Cape Breton University Researchers Named Canada Research Chairs

Cape Breton University (CBU) is pleased to announce two prestigious Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs.

Dr. Marcia Ostashewski, Assistant Professor, Ethnomusicology has been named a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Communities and Cultures. Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo Willox, Assistant Professor, Community Health has been named a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Determinants of Healthy Communities. Tier 2 Chairs are awarded for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as demonstrating the potential to lead in their field.

Ostashewski’s work is specific to communities with a focus on music, dance and digital humanities research, as a mean to address concrete social problems. This research will improve understandings of music, dance and digital media, and how we create and make them meaningful in our lives.

“This is wonderful. This represents a commitment to local communities from both the federal government and CBU – to finding ways to work productively together,” says Ostashewski. “This funding will provide us new and valuable, exciting opportunities to learn about, share in, cherish and celebrate a diversity of cultural practices and how they are part of ensuring the sustainability and vibrancy of our communities.”

Cunsolo Willox’s research will improve knowledge surrounding the causes of health disparities and develop strategies to decrease health inequities in many parts of Canada. Using community-engaged health research, this Chair will support and enhance the determinants of healthy communities in resource-dependent, rural and remote, and Aboriginal populations across Canada.

“I am thrilled to become part of a network of researchers and scholars across Canada who are working towards enhancing and expanding knowledge bases and quality of life through intensive research programs supported by the Canada Research Chair program,” says Cunsolo Willox. “I am incredibly excited to be able to do this work at such an innovative, community-focused institution such as CBU, which is committed to fostering strong, healthy communities.”

The Canada Research Chairs program is at the centre of research in Canada, with a purpose of helping universities attract leading experts in the fields of engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

“It’s a great honour for CBU to gain two additional Canada Research Chairs“, says Dr. Dale Keefe, Dean of Research and Graduate Studies. “These prestigious Chairs add to the capacity of the research that happens on campus at CBU. The research the chairs will conduct will have impact locally and is of global significance.”

Tier 2 Chairs are for five years and renewable once. For each Tier 2 Chair, CBU will receive $100,000 annually for five years. In addition to the CRC funding, both researchers will receive funding through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), with Ostashewski receiving close to $499,000 and Cunsolo Willox receiving $65,000. The Chairs will be celebrated with a launch event on November 28, 2013.

The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology) made the announcement today at the University of Calgary. “Our government remains committed to attracting and retaining the world’s best researchers, creating jobs and strengthening our economy,” said Minister of State Rickford. “Through programs such as the Canada Research Chairs, we are supporting cutting-edge research at Canadian universities and fostering innovation by helping researchers bring their ideas to the marketplace, to benefit Canadians and improve our quality of life.”