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Social Sciences faculty receive nearly $75,000 for community partner research projects

Three faculty members have been awarded SSHRC Partnership Engage Grants (PEG) to support research partnerships with community organizations.

Nov 16, 2020

Non-governmental organizations, charitable foundations and social infrastructure organizations provide a critical layer in the matrix that keep society healthy and resilient. They often do their work on shoestring budgets and with stretched staff. While these organizations would often benefit manifold from research into one aspect of their operations or another, they simply do not have the capacity to do so. That is where the SSHRC Partnership Engage Grants can help. These grants are intended to facilitate research that will inform partner organizations’ decision making and address immediate needs or opportunities. These short-term grants enable researchers to work collaboratively with community partners on projects of mutual interest and benefit. Besides benefitting the organizations, PEGs allow academics to work closely with an external organization and amplify the value of their research.  

This round, we congratulate James Gillett, Jeremiah Hurley and Ameil Joseph who each received the grant funds earlier this spring to launch their projects. All three projects are now well underway, scheduled to wrap up by the end of May 2021.  

Social scientists have always had strong ties to community partners,” says Cynthia Belaskie, research support facilitator for the Faculty of Social Sciences. “The SSHRC Partnership stream recognizes the importance of community-engaged research and the PEGs allow faculty to test new partnerships, demonstrate the value of academic research and provide the partner organization with a useful research product within 12 months. While these three researchers are our most recent PEG recipients, the Faculty of Social Sciences has had a strong success rate with the PEG competition since its inception. I’d encourage anyone considering a partnered research project to look into the PEG program. 

Learn more about each of the community partner research projects. 

James Gillett, “Toward the development of a framework for research collaboration between public libraries and universities” – $24,055

Primary investigator James Gillett, and McMaster co-applicants Nicole Dalmer (Health, Aging & Society), Brian Detlor (DeGroote School of Business) and Meredith Griffin (Health, Aging & Society), launched a community-based research project to investigate the research needs, practices and components of successful research partnerships.

Partnering with the Hamilton Public Library, the team is conducting in-depth interviews with library staff working in leadership roles to understand how public libraries use and engage in research. The project will strengthen university partnerships with public libraries by helping researchers understand how libraries use and engage in research. The project will also help libraries strengthen their capacity to identify research needs and identify partners that can help them meet their needs and share their findings. The project aims to help facilitate partnerships in which both parties understand the other’s goals, strengths and limitations.

Jeremiah Hurley, “A measurement and evaluation framework to support social impact investment in Canada” – $25,000

Jeremiah Hurley, with co-applicants David Feeney (Economics), Emmanuel Guindon (Health Research, Methods, Evidence and Impact), Arthur Sweetman (Economics) and Jean-Eric Tarride (Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact), and collaborator James Hughes (McConnell Foundation), received a grant to develop a guide for measuring and evaluating the  outcomes achieved by social impact investing through the Community Foundations of Canada’s Outcomes Canada platform. 

The Outcomes Canada platform is being developed by the Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) with the Government of Canada and others. As the community partner for this project, CFC identified effective measurement and evaluation of the impact of social investments as key to the platform’s success.  

Dean Hurley and the research team will develop a methodological roadmap informed by case studies from Outcomes Canada, data mapping, and consultations with key stakeholders in the community, government and social finance sectors to enable Outcomes Canada to develop a comprehensive framework for measurement and evaluation.

Ameil Joseph, “‘What happened to you?’: The disablement of youth across socioeconomic indicators” – $24,984

 The project is a collaboration between Ameil Joseph (PI) in partnership with co-applicant Sarah Jama of the Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO), a youth-led subsidiary of the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion, exploring the unique challenges and barriers faced by disabled youth.  Joseph is using data from Statistics Canada to paint a robust quantitative picture of the systems of disadvantage disabled youth encounter.

The DJNO have identified some of these barriers, such as a lack of housing, employment, education and wealth. This project will take their observations further by providing quantitative data on how the two factors of age and disability combine to create unique disadvantages across socioeconomic factors, such as housing, wealth, education and employment. The research will inform the ongoing work of the Disability Justice Network of Ontario.