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Congratulations to our 2019-2020 Major External and Government-Funded Award Recipients
In celebration of our 2019-2020 major award winners, we are pleased to share their accomplishments. We hope you enjoy learning more about our incredible students and their research.
Dean and Associate Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Jeff Derksen
Graduate students at SFU use their academic and creative labour to generate an amazing array of research that is intellectually sharp, socially grounded, engaged with communities, and part of the global knowledge landscape. Not only do graduate students at SFU help drive, shape and define the intellectual and social relations of the University, the use and circulation of their research puts it in dialogue with every aspect of our present. The challenges of the global pandemic—challenges that reach into all aspects of everyday life as well as the very core of how universities function—created difficult working conditions for graduate students. Nonetheless, it is gratifying to see the truly great achievements and innovations that SFU graduate students have produced.
In addressing our present, graduate students are exploring ways to better conceive and shape care services and interventions to foster health and well-being. This includes investigating and improving digital health applications, services and technologies, new diagnostic techniques, the intersections of mental health and law, and the impacts of intergenerational relationships and programs on seniors and vulnerable populations. Likewise, we have many graduate students engaged with scholarship and research on the environment and the world-ecology. This includes the building of cleaner energy sources; undertaking strategies for plant, animal and habitat conservation; researching soils, rivers, glaciers, oceans and their inhabitants to establish a just ecological future.
We are pleased to recognize and honour Indigenous graduate students and their work in Indigenous intellectual traditions through a variety of scholarships, as well as SFU’s Indigenous Graduate Entrance Awards. The range of research by Indigenous graduate students makes it completely clear that “there is no limit on Indigenous intellect”, as Leanne Betasamosake Simpson points out in Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back. At SFU, this limitless intellectual work is shown in research on: Indigenous poetics in relation to the production of Indigenous urban spaces; understanding the impacts of holistic healing and transformation of Indigenous communities; utilizing age estimation methods for forensic and human rights investigations; and research projects deeply based in community.
At SFU, we are grateful for the continued financial support for our community of graduate students that comes from provincial and federal governments, institutional support, and from the profound generosity of individuals, families and communities.
Congratulations to all our 2019-20 major award recipients! I hope that, despite the pandemic conditions, this year of graduate studies has been full and expansive for you.
SFU Vice-President, Research and International pro tem Dugan O’Neil
I would like to congratulate all of the graduate students for their hard-earned achievements and academic successes. Their research contributes to Simon Fraser University’s strength and reputation as a leader in education and research and it does not go unnoticed. Conducting and disseminating research for the betterment of society is one of the main functions of universities, and I am proud of all of the work they have done in this regard.
SFU is one of the fastest-growing research institutions in the country. This couldn’t happen without the talent and dedication of our graduate students. The diversity of high-quality research represented among the award holders is incredible. From research in AI to better diagnose and treat diseases, and using Indigenous Knowledge to support governments on climate adaption policy and decision-making, masters and PhD students come to SFU from all over the world to change that world from within our institution.
The Tri-Council Agencies include the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) support and promote high-quality research, and it is the primary mechanism the Canadian government supports research training at higher education institutions. By providing support to some of the most promising researchers at a pivotal time in their careers, these awards supply highly qualified student researchers with leading edge scientific and research skills for Canadian industry, government and institutions.
I am very pleased to see so many of our graduate students were the recipients of these major external and government-funded awards. Their research is building upon fundamental research, disseminating knowledge and harnessing new ideas and innovations for the benefit of society across a variety of disciplines.
The university’s graduate students accomplishments, discoveries, insights and innovative ideas are highly valued and SFU is very fortunate to have these students as part of our university community. Congratulations again to all of SFU's award winners.
SFU President and Vice-Chancellor, Joy Johnson
Dear Graduate Award Recipients,
Congratulations on your academic achievements and well-deserved awards and scholarships.
The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic prevent us from hosting an in-person event where you would engage and interact with your fellow award recipients, faculty and staff, but cannot prevent us from celebrating you. We are so proud of all you have accomplished.
Research is a crucial component of our university’s mission as we not only learn, but also create and share new knowledge with the community at large. Without research, we would not have the advances in knowledge and innovation that have helped improve and save lives. We wouldn’t have the hope of a more just and equitable future.
Research is important in all fields. By looking at all the research topics of this year’s award recipients, which range from mechanical engineering, physics and climate science, to psychology and radical politics, I am confident that the future is in good hands. These awards indicate not only your dedication to academic excellence, but also your desire and commitment to make a positive impact on society.
My thanks to all the donors for giving our emerging scholars a solid foundation and an opportunity to make a difference. Your generosity and contributions make this world a better place.