Trans-Atlantic Platform workshops at Congress aim to define future research agenda

Sunday, May 31, 2015

On June 1, during the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Ottawa, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) will host three workshops on behalf of the Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP). All of the workshops are open to the public and will be held in Tabaret Hall 112 at the University of Ottawa.

These workshops aim to engage researchers and other stakeholders to develop a future research agenda in three priority areas – areas identified following scoping activities involving the 16 funding agencies in the Platform. An additional objective is to better understand how Horizon 2020 funding might be focused to promote research in these three areas, and thus address international challenges in the best way. Discussions at the workshops will inform T-AP activities and the Platform’s recommendations to the European Commission on international research funding.

The first workshop, Supporting Research into Social and Cultural Identities: Diversity, (in)equality and differences, focuses on the dynamics of social and cultural diversity, inequality and differences.

Chaired by SSHRC Executive Vice-President Brent Herbert-Copley, a panel discussion featuring three leading researchers—Serge Guimond from Université Blaise Pascal Clermont-Ferrand, France; Kathya Araujo of Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano, Chile; and, Lori Beaman, Canada Research Chair in the Contextualization of Religion in a Diverse Canada at the University of Ottawa—will provide examples of international collaboration in this area. The panelwill be followed by break-out groups to discuss barriers to and opportunities for international research collaboration, and how research funding might be better structured to support collaboration in the future.

The second workshop, Supporting Transformational Research on the Environment, brings together researchers from the social sciences and humanities and environmental sciences to explore new ways of conducting research. Social sciences and humanities approaches to research are being significantly changed as a result of rapid societal, economic and technological changes. A similar evolution is taking place in environmental science, where research initiatives are taking an increasingly interdisciplinary perspective.

SSHRC President Ted Hewitt will chair a panel featuring Jes Weigelt from the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany; Maria Gasalla from the Fisheries Ecosystems Laboratory at the University of São Paulo’s Oceanographic Institute in Brazil; and Barry Smit, SSHRC Gold Medal winner and professor emeritus at the University of Guelph’s Department of Geography. As in the first workshop, break-out groups will discuss barriers and opportunities for research, and how best to target funding for future international research collaboration.

The final workshop, Supporting Research to Build Resilient and Innovative Societies, focuses on how societies respond to modern challenges, including the rapid changes caused by conflict, economic crisis, climate change, and environmental degradation. The workshop’s theme aims to promote research on the processes of social transformation and cohesion needed to secure effective, equitable and durable solutions to some of the world’s most urgent problems, such as food security, energy, sustainability, demographic change, health and well-being.

SSHRC President Ted Hewitt will again chair a panel of experts—Jürgen Howaldt from the Technische Universität Dortmund in Germany; Maria Elisa Bernal of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; and, Jane Jenson from the Université de Montréal’s Department of Political Science—who will set the scene for the break out groups.

At the end of each workshop, each of the breakout groups will report back to the plenary group, with final recommendations being used to inform future T-AP programming.

Trans-Atlantic Platform Workshops
Monday, June 1, 2015
University of Ottawa: Tabaret Hall 112

10:00-12:00 – Supporting Research into Social and Cultural Identities: Diversity, (in)equality and differences
13:00-15:00 – Supporting Transformational Research on the Environment
15:30-17:30 – Supporting Research to Build Resilient and Innovative Societies


Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesCongress 2015