With only three months left in the 2022-23 training program, our Fellows are preparing for the CAnD3 Dragon’s Den. In the CAnD3 version, Fellows will pitch a data visualization story in two minutes to a panel of Dragons for feedback. We hope this will be a chance for the Fellows to apply their new-found analytics and visualization skills to their research and communicate effectively to non-specialist audiences.
In the midst of their preparations, we caught up with Fellows, Lucy and Kamila, to learn about their research and what they have gained from the program.
Featured image: Lucy Kervin (left) and Kamila Kolpashnikova (right).
Lucy witnessed first-hand the caregiving disparities and the consequences of social isolation while working as a Personal Support Worker, Geriatric Care Aid, and a residential and crisis mental health worker. She also saw significant research gaps in this area in the Canadian context. Determined to contribute to large-scale, meaningful solutions to the challenges faced by underserved older adults, Lucy decided to pursue doctoral studies.
“The focus of my dissertation research is the investigation of how older Canadians who lack informal caregiving support access and navigate formal health and social care services and systems,” Lucy explains. Her research interests include stakeholder-informed approaches to health services research, knowledge translation, and community-based interventions for later-life social and physical isolation.
Methodologically, Lucy has been involved with research projects that highlight the value and utility of mixed approaches. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, I had the opportunity to co-coordinate a multi-site mixed-methods research project led by a BC health authority whose findings were directly applied to improve care practices supporting older adults in long-term care.” Currently, Lucy is supporting the analysis of national health survey data using various qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the experiences of family caregivers of persons living with dementia and other chronic health conditions.
Lucy says that employing multiple methodological approaches better captures the complexity of topics like health and care. To expose herself to new research methods and deepen her understanding of others, she sought CAnD3’s training program.
“CAnD3 has provided an extremely positive, encouraging, and supportive environment where I can be exposed to new concepts. CAnD3 has pushed me to consider new avenues for research-policy communication, and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to connect with peers working across a range of research interests. The CAnD3 team works hard to make sure we have fun at the same time as being challenged!”
Lucy enjoys camping and hiking with her partner, working on home renovations, and trying new plant-based recipes. This year, she’s starting a vegetable garden from seeds for the first time! The picture shows her on a trip to Mont Tremblant in Quebec.
After her PhD, Lucy wants to pursue an applied health research position in the non-profit or public sector. “CAnD3 has supported this goal by connecting me with an internship with the SE Research Centre, where I am exposed to how data-driven decision-making plays out in the Canadian health system and in service development.” Lucy hopes to use these experiences for impactful and sustainable mobilization and translation of population health research findings to better serve older Canadians.
Learn more about Lucy and connect with her.
Kamila recently published a scoping review on the fear of falling, identifying overarching topics, gaps in the extant literature, and future avenues of research. The comprehensive piece is a valuable addition to furthering theoretical and empirical frameworks on the topic. “In my current project, I explore the fear of falling and its effects on how older adults organize their daily activities with a particular focus on domestic work and leisure. I am interested in how people use their time because it gives us a glimpse at our daily lives and how social inequalities reflect in our daily lives.”
Kamila’s other research interests include the gendered division of housework and North American and East Asian societies. They have previously analyzed cross-national differences in how elder caregivers use their time, with a focus on women-caregivers.
Currently, Kamila is a postdoctoral fellow at York University but has previously held research positions at the University of Oxford and the National Taipei University and was an assistant professor at the American University of Central Asia. With diverse experiences spanning continents, Kamila decided to train with CAnD3 to further their computational analysis skills.
“I joined CAnD3 to improve my data analysis skills and to network. I find that the program is amazing and I think we, Fellows, are learning a lot. I am particularly excited about creating our own portfolios to showcase our work,” explains Kamila. Some of this work from Kamila includes a webinar they led on time-use data visualizations and other engaging data stories using various R packages.
In their free time, Kamila plays chess, sometimes even at tournaments. The photos above feature one of these tournaments and their cat, Bunny. Kamila also started reading the Wheel of Time books recently and hopes to finish them this year.
As a data scientist with an extensive toolkit of quantitative and analytical skills, Kamila hopes to apply these skills either in or outside of academia from the perspective of a sociologist and a demographer. Learn more about Kamila and connect with them.
About the training program
The Population Analytics in an Aging Society Training Program is a rigorous one-year fellowship hosted by the Consortium on Analytics for Data-Driven Decision-Making (CAnD3), funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and based at McGill University. The program upskills rising researchers in Master's, PhD, and postdoctoral programs in the areas of population data science and computational population social science from a multidisciplinary lens. It also connects Fellows to experiential learning opportunities, which include hands-on research projects and internships with government, not-for-profit, and private sector CAnD3 partners. Since the first year of the program in 2020, CAnD3 has trained 32 Fellows and welcomes 20 new Fellows for the 2022-23 Academic Year.