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Sheridan Launches Institutional Repository and new SRCA Grants

November 03, 2015

At Sheridan's inaugural conference of scholars and creators on October 28, two initiatives were announced to advance scholarship, research and creative activities (SRCA) at Sheridan.

Sheridan’s new institutional repository, called SOURCE (http://source.sheridancollege.ca/) is an online, collaborative commons that captures journal articles, speeches, technical reports, books, research posters, creative works such as photography, music, artwork, films, plays, and more, including projects that highlight Sheridan’s unique approach to teaching and learning. Described as a modern academic time capsule, it enables any member of the Sheridan community (including students if sponsored by their professors) to publish and share their creations on the Internet. SOURCE is administered by Sheridan’s Library and Learning Services. It features an interactive map that shows when and where in the world items have been downloaded.

Sheridan also announced the launch of a new $100,000 fund to support Scholarship, Research and Creative Activities (SRCA) Growth Grants.  Created as a pilot, the fund will provide 10 grants of up to $5,000 and five grants up to $10,000, awarded on a competitive basis, for full time professors and librarians who wish to advance their scholarly, research or creative passions.  Funds may be used to hire students to assist in research, for specialized assistance such as data analysis, to purchase equipment or software licences, to fund an exhibit, or in any other way that best supports the nature of the project.

The Scholars and Creators Conference, where the announcements were made, was a day-long, collaborative learning showcase in which over 50 faculty and staff members presented over 35 talks. From dance as design and augmented reality in the classroom, to ground-breaking research into child soldiers, mothers on social assistance and vegan cookbooks – the conference highlighted how individuals remain intellectually engaged in their respective fields.  Currently, over 20% of full-time faculty members at Sheridan are engaged in scholarship, research and creative activities.

While many Canadian universities engage in basic discovery-based or curiosity-driven research, and many colleges focus on applied research projects that solve industrial problems, Sheridan takes an expanded view.  “By encouraging the five dimensions of discovery, integration, applied research, scholarship of teaching and learning, and creative activities, Sheridan supports the full continuum of knowledge creation and scholarly output, while more accurately reflecting the strengths and talents of its professoriate, and its deliberate approach to enabling creativity and innovation to flourish,” said Dr. Mary Preece, Sheridan’s Provost and Vice President Academic.

Given the importance that Sheridan places on the role of SRCA in engaging students and faculty, the institution has created a standing committee of Senate to advise on related matters and seconded two administrators to further embed activities across the institution. Scholarship, research and creative activities are further supported at Sheridan by the Institute for Creativity and Creative Campus, the Office of Undergraduate Research, the Centre for Organizational and People Development and the Centre for Teaching and Learning.