Winter 2019 Projects

Projects for Winter 19

 

Projects supervised by Prof. Chris Barrington-Leigh

 

  1. Beijing:

 

China has recently committed to rapidly eliminate household coal burning across the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region within the span of 5 years. The coal ban requires approximately 1.5 million people in over 3,700 villages to transition from highly-polluting coal heating stoves to government-subsidized electric-powered heat pumps. Even with a subsidy for the upfront costs of the technology, the cost is high and the market price for electricity is greater than coal on a per-unit-energy basis. The programme has large implications for outdoor air quality and health in the greater Beijing region and climate-related emissions, but also for the households directly affected by the new rules.After a successful pilot study, we are conducting a two-year panel study of a sample of households to assess the household-level effects of the policy, including heating behaviour, job market shifts, life satisfaction, and objective indoor air quality. Candidate interns should be able to read Chinese and will support preparations for the upcoming field season. Tasks may involve literature review, government source searches, map and data gathering, and modification of software used for tablet-based questionnaires. Some SQL database experience would be useful for the latter, but is not required.

Details of project subject to change.

 

  1. WWW interface to geographic research data:

 

Urban sprawl, particularly in fast-growing cities in the developing world, will fundamentally affect future pathways of vehicle travel, air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. We have recently developed the first global time series of street-network sprawl — that is, sprawl as measured through the connectivity of the urban street network — calculated across countries, cities, and smaller geographies, and over time since 1975. The successful intern, with skills in programming, (including GNU/Linux, Python, and some web development, and possibly an interest in database-driven GIS) will help to build a public-facing interface for some of the large datasets we have generated. This will help to make our policy-relevant findings accessible to decision-making stakeholders, as well as to other research teams. Details of project subject to change.

 

  1. Canadian urban sprawl:

 

One project will focus on the growth of new urban developments in North America. The form of these developments has major and long-term impacts on health, energy use, environment, equity, future lifestyles, and life quality.Because of the pace of urbanization, worldwide, these investments may be one of the largest policy levers with respect to climate and health policies. A new global dataset housed at McGill quantifies the road network connectivity which underlies all urban form. The successful intern will help to characterize the kinds of developments occuring in Canada (and possibly in other countries) according to complementary micro- or high-resolution data from Statistics Canada. The project may also involve detailed analysis of consumption, equity, and well-being outcomes in those Canadian data in order to inform policy and practice in zoning and legislation governing new neighbourhoods. The intern should be experienced with or keen about Geographic Information Systems, some econometric software, and the analysis of survey data. For the micro-data, the intern will need to be eligible for security clearance from Statistics Canada (not usually difficult; citizenship not required). 

Details of project subject to change.

 

  1. Subjective well-being:

 

One additional project to be determined, likely related to our groups work on the economics of happiness. Past interns have researched subjective wellbeing and health, happiness and urban form, and cross-national comparisons of life satisfaction, and other top

 

5. Health, health equity, and inequality in six global cities:

 

As part of an international collaboration involving six global cities (in Bangladesh, Canada, China, Ghana, Iran, and the UK), the successful intern will help to gather and bring together geographically-linked data on socioeconomic status, health, and associated variables from our partners. GIS experience is needed, along with an interest in health, economics, development, and/or epidemiology.

 

Projects supervised by Prof. Jill Baumgartner

China has recently committed to rapidly eliminate household coal burningacross the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region within the span of 5 years. Thecoal ban requires over 1.5 million people in 3,700 villagesto transition from highly-polluting coal heating stoves togovernment-subsidized electric-powered heat pumps. Theprogram has large implications for outdoor air quality and population health in thegreater Beijing region and climate-related emissions, but also for thehouseholds directly affected by the new rules. After a successful pilotstudy, we are conducting a two-year study to assess the household-leveleffects of the policy on ambient air pollution and personal exposures, indoor temperature, and health outcomes including respiratory and cardiovascular markers in adults. Candidate interns should be able to read Chinese and will provide back-stopping support during and after field data collection. Tasks may involve data cleaning and analysis, including summary statistics for different indicators. Some experience in data analysis is required. Chinese language skills are helpful but not required.

Details of project subject to change.

 

Project supervised by Prof. Jonas-Sebastian Beaudry

BILL C-81 (An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada), CRPD and Beyond

 

The Internship Project will consist of examining new and emerging disability legislation in Canada and in foreign jurisdictions, as well as in conducing a literature review of scholarship that has criticized the strengths and limitations of such legal frameworks, and the repercussions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on those laws. This exploratory project will draw insights from comparative analyses, as well as criticisms emerging from both the academic community and disability organizations, and from existing alternatives in order jurisdictions in order to begin reflecting on how existing and future disability legislation in Canada may respond to those challenges.

