CALL FOR STUDENT APPLICATIONS: GUSEGG 2019

For the fifth consecutive year, ACT is sponsoring a module on ageing, communication and technologies as part of the Graz International Summer School Seggau (GUSEGG). The school, which welcomes professors and students from around the world, will be held from June 30 to July 13 2019 in Leibnitz, Austria.

This year, the module on aging will be taught by ACT Director Kim Sawchuk. ACT will partially fund up to five graduate students to attend the school, and will cover tuition and boarding costs. You can learn more about GUSEGG and this year’s school here. For more information about about ACT’s involvement, you can watch a great video “trailer” produced during the summer school in 2016.

This opportunity is open to ACT-affiliated students who have not had the chance to participate in the school. Interested students need to apply to ACT. Applications should be sent to application@actproject.ca by March 18, 2019 and should include:

1) a 500-word (max) letter on the student’s motivation to attend Graz International Summer School Seggau 2019 and why the topic of the lectures and seminar model is of value to them. The student should especially explain how their research fits within ACT and how they will benefit from courses in the module on ageing, communication and technologies.

2) A C.V.

3) The ACT student support form signed by a co-applicant or collaborator (the form is available here) OR a letter of reference written by an ACT co-applicant or collaborator.

Successful candidates will be asked to provide more information to GUSEGG, including academic transcripts and a copy of their passports.

Graduate Summer School – Beyond the Body: Recasting Aging

From July 3 to 10 ACT collaborator engAGE: Concordia University’s Centre for Research on Aging will host its first intensive and experiential international graduate summer school. The title of the summer school is Beyond the Body: Recasting Aging.

Keynote speakers include Toni Calasanti (Virginia Tech), Paula Negron (Université de Montréal), Ros Jennings (University of Gloucestershire), Erin Lamb (Hiram College) and Barbara Marshall (Trent University). A small number of fellowships are available for international students who need financial assistance to attend the summer school. Visit the summer school website to learn more about the course outline and application process. The application deadline is April 15.

Questions can be directed at engage@concordia.ca

New Research Grant on Intelligent Personal Assistants

Galit Nimrod and Yael Edan of Ben Gurion University of the Negev were awarded a research grant from the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology to study processes of assimilation of Intelligent Personal Assistants (IPAs) among older users. IPAs combine features of both service and companion robots, and have great potential to promote subjective wellbeing in old age. Applying the holistic approach to the study of human-robot interaction in later life, Nimrod and Edan will explore the extent to which IPAs indeed promote wellbeing in later life, the factors that constrain or alleviate processes of assimilation of IPAs, and whether processes of assimilation and contribution to wellbeing vary upon IPA’s type.

The study will combine knowledge and methods from both the social sciences and industrial engineering. Sixty community-dwelling individuals aged 75 years and over will be recruited and given an IPA for a period of three months. During this time, qualitative and quantitative measures will be used to assess use patterns, the outcomes resulting thereof and factors that constrain use. Results are expected to promote the existing body of knowledge regarding processes of assimilation of new technologies among older adults. In addition, the findings will be used to create a toolbox for technology developers and designers, that will guide adaption of existing technology to older people’ needs as well as development of designated technologies for the global aging population.

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 15: ACT Student Bursaries 2019

The ACT Student Bursaries are awarded to students enrolled in master’s or doctoral programs in ACT partner universities, and who are conducting research on the intersections of ageing, communication and technologies as part of their thesis project. ACT will award up to four competitive bursaries per year: two for doctoral students ($2,000 CAD each) and two for master’s students ($1,000 CAD each).

All applications must be submitted to application@actproject.ca by the required due date of February 1, 2019. **EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 15, 2019**

Eligibility 

  • The student must be registered in a doctoral or master’s program in an ACT partner university.
  • The student’s candidacy must be supported by an ACT co-applicant or collaborator, who is affiliated with the student’s home university/ACT partner university and able to administer ACT funds to the student. However, the student does not necessarily need to be directly supervised by the supporting ACT co-applicant or collaborator.
  • The student must be registered in a program with a required thesis component.
  • The student’s thesis must fit directly within the mandate of ACT.
  • If in a PhD program, the student’s thesis proposal must have been approved or defended prior to applying to this bursary. If in a MA program, the student’s thesis proposal does not necessarily need to have been approved or defended before applying to this bursary.
  • Each student is only admissible for one ACT bursary per degree, and must not have received bursaries, scholarships, fellowships or stipends from ACT in the past (e.g., scholarship or project funding).
  • The student must not plan to have completed their thesis within six months following the bursary application deadline.

 

Submission

First, candidates must submit a single email with two attachments: the completed “ACT Student Bursaries Application Form,” and a Curriculum Vitae that provides an overview of the student’s accomplishments and research record. Second, the supporting ACT co-applicant or collaborator must send an email with two attachments: the completed “ACT Student Bursaries Support Form” and a letter of recommendation. If the supporting ACT co-applicant or collaborator is not the student’s thesis supervisor, then the student’s thesis supervisor can provide the letter of recommendation instead.

All documents must be emailed to application@actproject.ca by the appropriate due date. No late applications will be considered.

 

Obligations

Students: Successful applicants must commit to fulfilling a number of requirements. The student will be asked to work with the ACT team to share information on the project for reporting and communication purposes. This includes providing the necessary information to set up a project page on the ACT website, a biography and photo, and other information, as requested. The student must write an In Focus piece for the ACT website over the 12 months that follow the announcement of their award. Furthermore, the student will be required to acknowledge the support of ACT and its funder, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), in research outputs, including conference papers, workshops and poster presentations, publications, the final production of their thesis and any creative or media products of their research.

