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September 24, 2013

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Big dreams for 2013 Vanier recipients

PhD student Tim Personn has won top spot (ranked first out of 55 students) of all social sciences and humanities recipients of the 2013 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships announced today. A doctoral student in the University of Victoria’s Department of English, Personn is focusing his research on a group of primarily American writers—David Foster Wallace, Richard Powers, Jonathan Franzen and Zadie Smith—who carve out a space for today’s novel in a post-9/11 world by highlighting sincerity and empathy.

Four other UVic PhD students were also awarded 2012-2013 Vaniers for their leadership in community outreach, education and research:

• Justin Karr (psychology), who is studying how the brain can heal and change, giving new hope to people suffering from brain-based disorders;
• Chong-Su Kim (political science), who is investigating the role of social movements and democracy in South Korea and Taiwan by conducting in-depth interviews with citizens;
• Aaron Mills (law), who is articulating a theory of Anishinaabe Law and exploring how Canadian and indigenous legal traditions can exist together; and
• Leigh Wicki-Stordeur (neuroscience), who is researching a process called post-natal neurogenesis, which is the formation of new neurons from pools of existing neural stem cells in the brain.

There were five recipients last year from UVic. The federal government launched the scholarships program in 2009.

This year, the three granting agencies—the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council—awarded a total of 165 scholarships (with 55 recipients in each of the three streams of the national competition). Each scholarship is worth $50,000 per year for three years and is available to both Canadian and international PhD students studying at Canadian universities. More info: http://www.vanier.gc.ca/.

Recent Q&A with top scholar Tim Personn

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