Thompson Rivers University

TRU researchers awarded prestigious federal grants

March 15, 2024

Canada’s research community has received over $1.7 billion in funding for researchers and students nationwide, including three faculty members at Thompson Rivers University (TRU).

“Congratulations to top-tier researchers who will get a boost through this vital funding to take their projects to the next level. Our government is proud to support future generations by enabling students and post-doctoral researchers to acquire and hone the skills and knowledge they need to excel in their challenging fields,” said François-Philippe Champagne, minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, when making the announcement on March 13.

“Their pioneering research will further establish Canada’s position as a global leader in innovation while helping to drive our economy and achieve our shared vision of a brighter, healthier future for all Canadians.”

Emerging research

SSHRC Insight Development Grants support research in its initial stages, building knowledge and understanding about people, societies and the world by supporting research excellence in the social sciences and humanities.

Dr. Scott Rankin, business and economics

New theories of people management in social enterprise

The research team, led by Scott Rankin and Salvador Barragan, along with Bruce Martin, Tolulope Oluwafemi and Melanie Reed, is studying human resource management and leadership within social enterprises and social-purpose organizations. These are businesses that try to accomplish social and environmental impacts or goals, as opposed to for-profit businesses. This research will be passed on to future social enterprise managers and contribute to their ability to achieve social missions more effectively.

Dr. Kimberly Thomas-François, tourism

Information communication technology at hotels: A route to sustainable development

Thomas-François aims to generate knowledge on the level of technological integration at hotels in Canada. She will assess the willingness of Canadian hotels to integrate technology into their day-to-day operations in a manner that improves their overall sustainability. A higher level of integration may also contribute to more efficient and sustainable operations and help address some concerns, such as labour shortages in the sector.

Research partnerships

NSERC Alliance Grants encourage collaboration between researchers and partners from different sectors to generate new knowledge and apply research results for Canada’s benefit.

Dr. Omer Waqar, engineering

Scalable and trustworthy machine learning over the wireless edge networks

In partnership with his global collaborators from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, Waqar plans to design innovative machine learning models that are scalable and trustworthy. These models will be designed with a distributed architecture, making them ideal for deployment over the wireless edge networks. Additionally, they plan to develop customized radio resource management strategies tailored to support the unique requirements of the distributed machine learning models.

Waqar received his NSERC Alliance International Catalyst Grant while at TRU and currently holds an assistant professor role at the University of the Fraser Valley.

The Research Support Fund provides a portion of the costs associated with managing the research funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Natural Science and Engineering Council (NSERC), such as salaries for staff who provide administration support, training costs for workplace health and safety, and library maintenance.

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