McGill-UWI Queen Elizabeth Scholars Program 2021-2024

Applications have closed for the 2021-22 cycle, the fist cohort of QES Scholars will be announced soon!

Words: Queen Elizabeth Scholars - Activating a community of young global leadersClimate Adaptation & Resilient Communities: Policy, Research and Practice

McGill School of Population and Global Health & University of the West Indies

Recruitment is now closed at McGill for a new Queen Elizabeth Scholars (QES) program. Applications from senior undergraduate and graduate-level McGill students from all disciplines are welcome to apply to an exciting new climate resiliency scholarship program. Scholarships include a 90-day research or practice-based internship in Trinidad or Barbados and participation in a learning exchange and training program in climate-resilient communities, leadership and community engagement.

Program Description

The McGill School of Population and Global Health has launched a new 3-year research and student-training initiative with the University of the West Indies titled Climate Adaptation & Resilient Communities: Policy, Research and Practice.

The McGill-UWI 2021-2024 Queen Elizabeth Scholars (QES) Scholarship Programme, funded by Universities Canada, builds on over 30 years of close inter-university collaborations between McGill University and University of the West Indies (UWI) to implement a scholarship programme focused on a critical current challenge to Canada, the Caribbean region and globally. This training and research exchange program builds on the important role that youth have been playing in climate action globally by linking cross-disciplinary research with practice between Canada and the Caribbean region around the theme of climate change adaptation and resilient communities. This will be done through active partnerships with a diverse group of faculty at McGill and UWI, and key local partner organizations.

In 2022, 2023 and 2024, 6-7 McGill and 6-7 UWI QES Scholars will be selected from across disciplines. Each year, McGill scholars will undertake 3-month for-credit research or practice-based internships in Trinidad or Barbados (between May 1st and August 30th) and UWI scholars will conduct supervised research at McGill (between June 1st and September 30th). All scholars will also participate in leadership-focused training and community engagement activities, and have the opportunity to contribute to learning exchange activities and scientific outputs with faculty, other project students and community partners.

UWI and McGill are partnering with organizations central to regional disaster and climate related development. Primary partners are the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the Montreal Regional Public Health Department.

Program Details

Who is eligible to participate?

  1. Registered and in good standing senior undergraduate (3rd/4th year) and graduate-level McGill students across all departments and disciplines who are enrolled at McGill in the winter 2022 term and eligible to receive a summer term internship award at McGill. Please refer to award eligibility for Summer term internships.
  2. Canadian citizens
  3. 35 years of age or less at time of application
  4. Proficient in English
  5. Have a demonstrated interest and background related to the program and identified internship positions
  6. Have a willingness to participate in community engagement activities during the tenure of the award.
  7. Available for orientation, training, peer mentoring and community engagement activities between May and October of 2022.
  8. Able to spend 90 days abroad in the summer semester. Internships will be at least 90 days, 35 hours per week, and will comply with all employment and immigration legislation of their host country.

Credit

All Canadian interns must receive credit for their international activities. The SPGH will help to facilitate this process, but students should also look into their home departments' policies regarding internships for credit and fieldwork. The Arts Internship Office can provide support to students to receive arts credits, and some departments will permit special topics credits for study abroad semesters. Students who complete all the requirements for this program will receive a certificate of completion that will be documented on the McGill Co-Curricular Record (CCR).

What will selected McGill QES Scholars do?

  • Complete credited summer internships with UWI partner organizations (minimum 90 days overseas). Internships will focus on climate resiliency research, practice and policy, and give students the opportunity to gain practical and professional experience related to the public health, social, and economic impacts of climate change. Internship projects may be service or research oriented but cannot include research for McGill students’ theses or dissertations.
  • Participate in, and contribute to, the student-led Climate Leadership Development Program including training and opportunities in community engagement, leadership and global citizenship.
  • Participate in the Climate Resiliency Learning Exchange which will connect QES Scholars, researchers and community partners for discussion on key strategies for climate resiliency.
  • Engage in peer mentoring and knowledge sharing events, and participate in QES Scholar community activities.

Where does it take place?

  • Internships for McGill students will be completed with identified research, practice and policy partners in Barbados or Trinidad.
  • Training, community development and learning exchange activities will take place at McGill, at UWI and on-line.

See here for 2022 summer internship opportunities for McGill students

How much is the award?

  • Up to $6,000 CAD for Canadian students (including travel and living expenses).

Research and Internship Themes for 2022

2022 internship and project activities are primarily focused on the following themes:

  • Food Security
  • Green Campus & Climate Action
  • Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Living: Policy and Practice
  • Disaster Risk Management and Resilience
  • Health and Psychosocial Practices for Building Resilience
  • Migration and Displacement
  • Methods for Engaging Communities in Climate Research and Action

See here for a description of research themes

McGill QES Scholar Details

McGill QES Scholars travel in the summer semester. Selected scholars are hosted by partner organizations and engage in full-time internship projects that are central to the partners’ mandate. Internships must be at least 90 days, 35 hours per week, and must comply with all employment and immigration legislation of their host. Internships may be service or research oriented, depending on the partner needs and applicant skill sets but cannot include research contributing to McGill students’ theses or dissertations.

While in the field, each QES Scholar is responsible for checking in with their host organization and the McGill program manager regularly. Scholars create and sign a joint study plan in collaboration with their host organization outlining activities and contributions during their time away. All McGill QES Scholars will participate in pre-departure training offered by the School of Population and Global Health. Scholars will engage actively in the program’s Climate Leadership Development and peer mentoring activities between May and October of 2022 and have the opportunity to participate in Climate Resiliency Learning Exchange activities with faculty, students and partner organizations throughout their internship year and as alumni in the remaining two years of the project. At the end of their program, scholars submit a final report and a personal change video highlighting their key lessons learned through the program.

