Mandate and structure

The function of the Humanities Research Institute (HRI) at Brock University is to encourage the development of research programs and initiatives in the Faculty of Humanities and to generate greater public awareness of our scholarly expertise, as well as the breadth of our research and creative productivity.

The HRI disburses funds to support the development of individual and collaborative research programs, to generate viable applications for external funding of various kinds, and to promote the activities of the Faculty of Humanities through various colloquia, symposia and related public events.


The HRI is directed by the Associate Dean of Humanities (Research and Graduate Studies). The Director works closely with an Advisory Board consisting of 3-4 members of the HRI and (ex officio) the previous Director, the Dean of Humanities, and the Editor of the Brock Review.

The Director and the previous Director serve a three-year term. Regular Advisory Board members serve a two-year term, with the possibility of renewal for a further two years.

Election of Advisory Board members takes place in the Spring of those years in which there are vacancies, with the term of office beginning on July 1 of the year of appointment. In the spring of each year, applications are invited from all members of the HRI (known as “HRI Associates”) who are interested in becoming Advisory Board members. If there are more nominees than vacant positions, a slate of candidates is developed and an election by ballot is conducted by the present HRI prior to the July 1 “turnover” date.

The Director of the HRI receives administrative support from the Office of the Dean of Humanities.

Advisory Board

Ex Officio Members:
Director: Elizabeth Vlossak (History)
Previous Director: Keri Cronin (Visual Arts)
Dean of Humanities: Carol Merriam (Classics)
Editor, Brock Review: Andrew Pendakis (English Language and Literature)

At Large Members:
Leah Knight (English Language and Literature) (second term to 2025)
Dan Malleck (Canadian Studies) (second term to 2025)
Aaron Mauro (Digital Humanities) (first term to 2024)
Sarah Stang (Digital Humanities) (first term to 2025)
Linda Steer (Visual Arts) (second term to 2025)


The HRI is funded through the Office of the Dean of Humanities with a budget per annum.

Associate Membership

All full-time, tenured or tenure-track Faculty of Humanities are invited to become Associates of the HRI, on the basis of having submitted a research plan to the Institute.

The HRI recognizes that research, scholarship, and creative activity in the Humanities takes many forms, and that individuals may have more- or less-defined research and/or performance programs in place at different stages in their scholarly lives. It thus expects that research plans will take a variety of forms, some consisting of formally set-out statements of intention with respect to the next few years, and others involving statements of a more general and exploratory nature with regard to work newly begun or still at a ruminative stage of development. Application deadlines for HRI Associate status are January 15 and September 15 each year. The application process consists of forwarding a completed application form and a current C.V. to the Director of the HRI, in care of the Executive Assistant to the Dean of Humanities.


  1. Associates are eligible to apply on a competitive basis for research grants from the HRI. Grant competition deadlines are October and March each year.
    HRI research grant projects are funded to a maximum of $3500. Grant recipients are required to submit a final grant report to the HRI. This report is due 2 months after the expiration of the grant. Associates will not be eligible to apply as a primary applicant for further HRI funding in the same category (Conference/Colloquia or Research) until this report has been received by the Director of the HRI. HRI funds that have not been spent within twelve months of the grant’s receipt (or another specified date, as stated when the award is announced to the recipient) will be returned to the HRI for redistribution during the next grant period.
  2. In keeping with its mandate to generate greater public awareness of research initiatives and scholarly expertise within the Faculty of Humanities, the HRI will organize symposia each year, featuring distinguished Humanities researchers at Brock, as well as other distinguished speakers. In addition the HRI will support one or more conferences or colloquia that have been organized by HRI Associates each year, on the basis of its twice-yearly competitions for conference funding. In this case two stipulations apply: (1) that publicity materials for the event indicate HRI sponsorship; and (2) that a statement be filed after the conference as to how the contribution assisted in supporting and enhancing research in the Humanities at Brock.
  3. The HRI does not award conference travel grants, except to Graduate Student Associates.