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Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies

Sylvie Frigon, Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies

At the Office of Graduate Studies, students  are central to our mission. Although 2021-2022 saw its fair share of challenges due to the pandemic, you have shown great resilience and we congratulate you. Hence, we are extra pleased to highlight the achievements of this year, notably the grants received from Canada’s major granting agencies: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships.

In addition to receiving graduate-level scholarships, two of our doctoral students received a Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation scholarship: David Eliot (Criminology) and Coline Moreau (Criminology).

One of our students also won a prize for her outstanding thesis. Audrey-Ann Deneault, who recently earned her doctorate in psychology, was awarded the Governor General’s gold medal for best doctoral thesis in the social sciences for her research on how children’s early relationships with their caregivers shape their lifelong development. Her thesis was titled Validation of the Preschool Attachment Rating Scales and Demonstration of their Utility to Understand How Preschool Child-Mother and Child-Father Attachment Promote Children’s Social Adaptation. 

These successes reflect the determination and work of our students, their supervisors, the grant committee, the staff members from our nine units, and the Office of Graduate Studies. Their remarkable efforts deserve all our thanks.

In the fall of 2021, we were proud to officially launch course-based master’s programs at the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies and at the Department of Criminology. Other such programs are in development (pending Faculty and University approval, and then subject to quality council and Ministry approvals). One program being developed is in of the field of criminology, namely a master’s program that will apply a critical approach to security and surveillance issues. The School of Psychology is partnering with the Faculty of Arts to work on a joint master’s in psychedelics and consciousness that will offer advanced knowledge and training in psychedelic-assisted mental health care and psychedelic-assisted spiritual care. Finally, the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs is developing a master’s program in security and defence studies that will be an interdisciplinary, practice-oriented degree that emphasizes a comprehensive approach to security and defence.

Our graduate-level microprograms continue to allow students to take courses or conduct research to enhance their skills in a specific discipline, or complete an interdisciplinary microprogram whose units can later be credited toward a full degree. Since the fall of 2020, the Faculty has launched nine microprograms in anthropology, sociology, public and international affairs, psychology, political science, and public administration. These programs are worth between six and nine units; they feature a series of courses, or a combination of graduate-level courses, research activities, and practical activities. We are particularly pleased by this progress and have been excited this past year to add microprograms in health workforce studies, in survey research and public opinion, and in evaluation of social and health programs and policies.

We are pleased to announce a new initiative that exemplifies the interdisciplinary nature of our Faculty and enriches the range of courses open to students, namely the opportunity for master’s students to take optional graduate-level courses outside their home units. In addition, some students from the Faculty attended the XXXVI postgraduate course on victimology, victim assistance, and criminal justice in Dubrovnik, Croatia in May 2022. 

During these unprecedented times, mental health has become another crucial topic. Consequently, we were very pleased to have Kiran Servansing as our mental health counsellor to support graduate students, both virtually and in person, for the full academic year, which has undoubtedly benefitted our students. Since May 2021, 332 student counselling sessions have been conducted, either virtually or in person. Moreover, our counsellor has also offered eight workshops to FSS professors and staff to help them better support our students, along with eight support groups to our students throughout the year.

Despite significant changes to admission scholarships for uOttawa graduate students, our Faculty was able to continue granting additional funds to master’s students whose averages were between 8.0 and 8.9. We also invested nearly one million dollars to maintain a certain level of financing for first-year master’s students. Moreover, we renewed our commitment to doctoral students by providing additional funding.

As you know, the University is determined to provide its students with a world-class education while ensuring their health and safety. Although our courses over the past two years have primarily been presented online or in hybrid format, with a gradual transition to increased in-person teaching over the past few months, we are excited to announce that we will be back to in-person classes in September 2022. However, we would like to reassure you that we are taking all health measures  to ensure that our students can pursue their studies under the best possible conditions.

In closing, I would like to welcome the 1500 enthusiastic students, from here and elsewhere, who will join our Faculty this year. We are privileged to welcome such a cohort, in all its richness and diversity, and to accompany these students in their academic journey.

Sylvie Frigon, PhD
Vice-Dean of Graduate Studies

Sylvie Frigon

Role of the Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences

  • The Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies is responsible for the administration of the graduate programs of the Faculty of Social Sciences, in particular their development and their planning.
  • The Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies serves as an ex-officio member on the Council on Graduate Studies and on the  Strategic Committee on Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. He also chairs the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC)

The term of office is three years.

Sylvie Frigon
Vice-Dean, Graduate Studies
Social Sciences Building, Room 3021
Phone: 613-562-5732
[email protected]