International placements cannot take place in a region or country where there is a Government of Canada Level-3 travel advisory (“avoid non-essential travel”) or Level-4 travel advisory (“avoid all travel”). The McGill QES Student Affairs Administrator will advise QES Scholars on alternative arrangements if they are unable to travel to the host organization to complete their international placement.

Internship Opportunities

Barbados, UWI Cave Hill Campus

Wildfires and Climate Change – Investigating Causes and Solutions

Who Are We?

Logos of UWI Cave Hill Campus, Barbados, West Indies (shield with armories, a helmet and an pelican and of the Centre for Biosecurity studies - Centre name next to a green biohazard symbol containning DNA, Cattle, and a palm treeThe Centre for Biosecurity Studies (CBS) is a Research and Education Centre, at the University of The West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados. CBS was established in 2019 and is the first organization in the Caribbean to tackle multidimensional biosecurity issues and thereby, stem the growing vulnerability of countries in the Region to various biological threats, either occurring naturally or through malice.

The Centre for Biosecurity Studies will provide systematic capacity building for biosecurity professionals and those in peripheral services, keeping them informed of changes in the field. It will engage with national leaders on policy formation and analysis, and the rules and regulations necessary for prevention and containment. The Centre for Biosecurity Studies will also be committed to upgrading community awareness and facilitating collaboration between multi-sectorial agents. All work will be rooted in a vibrant research agenda. The vision for Centre for Biosecurity Studies is based on the overarching University mission to revitalize and protect Caribbean development. The mission of the Centre for Biosecurity Studies is to facilitate the reduction of vulnerability to bio-risks in the Caribbean through research, knowledge sharing, capacity building, policy advocacy and a platform for collaboration between key stakeholders. We have identified three (3) major focal areas namely:

  1. Border Security and Trade,
  2. Climate Change and Its Impacts, and
  3. Maritime Issues & the Blue Economy.

This research project is being conducted by CBS in collaboration with the Barbados Fire Service. As climate change impacts are expected to worsen in both intensity and frequency due to the future Caribbean climate trend of drier and hotter weather, the threat of bushfires or wildfires is expected to increase in water scarce small island developing states (SIDS). These wildfires occur annually and have varied health, social, economic, and environmental impacts. With the increasing drying and hotter climate trends predicted for the Caribbean, the importance of understanding natural fire monitoring and early warning systems for Barbados and the Caribbean becomes increasing more critical. Few studies examining wildfire variability and impacts in the Caribbean exist and more integrated research is strongly desired.

Wildfires can be fostered by existing climatic conditions in addition to other co-factors including waste management challenges, presence of fuels, ignition agents and human activity. Some climate conditions promoting fire activity include reduced rainfall, increasing and extreme temperatures, heat waves and dry windy conditions that may occur in relation to large‐scale modes such as the El Niño South Oscillation (ENSO). These promote the availability of dried biomass fuels for fire as well as mechanisms for fire spread and can be exacerbated by inadequate solid waste management (presence of discarded accelerants) and land use practices. There are also serious negative health effects caused by bushfire smoke due to increased concentration of air pollutants including particulate matter, carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen oxides and varied volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Wildfires add to air pollution with the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as CO and CO2 which contribute to global warming. An understanding of the interplay of climate change and human activities that drives wildfire incidence in Barbados is necessary to find apt solutions to minimize its negative effects.

Alignment

This study aligns with “Disaster Risk Management and Resilience” and “Hazard related psycho-social issues at the community level” topics and the following:

“The improvement of scientific understanding of the changing climate and other hazard systems and their local and regional impacts on communities and economies;”

“The reduction of the loss of life and property, natural systems, ecological damage, and social disruption from high-impact climate and other natural and man-induced events.”

Internship Objectives
  1. Analyse existing wildfire and climate data trends for Barbados.
  2. Conduct an online and telephone survey to understand the co-factors involved with wildfires in Barbados: (1) their knowledge, attitudes, and practices to both wildfires and climate change; (2) their consciousness and fears about the future risks of wildfires and climate change to them and (3) their willingness to assist in tackling the deleterious impacts and reducing the risks of wildfires and climate change.
  3. Use insights from the survey results and wildfire data analysis to develop more targeted research questions and follow-up assessments to understand the dynamics of climate and wildfires in Barbados.
  4. With the target demographic, co-design, pilot and evaluate a novel format of public engagement based on a personal journal that will act as both a research tool and a potential intervention to enable healthy processing of the psychological responses to the impacts of wildfires.
Internship Outcomes

At the end of the internship candidates should have acquired knowledge/experience in:

  1. Describing the wildfire and climate change nexus in Barbados.
  2. Advocating for policy change to address wildfire and climate change risks facing Barbados and possibly other Caribbean countries.
  3. Collaborating with varied researchers to analyse collected data.
  4. Developing novel solutions to address existing and potential future problems identified by the study.
Ideal Candidate
  1. Background in Health, Finance, Environment and or Social Sciences.
  2. Interest in One Health, Planetary Health or Environmental Health

Trinidad, UWI St. Augustine Campus

New project: Department of Food Production: Improving Coastal Resilience Using Proxy Indicators and Multi-Hazard Risk Assessments

Who Are We?

