Diverse projects examine customer attitudes and social services responses
Professors from the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus have received awards to pursue their research, in the latest round of grants announced by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
Nancy Holmes, Arjun Bhardwaj and Susan Wells have received a total of $295,640 in financial support from the SSHRC.
“UBC’s Okanagan faculty members are among the top researchers in Canada,” says Wesley Pue, Provost and Vice Principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus. “These awards, granted through a highly competitive national adjudication, acknowledge the accomplishments, depth of inquiry and dedication of our faculty members. Just as important, it is recognition that all Canadians benefit from their research.”
Holmes, an associate professor of creative writing and poetry, has been awarded a Partnership Development Grant of $198,000. Co-applicants for the grant are Denise Kenney, assistant professor, theatre performance and Robert Belton, associate professor of art history. All are members of the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.
Holmes’ grant is for the Eco Art Incubator, a project of ecological art in the Okanagan Valley that blends fine arts and conservation programs, to produce case studies by artists and collaborators in a variety of different scenarios.
Bhardwaj’s research focuses on gender and racial biases affecting employees in Canada’s service sector. Recent organizational research in the U.S. shows evidence of customer biases in satisfaction ratings when services are provided by female and visible minority employees. Results of this research are expected to develop approaches for managers to minimize adverse impacts of customer biases. Bhardwaj has received a $52,546 grant for a two-year study.
Wells’ research centres on innovative ways of delivering social services. The complexity of service delivery contributes to the challenges of innovation and response. The research will evaluate information derived from a five-site pilot project that is expected to result in system-wide change. Results will include information for the community, staff and managers of B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development. Wells’ research grant totals $45,094 for a two-year study.
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