The word research, written on a blackboard.

Early Research Award Winners Search for Privacy and Rehabilitation Solutions

The Ontario government announced today that two Carleton researchers are recipients of Early Researcher Awards (ERA). Each researcher will receive $150,000 to support their research on flexible smartphones for those with limited hand function and online privacy for children.

They are Audrey Girouard, assistant professor in the School of Information Technology in Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design, and Sonia Chiasson, Canada Research Chair in Human Oriented Computer Security and an associate professor from the School of Computer Science in the Faculty of Science.

Project Details:

Audrey Girouard – Developing Deformable User Interfaces to Improve Manual Dexterity
Flexible technology will enable users to squeeze a smartphone to answer a call or bend a corner to change an eBook’s page. Deformable devices offer an opportunity to improve manual dexterity for people with limited hand function. This research project will involve the fabrication and evaluation of specialized deformable devices, applications and games to assess if bend gestures are a suitable human computer interaction input technique for hand rehabilitation.

Sonia Chiasson – Usable Privacy and Security for Children
This research project aims to design interfaces that influence, motivate and help children be more secure online, rather than putting themselves at risk by circumventing or inadvertently undermining security and privacy mechanisms. The approach includes the development of educational materials to help children navigate current online risks and the development of new tools and user authentication mechanisms to improve usable security and privacy for children.


“Audrey Girouard and Sonia Chiasson are finding solutions to problems that have a significant impact on Ontarians. This funding will enable new innovations to further solidify Carleton’s reputation as a major centre of research and development and training.” 

– Nimal Rajapakse, vice-president (Research and International)

About the Early Researcher Awards:

The Early Researcher Awards program gives funding to new researchers working at publicly funded Ontario research institutions to build a research team.

In total, this $11 million investment will help support the work of 79 promising and recently appointed researchers at 22 institutions while creating jobs for graduate and undergraduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates and technicians.

A list of Carleton researchers who have previously won the Early Research Awards is available here.

Media Inquiries:
Chris Cline
Media Relations Officer
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 1391

Follow us on Twitter:
Need an expert? Go to: