Volume 96, Issue 88
Tuesday, March 18, 2003

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Western pulls in research chairs

By Paolo Zinatelli
Gazette Staff

Three more Canada Research Chairs were awarded yesterday to professors at Western, bringing the university's total to 30.

Research chairs allow professors to advance their careers among world-class colleagues, hire top graduate students and state-of-the-art research facilities, confirmed Natalie Beaudoin, communications officer at CRC.

Western's three new chairs were awarded to Moira Stewart, a professor in the department of family medicine, Joy Parr, a professor in the faculty of information and media studies, and Robert Young, a professor of political science. They will each receive $200,000 a year, for seven years.

Stewart said she found out about receiving the chair last week. "It's a wonderful thrill.

"[My work is in] primary care family medicine," she explained. "The [CRC] has acknowledged excellence in health care research at Western."

There are two main areas of the research program the money will go towards, she said. The first involves translating knowledge into practice and the second involves creating new modes of cure, Stewart said.

"It's a great honour – a big honour to be nominated by the university," Young said, adding his research focusses on the relations between the three levels of government – municipal, federal and provincial – with an emphasis on municipal-federal relations.

The funding will be partially used for research expenses, such as hiring assistants and interviewing officials, Young explained, noting it will also go towards student support. "I'd like to be able to support graduate students," he said.

Nils Petersen, Western's VP-research, said he is delighted that Western has received these chairs.

"It adds more faculty to the research environment," he said, adding it also improves the faculty to student ratio. Western is entitled to 71 CRCs over five years, Petersen added.

Parr's research examines life in Canadian communities where large electrical, chemical and biochemical facilities were built after 1950. She was unavailable for comment yesterday.

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2002 THE GAZETTE