Academic Sector

ISR provides services to academic research projects funded by tri-council agencies (the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Blackness in Canada: Transforming the Nature and not Just the Face of Social Science Research
Research Period: 2019-present
Funding Source: SSHRC
Principal Investigator: Professor Lorne Foster, York University
Project Description:  The “Blackness in Canada” research project examines Black Canadian identity, practice and experiences with the intent to build networks aimed at equity policy development, implementation and outcomes.  The research has four objectives: (1) to investigate the Black Canadian population as a national ethnoracial identity; (2) to investigate how the experiences of Black Canadians are shaped by intersecting social, political, and economic factors; (3) to determine the most promising approaches to alleviate anti-Black racism experienced by them; and, (4) to create a framework for a comprehensive policy network to adapt to Black community issues using a holistic approach.
ISR’s contact: Lorne Foster, Director of ISR
For more information
Canadian COVID-19 Social Impacts Survey
Research Period: 2020-present
Funding Source: CIHR
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Eric Kennedy (York University), and Dr. Claudia Chaufan (York University), and Dr. Kieran O’Doherty (University of Guelph).
Project Description:   This is a Canada-wide web survey which examines how Canadians understand and perceive the COVID-19 outbreak. The goal of the survey is to better understand health risks facing Canadians. ISR’s role is to assist in the data collection of panel web surveys (n=9,000).
ISR’s contact: Stella Park, Project Manager
Youth Research and Evaluation eXchange (YouthREX)
Research Period: 2020 – present
Funding Source: Government of Ontario, Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services
Principal Investigator: Dr. Uzo Anucha, School of Social Work, York University
Project Description: YouthREX is a province-wide initiative based at York University with five regional Hubs across Ontario. Their mission is to make research evidence and evaluation practices accessible and relevant to Ontario’s grassroots youth sector through knowledge exchange, capacity building and evaluation leadership.
By using web surveys and semi-structured in-depth interviews, ISR will assist the YouthREX team in collecting data that will help to understand how youths and youth workers across Ontario are adapting in the COVID-19 context.
ISR’s contact: Stella Park, Project Manager
For more information:
Blood Donations Survey Project
Research Period: 2019-present
Funding Source: Canadian Blood Services
Principal Investigator: Professor Nathan Lachowsky, University of Victoria
Project Description:   This is a national telephone study across Canada which examines who is allowed to donate blood, if the sexual practises of those who donate should be considered, and attitudes towards minority groups of people who may donate blood. The study is being conducted for researchers at the University of Victoria (in British Columbia) and the Community-Based Research Centre (in Vancouver), and funded by the Canadian Blood Services.
ISR’s contact: Stella Park, Project Manager
Making I-SPARX Fly in Nunavut
Research Period: 2016-2021
Funding Source: Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Principal Investigator: Professor Yvonne Bohr, York University
Project Description:   Making I-SPARX Fly in Nunavut is a youth and community-directed e-mental health intervention designed with and for Inuit youth. It involves the development and use of a computer game that builds resilience and promotes mental health. ISR’s main role is to provide statistical consultation and provide input for the development of I-SPARX evaluation measures.
ISR’s contact: Hugh McCague
Graduate Student Survey Sobey School of Business
Research Period: 2019-2020
Principal Investigator: Jane Mulatz, Director, Strategy & Accreditation at the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University
Project Description: ISR worked with the team at the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University to conduct a survey of their graduate students and alumni. The web-based survey was designed to be the first of a series of ongoing student studies. The primary aim of the survey is to assist St Mary’s to better understand the
experience of graduates in the realm of entrepreneurship, assess their social and civic engagement, and identify trends and patterns re continuing education.
ISR’s Contact: Liza Mercier, Project Manager
Whistle Blowers Survey: Harassment and Bullying in the Live Performance Industry
Research Period: 2019-2020
Funding Source: SSHRC
Principal Investigator: Professor Dr. James Turk, Director of Ryerson University’s Centre for Free Expression
Project Description:  This SSHRC funded project was completed for a consortium of academic researcher from multiple Canadian universities under the direction of Dr. James Turk, Director of Ryerson University’s Centre for Free Expression. Questionnaire design commenced in Fall, 2019 and an online questionnaire was developed in the winter of 2020. The sample included approximately 3,000 members of Canadian Actors Equity and online data collection was completed near the end of the current budget year. The funds for this project are mostly collected at the start of the next budget year. The goal of the research is to learn more about the extent of harassment and bullying in the live performance industry, how it is being dealt with, the effectiveness of current anti-harassment and whistleblowing initiatives and what can be done to improve them.
Class of ’73 Project
Research Period: 2018-2019
Funding Source: SSHRC
Principal Investigator: Professor Emeritus Paul Anisef (Sociology), York University
Co-investigators: Professor Emeritus Paul Axelrod (Education), York University, Professor Carl James (Education), York University; Professor Karen Robson (Sociology)  McMaster University); Professor Wolfgang Lehmann, Western University.
Project Description:  This unique study follows up with an Ontario cohort of late baby boomers who were part of the high school graduating “Class of ‘73” and comprises the seventh phase of a 46 year longitudinal research project. Study participants, first interviewed in 1972, are now either in the early stages or on the cusp of retirement.  Respondents to the survey have lived through a period of unprecedented economic and social change and the study offers an opportunity to explore how life experiences including education and work have shaped people’s lives. The original survey was conducted with 2,522 Grade 12 students from 97 Ontario high schools in 1972 and over time, five follow-up surveys have been conducted with the same participants.  The last follow up survey was completed in the winter of 1994.  At that time, the study participants were 40-42 years of age, in mid-life and mid-career, often married and in the process of raising their own children. Over a period of twenty years, the researchers found that three fifths of this cohort experienced upward, one fourth downward, and less than one-third downward mobility in their careers. The cohort is now 61-65 years of age, and approaching the typical age of retirement. Findings from the current survey, being completed over the telephone, will examine how life choices are shaped by significant social and economic changes as well as individual’s health, education, careers and friendships.
ISR’s contact: David Northrup, Director, Survey Research
For more information:
Climate Change and Subjectivity: Transversal Ecologies
Research Period: 2016-present
Funding Source: SSHRC Insight Development Grant
Principal Investigator: Dr. Glenn Stalker, York University
Project Description: 
ISR’s contact: David Northrup, Director, Survey Research
The Second Generation Project