The Department of Food Production is one of three departments within the Faculty of Food and Agriculture (FFA) at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus. The Department has a rich and illustrious pedigree with its inception from the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA, 1922), which was later transformed to the Faculty of Agriculture as part of The University of the West Indies (UWI) in 1960. The Department of Food Production hosts a range of Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees that offer high quality education, training and research in various disciplines of agriculture such as agronomy, horticulture, crop protection, tropical animal and livestock science, soil science, agri-food safety and quality assurance, value addition for food and nutrition security, disaster risk reduction and resilience and climate smart agriculture. The Department has Food Biology, Biotechnology, Soils, Microbiology, Plant Pathology, Soil and Nutrition laboratories and the University Field Station to carry out research in plants, microbes, livestock, animal feed and soil samples. It has diverse group of lecturers and researchers from various regions. The Department has impactful collaborations with the regional and international organizations on agricultural research. The Department has committed in the region to contribute to the development of sustainable food systems through teaching, research and outreach.

Partner

Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C)

Alignment

This study aligns with “Disaster Risk Management and Resilience/Climate Change Effects on Coastal Communities.”

Internship Objectives

To improve data availability, usage and applicability towards improved coastal resilience. The project will involve the use of geophysical analysis technologies, remote sensing and modelling to enable greater long-term resilience and environmental sustainability against natural and anthropogenic disasters (floods, drought, & salinization).

Potential Student Tasks
  • Desktop review support
  • GIS support
  • Technical writing support
Lead Supervisor

Ronald Roopnarine: Lecturer, Disaster Risk Resilience and Project Coordinator, Department of Food Production, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus

Timing:
  • mid-May to mid-August 2022.

New project: Department of Food Production: Resilience of food systems in the Caribbean

Who Are We?

The Department of Food Production is one of three departments within the Faculty of Food and Agriculture (FFA) at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus. The Department has a rich and illustrious pedigree with its inception from the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA, 1922), which was later transformed to the Faculty of Agriculture as part of The University of the West Indies (UWI) in 1960. The Department of Food Production hosts a range of Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees that offer high quality education, training and research in various disciplines of agriculture such as agronomy, horticulture, crop protection, tropical animal and livestock science, soil science, agri-food safety and quality assurance, value addition for food and nutrition security, disaster risk reduction and resilience and climate smart agriculture. The Department has Food Biology, Biotechnology, Soils, Microbiology, Plant Pathology, Soil and Nutrition laboratories and the University Field Station to carry out research in plants, microbes, livestock, animal feed and soil samples. It has diverse group of lecturers and researchers from various regions. The Department has impactful collaborations with the regional and international organizations on agricultural research. The Department has committed in the region to contribute to the development of sustainable food systems through teaching, research and outreach.

Partner

FAO Subregional Office for the Caribbean (FAO-SLC)

Alignment

This study aligns with the “Food Security” theme.

Internship Objectives

To prepare concept notes (1 national and 1 regional), provide supporting documentation to build the climate rationale, and support the stakeholder consultation process for the Adaptation Fund through a participatory development process to contribute to building the overall resilience of food systems in the Caribbean SIDS.

Potential Student Tasks
  • Desktop review support
  • Technical writing support
  • Reporting on consultation
Lead Supervisor

Dr. Ronald Roopnarine: Lecturer (Disaster Risk Resilience) and Project Coordinator, Department of Food Production, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus

Dr. Gaius Eudoxie: Senior Lecturer (Soil Science), Department of Food Production & Deputy Dean, Outreach and Internationalization, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus

Timing:
  • mid-May to mid-August 2022.

New project: Department of Food Production: Foodborne illness and Climate Change (Caribbean Case Study)

Who Are We?

The Department of Food Production is one of three departments within the Faculty of Food and Agriculture (FFA) at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus. The Department has a rich and illustrious pedigree with its inception from the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA, 1922), which was later transformed to the Faculty of Agriculture as part of The University of the West Indies (UWI) in 1960. The Department of Food Production hosts a range of Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees that offer high quality education, training and research in various disciplines of agriculture such as agronomy, horticulture, crop protection, tropical animal and livestock science, soil science, agri-food safety and quality assurance, value addition for food and nutrition security, disaster risk reduction and resilience and climate smart agriculture. The Department has Food Biology, Biotechnology, Soils, Microbiology, Plant Pathology, Soil and Nutrition laboratories and the University Field Station to carry out research in plants, microbes, livestock, animal feed and soil samples. It has diverse group of lecturers and researchers from various regions. The Department has impactful collaborations with the regional and international organizations on agricultural research. The Department has committed in the region to contribute to the development of sustainable food systems through teaching, research and outreach.

Partner

FAO Subregional Office for the Caribbean (FAO-SLC)

Alignment

This study aligns with the “Food Security” theme.

Internship Objectives

To conduct a preliminary assessment of the risk of Climate Change on Food Safety in the Caribbean by developing a case study based on data/information collected in three countries in the region (i.e. Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Bahamas). Based on the findings and results of the case study, recommendations will be provided to support appropriate risk management in the region.

Potential Student Tasks
  • Desktop review support
  • Technical writing support
  • Reporting and Analysis support
Lead Supervisor

Dr. Ronald Roopnarine: Lecturer (Disaster Risk Resilience) and Project Coordinator, Department of Food Production, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus

Dr. Gaius Eudoxie: Senior Lecturer (Soil Science), Department of Food Production & Deputy Dean, Outreach and Internationalization, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus

Timing:
  • mid-May to mid-August 2022.

New project: Department of Food Production: Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Multicountry Soil Management Initiative for Integrated Landscape Restoration and Sustainable Food Systems: Phase 1 (CSIDS-SOILCARE Phase 1)

Who Are We?

