Laurier has five research clusters that reflect, in broad measure, our existing and emerging research profile and the strengths, interests and objectives within the Laurier community. In addition to highlighting areas of research focus, the clusters provide a lens through which interdisciplinary and community collaboration comes into sharper focus.
Each research cluster is supported by a number of affiliated research chairs, research centres and graduate programs. Read our Strategic Research Plan to learn more.
Multiple Laurier faculties are studying the interaction of environmental factors and human populations and conditions, the management of the environment and other policy issues. Laurier researchers have a specific focus on climate change, resilience and sustainability, cold regions and water research, which focuses on both Canadian and global water issues, including the sustainability of healthy aquatic and coastal ecosystems, and the development of regulations and policies related to water use. The Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science is home to many research projects taking place in this area.
The public policy challenges confronting 21st-century society remain problematic, and include a range of issues relating to international, political, economic, and developmental relations. Laurier researchers seek to understand these challenges and increase our capacity to deal with them. Issues in this area include war and peace; global migration; food security; human rights, justice and equality; social activism, social welfare and community development; advocacy and policy making of all kinds. Our relationships with the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the Balsillie School of International Affairs offer the potential for numerous synergies and needed material resources.
The range and variety of Canadian health research initiatives demonstrate the social importance and vitality of this research cluster. Laurier faculty members in arts, social work and science are investigating a range of public health issues, including mental health, health policy, health promotion, coping with cancer, the geography of health, and the social determinants of health. Other health and wellbeing-related issues include social support systems for children and families; music therapy; learning in special populations; enhanced learning through technology; cognitive and behavioural neuroscience; proteomics; biotechnology.
The challenge of understanding “human experience” has cultural, scientific, artistic and humanistic dimensions, requiring a range of integrated skills and approaches across all faculties. Research in this cluster ranges from the ethical and religious dimensions of community and identity to the impacts of modern, imperial and post-colonial experiences on contemporary societies. Faculty in this cluster also contribute through scholarly and creative outputs in music, film and literature. A rapidly expanding area of research in this cluster focuses on the roles and impacts of technology and new media on all aspects of society.
Research in this cluster is done in key areas such as macroeconomics, business infrastructure, corporate and fiscal policy, financial markets and performance, organizational behaviour, marketing, and accountability in the public and not-for-profit sectors. A strong focus on modelling and quantitative analysis includes researchers who are pursuing issues in supply chain management, finance and accounting, as well as researchers in mathematics who apply mathematical models to problems in financial risk management. Key issues also include the development of entrepreneurial and new ventures, the commercialization of products, and innovation and creativity.
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