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New Canada Research Chair to advance sustainability research at King's

The King’s University was awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in 2019, making it the fourth CRC currently designated to King’s.

The King’s University was awarded a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in 2019, making it the fourth CRC currently designated to King’s. Since 2016, King’s has been the only independent university in Alberta to have been granted a Canada Research Chair.

The Canada Research Chairs program is a federal initiative that aims to put Canadian professors and their work at the forefront of global development and research. CRCs are appointed for five year terms but can be extended for an additional five years depending on overall productivity and research output. With this latest appointment, King’s will receive over $1.2 million per year in federal research funding.

King’s was granted its first Tier 2 research chair in 2016 when professor of philosophy Dr. Neal DeRoo joined the university with a research focus on phenomenology and philosophy of religion. Three years in, DeRoo now plans to host colleagues from across the globe for a conference on international philosophy.

In 2018, King’s received two additional CRCs. Dr. Elizabeth Willson Gordon, Assistant Professor of English, was chosen with her research focus on modernist literature. Willson Gordon has since created valuable research partnerships and increased opportunities for students to attend important literary conferences.

Candidates have not yet been appointed for the third and fourth Canada Research Chair positions, however the focus of the most recent designation will be Transition to Sustainability.

“In regards to sustainability research at King’s, we have developed many hands-on tools through centres like the King’s Centre for Visualization in Science and are well versed in the natural science behind sustainability,” says Vice President, Academics and Research, Dr. Hank Bestman. “The hope is that the Transition to Sustainability CRC will advance our understanding of the social side of sustainability.”

Research will focus on asking faith groups and communities how social changes can be implemented, and how large-scale societal changes might be brought about.

Having Canada Research Chairs at King’s also qualifies the university to hire undergraduate student research assistants (USRAs). Each year, five King’s students are hired through the grant to assist with faculty research, enhancing their learning experience, and equipping them with practical skills and knowledge for their university careers and beyond.

Successful research funding applications with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SHRC), Natural Sciences Research Council (NSRC), and Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), demonstrate industry investment in the research conducted at King’s. In part, this is why the federal government has been so generous with awarding King’s CRC designations.

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