Project Information


Fall 2024 Projects

Beyond Convention: Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in Canada

Project Supervisor

Professor Keiko Shikako

School of Physical and Occupational Therapy

Project Description

In this project we have engaged with a large number of disability organizations and advocates, government departments, and scholars to assess to what extent the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has influenced policy, laws, and advocacy efforts for persons with disabilities in Canada. We also want to understand how persons with disabilities in Canada and their allies have drawn on the CRPD in their advocacy efforts. Finally, we want to identify best practices that can empower interested parties in monitoring and enhancing the implementation of the CRPD in Canada.

Our project aims to identify the priority areas for disability rights and policy in Canada from the perspectives of Canadians with disabilities and multiple sources of knowledge (social media, civils society reports, public consultations and policies) and to apply these priority areas to engage in constructive dialogue with multiple interested parties. The disability rights field currently lacks a multidisciplinary, systematic in-depth analyses of the diverse processes that have shaped the influence of the CRPD in Canada.

Project Team

The intern will work in close collaboration with the research team that includes researchers, civil society organizations and organizations of persons with disabilities, research associates and knowledge mobilization specialists in the PI lab.

Student Responsibilities and Deliverables

Systematic content analysis of laws, policies, and programs adopted by the federal and all provincial and territorial governments as well as court decisions in the following three sectors: education, healthcare, and accessibility since the ratification of the CRPD by Canada (2010-2022). We selected these three sectors because they allow an assessment of how the division of responsibilities within a federation may affect the realization of the CRPD. We will also examine secondary data from Statistics Canada that includes disaggregated data on disabilities to identify the information on persons with disabilities pre/post the CRPD that relate to outcome indicators on the selected UNCRP articles (e.g., children with disabilities enrolled in school). This may shed light on the potential impact of programs and policies created since the implementation of the CRPD and identify data gaps. Interns will identify policies following a framework provided by the research team, and will conduct analysis of the identified policies in collaboration with the research team.

Technical Skills

Background: Rehabilitation, Education, Health and social policy, Law
Policy analysis experience is preferred, but not mandatory.
Familiarity with systematic reviews and/or searches, desk reviews, disability studies, and equity frameworks is an asset.

Transferable Skills

Bilingual (reading and writing).
Ability to work independently while reporting to and collaborating with a large team.

Bridging the global gap in abortion access through telehealth

Project Supervisor

Professor Jennifer Fishman

Department of Equity, Ethics and Policy

Project Description

The "Bridging the Global Gap in Abortion Access through Telehealth" project aims to address the global gap in abortion access by leveraging telehealth technologies. Recognizing the disparities in abortion access across different countries, this project seeks to examine the use of telehealth to provide confidential and compassionate care to individuals in need, regardless of geographic location or legal restrictions.

Central to this project is a strategic collaboration with Women on Web, a pioneering international online abortion provider renowned for its commitment to abortion research, advocacy, and service provision. Women on Web (WoW) is a Canadian non-profit organization, founded in 2005, and is a digital community composed of medical practitioners, help desk members, and researchers. Over its 19 years of operation, WoW has been offering safe abortion care in restrictive settings and has also been leading abortion research and advocacy in the field of telemedicine. Through innovative telehealth solutions and remote follow-up care, WoW offers non-judgmental and compassionate abortion care to individuals and communities living in restrictive settings.

Research lies at the core of Women on Web’s operations. WoW integrates research with service provision and advocacy. In the past, WoW's research has played a crucial role in shedding light on online abortion trajectories in restrictive environments and has also been instrumental in informing legal reforms in several countries. Within the framework of this internship program, we are looking for interns to join our research program to support our research efforts on abortion access trajectories.

Project Team

Dr. Jennifer Fishman will supervise the student, who will work closely with the research team at Women on Web. The research team at Women on Web is led by a researcher, Dr. Hazal Halay, affiliated with Sciences Po Paris, France. The intern will primarily interact with these two researchers and will work under their supervision.

The intern is not required to participate in lab or team meetings but is welcome to join if they wish. However, the intern is expected to share updates and progress regarding the data analysis and is to attend regular bimonthly meetings with the researchers.

Student Responsibilities and Deliverables

The intern will be assigned to analyze a dataset specific to a chosen country. This dataset comprises demographic information of individuals seeking abortion services, details regarding the causes of unwanted pregnancies, factors prompting them to seek abortion through Women on Web, and insights into their abortion experiences.

