University of Lethbridge research projects earn SSHRC funding support

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) announced funding through several grant programs today and three University of Lethbridge projects are among those receiving awards.

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport and Quebec Lieutenant on behalf of the Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced over $1.8 billion in federal research support, including $35.3 million for 577 research projects at 66 Canadian institutions through SSHRC Insight Development Grants.

 Among the successful ULethbridge projects is a proposed two-year study by Drs. Kevin McGeough and Shawn Bubel (Geography & Environment) that will examine how political leaders built economies that satisfied the demands of imperial powers and maintained local loyalties in Iron Age Jordan. Located in environmentally marginal but politically strategic locations, examination of the Iron Age kingdoms of Jordan informs us not just about ancient times, but about issues related to the origins of states, their resilience and collapse.

“The proposed project has the potential to transform the way scholars think about Iron Age Kingdoms such as Edom, as well as contribute to the preservation and interpretation of Jordan’s cultural heritage,” says McGeough. “The study will provide opportunities for ULethbridge undergraduate and graduate students to be trained in field archaeological techniques and laboratory analyses.”

Dr. Anastasia Stuart-Edwards, a Dhillon School of Business professor in Human Resource Management and Labour Relations, will investigate whether mindfulness can improve teamwork, which has been known to be inefficient and result in negative employee experiences and loss of profitability. Mindfulness, a state of being present and aware of what you’re sensing and feeling without interpretation or judgment, has been shown to be beneficial for individual employees, but it’s not clear if the benefits extend to teams.

“This project draws on teamwork theories and mindfulness to examine whether team members’ mindfulness scores are related to a state of shared team mindfulness,” says Stuart-Edwards. “We’ll also be looking at how team mindfulness relates to team processes, engagement and performance.”

The third project by Drs. Christy Tu and Rhiannon Mesler, professors at the Dhillon School of Business (Calgary Campus), will explore the relationship between charitable giving and social status and how the positioning of a charitable gift to consumers can affect donations. They are proposing a series of six studies with both student and public participants.

“This research has important implications for improving charitable giving and prosocial behaviour in society,” says Tu. “In addition, our results should help equip charitable organizations and governments with tools to better communicate and raise funds from consumers for prosocial purposes.”

Along with nearly $200,000 for these research projects, ULethbridge will receive a $2.4-million grant from the Research Support Fund which supports the indirect costs of research.