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.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
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