The primary responsibilities of the intern will encompass conducting a thorough descriptive analysis of the dataset assigned. This analysis will involve synthesizing key trends and patterns within the data, such as demographic characteristics of abortion seekers, prevalent causes of unwanted pregnancies reasons for seeking abortion services, and variations in abortion experiences across different age groups.

If he/she/they wishes, the intern will also have the opportunity to delve deeper into the data to identify correlations or associations between various variables. This could entail examining relationships between demographic factors and reasons for seeking abortion or abortion experiences.

The intern will be supported by the WoW research team throughout the data analysis process. The final deliverable of this project is a report reflecting on the data analysis. Overall, this role presents an opportunity for the intern to gain hands-on experience in data analysis within the context of abortion research, contributing to a deeper understanding of abortion access and experiences on a global scale.

Technical Skills

The intern is expected to have basic data analysis skills, including some proficiency in statistical analysis and data manipulation techniques for quantitative data, and ideally qualitative data as well. These skills will be essential for conducting the data analysis, identifying trends and patterns.

Familiarity with data visualization tools and software packages such as R, Python, or SPSS would be an asset.

While prior experience in data analysis is preferred, candidates with basic knowledge in data analysis and willingness to learn new skills should be sufficient.

Background can be in any area, but interest in reproductive health is essential.

Transferable Skills

The intern is expected to demonstrate strong critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills to draw insightful conclusions from the data. Attention to detail is paramount for this task, as even minor nuances in the data can lead to significant findings. Additionally, the intern should possess a keen eye for detail to ensure accuracy and reliability in their analysis.

We highly value teamwork and effective cross-cultural communication skills, given the collaborative nature of our work and the different partners involved. We therefore expect the intern to be open and interested in working on a collaborative, international team.

Communications and knowledge synthesis for the Canadian Wellbeing Knowledges Network

Project Supervisor

Professor Chris Barrington-Leigh

Department of Equity, Ethics and Policy | Bieler School of Environment | Department of Economics

Project Description

Wellbeing policy is gaining momentum worldwide. There is an emerging global movement to bring better concepts and measures of human wellbeing to the centre of policy-making.

The Canadian federal government, several provinces and an increasing number of municipal governments and community organizations are approaching policy and budget decisions based on a growing body of knowledge about what makes life good. A global pandemic has also increased public understanding of what really matters for wellbeing and there is a call for governments to make wellbeing or quality-of-life a central policy objective and source of accountability.

The Canadian Wellbeing Knowledges Network (CWKN) brings together organizations and individuals from public, private, academic and community sectors to share ideas for advancing and supporting wellbeing policy approaches in Canada.
Our common purpose is to provide opportunities for people to engage in catalytic conversations and idea sharing about how they conceptualize, measure, research or support wellbeing and how policy decisions can use a wellbeing lens; to build, exchange and leverage our collective knowledge on the latest wellbeing policy evidence, initiatives and practices; and to activate and strengthen a cross-sectoral and inclusive collaboration network for wellbeing policy across Canada.

More background information is available on the CWKN website.

Prof Chris Barrington-Leigh (PI), who co-leads the CWKN, has a research focus on life satisfaction, measured as individuals' single-question, subjective, quantitative assessment of how good life feels, overall. This is one leading approach for deriving evidence about human outcomes for policy-making.

This project is to support our knowledge mobilization efforts, primarily by synthesizing and compiling relevant evidence and policy news into periodic bilingual newsletters.

Project Team

This project will be independent with supervision from and regular meetings with Professor Barrington-Leigh, but may include collaborations with our outside partners and Leadership Team.

Student Responsibilities and Deliverables

The primary deliverables will be a (1) series of newsletters, each in both English and French, throughout the term, (2) an updated or evolved web site. Composing newsletters involves understanding the policy and practice community of the CWKN network, and organizing, synthesizing, and translating news and announcements for that audience.

Additional tasks may include:

  • maintaining / updating web site content using WordPress content management interface
  • maintaining the Network membership database and mailing list
  • helping with online member "cafés", webinars, and stakeholder meetings
  • organization of online documents
  • supporting other CWKN activities

Technical Skills

  • Composing pretty/formatted (ie HTML) emails using a standard email client or a specialized mailing list manager service.
  • Managing a website using WordPress.
  • Managing files using Google Drive.

Supplemental Materials

An English writing sample is required; it can be from a course assignment.
A French writing sample is also suggested.

