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Welcome and Update from the Graduate Department (Sept. 5th, 2019)

The graduate department was pleased to welcome MA and PhD students last September. We were fortunate to be able to attract such a talented and diverse group of students, many of whom were successful in competitions for prestigious awards, including a Connaught International Fellowship, a C. David Naylor Fellowship, a Recognition of Excellence Award, and a Doctoral Recruitment Award.  All of these students have now completed the restricted enrollment HPS1000 Proseminar and the 1100Y paper, which introduces students to the high standard of graduate research expected at IHPST.

We are also delighted to welcome back our returning graduate students who are actively working on qualifying year specialist exams or engaged in dissertation research and writing.  Research at this stage is supported by the IHPST Research Seminars and the funding that is available to support conference and research travel.  IHPST graduate students have used IHPST travel funds to present their research at major conferences and specialized workshops, both domestically and internationally, and research funds will be used during the coming academic year by a number of students who have achieved candidacy.
Our entering and early-year PhD students worked diligently preparing for scholarship applications, with a number of applications for the SSHRC doctoral award advancing from the University competition to Ottawa for adjudication.  The effort that students and faculty put into scholarship applications is part of a department-wide initiative to maintain and improve funding for our graduate students. The creation of a new fund to support graduate student research travel is an important part of this initiative.

Congratulations are in order for several students. Here are a few of the highlights, with sincere apologies if anyone is overlooked. Charlottee Duffee, who has the distinction of being the first IHPST graduate student to pursue her PhD through the Joint Centre for Bioethics (thanks to sponsorship from the Philosophy Department) won the Larry Librach Prize in Ethics and End of Life Care.  Atoosa Kasirzadeh, who is engaged full-time in writing her dissertation, has been awarded a three-year postdoctoral fellowship by the Australian National University (ANU) for the “Humanizing Machine Intelligence” project. Soroush Marouzi, who will be spending 2019-20 as a visiting student at Duke University, has been awarded the prestigious Mary H. Beatty Fellowship (another first for IHPST).  Filippo Sposini has been awarded for 2019-20 the R. Roy McMurtry Fellowship in Legal History from the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History (yes, another first for IHPST). With financial support from the IHPST, Adrian Yee will be spending his qualifying year at HPS Cambridge.

A number of our students are nearing the completion of their programs and will be entering the job market.  IHPST graduates pursue a range of options, including tenure-track and visiting professor appointments, postdoctoral fellowships, and non-academic employment.  Four IHPST graduate students completed their programs during the 2018-19 academic year. Two of these (Kira Lussier and Noah Stemeroff) hold postdocs and a third (Nick Overgaard) has a position with the Provincial government as a policy analyst.  The fourth recent graduate (Liz Koester) will be joining IHPST as a lecturer for 2019-20. On the Placement front, our postdoc, Jon Fuller, accepted a tenure-track offer from HPS Pittsburgh.  A number of IHPST’s recent graduates have accepted new positions, which are now being regularly updated on IHPST’s web site.

This transition from the department into academic and non-academic tracks was supported in 2019-20 by a series of professional development seminars, mock interviews, and job talks.  During the coming academic year, IHPST has will be looking to expand support for professional development and explore the possibility of creating a new position for Job Placement.