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Arts professors win prestigious Early Research Award – again

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Faculty of Arts is once again celebrating research funding success with two more Early Research Award (ERA) recipients among our ranks of outstanding scholars who put knowledge into action.

Jennifer Roberts-SmithProfessor Jennifer Roberts-Smith from the Department of Drama and Speech Communication is leading a project that develops digital applications as a means to enhance audience engagement with live performance. In partnership with the Stratford Festival and UWaterloo’s Games Institute, Professor Roberts-Smith is creating online educational games, virtual learning environments, and digital interactions with the Festival's archives. The project also includes partners in the tech sector of Waterloo Region.

Susan RoyProfessor Susan Roy from the Department of History is exploring the interface between Aboriginal heritage preservation and resource as well as urban development in Canada.  Professor Roy’s project is developing resources (incorporating 3-D printing and digital media) that deliver culturally appropriate research on the history and politics of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. The resources will be accessed by community-based researchers, academics, heritage professionals, policy makers, and the public.  

“Waterloo Arts researchers have won seven of the rare Ontario Early Research Awards in the past three competitions," says Tim Kenyon, Associate Dean, Research. “In 2012, only three of the 62 ERA winners province-wide were in Humanities fields; Waterloo Arts won two of those three. Now in 2014, Arts again has won two ERA awards.

“These awards identify opportunities for global leadership, and focus on research that contributes to the knowledge-based economy. Our award-winning faculty members illustrate the academic, economic, cultural and societal impact of research throughout Arts at Waterloo.”

The University of Waterloo provides $50K of the total $190K award that will be dispersed to each researcher over five years. The ERA is specifically used to build research capacity by funding the employment of research assistants, including undergraduates, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows. This mandate aligns perfectly with the Faculty of Arts’ goal to enhance research opportunities for students.

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