Lakehead University receiving grant for equity, diversity and inclusion program

Lakehead University Campus with Lake
Lakehead University Campus

THUNDER BAY – Lakehead University is one of only 15 organizations from across Canada awarded a new grant that will help promote equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) at the University.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) received 51 applications for the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Institutional Capacity-Building Grant, which will provide $384,700 to Lakehead University over the next two years.

This funding will support Lakehead University in advancing its EDI agenda as well as beginning to adopt and implement the Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada pilot program launched by the Government of Canada on Thursday, May 9. Inspired by the United Kingdom’s internationally-recognized Athena SWAN program, the program promotes equity, diversity and inclusion in research.

“We are honoured to be selected as an award recipient of the EDI Institutional Capacity-Building Grant,” said Dr. David Barnett, Provost and Vice-President (Academic).

“This grant affirms the great strides our leaders have been championing and aligns with our current Strategic and Academic Plan priorities in providing an inclusive, equitable, and accessible environment at both Lakehead Thunder Bay and Lakehead Orillia,” he said.

Adam Shaen, Associate Vice-President of Human Resources, said the grant would enable Lakehead to deliver on its commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion outlined in the University’s draft Institutional EDI Action Plan.

“Specifically, this award will support our work in launching our new five-year Action Plan, recruiting and supporting a diverse workforce, creating an equitable and inclusive University environment, and committing to continuous improvement informed by evidence-based practices,” Shaen said.

The Government of Canada created the Dimensions EDI Charter and pilot program to address underrepresented groups in academic research – specifically Indigenous Peoples, women, racialized minorities, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ2+ community – and all areas of research in post-secondary institutions.

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced the new Dimensions pilot program last week with an EDI Charter that will help universities make the research community as diverse as Canada.

“This truly is a critical and transformational step for Canadian post-secondary institutions,” said Minister Duncan during the launch. “We know that when we bring together diverse points of view, our health, environment, communities and economy can thrive.”

“Lakehead University is pleased to fully endorse the Dimensions Charter,” said Lakehead University President Dr. Moira McPherson. “Both the Charter and pilot program are aligned with Lakehead University’s plans to develop and implement an institution-wide Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.”