OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 10, 2013) - The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State for Science and Technology, and Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, today announced investments in research that will help expand our understanding of labour market issues in Canada. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) has awarded 16 Knowledge Synthesis Grants to researchers at postsecondary institutions across Canada. The goal of the grants is to combine or "synthesize" new and existing academic knowledge, and to make that information accessible to a broader audience.

"Our Government remains focused on what matters to Canadians: creating jobs, continuing economic growth and promoting long-term prosperity," said Minister of State Rickford. "With a better understanding of labour market issues, employers and individuals will be better equipped to identify the skills our workforce needs, and to develop new opportunities for jobs that will grow our economy while strengthening Canada's research advantage."

In total, more than $375,000 is being awarded through SSHRC's Knowledge Synthesis Grants to 16 projects at postsecondary institutions across Canada. The projects involve Canadian and international collaborators across the academic, public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Together, they will advance knowledge on one of two themes: future demand for skills in tomorrow's Canadian labour market; and supply and development of skills for the future Canadian labour market. SSHRC's Knowledge Synthesis Grants support the analysis of existing research knowledge, and the identification of knowledge gaps. Results are presented in a format accessible to a broad audience, and are intended to foster collaboration among academic researchers, industry stakeholders and government policy-makers in addressing Canada's future labour market challenges.

"Canada's investments in social sciences and humanities research lead to new insights that create new value for businesses, governments, communities and individuals," said Chad Gaffield, president of SSHRC. "In particular, expanding our understanding of both supply and demand of essential skills in the Canadian workforce, and enhancing the flow of information between campuses and other sectors of society, supports job creation, increases productivity, and contributes to a resilient economy for the benefit of all Canadians."

Funded research projects include the following:

  • Sally Lindsay, from the University of Toronto, working with collaborators from the University of Guelph, the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and the University of Toronto, will identify ways to improve the participation in the Canadian labour market of persons with disabilities whose talents are underutilized.

  • Dragana Martinovic, at the University of Windsor, will work with colleagues at the Université de Moncton to bring together and share knowledge on the development of digital skills, and how these can best address the future needs of the Canadian labour market.

  • Christian Andersen, from the University of Alberta, together with collaborators at the Rupertsland Institute in Edmonton, will synthesize knowledge about Métis education, employment and training.

  • Miana Plesca, from the University of Guelph, will work towards identifying the gaps between skill demand and supply, and how these apply to the Canadian economy.

  • At the Université de Moncton, Chedly Belkhodja, collaborating with partners from Western University and World Education Services, will explore how Canada can attract and retain some of the world's brightest minds, and what factors contribute to the successful integration of international students into the Canadian labour market.

A full list of the grant recipients is available on the SSHRC website.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) is the federal agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. Through its programs, SSHRC works to develop talented leaders for all sectors of society; help generate insights about people, ideas and behaviour; and build connections within and beyond academia that will build a better future for Canada and the world. For more information, visit

Contact Information:

Mary Ann Dewey-Plante, Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Greg Rickford,
Minister of State (Science and Technology,
and Federal Economic Development Initiative
for Northern Ontario)
613 943-6177

Media Relations
Industry Canada

David Holton
Communications Adviser
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council