Eighteen Carleton University researchers will receive approximately $3.2 million from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to support vital research into understanding business cycles, integrating skilled immigrants into the Canadian labour market, evaluating how social workers deal with uncertainty and looking at how environmentally sustainable behaviour can improve happiness.

“SSHRC funding enables Carleton to extend its leading research that benefits Canadian society by improving wellness, community engagement and collaboration,” said Rafik Goubran, vice-president (Research and International). “We are very proud that this year, Carleton has achieved better-than-ever results in terms of the number of successful awards and total funding.”

Christopher Gunn, professor in the Department of Economics, will use support from SSHRC to investigate the causes and consequences of business cycles. Alternative and often conflicting theories on the causes of business cycles abound, frustrating and confusing those who depend on them. In this project, Gunn looks to expand data included in previous business cycle models and include a better understanding of inventory behaviour to shed light on their causes.

With this new funding, Luciara Nardon, professor in the Sprott School of Business, and co-applicant Amrita Hari, professor in the Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies, will look into persistent challenges faced by highly skilled immigrants when they attempt to integrate into the Canadian labour market. These immigrants face unemployment, underemployment and downward career mobility. Highly skilled immigrant women face additional integration challenges due to their dependent status, domestic responsibilities and gender-based discrimination. Nardon will conduct a qualitative longitudinal study to investigate the long-term impact of programs intended to support the social and professional integration of highly skilled immigrant women.

The world faces serious environmental challenges, such as climate change, pollution and species loss. Although policy changes are needed to address these issues, such changes depend on people’s attitudes and behaviours. John Zelenski, professor in the Department of Psychology, will use this funding to investigate the psychology of pro-environmental behaviours. Pro-environmental reforms are often framed in terms of sacrifice, but Zelenski believes sustainable behaviours may actually improve happiness under some conditions. For example, although reducing the time of a hot shower limits sensory pleasure, perceiving the “warm glow” of this altruistic act might ultimately do more for well-being.

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Thursday, August 20, 2020 in
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