Alumni Profile

Alumni Profile: Dr. Duncan Low

January 29, 2018

Dr. Duncan Low holds a PhD in Communication and a Master of Urban Studies from SFU. Low is currently a Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellow (2017/2018) with the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training Research & Analysis Unit. 

Since completing his PhD in Communication in 2016, Duncan Low turned the lessons learned from his research for this dissertation into opportunities. These opportunities include landing a Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowship (2017/2018) with the BC Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training Research & Analysis Unit, and consultancies with DanceHouse Vancouver as well as the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

Achieving career goals outside of academia, Low credits this to discovering a passion for research and analysis during his Master of Urban Studies and PhD in Communication.  

Low shares, “For many years I worked in the arts and was actively involved in ‘advocacy driven research’ closely connected to fundraising. It was during my master’s degree that I first embarked on genuine academic research examining how a single mega event impacted an artistic landscape.  I found the experience so rewarding that it provided the impetus for my doctoral research- to move beyond a single event and explore the shifting dynamics of arts policy design, implementation and evaluation.”

His research has been well published and received in presentations and conferences as it helps people see the unexpected that comes from examining something in depth. “I was invited to deliver my 2010 Olympic research to the London 2012 cultural team. I was about half-way through my presentation when I put up a slide showing the levels of international press coverage over the three years 2008-2010. A member of the audience let out a gasp and said ‘Oh my god!’.”

Low is aiming to both widen and increase his knowledge, and curiosity in research analytics and their relationship to public policy through his Mitacs Canadian Science Policy Fellowship where he is working on improving methodology and consistency for reporting on student financial aid. Adds Low, “I have been in place for a few months and already I can say that I have learnt a lot. Going forward I want to continue to enjoy the experience and hopefully use what I’ve gained from the fellowship to open the door to the next step of my research journey.”

Meanwhile, Low is continuing to promote what he has learned from researching his thesis. Join Low on February 23, 2018, as he discusses his dissertation and hosts a Q & A. Presented by Radix Theatre, battery opera and Fight With a Stick, this event is free, but registration is requested.

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