Humanities researchers receive $500,000 in Exploration grants from the federal government’s New Frontiers in Research Fund

David Ogborn, an associate professor in Communication Studies and Media Arts, and Ingrid Waldron, the incoming HOPE Chair in Peace and Health, are both part of research teams that have received Exploration grants from the federal government’s New Frontiers in Research Fund.


Ogborn, who is the director of the Centre for Networked Media and Performance, is a co-principal investigator with Kate Sicchio of Virginia Commonwealth University on a project that will design, implement and evaluate a new programming language for the live coding of dance and movement. This will enable researchers, artists and students to explore the movement of virtual dancers – 3D representations of human bodies – in algorithmic ways.


The new live coding language will be available for use by anyone on the web, including on the Estuary platform – a collaborative online platform developed in the Networked Imagination Laboratory, which is run by Ogborn.


Waldron, who will begin her role at McMaster on July 1, will be working as co-principal investigator with Juliet Daniel, an associate professor in biology and an associate dean in the Faculty of Science. Together with an interdisciplinary team of researchers from McMaster and Dalhousie University, their project will investigate disparities in cancer incidence and outcomes in Shelburne, a Black community in Nova Scotia.


The project is the first of its kind, using interdisciplinary mixed methods to provide pioneering data on Canadian cancer disparities and positively impact the life of a Black community.


Ogborn and Waldron’s projects are among nine McMaster projects that collectively have received $2.25 million from the Government of Canada. The New Frontiers in Research Fund’s Exploration awards are designed to support initiatives that inspire high-risk, high-reward and interdisciplinary research. In total, 117 projects across Canada received Exploration awards.


“Research that takes great risks advances the way we think about the issues that impact Canadians,” says François-Philippe Champagne, minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “The Government of Canada is supporting researchers who are exploring bold new directions that could change lives and position Canada at the forefront of global research and innovation.”