Skip to main content
Search scope

Scholarly Impact of the Week

We are celebrating and raising the profile of scholarly milestones and research impacts from across the SFU research community.

Examples of Scholarly Impacts can include:

  • Publishing a paper in a high-impact journal; 
  • Patenting an invention; 
  • Debuting a new performance piece;
  • Publishing a monograph or book and/or;
  • Changing a government policy

We expect most of the publications that are featured to be recent impacts—however, we will also publish a transformative impact from the past, from time-to-time. 

As part of SFU's Scholarly Impact of the Week, selected researchers will work with a member of the VP Research and International Office's communications and marketing team for support. We will also work with researchers to discuss how we can mobilize knowledge on their work by submitting to The Conversation Canada—one of the world's most trusted independent sources of news and views from the academic and research community, delivered directly to the public. 

Be sure to keep up-to-date on the latest published Scholarly Impact and other research news by following SFU Research on Twitter (X).

If you have any questions, please reach out directly by emailing

SFU's Scholarly Impact of the Week series does not reflect the opinions or viewpoints of the university, but those of the scholars. The timing of articles in the series is chosen weeks or months in advance, based on a published set of criteria. Any correspondence with university or world events at the time of publication is purely coincidental.

For more information, please see SFU's Code of Faculty Ethics and Responsibilities and the statement on academic freedom.

September 21, 2023

Celebrating a milestone: 100th Scholarly Impact of the Week

300 x 300 icon

Celebrating a milestone

Today is a special day marking the 100th installment of Simon Fraser University’s Scholarly Impact of the Week!

Launched in March 2021 to celebrate SFU researchers’ inspiring ideas and discoveries, the series has travelled to the far reaches of the universe, deep into the microscopic world—and many points in between.

Read more
September 12, 2023

Help wanted: the complexities of crowdfunding

Jeremy Snyder SFU

Jeremy Snyder

Faculty of Health Sciences

Crowdfunding can be a lifesaver, says SFU health sciences professor Jeremy Snyder, but it can also raise privacy concerns and reflect existing inequities in society. His new book, Appealing to the Crowd: The Ethical, Political, and Practical Dimensions of Donation-Based Crowdfunding, explores the wider historical and ethical context of giving practices.

Read more
August 16, 2023

Cree coding decolonizes computer programming

jon corbett sfu

Jon Corbett

Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology

Imagine telling a story in an Indigenous language and having a computer interpret and produce digital images for the story. SFU School of Interactive Art and Technology professor Jon Corbett aims to make this happen by developing computer coding using nehiyawewin, the Plains Cree language.

Read more
August 1, 2023

TL;DR: the world’s shortest writing textbook

joel heng hartse sfu

Joel Heng Hartse

Faculty of Education

How should new university students approach their first essay? Do professors really expect students to do all the readings? What exactly is APA Style? SFU Education lecturer Joel Heng Hartse has answers to these questions. His short survival guide to university reading and writing can help new academic writers overcome their fear of long papers. 

Read more
July 12, 2023

Illuminating viral protein offers clues to more effective COVID treatments

Mark Paetzel

Mark Paetzel

Faculty of Science

SFU microbiologist Mark Paetzel and his research team used the brightest light in Canada to study the atomic details of viral protein, work that sheds new light on potential treatments for COVID19.

The paper, X-ray crystallographic characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease polyprotein cleavage sites essential for viral processing and maturation was recently published in Nature Communications.

Read more
June 20, 2023

Award-winning project highlights colonization in Xinjiang, China

Darren Byler

Darren Byler

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Guldana Salimjan

Guldana Salimjan

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Since 2017, the government of China has interned Uyghurs, Kazakhs and members of other Muslim groups indigenous to the Xinjiang region in northwest China. Researchers estimate that more than one-million people have passed through the state’s re-education camps. 

Incoming SFU postdoctoral fellow Guldana Salimjan, international studies professor Darren Byler, and scholars at the University of British Columbia created the Xinjiang Documentation Project to provide a platform for documenting state crimes and the lived experiences of these minorities in China.

Read more
June 13, 2023

Decolonizing global planetary health

Clifford Atleo sfu

Clifford Atleo (Niis Na'yaa/Kam’ayaam/Chachim’multhnii)

Faculty of Environment

A viewpoint paper by a group of Simon Fraser University researchers recently published in The Lancet Planetary Health highlights the relationship between the health of the planet and human health. To address climate change and global health inequities, they recommend an anti-colonial, anti-racist and reciprocal approach.

We spoke with co-author Clifford Atleo, Jr. (Niis Na'yaa/Kam’ayaam/Chachim’multhnii), a Tsimshian (Kitsumkalum/Kitselas) and Nuu-chah-nulth (Ahousaht) professor of resource and environmental management about the paper's recommendations.

Read more
May 30, 2023

Understanding schizophrenia in the context of the “China Dream”

jie yang sfu

Jie Yang

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Why do people diagnosed with schizophrenia in China hear “voices” of state leaders? How do these voices relate to the world depicted by “China Dream” discourse?  

Simon Fraser University anthropology professor Jie Yang studies mental health and indigenous and non-indigenous psychology in China. She is fascinated by the ways that different strands of ideologies emerge in language and in people’s emotional lives.

In her recent article, Hallucinations of the “China Dream:” Forbidden Voice, Articulation, and Schizophrenia in China, Yang discusses the contents of voices heard by people diagnosed with schizophrenia in China. From interviews with doctors, caregivers, patients and family members she observed experiences of pressure, subordination and self-preservation by those who felt excluded from the “China Dream.”


Read more
May 17, 2023

Hey Neighbour! Collective builds connectedness in B.C. communities

Michelle Hoar

Michelle Hoar

meg holden sfu

Meg Holden

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Social connectedness has been shown to strengthen individual and community health and well-being, however, many members of Canadian society are at risk of social isolation. 

SFU Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue’s Michelle Hoar and urban studies professor Meg Holden are longstanding advocates of creating social connectedness in B.C.’s urban settings. They work with SFU researchers, housing providers, non-profits, governments and others through the Hey Neighbour! Collective, to address loneliness and isolation while building neighbourly social connections and community resilience.


Read more
May 11, 2023

Harvesting ambient energy to power the future

vincenzo pecunia sfu

Vincenzo Pecunia

Faculty of Applied Sciences

SFU sustainable energy engineering professor Vincenzo Pecunia led a group of over 100 international scientists to develop the "Roadmap on Energy Harvesting Materials." The roadmap offers guidance on the most promising directions in energy-harvesting technologies to help meet the growing demand for clean energy.


Read more