The Department of Food Production is one of three departments within the Faculty of Food and Agriculture (FFA) at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus. The Department has a rich and illustrious pedigree with its inception from the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA, 1922), which was later transformed to the Faculty of Agriculture as part of The University of the West Indies (UWI) in 1960. The Department of Food Production hosts a range of Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees that offer high quality education, training and research in various disciplines of agriculture such as agronomy, horticulture, crop protection, tropical animal and livestock science, soil science, agri-food safety and quality assurance, value addition for food and nutrition security, disaster risk reduction and resilience and climate smart agriculture. The Department has Food Biology, Biotechnology, Soils, Microbiology, Plant Pathology, Soil and Nutrition laboratories and the University Field Station to carry out research in plants, microbes, livestock, animal feed and soil samples. It has diverse group of lecturers and researchers from various regions. The Department has impactful collaborations with the regional and international organizations on agricultural research. The Department has committed in the region to contribute to the development of sustainable food systems through teaching, research and outreach.

Partners

Partnership Initiative on Sustainable Land Management (PISLM), FAO

Alignment

This study aligns with the “Food Security” theme.

Internship Objectives

To Strengthen Caribbean SIDS with the necessary tools for adopting policies, measures and reforming legal and institutional frameworks to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality LDN and Climate Resilience

Potential Student Tasks
  • Digital Soil Surveying
  • Analytical testing, data computation and analysis
  • Narrative report writing
Lead Supervisor

Dr. Gaius Eudoxie, Senior Lecturer (Soil Science), Department of Food Production & Deputy Dean, Outreach and Internationalization, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus

Timing:
  • mid-May to mid-August 2022.

New project: Department of Food Production: Potential economic impact of Panama disease (Tropical Race 4) on the Eastern Caribbean banana industry and establishment and evaluation of TR4 resistant germplasm

Who Are We?

The Department of Food Production is one of three departments within the Faculty of Food and Agriculture (FFA) at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus. The Department has a rich and illustrious pedigree with its inception from the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture (ICTA, 1922), which was later transformed to the Faculty of Agriculture as part of The University of the West Indies (UWI) in 1960. The Department of Food Production hosts a range of Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees that offer high quality education, training and research in various disciplines of agriculture such as agronomy, horticulture, crop protection, tropical animal and livestock science, soil science, agri-food safety and quality assurance, value addition for food and nutrition security, disaster risk reduction and resilience and climate smart agriculture. The Department has Food Biology, Biotechnology, Soils, Microbiology, Plant Pathology, Soil and Nutrition laboratories and the University Field Station to carry out research in plants, microbes, livestock, animal feed and soil samples. It has diverse group of lecturers and researchers from various regions. The Department has impactful collaborations with the regional and international organizations on agricultural research. The Department has committed in the region to contribute to the development of sustainable food systems through teaching, research and outreach.

Partners

Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development (CARDI), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Alignment

This study aligns with the “Food Security” theme.

Internship Objectives

To conduct an impact assessment study to construct a model to estimate potential financial consequences for the Eastern Caribbean and assess the performance of TR4 resistant germplasm to strengthen and safeguard the region’s capacity against potential impact.

Potential Student Tasks
  • Modelling for conducting assessments
  • Provide quantitative information on assessment
  • Field trials and data collection
  • Narrative report writing
Lead Supervisor

Dr. Wendy Ann Isaac: Senior Lecturer (Crop Science), Department of Food Production, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus

Timing:
  • mid-May to mid-August 2022.

School of Education: Family Development & Children's Research Centre (FDCRC) Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) Initiative

Who we are?

The School of Education (SOE) was established in the mid-sixties and has over 35 years of experience in teacher education and development in Trinidad and Tobago, and the wider Caribbean region. Although, the SOE has traditionally focused on teacher professional development, our portfolio also extends into research.

The SOE is closely affiliated with The Family Development & Children's Research Centre (FDCRC), a dynamic and unique dual-purpose organisation that provides a model for developmentally appropriate early childhood care and education in addition to training for future early childhood professionals. The FDCRC is at the cusp of initiating an Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) project, to align the guiding philosophies and approach of the Children’s Centre to one that is in tandem with sustainable education and living.

Education and sustainability as the parent concept
behind climate change adaptation and resilient development

Sustainability considers environmental, economic, and social systems as interdependent and critical to the ability to build and support a high quality of life in the present without compromising the quality of life for future generations. Education plays a key role in preparing global citizens who can live sustainably. Multiple terms including Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) and Education for Sustainability capture the objective of developing "…the attitudes, skills, and knowledge to make informed decisions for the benefit of themselves and others, now and for the future, and to act upon those decisions” (Canadian Commission for UNESCO). We therefore believe that sustainability requires high quality education systems that produce lifelong learners who are sensitive and responsive to the needs, assets, and limitations of their local and global communities. Sustainability is therefore an outcome we seek to engender through our teaching and learning, research, and outreach efforts.

Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) at The UWI FDCRC

The intern will be engaged in The FDCRC’s Environmental and Sustainability Education (ESE) Initiative. Adopting the following interpretation of ESE, "one generation living happy healthy lives without compromising future generations to do so," the FDCRC seeks to renew its philosophy, curriculum, pedagogy, and operations to engender sustainable education and living among the students, their families, trainees, and outreach stakeholders.

