Thanks to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)’s Partnership Engage Grants, University of Winnipeg professors are working with community partners to understand and find solutions to critical issues.
Dr. Jino Distasio and Dr. Shauna MacKinnon have received special funding for their COVID-19-related research. This funding announcement is on top of the five University of Winnipeg projects announced in early February. In addition to the special initiative for COVID-19 grants, Dr. Simon Berge received funding as part of SSHRC’s regular Partnership Engage Grants.
Dr. Jino Distasio, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, received $24,750 toward his project COVID-19: An Indigenous Pandemic Response to Homelessness.
He is working in partnership with End Homelessness Winnipeg to examine the impact of Covid-19 on persons experiencing homelessness in Winnipeg.
“The hope is to draw together the lessons learned over a difficult 12 months and advance a strategy that speaks to the dozens of Indigenous and non-Indigenous service providers who worked tirelessly to offer support to this population amidst many health orders that restricted access and usage of vital social and community spaces as well as shelter beds,” he said.
Dr. Shauna MacKinnon, Urban and Inner-City Studies, received $24,994 toward her project COVID-19: Exposing service gaps for vulnerable women, Two-Spirit, trans-women and gender non-conforming people in Winnipeg’s Inner City.
Thanks to this funding she is able to hire and train student researchers and community researchers to support data collection and knowledge mobilization.
“In the thick of the pandemic, community-based program participants continue to seek out services, but providing support has become far more challenging and less than ideal for those who have developed relationships with front-line workers and others who participate in community programs,” said MacKinnon.
She is working in partnership with West Central Women’s Resource Centre (WCWRC) to understand and respond to the needs of women, Two-Spirit, trans-women and gender non-conforming people living in poverty in Winnipeg’s inner city.
“Bringing their voices to the forefront will lead to improved programming as we better understand how the context of COVID-19 has affected their everyday lives,” said MacKinnon. “For example, we have learned that access to safe, affordable, decent housing has been particularly difficult for participants involved with the centre. So, housing precarity and public policy is likely to be a focus of our research.”
SSHRC’s regular Partnership Engage Grants competition provides short-term and timely support for partnered research activities that will inform decision-making at organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors nationwide. As part of this initiative, Dr. Simon Berge, Faculty of Business and Economics, received a $23,680 toward his project Business Succession Planning: A Co-operative Approach.
He is working in partnership with the Ontario Co-operative Association (OCA) to help them educate the public on what it takes to convert ownership of a small or medium business from employer to employee-owned. The industry term for this process is co-op conversion which is a way for a business to change ownership while maintaining existing relationships with suppliers, bankers, customers, and employees. Berge is working with OCA to research an effective approach to inform employees and employers of the opportunity for co-op conversion and the legal issues, accounting approaches, and governance strategies involved in the process.
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports post-secondary-based research and research training in the humanities and social sciences.
The University of Winnipeg gratefully acknowledges the funding received from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund in aid of research infrastructure. The Research Support Fund (RSF) reinforces the research investment made by the Tri-Agencies each year by helping institutions ensure that their federally funded research projects are conducted in world-class facilities with the best equipment and administrative support available. Please visit RSF for more details.