Acadia Launches First Call for Proposals for Harrison McCain Foundation Awards

Applications for up to $200,000 in scholarly awards due by March 7

Acadia University today announced the first call for proposals from early-career scholars hoping to access up to $200,000 in awards for research and student engagement. The $1 million Harrison McCain Foundation Awards were announced in December 2010 and are intended, over the next five years, to encourage Acadia faculty or visiting faculty to perform innovative, outcome-driven research and to leverage additional funding from the public and private sectors.

"Considerable interest and anticipation have been expressed by Acadia faculty members since announcement of the Harrison McCain Awards last fall," said Dr. Tom Herman, Acadia University Vive-President Academic. "These awards will enhance Acadia's profile in Canada's research community, underscoring our unique student-focused research environment. We have a host of early-career scholars performing important work in a diverse array of disciplines. The awards will advance innovative research and encourage early-career scholars to explore new ways of teaching and engaging students, thereby enlarging Acadia's intellectual and economic footprint in Nova Scotia."

The first call for applications will be due March 7, 2011. The first recipients will be announced during the upcoming Acadia Research Summit being organized on Acadia's campus for March 22 - 25, 2011.All awards will be administered through Acadia's Office of the Vice-President Academic and an Adjudication Committee comprising the Vice-President Academic, the Deans of Research and Graduate Studies, Arts, Pure and Applied Science, and Professional Studies, and the Acadia Student Union's Vice-President Academic will make the final award decisions.

The following three categories of Harrison McCain Awards have been established, with an anticipated total disbursement of $200,000 in 2011-12:

  • Emerging Scholars Awards - $100,000/yr

We anticipate funding approximately seven awards in the first year to support curiosity and outcome-driven research, and innovative pedagogical development.

 Projects may vary in duration from 1 to 3 years, with total funding ranging from $12-20,000 each. Eligible applicants include professors, instructors and librarians who hold ongoing appointments (tenure-stream, tenured, probationary, continuing and contractually-limited-term protected), with preference given to individuals within 8 years of their ongoing appointment at Acadia. Eligible expenses include: equipment, supplies, travel and student research stipends. Costs of publication and organization of symposia and workshops are also eligible.

Applications will be judged on the calibre of the proposed research, the track record/potential of the applicant, and the extent to which the proposal incorporates opportunities for student engagement in research. Consideration will also be given to the extent of innovation and inter/trans-disciplinarity.  Alignment with strategic research priorities identified in the University Research Plan will be viewed favorably but is not required.

Recognizing the increasing number of global opportunities for faculty enrichment, we have designed the following two award categories to fund academic exchanges and collaboration:

  • Visiting Professorships - $67,000/yr

These awards will provide incremental support to outstanding scholars around the world looking for opportunities to visit and collaborate at Acadia.  We anticipate awards in the first year ranging from $5-20,000K, to support both emerging and well established scholars. Use of these funds can vary from covering full costs of brief, intense visits for collaboration on specific research and pedagogical issues, to covering partial costs of visiting sabbaticants for longer periods.  Preference will be given to applicants visiting for at least 6 weeks in duration who will engage in research and pedagogical activity.

  • Visitorships for Acadia Scholars - $30,000/yr

We anticipate awards in the first year, ranging from $5-$20,000, to support Acadia professors, instructors and librarians who hold ongoing appointments who wish to visit other institutions for collaborative opportunities.  These can cover full costs of short visits (i.e. six or more weeks) or partial costs of more prolonged visits, such as sabbaticals. Preference will be given to individuals in the early stages of their career at Acadia.

Applications for the latter two award categories will be judged on the calibre of the proposed work, the track record/potential of the applicant(s), and the extent to which the proposal incorporates opportunities for student engagement. Both award categories are expected to enhance Acadia's reputation internationally and create additional opportunities for our students. 

Application forms for all three awards are available at:

About Acadia

Acadia University, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, has long been recognized as one of Canada's premier post-secondary institutions. With its nationally and internationally recognized undergraduate and graduate research initiatives, small classes and technology-rich teaching and learning environment, Acadia offers students an experience that includes academic achievement combined with personal growth and development. Acadia also offers distance learning, certificate programs, language training and other university extension programs through Open Acadia. For more information about Acadia University, visit our website at

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