Under this initiative, The FDCRC is revamping its curriculum to integrate Environmental and Sustainability Education into teaching and learning. This includes components like:

  • Financial Literacy – how can you spend in ways that help protect the earth? Making sound financial decisions towards protecting and where possible, renewing the earth
  • Cultural Sensitivity and Tolerance – how can we live together sustainably? Engendering cultural sensitivity and tolerance to persons of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds towards promoting harmonious co-existence and understanding
  • Environment – how do your actions impact the environment, such as climate change? Fostering sound practices which maintain a trickledown effect to families towards environmental renewal
  • Health and Wellbeing – how can practices like mindfulness help us manage ourselves and relationships with others and the environment? Helping children and their families maintain balance in their mental and physical well-being as well as respect for the environment in which they live through mindful practice
  • Advocacy – how can you become advocates for the environment? Facilitating opportunities for students to engage in social advocacy to highlight the importance of ESE.

Subsequently, this initiative is considered directly related to the project purpose of the enhancement of a climate-literate public that understands its vulnerabilities to a changing climate, and which integrates informal and scientific knowledge to make informed and environmentally sound decisions, and aligns best to the theme of Community based education models for building resilience.

Intern Duties

The intern will assist the FDCRC coordinator in the development of the ESE curriculum. The intern will also provide academic and professional support in the day-to-day and programme specific activities of the FDCRC, under the direct supervision of the coordinator. This will include but may not be limited to the following duties:

  • Conduct research (e.g. desk reviews and/or literature reviews) to explore how ESE has been integrated into ECCE in different contexts; and develop potential strategies for integrating such content into the curriculum, pedagogy, and operations of the FDCRC.
  • Assist with planning and implementation of ESE initiatives
    • participate in the planning and implementation of initiatives that seek to disseminate ESE knowledge (e.g., webinars, newsletters, social media publications and campaigns etc.)
    • communicate with key stakeholders to facilitate buy-in and participation
  • Provide administrative and logistical support to the programmes managed by project coordinators/team leaders. This includes producing meeting minutes, coordinating meetings with stakeholders, and documenting the progress of programmes.
Position duration:

3 months

Timing:

May 15th to August 15th 2022

Desired Level/Skills
  • Graduate Student with an Education or Social Sciences background
  • Knowledge of Environmental and Sustainability Education would be an asset
  • Competencies: The position does not require you to be an early childhood educator, however the ability to work with children, 3-5 years old, will be an asset, but not a requirement.
  • Skills:
    • Basic-Intermediate skills in Microsoft Suite
    • Qualitative and/or quantitative research skills
    • Skills with qualitative and/quantitative data analysis software preferred
    • Familiarity with social media management is an asset but not requirement

Faculty of Humanities and Education (FHE) Climate Adaptation & Resilience “Virtual Field Trip” Multimedia Project

Who we are?

The Faculty of Humanities and Education (FHE) is an internationally recognized and well-respected Caribbean centre for excellence in the development of the peoples of the region through academic programmes and activities in the humanities and education. The FHE has a long history in teaching, community outreach, cross faculty collaborations and creative production in an environment where persons can develop the human values, linguistic competence, and professional skills and abilities that are relevant to the needs of the region.

The FHE and its School of Education (SOE), a Department in the FHE, have a strong legacy in developing and delivering programmes and products to train teachers and other professionals who work with Primary and Secondary school learners. The SOE leads through its innovative research agendas and appropriate technologies, the collaborative creation of indigenous knowledge and ideas that add value to the discipline, the individual and society.

The Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) offers programmes in the fundamental sciences: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science and Biological Sciences. Reflective of our vibrant research activity, we also offer programmes in important areas of technology including Environmental Technology, Information Technology, Renewable Energy Technology, Biotechnology, Computer Science & Technology, and Environmental Science, Biomedical Technology and Biomedical Physics. At the St Augustine Campus, the FST delivers the most diverse suite of academic programmes by highly qualified and committed academic, administrative, technical and support staff. It offers robust educational experiences and invests in building student capacity to observe phenomena, analyze data and synthesize hypotheses that advance their understanding of the world.

Intern Faculty Supervisor/s:

The intern will work directly Dr. Paulson Skerrit (FHE), and Dr. Phaedra Mohammed (FST). Dr. Skerrit is a Lecturer in the School of Education at the FHE, and Chair of the Campus Committee- Community Engagement and Service Learning. Dr. Phaedra Mohammed is a Lecturer in the Department of Computing and Information Technology at the FST.

Intern Role

The intern will work on a multi-disciplinary project that focuses on annotating the “Virtual Field Trip” educational resources produced in a core undergraduate course on Developing Literacy Abilities in teacher preparation programmes. The course is designed to train teachers to develop the literacy abilities of students. It features a “Virtual Field Trip” (VFT) activity which aims to develop an educational resource whose design supports specific literacy objectives while addressing curriculum content-area objectives in the area of environmental education.

A VFT educational resource is pitched at specific reading levels and typically contains a variety of multimedia learning content sequenced for an instructional activity. These include photovoice, video clips, audio clips, panoramic shots of places and sites in Trinidad and Tobago, text reading materials, pre-recorded or real-time interviews of community members, professionals, workers, or other stakeholders in the topic. Since 2018 to the current 2021 cohort, the VFT activity has generated numerous multimodal, multimedia products which serve to develop specific literacy objectives, while addressing a content area topic in the curriculum which must be situated in a community in Trinidad and Tobago and revolve around environmental education. This year, the cohort of participants will further narrow their focus on developing a VFT resource that will target specific literacy objectives but address the issue of climate adaptation and the need to build resilient communities. As participants examine the curriculum for a suitable content area issue that can be suitably developed using a phenomenon situated in a specific community at risk of climate change and in need of climate adaptation and a resilient community, they would integrate relevant literacy content and activities.

