Research Committee Report

Report of Research Committee
Daphne Maurer, Chair & Vice Principal (Academic)
Members: Cornelia Baines, Scott Rogers, Trevor Levere
May 28, 2017

This year the College introduced a program of small research grants to assist in the costs of Fellows’ ongoing scholarship. There were five applications submitted for the December 31st deadline, with requests for funding totalling $12,324. The available budget for this round was $5000.

The Research Committee, comprised of Cornelia Baines, Scott Rogers, Trevor Levere and myself, solicited two external reviews for each proposal and read them carefully ourselves. Because of the number and quality of submissions and our limited total budget of $5000, we were unable to provide funds to all the proposals and when we could, it is only a partial grant to aid with the research. The grants are for expenses in the year beginning April 1, 2017.

Grants were made to:

  • Peter Hajnal for research on the impact of the change from the G8 to the G7 on the functioning of the G20

  • David Kenny for a book on the history of the dental school at Western University

  • Kenneth Norwich for research applying quantum physics to perception

  • Judith Friedland for research on research assistants’ understanding of the ethical principles and guidelines governing research with humans

After the experience of this first round of grants, the Research Committee recommended two changes to the guidelines:

a. Specify a 30 day period for appeals.
b. Change the timing of the grants to cover a calendar year beginning January 1, xxx, with proposals due by September 30 of the preceding year.

There were a lot of questions this year about the date when expenses would start to be covered. In fact, the Committee finished its work in March and started the grants one month earlier than specified in the current guidelines (on April 1 instead on May 1). To avoid ambiguity, we think it better to align the grants with the calendar year and suspect that anticipating needs in September will be no harder than anticipating them in December.

At the April Council meeting:

(1) the change of timing was approved, with the next competition to have an application deadline of September 30, 2018 for grants beginning January 1, 2019.
(2) it was recommended that the appeal process be eliminated, since it involves the same adjudicators as made the original decision and there would be no additional funds available to disperse.