Home COVID-19 Pandemic Ryerson researchers secure close to $124,000 to fund COVID-19-related projects

Ryerson researchers secure close to $124,000 to fund COVID-19-related projects

by Ram Seshadri

The funds will support research that will highlight societal impacts stemming from the coronavirus

Snow plow clearing streets on campus
A plow clears snow off campus streets during the storm on Feb. 12, 2019.

Five Ryerson researchers have secured close to $124,000 as part of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) fund.

The grants were awarded as part of the SSHRC Partnership Engage Grants COVID-19 Special Initiative, which has invested more than $2.5 million in over 100 COVID-19-related research projects.

The initiative helps support Ryerson researchers engaging in collaborative projects involving pandemic-related issues. 

Four Ryerson professors from the Faculty of Arts and one from the Faculty of Communication and Design have each received up to $25,000 for their research projects. 

The focus of their projects range from lessons for democracy post-pandemic to examining the resilience of international students and local institutions in medium-sized Canadian cities.

Project one: Democracy after COVID-19: What lessons can Canada Offer and Learn?

Sanjay Ruparelia is an associate professor at the department of politics and public administration and the current Jarislowsky Democracy Chair. 

Ruparelia is working on a COVID-19-related project in collaboration with the Samara Centre of Democracy, a non-profit advocacy group for citizen engagement and participation.

He said that the project examines the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic upon governance in Canada through policy-relevant research. 

“Has the pandemic affected the fundamental norms, institutions and practices of our democracies? Why have specific liberal democracies responded to these challenges differently,” said Ruparelia. “These are the questions our project seeks to answer.”

Project two: Prisoners’ Rights and Well-being: Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic

The second research project is being led by Jessica Evans, assistant professor in the department of sociology.

The project aims to highlight the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the well-being of prisoners. 

Evans is partnered with Prisoners with HIV/AIDS Support Action Network, a community-based prisoners’ rights organization, which strives to provide education and support to prisoners and ex-prisoners in Ontario on HIV/AIDS related issues.

Project three: Visual Music. Enhancing the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s remote connection with their audience during COVID-19 social restrictions through innovative digital tools

Cintia Cristiá, assistant professor in the RTA School of Media, is leading the only project from the Faculty of Communication and Design.

Cristiá said that by collaborating with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, they hope to find innovative visual ways for orchestras to connect remotely with their existing audiences and possibly engage new ones. 

“Our research will provide an overview of the strategies that orchestras around the world have implemented since the start of COVID-19 social restrictions,” said Cristiá.

She said the project will also help to better understand the changing landscape of the performing arts due to the pandemic and participate in its transformation. 

Project four: Preparing for food security after COVID-19: Strengthening equity and resiliency in future emergency response in Toronto

Sara Edge, associate professor at the department of geography and environmental studies, is working on a project that looks to strengthen food security equity and resilience during future emergency responses. 

She is working in collaboration with Joseph Nasr, an independent lecturer and consultant, who specializes in urban agriculture and food security issues.

The project looks at how Toronto as a community can build resilience and learn from COVID-19, so that it can be better prepared for future emergency crises.  

Project five: COVID-19: Challenges and Resilience of International Students and Local Institutions in Canada’s Medium-Sized Cities: A Case Study of Greater Sudbury, in Northern Ontario

This project is being led by Sutama Ghosh, an associate professor at the department of geography and environmental studies.

Ghosh is working in collaboration with the City of Greater Sudbury to gain a better understanding of what challenges international students and local institutions face in Canada’s medium-sized cities. 

She said what sets this project apart from others that look at the impact of COVID-19 on international students is that this focuses on a city outside of the Greater Toronto Area, something that has not been explored enough.

The SSHRC has an independent selection process for all of its funding opportunities. Their research grants and fellowships are awarded through a merit review process designed to ensure the highest standards of excellence and impartiality. 

“These grants will offer timely and immediate support for research that will illuminate important lessons and societal impacts stemming from the global health crisis,” said Steven N. Liss, Ryerson’s vice-president, research and innovation at Ryerson University.
A complete list of the Partnership Engage Grants COVID-19 Special Initiative recipients can be found here.

This article may have been created with the use of AI software such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and/or Otter.ai for transcription.

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