Two Trent Professors Part of $2.5M Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Collaborative Research Initiative


Canadian Studies Professors Sally Chivers and Jim Struthers Involved in Study Re-imagining Long-term Residential Care

Wednesday, March 24, 2010, Peterborough

Two Trent University Canadian Studies professors, Drs. Sally Chivers and Jim Struthers, are part of a research team, led by York University, to be awarded a $2.5 million Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for a major collaborative research initiative grant to explore the re-imagining of long-term residential care.

The project, entitled "Re-imagining Long-Term Residential Care: An International Study of Promising Practices," led by Pat Armstrong, Canadian Health Services Research Foundation/Canadian Institute of Health Research (CHSRF/CIHR) chair in Health Services and Nursing Research at York University, will identify promising practices for understanding and organizing long-term residential healthcare.

“We’re excited to be able to work with an international team of researchers on such a timely project. Our approach to the study of long-term care looks at both sides of what has often been told as a one-sided story. Thinking about both the workers and the residents of long-term care changes the types of questions we can ask and will change many of the answers. We are guided by principles of dignity for workers as well as dignity for older people and people with disabilities,” says Dr. Chivers, chair of the Canadian Studies Department at Trent. “We’re also thrilled by the support we received from the Trent University Research Office which contributed to our success in a highly competitive grant application process.” 

Dr. Struthers adds, “Collaborating with leading researchers on long-term residential care in other countries will allow us to see the strengths and weaknesses of our current approaches to caring for Canada’s aging population through a fresh set of eyes. Through site-switching, Canadian team members will visit LTC facilities in other nations, while our international colleagues examine the Canadian setting. Out of this partnership we hope to re-imagine approaches to long-term care for the next twenty-five years, a time when the number of elderly in Canada will double.”

Although many of Canada’s most vulnerable citizens live in long-term residential care, it is often characterized as an option only after others—independent living, living with family, or curing the underlying condition—have failed. The collaborative project seeks to learn from and with other countries to understand the approaches, structures, accountability practices, and ownership arrangements that result in respectful and dignified treatment for both residents and care givers.

“These grants highlight the excellence of our country’s talented researchers and recognize the importance of fostering international collaboration to keep Canada at the forefront of research, development and innovation in the 21st century,” said Chad Gaffield, president of SSHRC.

Twenty-five researchers, eight partnering institutions, and 17 universities in six countries will work across disciplines to capture and share data and best practices. The $2.5 million will be awarded over seven years. The funding is part of SSHRC’s $10-million investment in critical issues of intellectual, social, economic and cultural significance through the Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI) program, the largest award competition SSHRC currently runs.


For more information, please contact:
Dr. Sally Chivers, Chair, Canadian Studies, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x7950; or
Dr. Jim Struthers, Canadian Studies, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6021