Research Period: 2014-2017
Funding Source: SSHRC
Principal Investigators: Dr. Valerie Preston, York University and Dr. Brian Ray, University of Ottawa
Project Description: This research project examines the impacts of race, gender, social network, and place on employment and social mobility of the second generation (adult children of immigrants) in the Greater Toronto. ISR is currently interviewing 2,000 individuals who are second generation (children of immigrants), between 25 and 44 years of age, from various racial/ethnic groups across Toronto CMA.
ISR’s contact: David Northrup and Stella Park
For more information:

Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) Success: Leveraging Collaborative Partnership Project

Research Period: 2016 – 2017
Funding Source: Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and International Trade
Principal Investigator: Dr. Pat Bradley, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, York University. With assistance of Partners from Colleges of Algonquin, Centennial, Fanshawe, George Brown, Mohawk, University Health Network (UHN), Bridgepoint Active Health care (BAH), and the center for Inter-professional education.
Project Description: The purpose of this research is a) to assess learning needs of participants such as nursing faculty who teach IEN students in a BSN bridging education program, b) to identify best practices for teaching IEN and culturally diverse groups in bridging education and in clinical practice, and c) develop nursing faculty teaching skills in bridging programs and in preparation for IEN/ diverse learners to successful employment.  The web survey is being conducted for the research team by the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at York University.
ISR’s contact: Richard Myles
For more information:

Making SPARX fly in Nunavut

Research Period: 2015 – 2017
Funding Source: LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research, York University
Principal Investigator: Dr. Yvonne Bohr, C.Psych. York University
Co-Investigators: Candice Waddell – Government of Nunavut, Gwen Healey – Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre, Dr. Gordon Flett, Dr. Jennine Rawana, Dr. Jennifer Jenson, Dr. Susan Dion
Project Description: The goal of this project is to test trial and evaluate the computerized SPARX (Smart, Positive, Active, Realistic, X-factor thoughts) intervention program for youth (aged 13 – 18 years) in Inuit communities.  The SPARX program was developed to help youth who are at risk for depression learn new skills for dealing with feelings of depression or stress. ISR will be designing web surveys which measure the effectiveness of SPARX intervention program.
ISR’s contact: David Northrup and Stella Park
For more information:

