On July 17, 2019, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced an investment of more than $285 million for 6,900 researchers and graduate students across Canada through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

“Researchers in the social sciences and humanities generate ideas and innovations that improve the lives of Canadians. This investment will strengthen research training for students, connect Canadian and international researchers across disciplines and sectors, and equip Canada with the talent, knowledge and insights that are essential to meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow,” noted Ted Hewitt, President of SSHRC, in a release.

Among the new funding recipients are two Mount researchers:

Dr. Jessie-Lee McIsaac

Canada Research Chair in Early Childhood: Diversity and Transitions
Faculty of Education and Department of Child & Youth Study
Insight Development Grant recipient ($74,910)
Study: Illustrating the experiences of immigrant families in Nova Scotia

Dr Jessie-Lee McIsaac-website
The immigrant experience of many families is marked by change and challenge as they learn to understand, manage, and navigate new physical, social, and cultural settings. As immigration continues to flourish in Nova Scotia (census data from 2016 revealed that over 55,000 immigrants call Nova Scotia home), there is a need to understand whether existing programs and policies are succeeding in supporting immigrant families.

The goal of this research study led by Dr. McIsaac is to enable Nova Scotia immigrant families to explore how they understand, experience, and can be engaged in early childhood programs and services. This research will aim to:
1. Enable immigrant families to record and reflect on the assets and concerns they have regarding early childhood programs and services.
2. Promote critical dialogue about early childhood programs and services, giving voice to immigrant family experiences, and their concerns through visual methods.
3. Facilitate knowledge mobilization with information and evidence relevant to the experiences and understandings of immigrant families regarding early childhood programs and services.

In partnership with the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), the research team will engage families in the research, which will use photos as the lens to share their experiences with early childhood programs and services offered in their communities. Through the use of Photovoice, which is shaped by feminist theory through its prioritization of experiences of those who have been systematically excluded from traditional research, participants will communicate their stories without relying solely on the spoken or written word.

Dr. Tracy Moniz

Department of Communication Studies
Insight Development Grant recipient ($57,866)
Study: Stories Side-by-Side: A comparative narrative analysis of stories about end-of-life care through patient, caregiver and physician lenses

Tracy Moniz
End-of-life care is among the most critical health issues in Canada, given the steady growth in the nation’s aging population (Statistics Canada, 2017), recent changes to legislation on medical assistance in dying (Health Canada, 2018), and increased media and public attention on end-of-life care planning, services and accessibility (CIHI, 2018; CMA, 2015; Picard, 2018, 2016). These factors create an opportunity—and a need—to better understand the experiences and perspectives of those closest to the issue.

Dr. Moniz’s research project will explore the insights that first-person written narratives can offer into points of intersection and divergence among physician, patient and family caregiver experiences of and perspectives on end-of-life care in Canada. Using narrative inquiry, stories written by physicians, patients and caregivers will be analyzed and compared in terms of what both the content and the form demonstrate about points of intersection and disconnection in multiple perspectives on end-of-life care. Such comparative insight has the potential to enrich understanding of how differences between perspectives come to be and what they mean for the experience of end-of-life care.

Dr. Moniz and team will look to a variety of sources in the public domain for these narratives, including popular media and academic sources that publish stories by these groups, such as the Canadian Medical Association Journal. They anticipate that including stories published in a range of sources will reveal different aspects of the end-of-life care experience, such as factors that are critical to addressing societal challenges around quality care at end of life.

Patients, families, healthcare professionals, policymakers, organizations and the public—all who engage with end-of-life care, whether from delivery, education, advocacy, regulatory or legislative perspectives—will be able to leverage the insights this research will afford to better understand and shape related practices.

Additionally, the following Mount researchers received SSHRC grants in the past year:

Department of Women’s Studies
Partnership Engage Grant recipient, December 2018 competition ($24,963)
Study: Building Indigenous–Academic–Not-for-Profit Relations for Mobilizing Research Knowledge on the Gendered Impacts of Resource Extraction in Indigenous Communities in Canada

Department of Applied Human Nutrition
Insight Development Grant recipient, 2018 competition ($64,780)
Study: “Yours ’till the biscuits bounce”: A Critical Feminist History of Home Economics in Canada’s Maritime Provinces

Faculty of Education
Partnership Engage Grant recipient, June 2018 competition ($23,819)
Study: Caring Canines along a Continuum of Continuing Care