Brandon University publication will report on the results of research

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A new periodical publication launched at Brandon University (BU) will report a brief summary of the cutting-edge research being achieved at the institution.

“Research Connection” is a new two-page format that’s designed to highlight and help researchers distill their findings into a quick-to-read and quick-to-understand digest. The summaries, which will help promote research results to readers in Brandon and throughout Manitoba, will be produced and printed approximately twice a month. For the convenience of readers everywhere, they’ll also be housed online at

“We have so many incredible scholars doing very interesting work here at Brandon University, and this is a way to collect some of their findings all in one place,” said Dr. Heather Duncan, Associate Vice President for Research at BU. “These are research results that are being published in prestigious national and international journals, but they are of wide interest to many people who may not subscribe to journals from dozens of different disciplines.”

The new publication clearly lays out the basics of each piece of research, including some context about why it is important, how the research was done and what was discovered, and how those discoveries could be used to benefit society and us all in the future.

“Of course, we will always point people to the full publication of any research, so those who want to learn more can dig into the details,” said Dr. Karen Rempel, Director of BU’s Centre for Aboriginal and Rural Education Studies, who spearheaded the launch of the new publication. “But now it will be possible for everyone to get a quick sense and understanding of some of the research that’s being done without needing to read all of the background and work their way through what can be specific, technical language.”

For Dr. Serena Petrella, who is featured in one of the inaugural issues discussing the positive impacts of community gardening, pausing at the end of a research project to take a broader view of their overall project was a valuable way to take stock.

“After spending much time putting together the surveys and interviews, it was rewarding to step back and review just how much we had done, and why it was important,” she said. “We found that Brandon’s community gardens helped build food security, helped neighbours meet and interact, and strengthened family bonds. That’s information that can be directly useful not just to city planners or activists involved in the food security and sustainability movement in our city, but to everyone who is struggling with their family food budget, or interested in making a difference in their community and being a good neighbour, or simply improving their family time. And that’s everyone.”

Over the next few years, Research Connection will feature every active or recently-completed research project at Brandon University. Along with opening up that research to a wider audience, it will help foster new connections between researchers on campus.

“One of the huge advantages of our compact university community is the links that can form between departments, between faculties, and with the broader community” University President Gervan Fearon said. “Some of the most exciting discoveries come when you combine research areas such as science with music, for example psychology and brain function, or art with health studies, as for example in art therapy. Brandon University is particularly well-positioned to do this type of research, which will be highlighted in Research Connection. These reports will also showcase many research projects that our students have an opportunity to participate in, part of their learning here at BU.”

Research Connection builds on a renewed emphasis on discovery at Brandon University.

“Our talented faculty have secured more than $6 million in federal tri-agency research money — a truly astounding amount for an institution our size,” said BU Vice-President Steven Robinson. “We’ve been entrusted with those resources to pursue new knowledge, to test new techniques, and to share our findings with Canada and with the world.”


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