Kinesiology Research: Looking to the Future
We just received word that our PhD program proposal was accepted by the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance. This wonderful news comes right on the heels of our recent successes at the Celebration of Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity on campus in February. At this event, Kinesiology was very well represented with research award winners in three categories: Outstanding Undergraduate Student (Renee Meloche-Sarah Woodruff (Advisor)); Outstanding Graduate Student (Timothy Burkhart-David Andrews (Advisor)); and Outstanding Staff (Don Clarke). The success of our PhD program proposal and these research awards provide confirmation that all the hard work of the past at all levels within the department is paying off. The foundation of research culture and support that we have developed and nurtured within the department is firmly and broadly laid, which allows us to build and plan for the future.
Continuing and enhancing our research success as we move forward requires us to be strategic with our resources in all areas and consider new ways of generating revenue for the department and university, while maintaining our strong commitment to the student learning experience. There are increasing pressures to contribute to the university through the development of unique programming and services in order to increase enrolment. Our PhD program helps in that regard, as its focus on the community will undoubtedly attract students that are interested in applying knowledge to help others; an underlying guiding principle for us in Kinesiology and the University of Windsor. Pressures also exist on all researchers to continue to apply for external funding in order to attract students, support them during their degrees, and provide equipment, supplies and research support that are critical for healthy and growing research programs. Members of Kinesiology are meeting this challenge head on by submitting to and planning applications for all three Tri-Council funding agencies (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)), foundations, and other government, private and corporate sources.
Internal and external funding has also been targeted in order to develop infrastructure that aligns with the strategic priorities of the University of Windsor and generate additional funds on an ongoing basis to support our research and community endeavours. Human Kinetics was recently successful in obtaining a University of Windsor Strategic Priority Fund grant of over $100,000 to establish a Centre for Human Performance and Health (CHPH), that will, as one of its primary objectives, provide the framework for research driven community initiatives and experiential learning opportunities for students. Through the CHPH, performance and health focused initiatives will be developed, supported and promoted around three key strengths of staff and faculty within the Faculty of Human Kinetics: sport performance, active and healthy living, and workplace training and injury prevention. It is our intent that the CHPH will eventually be able to operate on a cost-recovery basis (minimally), and that any revenues beyond this level will be reinvested into Human Kinetics to grow and further enhance the student and community experience through program and facility advancement.
The examples highlighted above provide a glimpse of a few key initiatives and directions that we are headed in as we move forward with our research. Our newly founded Kinesiology Research Group is tasked with providing strategic directions for our individual and collaborative research activities, and supporting and fostering research excellence in the faculty. Given all of our recent successes, we have never looked to the future with more optimism and excitement.
Yours in research,