New report to British Columbia government on mobile services

ACT researchers were invited by the British Columbia government to submit an intervention as part of the province’s public engagement and legislative review to identify ways to improve cell phone contract and billing transparency. The ACT report, titled “Fair Sales Practices and Affordable Services: The Cell Phone Needs of Canadian Seniors,” emphasizes the need for challenging the current telecommunication landscape, ending aggressive and misleading sales practices, and providing affordable mobile services to all Canadians.

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.