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Strategic Plan

2023-28 Strategic Plan

Welcome to the 2023-28 Strategic Plan for the Center for Advanced Research in Experimental and Applied Linguistics (ARiEAL). Our strategic plan is the culmination of months discussing, evaluating, and thinking about ARiEAL and its place at McMaster and our local and global communities. In many ways, it is both a reaffirmation of the strengths that have made ARiEAL Research Center a key player in language science and our commitment to expand our ethically conscious research activities so we can reach our full potential as an international leader for research in experimental and applied linguistics.

Our strategic plan centres on three key themes that we believe best highlight our strengths: our full-cycle reciprocal and interdisciplinary approach, our community and Indigenous-based research, and our international collaborations.

While research features prominently in our strategic plan, we aspire to be a place where our full-cycle reciprocal and interdisciplinary research activities support and align with the needs of the communities we collaborate with. Several of our researchers engage in ethical and inclusive research practices that benefit Indigenous communities, local high schools, public libraries, colleges, organizations of older adults, people with disabilities, non-Indigenous linguistic minorities, and other local and international marginalized and underrepresented communities. These research projects not only have ground-breaking scientific implications, but they speak to the societal impact of the research that is conducted at ARiEAL.

Training and mentoring also feature heavily in our strategic plan, as we will continue to be a place where students, trainees, and early career researchers can grow, and continue to grow, as academics. We will continue to include our trainees in our research, knowledge mobilization, and community outreach activities. Involving our trainees in our activities and providing them with key experiential learning experiences will remain one of the central foci at ARiEAL. We will also turn our attention to early career researchers and trainees from underserved countries and war-zone countries. It is imperative that we use our privileged position to support researchers and encourage collaborations with academics from countries that continue to be underrepresented and whose scientific knowledge have not sufficiently been acknowledged in western academic settings.

In the coming years, our research plan will guide our research projects, our knowledge mobilization strategies, community-based and training activities, and the allocation of resources at ARiEAL. In the shorter term, this strategic plan will guide the creation of our new Scientific Advisory Committee. We will create a committee of scholars from various social and cultural backgrounds, each with different perspectives, to share their knowledge, experiences, and perspectives with our team of researchers and trainees. Our aspiration is to create an inclusive environment where researchers and trainees can learn and benefit from a plethora of different perspectives and knowledge systems.

Dr. Ivona Kučerová

Expandable List

 Strategies/Action Items:

  • Enhance an environment that promotes collaborations and mentorships between researchers and trainees at ARiEAL
  • Strengthen the collaborative relationship and full-cycle reciprocal research approach between ARiEAL and MELD
  • Develop an environment that promotes collaborations between ARiEAL and McMaster’s various research centres, departments, and faculties
  • Be a leader in McMaster’s Brighter World initiative by encouraging research that advances global knowledge and societal and human health and well-being
  • Support interdisciplinary research that combines humanistic, societal, clinical, and health-related research

Strategies/Action Items:

  • Enhance and promote ethical and inclusive research practices and programs
  • Deepen our connections and engagements with the Six Nations, particularly our work on Indigenous language revitalization (Mohawk, Oneida, Tuscarora)
  • Increase and deepen our role as an effective and collaborative ally to Indigenous researchers, knowledge holders, and communities
  • Build a network of Indigenous collaborators and allies within North America
  • Support ethical and collaborative research that is guided by, for, and benefits marginalized and underrepresented communities
  • Deepen our connections with community groups, including but not limited to: local high schools, public libraries, colleges, organizations of older adults, people with disabilities, non-Indigenous linguistic minorities, and other local and international marginalized and underrepresented communities 

Strategies/Action Items:

  • Foster research and knowledge mobilization collaborations and partnerships with international academic institutions, research centres, and researchers from nations that continue to be underrepresented in academia
  • Support funding opportunities that encourage global partnerships, such as Academics Without Borders, MITACS, NFRF, and the SSHRC Partnership program
  • Design the groundwork that will allow for the creation of meaningful and collaborative international exchange and mentorship programs, such as our International Scholar Award Program
  • Increase our capacity to host international scholars at ARiEAL that will lead to meaningful international collaborations
  • Establish a Scientific Advisory Committee, that includes members from different research traditions and cultural backgrounds, that can help us strengthen our place within the global academic community
  • Attract international researchers to McMaster and ARiEAL to share their research, knowledge, and perspective, and to participate in our research and mentorship programs
  • Provide training and mentorship opportunities – through a hands-on, experiential approach – to undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early career researchers within the global community
  • Support the representation of our graduate trainees in the Science Communication Community and their participation in world-renowned conferences and workshops

1. Applied and Experimental Language Research

Building off our full-cycle reciprocal research approach with MELD, our research teams will create new applied and experimental research programs and expand upon on-going ones to advance our understanding of the neural, behavioural, and social foundations of human communication.

2. Community-Engaged Research:

Community-engaged research has always been at the forefront of our scholarship. We have partnered with local high schools, public libraries, colleges, organizations of older adults, people with disabilities, linguistic minorities, and Ukrainians in the homeland and diaspora, to name a few. Our researchers will continue to engage with these communities on research projects and support ethical community-engaged research that will benefit these respective communities.

3. Health and Rehabilitation Research:

Research that combines language, human health, and clinical research has a long history at ARiEAL. Our research will not only continue to provide a deeper understanding of the impact of human health on human cognitive abilities, but it will also lead to important findings that can improve the lives of peoples with disabilities or physical or mental health concerns.

4. Indigenous Languages and Language Revitalization Research:

Expanding on our past research on Indigenous Languages and Language Revitalization and collaborations and engagements with Indigenous partners from the Six Nations and other Indigenous communities, our research teams will further develop and deepen our role as an effective and collaborative research ally.

5. Theoretical Linguistics Research:

Theoretical Linguistics – understanding the fundamental nature of language – remains at the heart of the work at ARiEAL. Our research teams will continue their research on syntax and its interfaces (morphology, semantics) to further the study of sentence structure and how it constrains meaning and interpretation.

6. Transnational Collaborative Research

Expanding on our past international research collaborations, our teams will create new research, knowledge mobilization, and training programs with researchers and trainees from underserved and war-zone countries, including Brazil, Cuba, Ghana, Jamaica, Nigeria, and Ukraine.