Trent University Ph.D. Candidate Wins Prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship


Rachel E. Cyr Awarded $150,000 over Three Years

Thursday, May 7, 2009, Peterborough

Trent University is delighted to announce that doctoral student Rachel E. Cyr will receive $150,000 over three years as one of the inaugural winners of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

“I am honoured to be among the first recipients of the federal Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships. In my estimation, this award speaks to the high calibre of my surrounding academic community: in particular, my Master’s supervisor Peter C. Van Wyck; my Doctoral supervisor Jonathan Bordo; and the Cultural Studies Department at Trent University” said Ms. Cyr. “The privilege of this award adds to the responsibility of my research, and I am extremely thankful for the resources offered towards its fulfillment.”

A graduate student in the Cultural Studies Ph.D. Program, Ms. Cyr’s research explores the cultural role of forensic science in the documentation of human rights abuses. Specifically, her thesis centres on the effects of forensic science on historical understanding, memory and cultural subjectivity, especially in the context of humanitarian work. “Trent University is uniquely suited to my research interests and promises to be instrumental to my success in that it houses an innovative Department of Cultural Studies and an active Department of Forensic Science,” noted Ms. Cyr.

“We are very proud of Rachel, given the extremely competitive selection process for these inaugural scholarships,” said Dr. Doug Evans, Trent’s Dean of Graduate Studies. “The award recognizes both her outstanding academic achievements and her unique area of research.”

Ms. Cyr was one of 166 inaugural recipients of the new Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships just announced last week by Gary Goodyear, Canada’s federal Minister of State. Considered the most important, prestigious and sought-after scholarship for doctoral students, the Vanier is on par with such highly renowned scholarships as the Rhodes scholarships in the United Kingdom and the Fulbright scholarships in the United States.

“The recipients of these scholarships are the world’s leading doctoral students and the next generation of researchers, professors and industry leaders who will make considerable economic and social contributions in Canada and abroad,” said Minister Goodyear.

The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program aims to attract and retain world-class doctoral students by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health, as well as leadership skills. Both Canadian and international students are eligible to be nominated for a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Trent University is home to Canada’s first free-standing Ph.D. program in Cultural Studies, a unique course of study that provides students with the freedom to pursue their field of interest within a context of interdisciplinary integration. One of the most significant features of the Cultural Studies Ph.D. program is that it offers students an intensive and rigorous intellectual environment, in which they constantly discuss, present, and revise their ideas in light of an ongoing and regular interaction with faculty and peers in the program (through core seminars, individual consultations, and other events), as well as through academic conferences and journal publication.


For further information, please contact Brittany Cadence, Communications Officer at (705) 748-1011, ext. 6185.