Canadian Election Study (CES) and Post-Election Study (PES)
Research Period: 2015 –  2016
Funding Source: SSHRC
Principal Investigators: Dr. Patrick Fournier of the Université de Montréal, Drs. Stuart Soroka and Dietlind Stolle of McGill University, and Dr. Fred Cutler of the University of British Columbia.
Project Description: Approximately 4,200 telephone interviews are conducted during the 2015 Canadian federal election campaign. For the Canadian Election Study, a rolling cross-sectional sample are utilized whereby approximately 120 interviews are conducted every day of the campaign, in both official languages, with randomly-selected Canadian citizens of voting age. The study includes a panel component in which interviews are also conducted with respondents to earlier Canadian Election Studies. The research team is interested in learning how Canadians feel about the major issues in the campaign, and why they elect the people and parties they do. The second phase of the project is a post-election telephone survey in which respondents from the campaign-period survey are re-interviewed to evaluate attitudinal changes which may have occurred over the course of the campaign.
Note: ISR also conducted 1997, 2000, 2004, and 2006 Canadian Election Study
ISR’s contact: David Northrup, Director, Survey Research
Outsourcing in American and Canadian Firms Survey
Research Period: 2015 – 2016
Funding Source: York University and University of Texas
Principal Investigator: Dr. Markus Biehl, York University
Project Description: This project examines the relationship between firms and their outsourcing partners to determine what role green practices play in outsourcing decisions. ISR will be recruiting 300 firms across Canada and U.S.A. to participate in the telephone survey.
ISR’s contact: David Northrup
Youth Research and Evaluation eXchange (YouthREX)
Research Period: April – June 2015
Funding Source: Government of Ontario, Ministry of Children and Youth Services
Principal Investigator: Dr. Uzo Anucha, School of Social Work, York University
Project Description: YouthREX is a province-wide initiative based at York University with five regional Hubs across Ontario. The objective of this project is to determine how Ontario’s non-profit youth sector makes use of evaluation and research in their organizations by conducting in-depth interviews with 60 non-profit youth sector leaders across Ontario. Data analysis for this project is completed using NVivo software.
ISR’s contact: Stella Park, Project Manager
For more information:
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) Survey

Research Period: 2007 – 2015
Funding Source: SSHRC, University of Toronto, Government of Ontario
Principal Investigator: Doug Hart, Institutional Researcher and Senior Research Officer, OISE, University of Toronto
Project description: The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto has been undertaking a provincial education survey every two years since 1978. This 19th wave of the study examined Ontarians’ attitudes toward the education system in general and, more specifically: public satisfaction with schools; opinions about funding priorities; knowledge about governance; accommodation for minority cultural and religious groups; and other current policy issues including province-wide tests and government spending on education, among other topics. This telephone survey was conducted with 750 randomly-selected adult residents across all regions of the province in  2014.
ISR’s Contact: David Northrup
For more information:

Final Report: Download

Internet Use and Political Activity in Canada

Research Period: 2014
Funding Source: SSHRC and University of Lethbridge
Principal Investigator: Dr. Harold Jansen, University of Lethbridge and his research team includes researchers from the University of Manitoba, Laval University, University of Montreal, and University of Guelph.
Project Description: The last two decades have seen a revolution in communication technology with the widespread use of computer networks and digital technologies. This study focused on how these technologies have transformed the practice of democratic citizenship in Canada. In the winter and spring of 2014, ISR conducted 2,000 telephone interviews in English and French with adults across Canada. The researchers explored how Canadians are using online communication to gather information about politics, use e-government services, communicate with political parties, contact social movements, and engage in discussion with other citizens about politics. The extent to which new communication technology has opened up politics and participation to citizens was also examined.
ISR’s Contact: Liza Mercier

Legal Problems of Everyday Life

Research Period: 2013-2014
Funding Source: Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, York University
Principal Investigator: Dr. Trevor Farrow, Osgoode Hall Law School, and Chair of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Project description: Civil justice concerns non-criminal disagreements between individuals, and between individuals and companies, e.g., serious problems with major purchases, dealing with prejudice, receiving poor or incorrect medical treatment, problems with employers or neighbours, and family issues relating to child custody and wills, etc. Studies have shown that for some people, civil justice problems have considerable financial, health and social costs. This current study will determine the number of civil justice problems in Canada, make comparison to earlier national and international studies, and examine the costs to individuals as well as to society for these problems. In the fall and winter of 2013-14, the Institute will complete 3,000 telephone interviews with randomly-selected adult Canadians across all provinces as well as 300 shorter interviews with cell phone users. This study is designed to help make the justice system fairer, easier to use, less costly, and more effective.
ISR’s contact: David Northrup, Director of Survey Research
For more information:

