The University of Waterloo welcomes eight new postdoctoral scholars, as the inaugural group funded through the Provost’s Program for Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Scholars and the Provost’s Program for Black and Indigenous Postdoctoral Scholars. The cohort got together for the first time at a recent luncheon. 

Provost funded scholars

The aim of the Provost’s Program for Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Scholars is to support emerging scholars who are engaging in cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research that identify and solve increasingly complex, real-world challenges.  

The focus of the Provost’s Program for Black and Indigenous Postdoctoral Scholars is to support Black and Indigenous scholars, as part of the University’s strategic plan to strengthen sustainable and diverse communities, with particular attention to promoting Indigenous initiatives and ensuring a culture of equity, diversity and inclusivity for all. 

Each of the two-year programs provides $60,000 annually, plus a $5,000 research fund. 

“The University believes that interdisciplinary knowledge rooted in inclusivity will provide the solutions — and discoveries — this world needs to overcome our most challenging issues,” says James Rush, vice-president, Academic and Provost. 
“As an institution, we’re committed to developing these postdoctoral programs to support ground-breaking research that tests the status quo, that pushes the bounds of understanding and inspires others to pursue their passion for learning here. With these programs, we hope to help break down the barriers for Black and Indigenous scholars while at the same time, creating a culture of equity, diversity and inclusivity for all at Waterloo.”  

Meet the 2023 recipients of the Provost’s Program for Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Scholars:   

Sebastian CmentowskiSebastian  Cmentowski 

Faculty of Arts, Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business  

Faculty of Health, School of Public Health Sciences 

Dr. Cmentowski’s research will examine exergame-based training and gamification for older adults as a means for improving overall health outcomes. 

James KimJames Kim 

Faculty of Arts, Department of Sexuality, Marriage and Family Studies, St. Jerome's University  

Faculty of Environment, Departments of Knowledge Integration and Sociology and Legal Studies 

Dr. Kim’s research will identify distinguishing features of modern misogynistic ideologies and convert findings into a novel methodological tool. This will enable new waves of empirical research on the sources and outcomes of modern misogynistic ideologies, creating the necessary foundation for evidence-based, empirically-informed solutions to combat gender-based violence — one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world. 

Christine MillsChristine Mills  

Faculty of Health, Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences  

Faculty of Health, School of Public Health Sciences 

Dr. Mills’ research will work with older adults in a setting where they congregate and use an aco-design approach to create nutrition education programming to be delivered in that setting. The goal is to create a program that can be delivered by non-dietitians, such as non-specialist staff, volunteers or undergraduate students. 

Stuart SchusslerStuart Schussler 

Faculty of Arts, Department of Social Development Studies, Renison College 

Faculty of Environment, Department of Knowledge Integration 

Dr. Schussler’s postdoctoral research explores how member-led community organizations are at the heart of the social movements that make history. Yet the very characteristics that create such dynamism — their inclusive and non-hierarchical membership, and the flexibility of not having legal status — mean that universities seldom engage them as viable sites of service learning. This research will aim to remedy this. 

The Provost’s Program for Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Scholars  supports scholars whose work will bridge across different faculties and departments, synthesizing the knowledge of two or more disciplines, resulting in high impact and innovative outcomes. 

Provost's Interdisciplinary scholars

Applications are now open for the 2024 provost-funded postdoctoral scholar opportunities. Visit the  Provost’s Program for Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Scholars  page for more information.  

Meet the 2023 recipients of the Provost’s Program for Black and Indigenous Postdoctoral Scholars:   

Shoronia CrossShoronia Cross 

Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry  

The objective of Dr. Cross’ research is to work with multiferroic materials – which means that the magnetization can be switched using an electric field, and the electric polarization can be switched using magnetic fields. This allows for the design of multistate bits which can store data in both their magnetization and electric polarization, allowing for higher density data storage.  

The results of this study will provide critical insight into the rational design of multiferroic nanocomposites for applications in future information technologies, including quantum computing. 

Dallas DaoudDalal Daoud 

Faculty of Arts, Department of Anthropology  

Dr. Daoud’s research aims to complete a book manuscript on Islamists’ interactions with ethnonational minorities. Daoud’s book will pique the interest of those studying and researching Islamist politics, minority-state relations, ethnicity and nationalism, and the Middle East and North Africa. The book will also be of significance to foreign policymakers. 

Samuel GyamerahSamuel Gyamerah  

Faculty of Mathematics, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science  

Dr. Gyamerah’s research will expedite partnerships between public and private insurers, farmer cooperatives and groups to provide reasonably priced and sustainable weather-centered index insurance to smallholder, marginal and Indigenous farmers, to mitigate the effects of climate change. 

Anny Leudjo TakaAnny Leudjo Taka 

Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry  

Dr. Taka’s research aims to develop novel polymer nanobiocomposites with multifunctional, biodegradable and recyclable properties. These novel polymer nanobiocomposites will be exploited as nanofiltration membranes for water desalination and as dielectric materials in thin-film organic electronic devices, which will then represent as a potential, sustainable approach to creating a water purification platform. 

The Provost’s Program for Black and Indigenous Postdoctoral Scholars is seeking scholars who will improve the representation, participation and engagement of equity-deserving groups within our community, and support new and existing programs, policies, and processes that foster a more diverse campus community.  

Provost's Black and Indigenous scholars

This program is aimed to advance emerging scholars whose work is transformative, is of societal importance, and has global impact. Visit the Provost’s Program for Black and Indigenous Postdoctoral Scholars page for more information. 

Applications for both opportunities are due December 1, 2023.