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Find the most recent updates here, as well as FAQs and information for students, faculty and staff.

Spark Newsletter: May 27, 2021

Read our bi-weekly news from Spark: a centre for social research innovation at McMaster University. In this newsletter, we highlight centre news, upcoming events, and updated resources for researchers. To subscribe to our mailing list, please email

May 29, 2021

Who do you want to speak at Spark’s Fall 2021 speaker series?

Spark's weekly research talks (Fridays at 10:30-11:20 am) are back in the fall with a new name - Spark Talks. Planning is already in the works for an academic year full of informative sessions by some of your favourite researchers. As always, we want to provide you with engaging content from people whose work or skills spark an interest!

Do you want to share your work?
      Great!  This is a supportive starting place for sharing your work across disciplines 

Maybe share your experience with a method, technology or research area?
      Yes, let's build our collective research toolkits and find others with the same interests

Expose others to someone whose work or career you admire?
      This is an easy initial engagement with Mac (and we pay stipends to external speakers)

Speakers can be anywhere in the world.  As our options for in-person meeting increase, we will make these hybrid online/off-line events. 

Nominate a Speaker


Imagining Canada’s Future Ideas Lab: Canada and the Circular Economy

In case you didn't see it, SSHRC is hosting a virtual, interactive and interdisciplinary research design workshop taking place over two weeks at the end of October 2021 for 30 researchers with work relevant to the circular economy.

This happens to be a research interest of our director, Allison Van.  If this "sparks" your interest too, please reach out.  We're happy to provide you with an update on what was discussed at the webinar, consider what a social science approach to building a circular economy might look like, and explore how we might collectively support that at Mac.

Connect with Spark at


Research guide - Qualitative Research at a Distance

This toolkit is a starting point for academic and non-academic communities to explore approaches to socially distanced but deeply engaged qualitative research methods. This report aims to provide a practical foundation for imaging what is possible during the pandemic and beyond, while offering suggestions for resources to learn more.

Read the Guide

With excitement for Spark Talks in the fall, we have been taking a (virtual) walk down memory lane to reflect on some of the great Spark Productivity During Pandemic presentations from this year.  This weekly social media campaign on Twitter happens every Friday @Spark_McMaster for the #SparkResearchReplay

Connect with Spark on Twitter


In case you missed the first Spark Research Replay:

Being Kept out of Sexual Fields: The Intimate Lives of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in Ontario
Alan Santinele Martino

Check it out here:


Looking to pool software licences with another researcher?

Now you can! Fill out this form and we will reach out if we can match you with others looking to pool licences.

Current Availability (Holders & Seekers)
-    1 Holder of Mimics (Materialise) and looking for someone to share it
-     2 Seekers for NVivo
Call for other users for NVivo - there is a cost advantage for 6+ users under Enterprise Pricing (please indicate if you are looking for Windows or Mac)

Research Conversations

We provide up to 4 hours of free support each year to all McMaster researchers (students, staff and faculty) on every social research topic imaginable.  If we can't help you, we'll help you find someone who can.   

Request a research consultation at

Qualtrics Licences

If you are an FSS researcher who would like to request access to Qualtrics survey software, please fill out this form:

Brighter Spark Applied Research

Spark offers custom research and evaluation, as well as highly skilled assistance in implementing virtually any social research method. Our cost-recovery services include methods and software training, custom research, state-of-the-art facilities, and taking on elements of your project to support its completion.

For a full list of Brighter Spark Applied Research's services, visit:
Help us profile your research, publications, job ads, opportunities, and upcoming events by sending them to: to be showcased in our next newsletter.

SHARCNET Summer School for Advanced Research Computing (ARC)

May 25, 2021 - June 29th, 2021 

This annual education event is free for graduate/undergraduate students, postdocs and researchers engaged in compute-intensive research. They provide beginner- to- intermediate-level courses on a wide range of subjects, from traditional high-performance computing to data science, machine learning, popular language such as Python and Julia, as well as domain-specific courses.


Research Data Management - Online Summer Series

June 3rd, 2021 at 2-3 pm

Strategies for Research Storage and Backup
Organized by: The Sherman Centre
Learn more and register here:

Big Data and Tech in Our Backyard Series

June 11, 2021, at 12:00 pm

Big Tech, Monopolies and Imaging Alternatives with Matt Stroller and Ali Haberstroh Organized by: TPL and McMaster University’s Master of Public Policy in Digital Society Program
Learn more and save your spot for the session here:

The Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging (New Karl Kinanen Student Research Scholarship)

This scholarship will be awarded annually to 1 undergraduate student and 1 graduate student from the Department of Health Aging and Society who through their research are dedicated to improving the quality of care of older adults and to helping people stay connected.

To learn about this scholarship and eligibility, visit:

Spark: a centre for social research innovation

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