PhD students named SSHRC Storyteller Finalists

Two UBC graduate students have been announced as winners of the 2024 SSHRC Storytellers Challenge.

SSHRC’s annual Storytellers Challenge calls on postsecondary students to demonstrate—in up to three minutes or 300 words—how SSHRC-funded research is making a difference in the lives of Canadians. The top five finalists from across Canada included UBC graduate students Nancy Lin (PhD, Social Work) and Leah Alfred-Olmedo (PhD, English).

The Final Five winners were selected from 20 Storytellers finalists, chosen from more than 200 submissions across Canada. Each finalist received $3,000, research communications training and the opportunity to present their story in front of an audience and a panel of judges at the SSHRC Storytellers Showcase during the SWCC conference. The Final Five winners receive an additional $1,000 each, in recognition of their outstanding ability to communicate research.

Nancy Lin: Accommodating Disability after Acquired Brain Injury in Mental Health Treatment

Nancy's video and presentation explained that people with cognitive, motor, language and perceptual impairments resulting from acquired brain injury (ABI) face difficult psychosocial recoveries, which can be barriers to receiving existing mental health treatments as they are not designed to accommodate differences in ability. This project will identify an inventory of research-based and practice-based accommodations that will contribute to future research on designing and providing fully accessible mental health treatments.

View video

Olivia Abram & Leah Alfred-Olmedo—Indigenous-led Collaboration in the Indigenous Literary Arts

Olivia Abram, from the University of Saskatchewan and Leah Alfred-Olmedo, from UBC, described the challenges graduate students and early-career researchers face when it comes to collaboration in academia—a group they call “fledging” collaborators. The presentation by Alfred-Olmedo (Kwakwaka’wakw) and Abram (settler) discussed the systemic incompatibility of academia and collaboration and called for creating opportunities for more meaningful collaboration in the Indigenous literary arts and research in general.

View video

The other top five finalists included:

  • Harmata Aboubakar (University of Toronto), who spoke about the transformation of memory and identities.
  • Jul Jeonghyun Parke (University of Toronto), who explained about race and ethnic identity in social media and AI.
  • Madeline Springle (University of Calgary), who talked about the connections between socioeconomic status and video interviews.

UBC graduate student Aleah Wong (MSc in Oceans and Fisheries) qualified for the top 20 finalists, but did not make the final 5 winners.

“Congratulations to the 2024 Storytellers Challenge finalists and winners! Beyond the knowledge demonstrated by these postsecondary students, their creativity and their commitment to sharing their passion for social sciences and humanities research are impressive. By making knowledge accessible to all, they have a direct impact on the well-being of Canadians, and contribute to the promising future of research in a range of disciplines in Canada.”

—The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry


Congratulations to all of the finalists!

To view the SSHRC Storytellers Challenge gallery, or for more information on the annual SSHRC Storytellers Challenge, visit the SSHRC website.


Tuesday, 07 May 2024