25, 2001, Gazette)
Policy Research Centre
Open for business
With less than a month on the job, Dr. Sean Cadigan feels quite
comfortable talking about the goals and future of Memorials
new Public Policy Research Centre, located at Queens College.
The centre is here to promote research thats relevant
to the wider Newfoundland and Labrador community, of which Memorial
is a part, and to assist in policy formation that will benefit
The centres new academic director has a long history with
Memorial, and a broad background in policy issues. After completing
a BA in history at Memorial in 1985, he went to Queens
University to do a masters in history and returned to Memorial
in 1987 to do a PhD. After graduation in 1991, he spent two years
as an assistant professor at Memorial followed by a post-doctoral
fellowship on the multi-disciplinary eco-research project Sustainability
in a Changing Cold Ocean Coastal Environment.
It was through my work as a social sciences post doc on
that project that I became interested in policy issues related
to the long term trends in the exploitation of northern cod stocks,
said Dr. Cadigan.
The next step in Dr. Cadigans career was an appointment
at Dalhousie University in History and the Marine Affairs Program,
a marine management training program that offers a masters
in marine management.
Dr. