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Research Centres & Chairs

Research Initiatives

The Faculty of Arts is home to several prestigious research chairs, including a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, and boasts a thriving culture of centres and institutes. The chairs and centres represent dynamic focal points for world-class research, innovation, and creative practice. Several faculty members serve as chairs or directors of centres linked or housed across Ryerson Faculties including the Faculty of Community Services (Sam Gindin Chair) as well as across graduate programs including Literatures of Modernity (MA), Policy Studies (PhD), Psychology (MA/PhD), Public Policy & Administration (MA), and Spatial Analysis (MA). Additional links connect interdisciplinary programs in Communication and Culture (MA/PhD) and in Immigration and Settlement Studies (MA). 

Centre for Digital Humanities

By engaging in collaborative research at the critical intersection of the material and the digital, The Centre for Digital Humanities (CDH) contributes to scholarly and societal knowledge about cultural objects, makers, and users. Through the iterative process of designing online environments for the preservation, visualization, and analysis of cultural texts and histories, CDH projects investigate the ways in which digital mediation fosters new ways of critical thinking through making. / Read More >

Centre for Policy Innovation and Public Engagement thumbnail

The Centre for Policy Innovation and Public Engagement  provides a forum for the pursuit and promotion of inter-disciplinary research, education, and professional applications relating to public policy innovation. Policy Innovation Labs are an increasingly important development in public policy making with a variety of methods and approaches to building relationships among governments, organizations and citizens, generating ideas and designing policy. Yet, these labs are under-researched, meaning that many are established without a full understanding of their role and value. / Learn more

Institute for Stress and Wellbeing Research thumbnail

The Institute for Stress and Wellbeing Research studies stress as it occurs across the entire human lifespan, from infancy through adulthood into old age. The Institute brings together a leading edge team of international researchers, clinicians, and trainees from Canada, USA, UK, and China with key skill sets in the biological, cognitive-behavioural, and subjective aspects of stress. / Read More > (opens in new window) 

"Meaning Lab" logo over a photo of plants.

Established in March 2017 for the Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures and directed by Jamin Pelkey and Stéphanie Walsh Matthews, the Meaning Lab is a team of faculty and student researchers absorbed by questions about meaning and its links with language, culture and cognition. The lab conducts cognitive trials exploring mindfulness and multimodal language processing with hundreds of participants, human robot interaction programming design for research at the intersection of cognitive linguistics and autism spectrum disorder, multiple editing projects in semiotics, linguistics, anthropology and rhetoric culture, plus other research activities and publications. / Read More > (external link, opens in new window) 

MENA thumbnail

Established by a team of researchers across several departments in the Faculty of Arts, the Toronto Metropolitan University Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Studies Centre is devoted to the culture, history, literature, politics, and societies in the Middle East and North Africa and of diasporic populations from the MENA region in North America and Europe. / Read More > (opens in new window) 

Modern Literature and Culture

The Modern Literature and Culture Research Centre researches literary and cultural production in the modernist era (from 1880 to 1940), and preserves and advances modernist women’s heritage while promoting modern Canadian heritage within an international context. The Centre focuses on early twentieth-century modern literature and culture within a broad range of topics such as avant-garde literature and art, salon culture, visual culture, Modernism, modernist biography and life writing.
Read more... (opens in new window) 

Psychology Research and Training Centre thumbnail

Dedicated to science, health, and discovery, the Psychology Research & Training Centre (PRTC) occupies the second floor of the South Bond Building and represents over 10,000 square feet of research and training space. The labs in the PRTC are dedicated to such research areas such as Aboriginal Health, Community Psychology, Health and Gender, HIV Prevention, and Media and Social Development. / Read More > (opens in new window) 

Yellowhead Institute thumbnail

The Institute is a First Nation-led research centre based in the Faculty of Arts at Toronto Metropolitan University in Toronto, Ontario. It is led by Hayden King, Executive Director and Advisor to the Dean on Indigenous Education. Privileging First Nation philosophy and rooted in community networks, Yellowhead is specifically focused on policies related to land and governance. The Institute offers critical and accessible resources for communities in their pursuit of self-determination. It also aims to foster education and dialogue on First Nation governance across fields of study, between the University and the wider community, and among Indigenous peoples and Canadians.

To learn more, please visit the Yellowhead Institute page.


Professor Anna Triandafyllidou

Professor Triandafyllidou will join Ryerson this summer to lead an internationally recognized seven-year research program. 

She will build and lead a team of researchers who will take what she describes as a 360-degree approach to migration and integration. The work will focus on five research streams. The first focus is on agency – as in migrant, stakeholder network and institutions’ agency. The second is undertaking a comparative analysis of migration and integration policies and their outcomes. The third is examining cities and diversity. The fourth will look forward to migration challenges facing Canada and the world in 2050. The final focus will be setting up a Data and Methods Lab in partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Canada Research Data Centre Network. Learn more. (opens in new window) 

Profile: Julia Spaniol

Dr. Julia Spaniol conducts research that explores the impact of aging on both contextual decisions, such as the timing of an event, and on decision-making. As these thought processes decrease when people get older, motivational and emotional capacities tend to stabilize or improve with age. Spaniol investigates how motivation and reward can affect cognition throughout a lifespan and how maximizing the cognitive strengths of older adults could help to counterbalance cognitive deficits.

Dr. Pamela Palmater

The Chair is supported by Toronto Metropolitan University as part of its commitment to Indigenous education, diversity and social justice. The mandate of the Chair (currently Dr. Pamela Palmater) is to conduct research and scholarship in relation to Indigenous law, governance and politics in a First Nation context. This includes, but is not limited to, topic areas such as: Indigenous laws and legal traditions; traditional forms of Indigenous governance; current laws and policies impacting Indigenous peoples and Nations; public administration in First Nations; Indigenous leadership and political structures; Indigenous citizenship and communal relations; and comparative governance research with international Indigenous peoples/Nations. / Learn more

Ken Moffatt

Established in 2012, the Jack Layton Chair advances the late politician and Ryerson professor's legacy of political and humanitarian leadership by engaging in a variety of activities that are in keeping with his wide-ranging interests and commitments. Throughout his career, Jack was a passionate advocate on issues such as environmental sustainability, homelessness, homophobia, liveable cities, violence against women, labour rights, youth engagement, public health, and inclusive democracy. Dr. Ken Moffatt, a professor in Ryerson’s School of Social Work in the Faculty of Community Services, currently serves as The Jack Layton Chair. Learn more (opens in new window) 

Sanjay Ruparelia

The creation of a new research chair in the study and advancement of democracy was made possible thanks to a generous donation from The Jarislowsky Foundation. The $2-million gift, which will be matched by Toronto Metropolitan University, will endow a chair in the Faculty of Arts that will position Ryerson at the forefront of teaching, research and knowledge exchange on democracy, and provide a public forum for discussion and debate about democracy at this critical moment in its evolution. Dr. Sanjay Ruparelia currently serves as Jarislowsky Democracy Chair. Learn more

Profile: Kike Roach

The mandate of the Unifor National Chair in Social Justice and Democracy — the first union-endowed chair at a Canadian university — is to create a hub of interaction between social justice activists and academics at Ryerson. Labour rights and activist Kiké Roach is the current Gindin Chair. Learn more (opens in new window)