Prof appointed to grad student funding board

Leah Bradshaw

Leah Bradshaw

Political Science Professor Leah Bradshaw knows what’s at stake for graduate students who apply to the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program.

“For many students, winning an OGS is a decisive factor in pursuing graduate studies,” said Bradshaw, who was appointed recently to the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) Selection Board for a two-year term.

The nine-member board oversees the application and award process for one of Ontario’s principal sources of external funding for students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in the humanities and social sciences.

“Making sure that process and procedure in administering the OGS program is fair and diligent is a big responsibility,” Bradshaw said. “Competition for grants from these agencies is stiff and the quality of applicants very high.”

The OGS program is jointly funded by the Province of Ontario and the post-secondary institution. The province contributes two-thirds of the value of the award. The university provides one-third.

An OGS is awarded for one academic year, which may consist of two or three consecutive terms. The value is $5,000 per term, and each year, 3,000 scholarships are awarded. For 2011-2012, the province will provide about $30 million towards these scholarships and eligible institutions will provide $15 million.

Bradshaw has a background in political theory. She is a graduate faculty member who teaches and supervises master’s students in the Political Science and the Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts programs. She has been at Brock since 1986 and in that time has supervised 14 graduate students. Next year she expands her graduate faculty role as a participant in the new PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities.

“It’s important for Brock to have a representative on a committee that has a broad mandate in guiding and advising on all matters of the OGS award program,” said Marilyn Rose, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies. “Professor Bradshaw has a breadth of knowledge in the graduate sector and has had great success in mentoring students across an array of backgrounds. Her experience will be valuable to the board and its role in serving a large constituency that includes students, faculty members, deans of graduate studies and ministry officials.”

Bradshaw served as a referee for OGS in 2007. Referees carefully read submissions for scholarships in one’s field and rank them to determine a list for final assessment and award decisions.

“It is a very tough job, and I take it very seriously,” Bradshaw said. “I remind myself of those anxious years as a graduate student when I would be waiting for the results of these competitions.”

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