Wendy Chun, professor and Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media in the School of Communication, is one of 17 researchers at SFU who have recently been awarded grants from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF). A total of $2.9 million was award to researchers across the university.
Chun's JELF-sponsored $200,000 in research funding will benefit Canadians by developing new strategies and software prototypes to displace fake news, disrupt current systems of polarization, and combat abusive language online. The group will also generate policy recommendations and solutions to foster more inclusive communities, create new opportunities for historically marginalized communities, and lessen the anxiety, stress and other health-related factors that polarized communities and toxic communication networks produce.
The JELF funds the foundational infrastructure researchers need to pursue their research and become leaders in their field. The funding helps SFU to remain internationally competitive in areas of research and technology development that align with the university’s strategic priorities.
“We are grateful for CFI’s ongoing support as we continue to grow and expand the university’s capacity in research excellence and innovation,” says Dugan O’Neil, SFU vice-president, research and international pro tem.
"I want to also congratulate the SFU researchers whom the CFI is recognizing as leaders in their respective fields. This funding will allow these researchers to take their transformative discoveries to the next level.”
Established in January 2019, Chun’s Digital Democracies Group at SFU integrates research in the humanities and social and data sciences to address questions of equality and social justice. The group serves as an innovation hub for collaborative research projects that foster critical, democratic uses of data analyses and machine learning.