The calibre of graduate student research at Brock continues to impress Mike Plyley, Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
Plyley points to a few stacks of paper that comprise the 188 applications that were recently reviewed to award Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS).
It wasn’t an easy task, he says, for the adjudication committee to review each and every application – all with merit – to determine the 46 awards that made up the Brock OGS quota.
This was the first time that universities were responsible for setting up an in-house adjudication process for OGS. Plyley describes Brock’s process as demanding and comprehensive.
“The criteria categories included the significance of the topic, the research plan and strategy, a timely completion date, the student’s academic record as well as professional and extracurricular interactions and collaborations,” he says.
“The faculty who served on the adjudication panels came away from the process with an even greater recognition of the outstanding contributions that graduate students are making to research and scholarship at Brock.”
Of the 46 winners, 35 were master’s students and 11 were doctoral students. Each student receives $15,000 for one year.
The OGS funding to Brock totals $690,000 boosting overall external support to graduate students for 2013-14 to approximately $2.3 million.
“The OGS awards are open to students in all of the six academic Faculties and they give us a panoramic view of the scope of research underway in our 43 graduate programs that span disciplines of humanities, social sciences, mathematics and science, education, business, and health sciences,” says Plyley.
Some examples of the far-reaching studies being supported at Brock by OGS funding include:
• plant research to enhance disease resistance
• electronic reading and literacy skills in children
• the relationship between playing video games and aggression
• the effect of maternal obesity on muscle development of children
• the effectiveness of group therapy programs to target obsessive compulsive behaviours in autistic children
• work into bioinformatics in advancing new discoveries of medicines
• current policies and practices of the Canadian immigration point system
• the experience of POWs interned in Canada, including a POW camp in Wainfleet, during the Second World War.
“Our graduate students are taking research in exciting and bold directions,” adds Plyley. “They are passionate and committed about learning the craft of research. They are addressing questions that are pertinent to today’s society and very eager to share what they know, particularly about why their work matters.”