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Manitoba polyculture plot that includes 57 edible and medicinal plants. Photo: Kirsten Benot.

Manitoba polyculture plot that includes 57 edible and medicinal plants. Photo: Kirsten Benot.

Nine UM researchers receive Insight Development Grants

August 21, 2020 — 

Nine University of Manitoba researchers are among the recipients of Insight Development Grants as announced by the Government of Canada, receiving a total of $569,267 in funding.

“I commend these researchers and scholars who are undertaking cutting-edge research and discovery at the University of Manitoba,” said Dr. Digvir Jayas, vice-president (research and international) at the University of Manitoba.  “Their success is indicative of how their work has advanced research and world-class investigations in each of their fields, and speaks highly of peer recognition of their contributions.”

Dr. Annette Desmarais, Canada Research Chair in Human Rights, Social Justice and Food Sovereignty, and an internationally renowned scholar with expertise in food sovereignty and agrarian movements, received almost $60,000. She will study ecological agriculture, in which farmers adapt their methods to ecological and social justice principles aimed at respecting natural environments, supporting dignified worker livelihoods, and valuing diverse cultures and local knowledges. She will be using innovative technology to do this, particularly visual research methods such as Photovoice, visual elicitation focus groups, and participatory video.

Desmarais and her team will combine farming, filmmaking and academic expertise to engage in critical research focused on the agroecological practices farmers are currently using and the role of agroecology in helping to transform food systems in the context of an unfolding climate crisis. This important work will help document suitable agroecological practices in the Canadian Prairies while also identifying barriers and opportunities in the shift to more resilient farming practices.

“There is growing evidence that taking action to help cool the planet involves making significant changes in agriculture,” said Desmarais. “I’m thrilled to start working on this research with collaborators Dr. Ian Mauro (Prairie Climate Centre, University of Winnipeg), Evan Bowness (PhD candidate at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC), and Kirsten Benot, (MA student in our new Masters of Human Rights program), and the National Farmers Union.”

Insight Development Grants support research in its initial stages. The grants enable the development of new research questions, as well as experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches and/or ideas. Funding is provided for short-term research development projects, of up to two years, proposed by individuals or teams.

The UM researchers receiving Insight Development Grants are:

Shiu-Yik Au (Accounting & Finance): $70,662 
Workplace Racial Discrimination and Firm Value

Annette Desmarais (Sociology & Criminology), Canada Research Chair in Human Rights, Social Justice and Food Sovereignty: $59,998 
Transitioning to Agroecology in the Canadian Prairies: A Research and Visual Methods Pilot Project

Nadine Bartlett (Educational Administration, Foundations & Psychology): $66,645 
Prevention and Intervention: An Examination of Community Mobilization Responses to Crime

Brenda Brown (Landscape Architecture): $67,487 
Manitoba Farmstead Shelterbelt Landscapes: Documentations, Analyses, Stories, Creation

Victor Cui (Business Administration): $56,440 
Star Inventors and Firm Exploratory Innovation

Richard Hechter (Curriculum, Teaching & Learning): $63,718 
Mah-kom: Cultivating empathy through ethnoastronomy

Jillian Seniuk Cicek (Centre for Engineering Professional Practice and Engineering Education): $62,650 
Are Canadian Access Programs Making Space for Indigenous Students in STEM Postsecondary Education?

Russell Smandych (Sociology & Crimonology): $58,487 
Reframing Media Studies of Crime, Insurgencies, and Counterterrorism in Nigeria: Toward a New Multi-Disciplinary Criminology-Mass Communication Stakeholder Approach

Zhenyu Wu (Business Administration), Canada Research Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation: $63,180 
Climate Risk and Financial Reporting Quality: International Evidence


Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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