University of Saskatchewan's Social Science Research Laboratories breaking new ground in research

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- January 22, 2013 2013-01-10-AR Saskatoon - One of Canada's premier social science research facilities, the Social Sciences Research Laboratories (SSRL), held their official grand opening today.

Home to five research laboratories, the SSRL has already made possible several innovative projects that are setting new standards for interdisciplinary and student research at Canadian universities. For example, Taking the Pulse of Saskatchewan—a comprehensive survey examining public opinion on a range of contemporary issues that saw results published through major media outlets—was made possible by the SSRL's Survey and Group Analysis Laboratory. Another project, mapping primary health care facilities in major Canadian cities, is being led by the Spatial Analysis for Innovation in Health Research Laboratory.
Today's grand opening marked the completion of all five labs and the unit's general office, all of which are located on the second floor of the Arts Building. The SSRL was made possible through a combined investment exceeding $3.5 million in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan.
"The SSRL is a shining example of how the University of Saskatchewan is leading research that is interdisciplinary, community-based and student-focused," said Karen Chad, vice-president research at the U of S. "The facility is unique within Canada and has significantly augmented our international reputation for excellence in social science research."
"The kinds of synergies realized by the SSRL's interdisciplinary approach to research have the potential to inspire far-reaching benefits for the people of Saskatchewan and all Canadians," said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). "That's why our government invested $520,000 through the Canada Foundation for Innovation to support the development of five labs that make up the interconnected Social Sciences Research Laboratories."
Trisha Keatings, a graduate student in her second year of study towards a master's degree in political studies, can attest to the opportunities the SSRL offers students. After completing her undergraduate education at the University of Toronto, the SSRL played a pivotal role in attracting her to the U of S.
"Not only have I had the chance to work with a huge group of interdisciplinary researchers as well as a number of different university departments and offices, I've also learned a variety of new skills I would not have learned otherwise, such as mentorship and data analysis," said Keatings, who was hired as a student mentor and research assistant for Taking the Pulse of Saskatchewan.
"These are all things I can put on my CV to set me apart from other candidates … and are transferable to a wide range of careers and other opportunities."
Attendees at today's event were able to meet with SSRL researchers and staff, and partake in an interactive tour of all five labs. Groups participated in online experiments and games in the Experimental Decision Laboratory. They also designed, tested and implemented online and telephone surveys in the Survey Group and Analysis Laboratory.
"The SSRL has played an important role in social science research in the short time they've been operational," said Don Morgan, Minister of Advanced Education. "We are proud to help fund this exciting endeavour."
For more information on the SSRL, please visit

For more information, contact:
Kirk Sibbald, Communications Officer
College of Arts & Science
(306) 966-1982

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