Prior to 2020, the course emphasized the importance of VFTs for educational equity in providing access to students, who due to numerous factors, are unable to experience connections between what they learn and the real world. Graduates of the programme, however, became especially appreciative of the course when faced with lockdowns and school closures during the pandemic for the past 15 months. They came to doubly appreciate the value of the VFT resources for teaching literacy in the context of real-world engagement with actual sites, phenomena, and professionals in the community, thus making the VFT resource culturally responsive and community based.

This project therefore fits well with the theme of the QES McGill Internship Project for 2021/2022, Climate Adaptation and Resilient Communities: Policy, Research and Practice owing to the direct link between education and long-term outcomes of cultural behaviour change. The intern will work directly under the supervision of the course coordinator, Dr. Paulson Skerrit, and Dr. Phaedra Mohammed. Dr. Skerrit is a Lecturer in the School of Education at the FHE, and Chair of the Campus Committee- Community Engagement and Service Learning. Dr. Phaedra Mohammed is a Lecturer in the Department of Computing and Information Technology at the FST.

Intern Duties

The intern will work on the project on the following tasks:

  1. Select all VFTs, from the available collection of VFTs already produced from 2018 to 2021, which deal with any of the following research topics:
    • Eco-friendly and Sustainable Living: Policy and Practice
    • Disaster Risk Management and Resilience
    • Climate Change Effects on Coastal Communities
    • Food Security
    • Methods for Engaging Communities in Climate Research and Action.

Supplement the selection if the number in the subset is below a minimum threshold, by building new VFTs.

  1. Design a VFT metadata annotation structure that aligns with an international learning standard for describing educational resources. Examples include the IEEE Learning Object Metadata Standard, Dublin CoreTM Metadata Initiative, and Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM®).
  2. Develop custom computer algorithms to extract and generate metadata for all selected VFTs from Task 1 that are structured according to the annotation design from Task 2. The metadata should focus on promoting interoperability, reusability and sequencing of the VFT resources and activities within a larger instructional plan.
  3. Test the integration of the annotated VFTs produced in Task 3 within an intelligent tutoring system for developing literacy skills and knowledge of a content area topic, engaging with the issues of climate change, climate adaptability and community engagement that develops community resilience.

The intern will also have the opportunity to work with the two additional Faculty mentors from the UWI, Mona campus in Jamaica to identify other areas in the primary and secondary schools’ curriculum that can be linked to the research topics listed in Task 1 above.

Overall, the project tasks will result in the production of an annotated, internationally-standardised repository of digital teaching/learning resources. These can be used either standalone in Primary and Secondary schools in the region by teachers in classrooms, integrated within a content or learning management system or optimally adapted by an intelligent tutoring system capable of reading the standard selected in Task 2.

The repository supports the long-term goal of developing resilient communities that will address climate adaptability in the face of climate change by starting early with young learners and providing easy-to-use resources for teachers that integrate easily into a curriculum plan. The VFTs therefore deliver engaging, culturally-responsive, literacy developmental resources that meet the needs of teachers and students alike. Further, the project sets up a model for future cohorts of the Developing Literacy Abilities course for Primary Bachelor of Education and Secondary School English Language and Literatures of English courses offered at the UWI, School of Education to be able to produce new VFTs each year that align with the repository structure.

Position duration:

90 - 100 days

Timing:

Mid-May 2022 to Mid-August 2022

Intern Level

Graduate student, with a preferential background in Computer Science, Software Engineering, or Learning Science, or Data Science and serious interest in Environmental Education and preservation of the planet.

Preferred Characteristics

Strong initiative to discover and master new and emerging technologies. Committed to developing high quality applications, with a focus on improving processes and efficiency. Keen interest in conducting technical and user-focused research under the direction of a supervisor.

Preferred Technical Skills

Experienced with, and knowledgeable in at least one of multiple programming languages (JS, Python, Java, XML). Strong working understanding of data dictionaries/catalogues and schemas. Familiarity with web development stacks (e.g., MERN - Mongo, React/Redux, Node.js) and integrative programming.

Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Systematic Review of Community-based Climate Change Resilience Initiatives

Who we are?

Department of Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

The Department of Behavioural Sciences is a multidisciplinary department that was formed out of a merging of the Units of Criminology, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology and Mediation.

Presently the Department offers Full-Time and Part-time courses at the Undergraduate and Postgraduate level consisting of the following options:

About the Project

This project seeks to assess the scope and effectiveness of community-based resilience projects in Trinidad and Tobago. Given the increasing concerns for climate change and the number of informal and unstructured initiatives that exist, it is important to frame a meta-synthesis and bring together information that can help advance future social intervention projects aimed at building community resilience.

Intern Role

The intern will work with the supervisor to develop and advance a meta-narrative or a systematic review of the literature on projects within Trinidad and Tobago that work towards the goal of building community resilience with a particular focus on the awareness and responsiveness to climate change.

These include:

  • Collect data on publicly available reports that speak to community-based initiatives related to resilience
  • Explore how community resilience is being defined or constructed within these interventions or initiatives
  • Contact and/or visit relevant ministries to access publicly available reports that address community-based initiatives with the key purpose of supporting persons through disasters
  • Compile and assess the key aspects of these interventions
  • Examine the outcomes of these were available
  • Compare the construction of these interventions, the models and the outcomes to the wider international literature
  • Make recommendations for advancing the field and the strategies that are being developed to do so.
  • Develop or write a paper that reports on the process for doing so and the outcome of the same.
Intern Duties
  • Assess the scope of community resilience projects within Trinidad and Tobago and to assess the relative effectiveness and scalability of these projects. To make recommendations for extending research within this field and enhancing the effectiveness of these initiatives.
  • Build on the knowledge of community resilience for the Caribbean with an examination of Trinidad and Tobago as a case study. To develop critical skills in the assessment of these interventions and the scholarship that addresses these.
  • The intern will learn to critically assess related work/interventions within a space where little research exists on a specific issue. The internship will provide an opportunity to map the landscape for interventions within the community and to assess some of the gaps and opportunities related to these. These assessments and the skills learnt through the process of collecting data as well as writing the findings will also give the intern an opportunity to synthesize and to make strategic recommendations related to the area of examination. These will collectively add both to the academic and professional career of the intern.
Position duration:

Three (3) months.

