pandemic has highlighted and intensified, and adapting practice in the context of long-term crisis. The Association of Canadian Deans of Education (ACDE) has pointed out that the pandemic has been deeply disruptive in multiple and inequitable ways. The Deans have also reminded us that educators are frontline workers who play a key role in recovery and planning for an uncertain future in equitable, sustainable ways.

We hope that in supporting educators in understanding how issues such as climate change, the pandemic, youth movements, and misinformation emerge from specific ways of knowing, being, and doing, they will be able to think differently and creatively about teaching and learning and capable of bringing about change both locally and globally, explains Dr. Dawn Wiseman of the School of Education.

During the certificate, students will get an overview of current educational challenges and models of leadership and curriculum design in courses focused on your practice. The cohort model will support students to apply, experiment, and develop practice as part of a diverse professional learning community. They will join colleagues from across Quebec, Canada and internationally from a diverse range of educational contexts.

For more information on the program, and to consult course offerings, visit the Teaching and Learning in Uncertain Times web page.

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies at Bishop’s continues to grow, thanks to the RESEARCH SUPPORT FUND

The Research Support Fund (RSF) 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. One major objective of the RSF is to support the costs for management and administration of the institution’s research enterprise, which includes a portion of the costs associated with salary expenses for staff members who provide administrative support to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies (ORGS).

Thanks to the RSF, the ORGS recently confirmed Dr. Samia Mihoub and Ms. Raphaëlle Mercier Gauthier in tenured positions dedicated to research administration at Bishop’s University. Dr. Mihoub holds a M.A and a Ph.D. in Communications and a M.A in Administration. In her role as the Grants Officer at Bishop’s, she provides pre- and post-award revision and administrative support to professors who have research funding and ensures compliance with the University’s and funding agencies’ financial administration policies and procedures. Ms. Mercier Gauthier holds a M.Sc. in Biological Sciences. In her role as the Research Officer at Bishop’s, she provides pre- and post-award revision and administrative support for students through scholarship opportunities, coordinates Bishop’s ethics committees and is responsible for knowledge transfer and events organization. Both have actively contributed to increasing knowledge about the best practices and strategies in getting research funding in the past year and spreading news about our research activities, contributing to a very successful funding year for Bishop’s. It seems like everyone is talking about research at BU these days!

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies can also thank the RSF for its growth, with two new positions soon to be posted. A Graduate Studies Coordinator will be responsible for the coordination of the recruitment, admissions and conversion practices of graduate students, as well as the accompaniment of these students with scholarship opportunities. An administration assistant will also be added to the team, to help provide general administrative, operational, coordination and technical support for the conduct of research programs and the ORGS.

If you have any questions for the ORGS, do not hesitate to contact us, or swing by our new offices (McGreer 224-225)!

Dr. Samia Mihoub
Dr. Samia Mihoub

Ms. Raphaëlle Mercier Gauthier
Ms. Raphaëlle Mercier Gauthier