Trent University Student One of Canada’s Top Picks for Prestigious $150,000 Scholarship


Graduate student Brigitte Evering’s research could make a difference in global environmental health

Wednesday, August 3, 2011, Peterborough

Trent University student Brigitte Evering will receive a $150,000 scholarship over three years, as a recipient of Canada’s most prestigious scholarships for doctoral students – the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, among 167 esteemed scholars announced today in Hamilton by the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, prime minister of Canada.

Entering the third year of her Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies with a focus on Indigenous Environmental Studies, Ms. Evering was selected for her demonstrated leadership skills and high standard of scholarly achievement. Her research involves the study of frameworks for mutually beneficial knowledge collaboration concerning environmental issues.

“Being selected for a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship is a great honour,” said Dr. Neil Emery, Trent University’s vice-president Research and International. “I am pleased to see one of our Ph.D. students garner this sort of recognition for her research.”

Ms. Evering’s Ph.D. studies provide an opportunity to make a difference in an area of increasing importance. “Local and global concerns about environmental health, ecosystem degradation, food insecurity, pollution and sustainability in Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities are growing. Working with different knowledge systems, including Indigenous knowledges, will help us to better understand the thinking that has contributed to these complex issues and be more successful in finding solutions,” said Ms. Evering.

With degrees in education, arts, math and sciences, and over 20 years experience as a secondary school teacher specializing in alternative and cooperative education, Ms. Evering brings a wide range of experience, both practical and academic, to her research. She has already taken advantage of the unique opportunities at Trent to gain relevant expertise, to collaborate with international researchers, and to have supervision by faculty who are leaders in thinking about environmental knowledge collaboration.

One of a kind in North America, the Indigenous Environmental Studies Program (IES) is an innovative collaboration between the Department of Indigenous Studies and the Environmental and Resource Science/Studies Program at Trent University, using Indigenous knowledge systems, science and information from the social and environmental sciences to explore local, regional, national and international environmental issues impacting Indigenous People. Home to the Centre of Knowledge in the Environment, Trent fosters an environment where Indigenous knowledges are respected and recognized as a valid means by which to understand the world.

Vanier Canada scholarship recipients are selected through a rigorous, competitive process. First, potential scholars are nominated by a Canadian university. These nominations are evaluated by selection committees struck by Canada’s three research granting agencies—the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Finally, an international, blue-ribbon selection board then ranks Vanier scholarship recipients and recommends them for funding.

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.

This year, 167 Vanier scholars were announced at 26 universities, with graduate students from the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa choosing Canadian universities for their doctoral studies.


For more information or to arrange an interview with Brigitte Evering, please contact: An Kosurko, communications officer, Trent University 705-748-1011 x6182