Timing:

90 days between May 1st and August 15th, 2022

The intern will work with the supervisor for two hours on Monday and Fridays. This will allow for meeting time related to this project and to discussion of the research as it proceeds. The remainder of the time will be spent in the library, online, and making the necessary visits to complete the project.

Required Level/Skills

The completion of this task requires a graduate student who is in an advance stage of his/her research and with some experience in researching and writing.

Expected outcomes

The intern will learn to critically assess related work/interventions within a space where little research exists on a specific issue. The internship will provide an opportunity to map the landscape for interventions within the community and to assess some of the gaps and opportunities related to these. These assessments and the skills learnt through the process of collecting data as well as writing the findings will also give the intern an opportunity to synthesize and to make strategic recommendations related to the area of examination. Given the embryonic nature of the work on community resilience, it is expected that these activities will advance the understanding of the space. Collectively, these activities will also add both to the academic and professional career of the intern.

Contact:

Dr. Talia Esnard (Supervisor), Department of Behavioural Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago

Caribbean Centre for Health Systems Research and Development (CCHSRD): Psychological Responses to the Climate and COVID-19 Crises in Young People Research Initiative

Who we are?

Caribbean Centre for Health Systems Research and Development (CCHSRD) logo with Centre name and acronym and the tag line: "Better Health Systems... Healthier Lives" Planetary Health Carribean logo - Globe inside a green and blue seed or water drop next to the words: "Planetary Health Carribean"The Caribbean Centre for Health Systems Research and Development (CCHSRD) is a Research Centre, at the University of The West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. The Centre was established in April 2018 to provide a program of work in Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR) as a means to strengthen health systems in the Caribbean region. Indeed, health systems in the Caribbean face many challenges and weak health systems are a critical obstacle to improving health. Heath decision-makers in the Caribbean need research that can help address their real-world policy and systems problems.

The Caribbean Planetary Health Regional Hub (CPHRH) is a regional hub of the Planetary Health Alliance that was established in 2020. It focuses on creating co-benefit solutions across the Triple C (Climate Change, Chronic Non- Communicable Diseases and COVID-19) problem to improve the health, wealth and social standing of the Caribbean people.

The CPHRH is a coalition of institutions conducting planetary health related activities and its membership include University of Belize, University of Guyana, The Anton De Kom University of Suriname, The Caribbean College of Family Physicians, Pan American Health Organization (Trinidad and Tobago Country Office), The George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre UWI, Barbados and CCHSRD. Its secretariat is based at the CCHSRD.

The Project

Psychological responses to the climate and COVID-19 crises in young people in four Caribbean Countries, and their agency to build the world they hope to see.

This research project is being conducted by the CPHRH in collaboration with the Changing Worlds, Imperial College London. It includes the mapping of psychological issues faced by young adults in the Caribbean related to COVID-19 and Climate Change.

This study is intended as a rapid-response pilot investigation, capturing the potential synergies between psychological distress arising from the combined COVID- and climate change crises, with a particular focus on the mental health consequences in young people. We are interested in both the range of psychological responses to the climate crisis in light of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the degree of perceived agency to work towards the world young people want to see as we "build back" from the pandemic. We are interested in the relationship between the psychological responses to these crises and action. We argue that young people (18-24 year olds) are a key target group because they (a) may be particularly vulnerable to potential compounding effects, (b) represent a group with a recent history of strong advocacy for climate change action and may play a similar role in other public health crises such as COVID-19, (c) will bear the brunt of climate impacts in the coming decades if policy interventions fail.

Study Objectives
  1. Conduct an online survey targeting young people, aged between 18-24, about: (1) their perceptions, thoughts and feelings in response to both the climate and COVID-19 crises; (2) their concerns and desires for the future they want to see "built back" from the COVID-19 crisis and (3) their sense of agency to contribute to the changes they want to see, particularly in regard to the COVID-19 and climate crises.
  2. Use insights from the survey results to develop more targeted research questions and follow-up assessments to track the synergies between COVID-19 and climate change responses.
  3. With the target demographic, co-design, pilot and evaluate a novel format of public engagement based on a personal journal that will act as both a research tool and a potential intervention to enable healthy processing of the psychological responses to the crises.
  4. Use qualitative insights from the co-design process, the responses to the journal, pre/post surveys and in depth reflection sessions (focus groups), to inform policy outcomes.
Intern Duties

At the proposed time of the internship we expect to be working on Objective 3. The Intern will be involved in the design and implementation of youth public engagement activities and data analysis, and possibly the design and implementation of surveys, focus groups and the development of policy recommendations,

Internship Objectives

At the end of the internship candidates should have acquired knowledge/experience in:

  1. Describing climate change and COVID-19 psychological issues facing Caribbean youth (18-24).
  2. Advocating for policy change to address climate change and COVID-19 psychological issues facing Caribbean youth (18-24).
  3. Collaborating with researchers to analyse data.
  4. Developing novel intervention to solve problems identified by the study.
Ideal Candidate
  1. Background in Health or Social Sciences.
  2. Interest in One Health, Planetary Health or Environmental Health.

Cocoa Research Centre (CRC): Cocoa Production Climate Risk Management Project

Who we are?

