SSHRC invests in UAlberta research insights

(Edmonton) University of Alberta-led research projects worth almost $4.5 million were named as part of the federal government’s continued investment in the search for solutions to today’s most pressing social, cultural, technological, environmental and economic issues.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada awarded U of A researchers 22 Insight Grants to support the highest levels of research excellence. Another six projects were awarded Insight Development Grants designed to support research in the initial stages, and U of A researchers were named on seven collaborations, worth more than $1 million, run out of other Canadian universities.

Tom Hinch, a researcher in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, received a $66,000 Insight Development Grant to provide insight into the role that sport tourism events play in resource-based communities.

More specifically, Hinch is looking at the case of the Canadian Death Race—a 125-kilometre ultra-marathon run through the rugged terrain of Grande Cache, Alberta.

“I am interested in the 'place making' function of this event—that is, how it influences the meanings that the racers, volunteers, other visitors and the residents have of the community and surrounding area,” said Hinch.

He says he hopes the research will help us to understand how events like this can affect community identity and image from the perspectives of the many stakeholders, which include event organizers, the municipality, volunteers, the community at large and the runners.

 “I believe the research goes a long way to connect the university with rural Alberta,” said Hinch, who leaves running the Death Race to his co-investigator Nick Holte. “This research has the potential of demonstrating the relevance of theory to practice.”

Yu Ma, a professor in the Alberta School of Business, received almost $82,000 to study the modern marketing phenomenon of brand alliance and its impact on brand values and market structure.

Ma says brand alliance is a popular business strategy that is used across every sector. He says the U of A, for instance, has a number of brand alliances, pointing out the U of A-branded MasterCard for alumni for one.

“I am trying to understand how this type of brand alliance works, and when it benefits or damages the parties involved,” said Ma.

He says he hopes his findings can be turned into practical uses for business and non-profit organizations alike, and add to the reputation of strong research outcomes at the Alberta School of Business.

“The U of A really creates a very positive atmosphere for doing research,” said Ma. “Our department chair and dean do as much as they can to foster a good research-focused environment, and they let us know how much they value solid research—you know your effort will be appreciated and rewarded.”

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada competition results for Insight Development Grants

(U of A collaborators in brackets)

Jennifer Argo $74,151
The Role of Product Identity in Recycling Decisions

Egor Matveyev $63,842 (Lukas Roth)
Do CEOs Matter? Evidence From Exogenous Variation Due to Deaths

Emily Kennedy $70,230 (John Parkins)
Fed Up: A Case Study of Food-Related Civic Practices in Two Canadian Cities

Tom Hinch $66,311 (Nicholas Holt)
Place Making and Sport Tourism Events: The Case of the Canadian Death Race in Grande Cache

Geneviève Gauthier $74,839
What Are Students Learning in Virtual-Cases? Investigating the Validity of Assessment Models

Joel Gehman $70,729
Predatory Selection: An Analysis of Cultural Vulnerability and Opportunity Exploitation in Unconventional Gas Well Drilling

Jennifer Argo is a collaborator on a project entitled Crowdfunding the Future: Examining the Implications of Innovative Fundraising in a Digital Era, run out of the University of Calgary, that received $68,809.

Paul Newton is a collaborator on a project entitled Professional Learning of Teachers in Post-Secondary Vocational Education, run out of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, that received $72,373.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada competition results for Insight Grants

(U of A collaborators in brackets)

Imre Szeman $152,002
On Empty: The Cultural Politics of Oil

Dip Kapoor $268,386
Untouchability, Casteism and Schooling in Rural India: Exploring Local Response and Resistance

Gregory Forth $96,731
Urbanizing Spirits, the Relic Trade, Ecological Impacts and Palaeoanthropological Encounters in Eastern Indonesia

William Foster $332,746 (Roy Suddaby)
Defining Rhetorical History: Exploring the Work of Corporate Archivists/Historians

Carrie Smith-Prei $150,003
Technologies of Popfeminist Activism

Robert Gephart $108,118
Temporalities in Risk Sensemaking

John Langdon $52,329
A War Over Water: The 1531 English Statute of Sewers and Its Impact Upon Local Politics, Economies and Environments

Linda Laidlaw $233,699
A Comparative Investigation of Pedagogical Possibilities of Digital Tools for Family and School Early Literacy Education

Ofer Arazy $363,591
Wiki DNA: Uncovering the Patterns of Online Collaboration

Patricia Reay $208,276 (Royston Greenwood)
Change in a Complex Mature Organizational Field: The Case of Addictions Services

Larry Prochner $199,635 (Anna Kirova)
Culture and Practice in Early Childhood Teacher Education in Namibia, Tanzania and Canada

Yu Ma $81,729
An Empirical Investigation of Ingredient Branding Strategy and Its Consequence on Partner Brands

Chloe Taylor $151,307
Sex, Crime, and the Family: Genealogical and Critical Perspectives

John Considine $39,536
English Dictionaries in the 16th Century

Norman Brown $85,990
Understanding the Transitional Impact of Personal and Public Events

Jean DeBernardi $125,666
Material Identity: The Anthropology of Chinese Tea Culture

Kenneth Mouré $124,958
Marché Noir: Capitalism's Black Heart in France, 1939–1950

Marina Endicott $44,623
The Difference, a Novel

Sandra Rein $79,223 (Janet Wesselius)
Will We Know We're Free: Rosa Luxemburg, Emma Goldman, Raya Dunayevskaya and Women's Negotiations With Freedom

Keavy Martin $499,371
Beyond Reconciliation: Indigenous Arts, Public Engagement and the Aftermath of Residential Schools

Deanna Williamson $489,293 (Kaysi Kushner, Nicole Pitre, Berna Skrypnek)
Family Functioning in Everyday Life: The Experiences of Families with Young Children and Diverse Compositions and Ethno-Cultural Origins

Robert Nichols $206,732
The New Politics of Land: Colonialism, Dispossession and Territorial Belonging

Eric Stephens is a collaborator on a project entitled Financial Risk Transfer and Regulation, run out of the University of Waterloo, that received $67,692.

Elizabeth Halpenny is a collaborator on a project entitled Acceptance and Use of Mobile Devices in a Free-Choice Context, run out of the University of Manitoba, that received $228,535.

Wenran Jiang is a collaborator on a project entitled La politique et les Intérêts de la Chine dans l'Arctique, run out of the Université Laval, that received $395,250.

Alice Nakamura is a collaborator on a project entitled Productivity: Measures, Measurement Errors and Public Policies, run out of the University of British Columbia, that received $108,600.

Sadok El Ghoul is a collaborator on a project entitled Household Finance, Corporate Policies and Firm Cost of Financing, run out of Saint Mary's University, that received $129,980.