Marital Satisfaction and Conflict Study

Research Period: 2012
Funding Source: SSHRC
Principal Investigator: Dr. Rhonda Lenton at York University
Project Description: The goal of this national study was to explore how factors such as stress, socioeconomic status, previous socialization patterns, values and behaviours affect couples in terms of marital satisfaction and conflict. The findings from this research will help researchers understand marital conflict and the impact it has on health and well-being. This information could have policy implications in the areas of health and social services that will be beneficial to families and future generations. The Institute conducted 1,500 telephone interviews with randomly-selected adults across Canada.
ISR’s contact: David Northrup

Social Capital, Cultural Capital and Ethnic Advancement in Toronto Survey

Research Period: 2012
Funding Source: SSHRC and University of Toronto
Principal Investigator: Dr. Bonnie Erickson, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto
Project Description: We know surprisingly little about the social relationships within and between ethnic groups in a highly multicultural city. Social networks (such as marriage, close friendships, etc.) are the channels through which crucial information and influence flow, hence individual and group successes depend on these networks. This project focused on individual success finding jobs or getting good work with high prestige and income. For ethnic group members, networks and culture can affect work location and job quality, and success in advancing group goals depends on how outsiders see the group: how positively they feel about the group, how aware they are of important group problems, and how willing they are to support action to remedy such problems. This research will contribute to our understanding of inequality and ethnic relations, with emphasis on the roles of networks and culture. The project systematically mapped relationships in and between groups, access to ethnic group and mainstream culture, and the distribution of potential support for anti-discrimination policies, all for the first time. The Institute conducted 900 telephone interviews among Black, Chinese, and White adults in Toronto.
ISR’s contact: Liza Mercier

Canadian Internet Project (CIP)

Research Period: 2011
Funding Source: Canadian Research Media Consortium and other partners.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Charles Zamaria, Ryerson University and Dr. Fred Fletcher, York University
Project Description: The Canadian Internet Project (CIP) is the third phase of a larger study on Canadians’ Internet habits. This project measures trends in use of the Internet, traditional media and emerging technologies by Canadians, and their attitudes toward media and online activities. The CIP forms part of the World Internet Project (WIP) involving almost 40 countries undertaking similar research. These projects examine the social, political and economic impact of the Internet and other new technologies. Over the summer and fall of 2011 ISR conducted approximately 1,700 telephone interviews across the country with adults and Canadian youth.
ISR’s contact: David Northrup

Survey of Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting

Research Period: 2011
Funding Source: Schulich School of Business, York University
Principal Investigator: Dr. Linda Thorne, Schulich School of Business, York University
Project Description: This mail survey of approximately 200 companies investigated why firms choose to issue, or not issue, stand-alone Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reports. Stand-alone CSR Reports are known by many different names, including ‘Sustainability Reports’, ‘Environmental Reports’ or ‘Citizenship Reports’, among others. These reports are issued voluntarily and separately from information included in annual reports or posted on corporate websites, and focus on social and environmental practices of the firm.
ISR’s contact: Liza Mercier

Canadians and Their Pasts

Research Period: 2007-2008 (book published in 2013)
Funding Source: SSHRC’s Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) program and Université Laval
Principal Investigator: Dr. Jocelyn Létourneau (U. Laval)
Co-investigators: Dr. Margaret Conrad (U. of New Brunswick), Dr. Kadriye Ercikan (U. of British Columbia), Dr. Gerald Friesen (U. of Manitoba), Dr. Delphin Muise (Carleton U.), ISR’s Associate Director David Northrup (York U.), and Dr. Peter Seixas (UBC).
Project Description: This is a large-scale national study examining the degree to which Canadians engage in the past and the impact that history and the past have in their day-to-day lives. This study builds upon earlier work in the United States and Australia, and includes innovations both in survey content and methodology, taking into consideration unique Canadian characteristics such as language, region, and the varied backgrounds that many Canadians have. The Institute was most directly associated with the PASTS’ national CATI telephone survey which gathered information from a representative sample of Canadians about the ways they think about the past, remember the past, and may keep it alive for family members and friends. From the spring of 2007 through the spring of 2008, interviews were conducted, in both official languages, with more than 3,000 adult Canadians. ISR also conducted an additional 100 interviews with Aboriginal people in Saskatchewan, 100 interviews with Acadians in New Brunswick, and 100 interviews with new immigrants in the Regional Municipality of Peel.
ISR’s contact: David Northrup
For more information


ISR’s Past projects (1996-2011)