Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

StFX student Christopher Yurris receives $5,000 scholarship in northern research

June 17th, 2020
Christopher Yurris

StFX political science student Christopher Yurris of Yellowknife, NWT, has won a $5,000 POLAR Northern Resident Award, and is one of 11 recipients of the 2020-2021 Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) Awards and Scholarships program.

The outstanding achievements and commitment of the recipients to Canada’s northern communities cover a vast landscape of interests from natural science to political science, health, culture, and education, says a release from ACUNS. Presenting this year’s winners comes at an unsettling time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With travel bans and research plans cancelled for the summer, award recipients face unprecedented challenges. The $95,000 granted through the ACUNS Awards and Scholarships program offers some hope and security during this time of uncertainty, the release says.

“ACUNS recognizes the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has made on students. For northern studies scholars, whose research projects involve on-the-ground collaboration within Canada’s Arctic and sub-Arctic communities, summer is the critical time to get work done. The season may be lost this year, but academic ambitions should not be abandoned. We hope our scholarships will provide the means of support to help our recipients reach their goals,” ACUNS president Gary N. Wilson said in the announcement.

“Polar Knowledge Canada congratulates the recipients of the POLAR Scholarship, the Northern Resident Scholarships, and the Northern Resident Awards. It is both a responsibility and an honour for POLAR to help support the next generation of northern researchers, and especially during these unprecedented times. We wish these outstanding students continued achievement and fulfilment as they develop their skills and help increase knowledge and understanding of Canada’s North in all its dimensions,” says Dr. David J. Scott, president and CEO of Polar Knowledge Canada.

"The ACUNS POLAR Northern Resident Award, generously supported by Polar Knowledge Canada, will help me pursue research on consensus government in the Northwest Territories. The research will culminate in my political science honours thesis supervised by Dr. Jim Bickerton," says Mr. Yurris who is entering the fourth year of his BA degree at StFX with an honours in political science and a subsidiary in sociology. 

"I would like to thank Dr. Adam Lajeunesse for suggesting I apply for the research grant, along with providing support during the application process. Moreover, credit is due to Dr. Nathan Allen, for his help in formulating the research design, as well as offering guidance on the grant proposal." 

The Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies is a national, non-profit academic association. The ACUNS Awards and Scholarships program offers up to 18 prizes each year to Canadian post-secondary students in support of northern research in all disciplines. Award recipients must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, and a commitment to northern communities.

Polar Knowledge Canada (POLAR) is a federal agency responsible for advancing Canada’s knowledge of the Arctic, strengthening Canadian leadership in polar science and technology, and promoting the development and distribution of knowledge of other circumpolar regions, including the Antarctic.

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