Supporting co-applicants and collaborators: By supporting an application, the co-applicant or collaborator must be able to recommend to ACT  that the student should be funded. The sponsoring co-applicant or collaborator must also be willing and able to facilitate the payment of the bursary by their institution using ACT funds; as such, they must be able to receive the funds from ACT via an institutional transfer.

 

Related Documents

ACT Student Bursaries February 2019 Call (Word document)
ACT Student Bursaries Application Form (Word document)
ACT Student Bursaries Support Form (Word document)

ACT members will appear at CRTC hearings on October 23, 2018

Kim Sawchuk, Anne Caines, and Kendra Besanger will travel to Gatineau, QC to participate in the CRTC’s public hearing on Canadian telecommunication companies’ aggressive and misleading sales tactics.

ACT will present findings from their recent report, Experiences of Older Adults with Abusive Sales Practices of Canadian Telecommunication Providers.

Read more about the full intervention here.

ACT network members’ recent publications

We are happy to share a list of ACT network members’ publications that have been released within the past few months.

May Chazan, Melissa Baldwin, and Patricia Evans (2018) – Unsettling Activisms: Critical Interventions on Aging, Gender, and Social Change. Women’s Press/ Canadian Scholars’ Press. The book launch will take place on October 27 in Peterborough, ON.

Stephen Katz (2018)- “The Greatest Band that Never Was: Music, Memory and Boomer Biography” in Popular Music and Society. 

Jane Traies (2018) – Now You See Me. Tollington Press

Lisa Carver (2018) – “Why life insurance companies want your Fitbit data” in the Conversation Canada.

Loredana Ivan, Ioana Schiau and Corina Buzoianu (2018) – “The Use of a Drawing Tool to Assess the Implicit Ageism of Students” in Slovensky Narodopis

Oded Zafrani and Galit Nimrod (2018) – “Towards a Holistic Approach to Studying Human-Robot Interaction in Later Life” in The Gerontologist.

 

Martine Lagacé named to the National Seniors Council

ACT co-applicant Martine Lagacé, a professor at the University of Ottawa was recently named to the National Seniors Council (NSC). The NSC’s mission is to consult with Canadian seniors, experts and other stakeholders so as to advise the federal government and inform public policy on matters related to the health and well-being of older adults. Lagacé brings to the NSC a wealth of expertise in the area of ageism and age-based discrimination. She will serve as part of the Council until June 2020.

 

ACT releases the report on the first wave of its cross-country longitudinal study

ACT is pleased to announce the release of the report of the first wave of its cross-country longitudinal study. The report, which is titled Older audiences in the digital media environment: A cross-national longitudinal study, provides an overview of some key findings about seniors’ uses of media from a 2016 wave of quantitative data collection, undertaken in seven countries.

The project involves teams from multiple partnered universities in Austria, Canada, Israel, the Netherlands, Romania, and Spain. It offers a unique opportunity to explore possible processes of displacement of traditional dominant media by innovative communication practices within the older audience of new media. Replicating Nimrod’s (2017) study of older audiences, data is being collected on a biannual basis over a five-year period, for a total of three waves. This first report outlines some of the results from the first wave of the study, which is based on surveys from Internet users aged 60 and up, to whom we will return in the following waves.

Older audiences in the digital media environment: A cross-national longitudinal study (PDF, 1.4MB)

Sarit Okun and Karine Bellerive are awarded ACT doctoral student bursaries

ACT is pleased to announce the recipients of the ACT Student Bursaries, which are awarded annually to students enrolled in master’s or doctoral programs in ACT partner universities, and who are conducting research on the intersections of ageing, communication and technologies as part of their thesis projects.

Sarit Okun is a doctoral student in the Department of Communication Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, working under the supervision of Galit Nimrod. She was born on a religious kibbutz to the south of Israel, and raised in an orthodox Jewish society that observes a Torah and Halacha. Thus, the religious environment has always been a significant and central part of her way of life. Okun’s current research, entitled “Online Spirituality in Later Life,” seeks to understand whether and how online religious activity contributes to the lives of seniors. For this study, a Participatory Action Research (PAR) program with 26 religious elders is being conducted, with plans to share the results in a new website built for the purposes of the study. As Okun writes:

“I believe that PAR with an adult group is an excellent way to learn deeply about the positive and negative contribution of online religion to the older population. I wish to take this opportunity to thank ACT wholeheartedly for the award, and hope that my research will be useful and will help theoretical and practical aspects of ACT research.”

The other recipient of the student bursary is Karine Bellerive. Bellerive is a doctoral student in the Department of Communication at the Université de Montréal, under the supervision of Line Grenier. She is particularly interested in self-writing practices and their value as modes of knowledge production, as well as issues related to memory and ageing. Her thesis project is entitled, Exploration de la force performative des écritures de soi-s par une recherche-création féministe : vieillissements et devenirs (roughly translating as Exploration of the performative strength of self-writing through a feminist research creation project: aging and becoming). She explores writing through writing, and questions what can emerge from self-writing processes. Karine is also a lecturer in the Department of Letters and Communications at the Université de Sherbrooke, where she has been teaching theories of communication and writing since 2008, and where she has been involved in various educational committees. As Bellerive reflects, “I would like to say that it is an honour for me to have been awarded this scholarship and to formally integrate the ACT research group, whose projects and mission are really inspiring.​ I hope that my contribution will be as inspiring for the other members”.​