Geography and planning top list of what brightest students study

Friday, January 25, 2013

a smart ladyIn a recent Globe and Mail report, Brent Herbert-Copley, vice-president of Research Capacity at the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) outlines the rapid growth of scholarships and fellowships awarded to those studying our environment.

According to Herbert-Copley, “SSHRC funds only about 20 per cent of applicants, or 5 per cent of all graduate students enrolled in the social sciences and humanities at Canadian universities. So by all accounts, these are among the best and brightest in their fields, representing opinion leaders of tomorrow.”

He goes on to state that, “[t]he distribution of awards reflects some of the key changes at work in academia… much of the growth is in newer, cross-disciplinary fields like communications and media studies, or urban, regional and environmental studies.”

The report features a list of the fastest growing disciplines. Geography was ranked third, and Urban and regional studies came in fifth place. The rankings also reflect a record-breaking year by the Faculty of Environment in obtaining research funding.

“Perhaps not surprisingly, social and environmental issues are at the heart of many students’ research: social development and welfare, law and justice, indigenous people, environmental sustainability and gender issues are among the top choices for research topics,” Herbert-Copley writes.

Read the full Globe and Mail report here. To make your voice heard about what research SSHRC should be funding (hint: environmental), please take the time to fill out their survey.

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