International and Canadian Child Rights Partnership [ICCRP] Annual Internship

Project Supervisors

Professor Mónica Ruiz-Casares [McGill University] & ICCRP Project Manager [ICCRP]

Department of Equity, Ethics and Policy

Project Description

The International & Canadian Child Rights Partnership (ICCRP) was formed in 2015. Through its prior work on the interconnections of children's rights to participation and protection, the ICCRP identified a critically overlooked element in realizing child rights: intergenerational relationships. The expanded ICCRP is now focusing on this new, innovative research direction to examine how intergenerational relationships can transcend current barriers to implementing children's rights, through intergenerational partnerships, in research, policy, and practice.

The ICCRP includes young people with lived experience, 38 researchers, and 30 partner organizations from universities, NGOs, major human rights institutions, and governments in Canada and in multiple countries across the Americas, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. The current research objectives of the ICCRP are:

  1. Expand conceptual models for intergenerational partnerships;
  2. Investigate processes for fostering intergenerational partnerships to support child rights, including youth activism;
  3. Identify and develop relational practices (intergenerational, decolonial, cross-national, cross-cultural, ethical) that can reform and stimulate research, public policy, and practice to support child rights; and
  4. Explore and analyze child rights education environments and how they support or hinder understanding of child rights among children, as well as intergenerational partnerships.

Project Team

The intern will report to Mónica Ruiz-Casares and the ICCRP Project Manager, and will work closely with other ICCRP research staff and partners.

Student Responsibilities and Deliverables

The successful intern will provide virtual support and contribute to the overall goals of the international research partnership. The successful intern will gain knowledge of social science research design, methodologies, and the execution of academic and customized policy research on children rights both in Canada and around the world. The successful intern will assist with the development of ICCRP policy briefs, contribute to the ICCRP website, and support conference preparations. They will assist ICCRP staff members with the partnership’s communication and knowledge dissemination strategy and efforts in line with the Department of Equity, Ethics and Policy’s contributions to the partnership e.g. newsletter, social media, online webinars, etc. The candidate will gain important knowledge of the ethical implications and policy related issues that arise from real-world situations whereby NGOs, governments, and academic institutions involve young people in their human rights efforts.

The successful intern’s role will include some or all of the following ICCRP activities (specific responsibilities will be commensurate with qualifications and determined in partnership with the selected intern):

  • Research and writing support, including literature reviews and reports;
  • Attend the ICCRP Policy Working Group meetings to support dialogue, learning, and research outputs such as webinars, practice notes, and potential publications;
  • Support research team long-term projects as needed, including background research and fact-checking, preparing slide decks for presentations, managing documents, and responding to emails
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Communications (e.g. prepare and present information to others, contribute to knowledge mobilization efforts)
  • Networking and collaborations
  • Outreach activities
  • Report writing/editing
  • Activities that provide international experience
  • Interdisciplinary local, national, and international engagement with children’s rights stakeholders as required

Technical Skills 

  • Excellent written, verbal, and non-verbal communication skills
  • Strong organizational and critical analysis skills;
  • Advanced knowledge of MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and GSuite (Docs, Sheets, Drive and Gmail);

Transferable Skills

  • Demonstrated knowledge of child rights and child and youth participation;
  • Ability to build strong interpersonal relationships with young people and adults;
  • Capacity and willingness to work remotely;
  • Priority will be given to those with previous experience engaging children and youth people in research.

Pathways2Equity

Project Supervisor

Professor Claudia Mitchell

Department of Integrated Studies in Education

Project Description

Pathways2Equity: Youth-led, Indigenous-Focussed, Gender-Transformative, Arts-Based Approaches to Challenging Gender Norms in Addressing GBV (2021-2024). This project expands the work of More Than Words and responds to the calls from Indigenous girls and young women, in all their diversity, to include boys and young men in gender-based violence (GBV) prevention. Both More Than Words and Pathways2Equity are made possible through funding from Women & Gender Equality Canada (WAGE).

P2E is a girl-informed project, focusing on work with Indigenous boys and young men in communities across Canada. Now more than ever there is a recognition of the importance of working with boys and young men in separate and non-threatening, yet inclusive and integrated ways to address SGBV. The leadership of Indigenous girls and young women critically informs and frames the engagement of Indigenous boys and young men in participatory and creative ways. Specific objectives of the project include: fostering leadership with Indigenous girls and young women, engaging Indigenous boys and young men in ending GBV, creating local and culturally relevant dialogues and knowledge-sharing around the root causes of gender inequality and violence. Indigenous youth are supported in establishing a Pathways2Equity Youth Framework based on local and national engagement and promising practices.

