The Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards (JCURA)

The Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award (JCURA) was started in 2009-10 as the Undergraduate Research Scholarship program by the Vice-President Academic and Provost. It supports exceptional undergraduate students who might otherwise not be able to obtain a direct research experience.

Undergraduate students with a GPA of 7.0 or above who are registered in 3rd and 4th year eligible for this award. Full-time status normally means registration in 12 or more units of study in the Winter Session. Award winners complete a research project under the mentorship of a faculty supervisor.

Each successful student receives a $1,500 credit in his/her UVic account.

2021-22 Political Science recipients

JENNA HRECHKA  (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Michael Prince, HSD)
Research topic: "Exploring Alberta and BC's Policy Response to COVID-19 Regarding Vulnerable Populations" This project will focus on a comparative analysis of provincial policy responses (Alberta and British Columbia) to the COVID-19 pandemic with a focus on the similarities and/or differences in how the policy responses considered vulnerable people, specifically incarcerated and Indigenous communities.

SEAMUS LIM-HELEY  (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Scott Watson)
Research topic: "Accessibility Innovation in Higher Education Through Telepresence Robots" This project will investigate how the US military is framed and positioned through government discourse and how this discourse shapes what is, and is not, considered a security threat.

MICHAEL LO  (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Guoguang Wu)
"The Power of Diaspora: Influencing Discourse and Policy of the Hong Kong Protests (2019-20) in Canada and UK" This project focuses on the mobilisation and power of Hong Kong diaspora in Canada and the United Kingdom in shaping discourse and policy in the two democracies in response to the effects and aftermath of the 2019-20 Hong Kong protests.

EMILY LOWAN  (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Claire Cutler)
"Political, Legal and Socio-Economic Vulnerabilities of Canadian Medical Supply Chains"
This project will focus on procurement practices at the Federal and Provincial levels and seeks to identify crucial political, legal, and socio-economic vulnerabilities of medical supplies.

2020-21 Political Science recipients

GIULIA GAGLIANO  (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Oliver Schmidtke)
Research topic: "The Imagined Community Versus the Immigrant Other: The Intersection of the Discourses of Gender and Race in the Political Mobilization of the Nationalist Right Wing in Italy" This project will ask how the discursively constructed gendered configuration of the national "imagined community" contribute to the rise of anti-immigrant nationalist sentiment in Italy?

MARY HEEG  (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Colin Bennett)
Research topic: "Examining Google's G Suite for Education as a Surveillance Practice". This project will investigate the impact of monitoring on students and teachers, examine questions of privacy and resulting policy implications and the impacts of monitoring on society.

PAARTH MITTAL  (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Jamie Lawson)
"Extraction, Indigenous Dispossession and State Power: Lessons from Standing Rock and Wet'suwet'en Resistance" This project seeks to understand how the liberal settler-colonial state contributes to current processes of Indigenous land dispossession. How do state and corporate institutions, in their push for resource extraction, act to drive processes of Indigenous land dispossession? Specifically, how do corporate lobbying, approval processes and policing contribute to dispossession?

2019-20 Political Science recipients

ERIC BUHNE  (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Jamie Lawson)
Research topic: "Regional Identity in BC and Alberta: The Disparate Development of Identity in Western Canada" BC and Alberta, while neighbouring provinces, have distinct political cultures. This project will examine each province's economic, demographic, and political development, as well as the way in which these factors intersect.

JESSICA BURGOYNE-KING  (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Rita Dhamoon)
Research topic: "Strategies of Co-Resistance: Indigenous and Black Mobilizing to Combat Racism and Colonialism in Canada" What relationships of solidarity exist between Indigenous and Black communities mobilizing to combat racism and colonialism in Canada? How is liberation and decolonization approached in similar or different ways by Indigenous and Black communities. This project will bridge an Afro-futurist lens with Indigenous strategies of resistance.

MOIRA LOUW (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Oliver Schmidtke)
Research topic: "Identity Crisis: The Relevance of Naitonal Identity in the 21st Century". The idea of a national identity seems to be increasingly relevant in the European context, but does the same hold true in Canada? This research will analyze why the idea of a national identity is still relevant in Europe in the 21st century, and finish by considering the implications for Canadian identity.

NATALYA RAMBOLD (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Avigail Eisenberg)
Research topic: "Masculinities in Motion: The Implications of Shifting Narratives of Nationalism on the Formation of Canadian Masculine Identities". Recent changes to the way we talk about men and masculinity from teh #MeToo, to the rise of so called 'incels', has led academics and Reddit users alike to declare a 'crisis of masculinity'. This research project analyzes the impact that nationalism has on the debates surrounding emerging trends in masculinity in Canada.

2018-19 Political Science recipients

BLAKE GLASSFORD  (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Scott Watson)
Research topic: "Tale of Two Democracies: Examining the Effectiveness of U.N. Democratization Missions". The project examines the effectiveness of U.N.-sponsored democratization missions in post-conflict states. The research will compare two sub-Saharan countries and examine the political, social and economic contexts which influence mission results.

RACHEL MCMILLAN (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Grace Lore)
Provincial and federal legislatures alike have developed reputations for disorder and hostility as a result of routine heckling. Is it possible that increasing the number of female MLA's and cabinet ministers could alter this aspect of Canadian political culture? Drawing on critical mass literature, this research will analyze the dynamics of heckling in the current BC legislature which boasts the highest percentage of female MLA's in Canada as well as a 50/50 cabinet.

ERIN SPENCE (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Oliver Schmidtke)
Research topic: "The Impact of Electoral Systems in European Parliament Elections". This project focuses on the methods of nominating, electing and translating electoral outcomes of seats in the EP and the influences of national rules and political cultures. Research will focus on the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

LYNDSEE THOMPSON (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Colin Bennett)
Research topic: "The Intersection of Privacy Norms: Social Media Use and Data Protection in Malaysia". This project examines the concept of privacy and how it might be influenced by various understandings of religion and state, as well as how this relates to the monitoring of social media platforms such as Facebook, the most widely used form of social media in Malaysia.

2017-18 Political Science recipients

SARAH JANSEN (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Carla Winston)
Research topic: "Canada's Business of War: A Realist Persective". This project investigates the issue of sending more arms to an already insecure area and further destabilizing the region. Research methods will include both quantitative and qualitative research data, official government statements, NGO reports and selective interview.

ALEXA LEWIS (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Scott Watson)
Research topic: "Ideology in Humanitarian Intervention: An Analysis of the Influence of Ideology in Foreign Affairs". This project will explore whether administrations with strong commitments to realist ideology are more likely to intervene in human rights.

KENYA ROGERS (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Heidi Stark)
Research topic: "Creating Communities of Care: Towards a Survivor Centred Methodology in Political Science Research". This project will engage an ethnographic study at UVic, rooted in an intersectional community-based framework. (This JCURA was awarded under the Indigenous Supervisor category.)

ALIYA SCHWABE (Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Scott Watson) Research topic: "International Relations Theory: The End of U.S. Unipolarity". This project address the question of whether U.S. unipolarity will persist in spite of challenges from Russia and China. The question will be answered not only by looking at military and economic indicators, but also with an investigation about how the U.S. perceives these threats from Russia and China.