Future of Canada Project announces themes and Call for Proposals
In 2020, following a generous $5 million donation from Chancellor Emeritus L.R. “Red” Wilson ’62, McMaster University launched the Future of Canada Project to provide funding for research focused on building a better future for Canada and a brighter world — one that is more equitable, sustainable, resilient and prosperous.
This week, the Project released its 2022 Call for Proposals. Future of Canada Project Research Grants will be awarded to interdisciplinary research teams for maximum awards of $150,000 for one year.
The Call for Proposals follows a meeting in October 2021 of the Project’s Council, a group of recognized leaders from across the country who shape the Project by identifying research themes, building relationships beyond the University and amplifying the impacts of the funded projects.
During the intensive two-part meeting, the Council developed future scenarios to identify the key themes and establish the values that define the future they imagine for Canada. The Council further articulated a vision for a better future by identifying power, hope, community and well-being as four key elements that will impact Canada’s collective future.
Successful proposals will outline research that engages one or more of the five themes:
- Climate change
- Rapid technological advancement
- Challenge of reconciliation
- Erosion of truth and trust
As well, proposals must identify how they plan to impact one or more of the four key elements.
The application form and Call can be found on the Project website. Researchers must submit applications for research grant funding by May 2, 2022. Funded projects will ideally be interdisciplinary in nature, create opportunities for students to acquire significant leadership skills and advance understanding of Canada and Canadians, including immigrants, refugees, and Indigenous Peoples.
“We believe that by overlapping themes and values, the most fruitful and original research questions will be developed,” says Dr. Samantha Nutt, the Council lead, who is a McMaster graduate and award-winning author, speaker, Order of Canada recipient and founder of War Child Canada.
Council members include Tina Varughese, Lloyd Axworthy, Dr. Andrew Boozary, Habon Ali, Mark Sakamoto, Mide Akerewusi, Peter Mansbridge, Siila Watt-Cloutier, Chantal Kreviazuk and Sara Wolfe. According to Nutt, who gathered the Council together, each member has brought energy and excitement to the Project and the potential to impact Canada’s future in a meaningful way.
“One of the things that makes the Future of Canada Project exciting and innovative is the involvement of the Project Council,” said McMaster President David Farrar. “This group gathered together and gave their time and attention to helping us craft the direction of the Future of Canada Project. The Call for Proposals reflects the work and vision of the Council.”
In addition to the Research Grants, the Project, which is further supported by a $1 million commitment from McMaster, will also amplify the research impact by reaching new stakeholders, including policy makers, business and community leaders and the public. The university will host a culminating conference at the end of the Project. The Council, grant project leads, and key stakeholders will meet to celebrate work done, build on that work and disseminate core findings.
Sara Wolfe, Council member and Director for the Indigenous Innovation Initiative with Grand Challenges Canada, described the experience as “both thoughtful and dynamic – the group was rich in perspectives and the process allowed us to collaborate with curiosity. Everyone there was deeply committed to building a better future for Canada. As we outlined the biggest disruptions Canada has seen in a long time, a hope and truth emerged that researchers at McMaster will be able to take forward in the design of truly impactful and deeply relevant research.”Future of Canada Project News