The Canada museum of science and technology is one of the museums part of the fellowship. Photo: Parker Townes.
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Fellowship in Gender, Science and Technology open to graduate students

Early last week, in a call to passionate young minds, the University of Ottawa, in partnership with Ingenium,  a crown corporation of Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation announced a Fellowship in Gender, Science and Technology. Open to full-time masters and doctoral students from all faculties, the goal of the fellowship is to produce interdisciplinary research in the fields of gender, science, and technology.

Ingenium oversees three museums: the Canada Science and Technology Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and Canada Agricultural and Food Museum. The two chosen fellowship recipients will be able to choose which of the three museums they’d like to work with.

Emily Gann, a Ph.D. student at the U of O and assistant curator at the Canada Science and Technology Museum, originally discussed the idea with Ruby Heap, former associate vice-president, research at the U of O and current professor of history of women in science and engineering. From there, the partnership took off. According to Heap, the fellowship is “a truly collaborative effort.”

For Ingenium, the fellowship provides an opportunity to open up their collection not only to the general public but to researchers. Heap called it “mutually beneficial,” and an effort to give students “practical experience as researchers.”

The fellowship emphasizes women in STEM, a field that Heap believes to still be largely underdeveloped in Canada. “We believe that if we don’t have fair representation of women, we will lose, and this will be to the detriment of the field.”

Bryan Dewalt, the director of the curatorial division at Ingenium, is “very excited about the fellowship.”

“We take the whole area of gender and women in STEM fields very seriously,” he said.

Both Heap and Dewalt stressed the importance of the interdisciplinary aspect of the fellowship with Heap saying, “we are eager at the University of Ottawa to contribute to creating new bodies of knowledge on gender, science, and technology.”

Recipients of the fellowship will be chosen by a committee that includes representatives from both the university and Ingenium. The committee is looking for new perspectives and angles, from medical history to domestic inventions. Heap remarked that the most important qualities applicants should possess are a passion for their research and an innovative perspective.

The announcement came just days before Prime Minister Trudeau’s speech in Davos, Switzerland where he said, “I’m talking about hiring, promoting and retaining more women and not just because it’s the right thing to do, or the nice thing to do, but because it’s the smart thing to do,” according to the Toronto Star.

Heap mentioned the prime minister’s speech and the fellowship as “pieces of an agenda which is to attract and retain more women in STEM.”

Interested applicants have until February 15, 2018 to apply.

Additional information about the Fellowship in Gender, Science and Technology can be found at the University of Ottawa’s website.