About the Cocoa Research Centre

Cocoa Research Centre logo - Stylized cocoa bean next to the Centre nameThe Cocoa Research Centre (CRC) of the University of the West Indies is a research and development Centre within the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine Campus situated in Trinidad and Tobago. It (a) curates the International Cocoa Genebank, regarded as the largest and most diverse conservatory of cocoa genetic resources, globally (b) conducts research to improve productivity and to overcome constraints facing the global cocoa industry and (c) supports development through a variety of outreach activities mainly in Latin America and the Caribbean region. The Cocoa Research Centre is regarded as one of the oldest cocoa research institutions, worldwide. It was established in 1930 as part of the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture and has continued its research and development mandate unabatedly over the past 90 years.

CRC is recognized for its work that led to the development of cocoa varieties tolerant to blackpod and witches’ broom diseases. Its present work on cocoa quality standards, cocoa flavour characterization, branding and traceability as well as its work on genome wide association studies to develop molecular markers for a number of agronomic traits including mitigation of cadmium contamination of cocoa is well known. CRC has set up the International Fine Cocoa Innovation Centre (IFCIC) as a coordinated outreach mechanism to support the fine/flavour sector in the LAC region – offering a range of training products, technology products and support services. The physical hub consists of a model cocoa orchard, a modern cocoa postharvest facility, a flexible cocoa processing facility, as well as technology and business incubators to provide support for SME development. CRC also offers introductory and advanced chocolate making training, provides technology services, apprenticeship training and start- up support.

Intern Role

The intern will work within our climate risk management team, directly under the supervision of the Director of Cocoa Research Centre. The cocoa risk management team works on collecting geographic information with regards to risks and constraints affecting cocoa production, developing predictive models for climate impact and developing nuanced mitigation strategies. This position is not currently aligned with a specific project, but is a support role that will involve work with whichever (and likely multiple) projects that are ongoing at the time of the internship. We are seeking an intern open to flexibility, with a desire and willingness to work passionately around innovative projects. To give an indication of the type of projects the intern may be involved in, descriptions of recent past are given below:

  • GIS mapping of climate risk factors including drought, flooding, fire, pest and diseases and other risks and linking it to cost of production models
  • Understanding the carbon footprint of the local cocoa industry as affected by location specific variables.
  • Using drone technology and sensors to develop climate change tolerance.
  • Quantifying climate change risk on a geographical scale and developing appropriate climate smart practices
  • Understanding pest and disease risk factors as influenced by climate change and managing them to reduce pest and disease induced losses
  • Understanding metal contaminants in cocoa (eg. Cd, Al. Pb) and developing mitigation strategies
Intern Duties
  • Providing technical and logistical help to the work of the cocoa risk management team; assisting with desk research, data collection and management; other kinds of qualitative research and mapping.
  • Engaging in training activities of the team including the facilitation of training, community engagement and design events.
  • Helping to undertake action research, including interviews and focus groups, under the guidance of the senior research staff.
  • Publicizing projects through flyers, posters, social media and face-to-face networking with local groups and organizations
Position duration

3 months (initially)

Start date:

Mid-May (to end by Mid-August, 2022); with optional extension beyond if funding is available.

Desired Level/Skills

Graduate level, with preference for science, geoinformatics or information technology background.

Collaborator(s)

Physics Department, Faculty of Science and Technology (FST), The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

Contacts:
  • Prof. Path Umaharan, Director, Cocoa Research Centre, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Ricardo Clarke (PhD), Senior Lecturer (Physics)/ Deputy Dean, Graduate Studies, Research and Innovation (FST), The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.

Website and Social Media: UWI Cocoa Research Centre website; Twitter page; Facebook Page

Application Details

The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship Program aims to achieve a gender balance of 50%. The SPGH is committed to equity and diversity in recruitment, and follows McGill’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan. We highly encourage applications from Indigenous peoples, visible minorities, women, people with disabilities, people of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and those who are the first generation of their family to attend postsecondary studies. Please indicate in your cover letter if you would like this to be considered for equity recruitment.

To Apply

McGill Students should complete the online application form. You will need to sign in with your McGill Username and password. You will also be asked to upload a single PDF containing:

  1. A personal statement using the following template: File McGill QES Personal statement template. Personal statements should be no more than 5 pages, 1.5 line spacing.
  2. Cover letter
  3. CV
  4. Copies of Unofficial Transcripts

Two referees must send a letter of recommendation directly to spgh-qesprogram.fmhs [at] mcgill.ca, with "QES – Reference for [student name]" in the subject line. Reference letters must be sent by February 10, 2022.

Selection Criteria

All applications will be evaluated based on:

  • Academic performance and/or relevant professional experience
  • Research experience and analytical skills
  • The QES program’s relevance for a candidate's future goals
  • Interest, work and/or experience related to climate resiliency
  • Leadership and community engagement
  • Required qualifications and skills for chosen internship projects

McGill students who are selected for interviews have been contacted prior to or on February 21, 2022.

Questions can be directed to the QES Student Affairs Administrator at spgh-qesprogram.fmhs [at] mcgill.ca

Funding

The Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships (QES) is managed through a unique partnership of Universities Canada, the Rideau Hall Foundation, Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) and Canadian universities. This program is made possible with financial support from the Rideau Hall Foundation.

Rideau Hall Foundation logo - the letters RFH-FRH with a maple leaf in the first R - the letters are arranged in a red and white square next to the words Rideau Hall foundation and Fondation Rideau Hall Universities Canada logo: three superimposed losanges next to the words: "Universities Canada. Universités Canada." McGill University Logo


Back to top