Examining the Pandemic: Nine COVID-Related Research Projects Funded at Trent University
To inform the societal response to COVID-19 and potential future infectious disease outbreaks, Trent University has mobilized funding to invest in nine new research projects across multiple areas of study that will contribute to our holistic understanding of how to reduce the impact of the virus and disease in general.
The Research & Innovation Office awarded grants worth between $2,500 to $10,000 to the nine successful projects, which involve a total of 18 faculty members across a variety of disciplines including English Literature, Nursing, the Trent School of Environment and Biology.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a far-reaching grip and intensity around the world,” says Dr. Neil Emery, vice president of Research & Innovation. “This investment is part of Trent University’s response to the call for increased investigation to better understand the novel, non-discriminating virus, and we are supporting our researchers in their efforts to contribute a variety of insights to various sectors.”
The special call for research, held in early April, saw many Trent researchers come forward, eager to contribute their knowledge and skill sets to help solve the global crisis. Projects now underway at Trent are investigating the impact of COVID-19 on food systems, vaccine hesitancy, modeling of infection and death rates, people's sentiments toward public health measures, and much more.
Notably, seven researchers who are members of the Trent Centre for Aging and Society (TCAS) are involved in four of the nine projects. As COVID-19 significantly impacts long-term care facilities in Ontario and older people worldwide, it is perhaps not surprising to see that almost half of the projects have an aging studies component. The projects include how culture and gender matter in creating age-friendly cities, volunteerism in rural communities, and addressing social isolation.
“These newly funded projects showcase Trent’s distinctive focus on the diversity of the aging population,” says Dr. Sally Chivers, founding executive member and past director of TCAS. “Thanks to this investment, researchers from across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences will team up to study the differential effects of the pandemic on seniors and to help build a more equitable future for all.”
These new research projects, which are focused on contributing solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, will also complement existing studies at Trent that are working to better understand environmental, social and cultural challenges.
“At Trent, research projects on aging and long-term care, health, climate change, technological advancement and many others already underway have become even more important in the context of COVID-19 and the world after,” says Professor Emery.
The projects selected for funding will be completed by March 31, 2021.
Posted on May 28, 2020