 

Project supervised by Dr. Mary Bartram (on behalf of Harm-Reduction Project of Professors Daniel Weinstock and Alana Klein)

Harm reduction as a bridge between mental health and addiction recovery.Recovery in both sectors has its roots in the advocacy of people with lived experience and their families, and includes a focus on hope in the face of stigma, self-determination, transformation, and meaningful lives in community. Nevertheless, cure is generally not thought to be necessary for mental health recovery, but abstinence is widely regarded as necessary for recovery from addiction. This study will explore thepotential for harm reduction to actas a bridge between the mental health and addiction sectors, with a particular focus on the concept of recovery as a driver of system transformation.

Depending interests and skills, the IHSP intern could potentially contribute to the reviewing of policy and academic literature in Canada and internationally, and the analysis of qualitative data from interviews or focus groups.

 

 

Prof. Amélie Quesnel-Vallée (Dept of Sociology / Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health;IHSP Associate Member):Observatory on Health and Social Services Reforms

Two interns are required to work on the newly launched Observatory on Health and Social Services Reforms (OHSSR) which is led by Dr. Amélie Quesnel-Vallée in collaboration with faculty members from both the IHSP and the Department of Family Medicine. The OHSSR aims to:

1. Monitor key health systems reforms and develop indicators of their potential impact
2. Facilitate comparison of health systems performance indicators across provinces and other jurisdictions
3. Provide trainees with experiential learning opportunities and enriched skills sets allowing them to better meet the demands of constantly evolving health policies and systems.
4. Accelerate knowledge exchange between health services researchers and key stakeholders: health practitioners, decision-makers, patients and the public.

The interns will be required within this broader project to work on literature reviews, research briefs and managing and updating social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter etc.) and the project website. Bilingualism (French/English) and experience with literature reviews is an asset.

 

Project supervised by Bertrand Stoffel and Arijit Nandi

Measuring the effect of anti-doping policy

Anti-doping policy is one of the most important international sport policies. According to the World Anti-Doping Agency, more than 660 sport organizations have accepted and implemented the World Anti-Doping Code, including all international sport federations, all national Olympic committees, as well as national anti-doping agencies in more than 140 countries. Yet very few attempts have been made to evaluate the outcomes, the quality and the efficiency of anti-doping policy. Using a unique global dataset and a natural experiment design, this study evaluates the impact of the 2015 revision of the Anti-Doping Code. The successful intern should have some experience with quantitative methodology. Experience with STATA an asset, as well as an interest in epidemiology, health, and sports.

 

Project supervised byBertrand Stoffel and Daniel Weinstock

Talking doping

This study explore a central question: How do members of the athlete’s support team discuss doping with the athlete? This work is motivated by anti-doping violation procedures in which athletes regularly report that they were advised by team physicians to take a prohibited substance or that they received such substances from a member of their team. As a result, over the past years, several coaches have been subjected to a period of ineligibility for anti-doping rule violations. While members of the athlete’s support team may act as a protective shield against doping, anecdotal evidence suggests they may also directly encourage doping, facilitate it by providing the necessary advice and access, or simply maintain a climate generally favourable to doping. Using qualitative research methods, i.e. matching emerging patterns from the analysis of various sources and perspectives including interviews, arbitral awards, and narrative accounts, we inquire into the process of communication between the athlete and her primary contact groups, such as teammates, parents, coaches, and physicians. The successful intern will help with the research design, data collection, and data analysis. She or he should have experience in qualitative research methodologies, along with a keen interest in sports.

 

 

 

Projects for Fall 18

 

Prof. Mylene Riva:

There are positions available to work in Professor Mylene Riva’s team on issues related to housing conditions, health and well-being in urban and rural areas in Canada, and in First Nations and Inuit communities. Experience in conducting literature reviews, policy analysis, and with data management and statistical analysis is an asset.

Prof. Jill Baumgartner: A pilot study of the acute cardiovascular impacts of exposure to traffic-related air pollution and its oxidative potential among adults in urban Colombia.

Motor vehicle traffic is a significant and increasing source of urban air pollution in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in Latin America and Asia. Traffic-related air pollution is emitted from both combustion (i.e., tailpipe emissions) and non-combustion sources (i.e., tire wear, brake wear, and resuspended road dust). Many epidemiologic studies associate exposure to traffic-related air pollution with increased cardiovascular hospitalization and death. However, the importance of different combustion and non-combustion sources of traffic pollution on human health are unknown, posing a barrier to the formulation of transportation infrastructure planning and policy to mitigate the health risks of traffic. Particularly little is known about the health impacts of traffic-related air pollution in low- and middle-income countries where the chemical composition and dispersion of traffic pollution differs from high-income countries due to differences in vehicle fleets and maintenance, road infrastructure, and city planning (i.e., the proximity of homes to traffic). We propose to leverage existing research infrastructure in urban Bucaramanga, Colombia and conduct a pilot study that combines novel air pollution exposure metrics and biological monitoring in retired adults to investigate the most harmful PM components and sources of traffic-related air pollution.

Dr. Suparna Choudhury

Dr. Choudhury is looking for an intern to work within a research program about how data from developmental cognitive neuroscience influences public policy. The work may include assisting with literature reviews and data analysis in projects about knowledge of the adolescent brain and the law, education or mental health.

