Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Carleton Receives More Than $4.2 Million in Research Funding to Solve Real-World Problems

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) today announced Carleton researchers and graduate students will receive $4,277,830 in funding.  SSHRC promotes and supports university-based research and graduate training in the social sciences and humanities.

“Research is at the heart of what we do at Carleton,” says Dr. Kim Matheson, vice-president (Research and International).  “This funding will enable Carleton researchers to create new knowledge that allows us to better understand society, culture and the world we live in.”

Information Technology professor Dr. Ali Arya has received $50,000 for his Virtual Environments for Health and Education project.  The project aims at creating a web-based intelligent framework for 3D avatar-based virtual environments for health, education and research applications.  Despite the growth in the area of virtual environments, there is limited work focused on such 3D avatar-based systems for health and education, and their specific advantages and problems.  

The project will create frameworks customized for health and education with features such as meeting, multimedia resources, educational games and scripted events.  It will develop advanced content creation and control methods for an intelligent environment, including but not limited to characters with personality and emotions, animations and behaviours generated by intelligent software instead of user, and dynamic content creation for user-customizable environments.  Finally, it will evaluate online virtual environments as a means of communication and collaboration in related applications.  For more information, see the project website:

Dr. Jacqueline Kennelly, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology has received $76,891 for her research project entitled: Olympic Games, Urban Change, and Youth Cultures: investigating Olympic impacts on low-income young people in Vancouver and London

The goals of this project are to try to understand the longer-term effects of hosting an Olympic Games, particularly for low-income young people.  Existing studies demonstrate that Olympic Games often have a negative effect on marginalized populations within host cities.  A few examples of such effects include skyrocketing housing costs, an overall loss of social and low-income housing, increased policing and security, and the diversion of government funds from social services to Olympic infrastructure or servicing of Olympic-related debts.  This study examines the experiences of low-income youth (including homeless youth) before, during and after the Olympic Games in Vancouver (2010 Winter Games) and London (2012 Summer Games).  Given that the Olympics is often marketed as ‘benefiting the young,’ it becomes particularly pressing to examine the effects of the Games on all young people.  Do the Olympics actually benefit the young?  Or are some the recipient of disproportionately negative effects?  Given how much Canadian tax money is poured into the Olympic movement, it is important that we better understand the true legacy effects for our cities and their residents.

Jean-Sébastien Marier, a journalism masters’ student, received $17,500 for his research project Peace 2.0:  Young Colombian activists and the use of new media in fostering a social dialogue on peace and human rights in conflict zones.  The project includes fieldwork in Bogota, Columbia, working with street theatre collectives, as well as a student theatre group and will lead to the production of a TV documentary on how the political theatre can be used as a tool to address conflict-related and human rights issues in Columbia.

A total of 70 postgraduate researchers in social sciences and humanities programs at Carleton University are receiving research grants from SSHRC as a result of this announcement. 


For more information:
Amy Guest
Media Relations
Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 8718

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 in
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