Project Team

The intern will collaborate with the staff and students of the Participator Cultures Lab (PCL), particularly Leann Brown, Project Coordinator for Pathways2Equity and Angela MacDonald, the Administrative Coordinator for the lab. There are several graduate students working as Research Assistants on the project that the intern will collaborate with. Ideally work will be done on-site in the PCL (2001 McGill College, suite 930) and the intern will take part in project meetings alongside staff and students.

Faculty Leader: Claudia Mitchell
Project Administrator: Leann Brown
RAs Bori Godley; Emi Romeo
Postdoc: Monica Shank

Student Responsibilities and Deliverables

A key focus of our funder, WAGE, is a commitment to gender-transformation and deepening an understanding of how Indigenous boys and young men can play a role in combating gender-based violence through policy dialogue. Central to this internship, we would involve the intern in two key components of the project: (1) helping to assemble the data with and about boys and young men that we have collected through Pathways2Equity fieldwork and assisting in the creation of visual resources to represent the findings and promising practices (much of this work is in the form of videos); (2) assembling literature between 2021 and 2024 on boys and young men in policy dialogue. This literature review will complement a previous literature review, Collaborating Masculinities, conducted in 2021-2022. The output from #1 will be an up-to-date inventory of the data, and compilation of visual resources. The output for #2 will be a draft literature review.

Technical Skills

Students with interests and experience with participatory visual research methodologies (e.g. arts-based approaches, photovoice, cellphilming) and qualitative data collection and analysis will be particularly suited to this position. Strong writing skills are required. A base level of design experience in regard to representing findings graphically (posters, infographics and diagrams) as an asset. Knowledge of Indigenous worldviews and approaches as an asset.

Transferable Skills

Responsive, two-way communication is an important component to the success of our team. Interns will need to be organized and able to manage, and communicate about, their schedules and commitments. The ability to work both independently and as part of our wider team is important. Interns will be responsible to drive their projects, but will have continuous access to support from the team.

Systematic review of climate change impacts on mental health and interventions in the Americas

Project Supervisor

Professor Jura Augustinavicius

Department of Equity, Ethics and Policy

Project Description

In collaboration with colleagues at McGill University and the University of Chile, the intern will contribute to a systematic review of published literature on climate change and mental health in the Americas to support initiatives in this area by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Systematic reviews have been conducted on this topic globally and this review will build on them in several key ways. This review will examine regional evidence of climate change’s impact on mental health and highlight challenges that may be unique to the Americas. The review will also examine interventions that have been implemented to address these effects. The results from this systematic review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal and may inform PAHO’s policy work on climate change and mental health across the Americas.

Project Team

The intern will be mentored by both Dr. Jura Augustinavicius and postdoctoral research fellow Dr. Lani Cupo. They will also collaborate with partners at the University of Chile through virtual meetings.

Student Responsibilities and Deliverables

The intern will obtain a comprehensive understanding of the process of writing a systematic review and submitting a manuscript through their activities. They will be asked to contribute to screening (i.e. read and screen abstracts and full-text articles while adhering to inclusion and exclusion criteria for article selection, extracting relevant data, and discussing findings with mentors/collaborators). They will collaborate with mentors and other team members to synthesize findings and discuss the structure of the manuscript. They will be asked to contribute to the final manuscript by participating in drafting and/or reviewing/editing as time allows. Additionally, they will be asked to participate in lab meetings and to present a summary of their findings in the final meeting.

By the end of their internship, the intern will be expected to a) have a solid foundation of knowledge regarding the evidence linking climate change and mental health, especially in the Americas b) have a deep understanding of the systematic review process (including what distinguishes systematic reviews from other types of reviews) and understand the process of drafting and submitting a manuscript c) have first-hand experience engaging in an international collaborations. We also hope they will have continued to develop their confidence in discussing and presenting their thoughts and opinions in a research context. Their contributions will be recognized by authorship or acknowledgement on the paper based on fulfillment of ICMJE criteria: https://www.icmje.org/recommendations/browse/roles-and-responsibilities/....

Technical Skills

No special technical skills are required. An academic background and/or research experience in public health, mental health, or environmental sciences are considered assets, but not required.

Transferable Skills

No specific transferable skills are required, however a strong command of written communication would be an asset. Spanish and/or French language proficiency would also be considered assets.

Supplemental Materials

Academic writing sample.

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