Prof. Amélie Quesnel-Vallée (Dept of Sociology / Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health; IHSP Associate Member): Observatory on Health and Social Services Reforms

Two interns are required to work on the newly launched Observatory on Health and Social Services Reforms (OHSSR) which is led by Dr. Amélie Quesnel-Vallée in collaboration with faculty members from both the IHSP and the Department of Family Medicine. The OHSSR aims to: 

1. Monitor key health systems reforms and develop indicators of their potential impact
2. Facilitate comparison of health systems performance indicators across provinces and other jurisdictions 
3. Provide trainees with experiential learning opportunities and enriched skills sets allowing them to better meet the demands of constantly evolving health policies and systems. 
4. Accelerate knowledge exchange between health services researchers and key stakeholders: health practitioners, decision-makers, patients and the public. 

The interns will be required within this broader project to work on literature reviews, research briefs and managing and updating social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter etc.) and the project website. Bilingualism (French/English) and experience with literature reviews is an asset.

Prof. Arijit Nandi and Dr. Bertrand Stoffel:

With a vast number of unregulated substances becoming readily available, of which many are known to have serious adverse health effects, doping has become a public health issue. An additional concern is freedom, and specifically freedom from coercion to use performance-enhancing substances. However, the appropriate policy approach and tools to deal with doping remain controversial. The objective of this project is to assess the impact and the effectiveness of the current anti-doping regulatory framework. The Intern should demonstrate an interest in quantitative research, if possible in epidemiology.

Prof. Chris Barrington-Leigh:

Prof. Barrington-Leigh is interested in Interns for any of the following four projects:

Beijing:

China has recently committed to rapidly eliminate household coal burning across the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei Region within the span of 5 years. The coal ban requires approximately 1.5 million people in over 3,700 villages to transition from highly-polluting coal heating stoves to government-subsidized electric-powered heat pumps. Even with a subsidy for the upfront costs of the technology, the cost is high and the market price for electricity is greater than coal on a per-unit-energy basis. The programme has large implications for outdoor air quality and health in the greater Beijing region and climate-related emissions, but also for the households directly affected by the new rules.  After a successful pilot study, we are conducting a two-year panel study of a sample of households to assess the household-level effects of the policy, including heating behaviour, job market shifts, life satisfaction, and objective indoor air quality. Candidate interns should be able to read Chinese and will support preparations for the upcoming field season. Tasks may involve literature review, government source searches, map and data gathering, and modification of software used for tablet-based questionnaires. Some SQL database experience would be useful for the latter, but is not required. Details of project subject to change.

WWW interface to geographic research data:

Urban sprawl, particularly in fast-growing cities in the developing world, will fundamentally affect future pathways of vehicle travel, air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. We have recently developed the first global time series of street-network sprawl — that is, sprawl as measured through the connectivity of the urban street network — calculated across countries, cities, and smaller geographies, and over time since 1975. The successful intern, with skills in programming, (including GNU/Linux, Python, and some web development, and possibly an interest in database-driven GIS) will help to build a public-facing interface for some of the large datasets we have generated. This will help to make our policy-relevant findings accessible to decision-making stakeholders, as well as to other research teams. Details of project subject to change.

Canadian urban sprawl:

One project will focus on the growth of new urban developments in North America. The form of these developments has major and long-term impacts on health, energy use, environment, equity, future lifestyles, and life quality.  Because of the pace of urbanization, worldwide, these investments may be one of the largest policy levers with respect to climate and health policies. A new global dataset housed at McGill quantifies the road network connectivity which underlies all urban form.  The successful intern will help to characterize the kinds of developments occuring in Canada (and possibly in other countries) according to complementary micro- or high-resolution data from Statistics Canada. The project may also involve detailed analysis of consumption, equity, and well-being outcomes in those Canadian data in order to inform policy and practice in zoning and legislation governing new neighbourhoods. The intern should be experienced with or keen about Geographic Information Systems, some econometric software, and the analysis of survey data.  For the micro-data, the intern will need to be eligible for security clearance from Statistics Canada (not usually difficult; citizenship not required). Details of project subject to change.

Subjective well-being:

One additional project to be determined in the Autumn, likely related to our groups work on the economics of happiness. Past interns have researched subjective wellbeing and health, happiness and urban form, and cross-national comparisons of life satisfaction, and other topics.

Health, health equity, and inequality in six global cities:

As part of an international collaboration involving six global cities (in Bangladesh, Canada, China, Ghana, Iran, and the UK), the successful intern will help to gather and bring together geographically-linked data on socioeconomic status, health, and associated variables from our partners. GIS experience is needed, along with an interest in health, economics, development, and/or epidemiology.

Prof. Daniel Weinstock and Anna-Liisa Aunio:

The intern will work alongside Anna-Liisa Aunio and the Dawson Food Justice & Sustainability Research Project on assessing in assessing food programs in Montreal that are aimed at children and youth from 0-17 years old. Research goals include (1) understanding the jurisdiction and governance of youth-based food programs and (2) proposing geographic parameters for an effective rollout of municipal youth-based food programs based on local capacities.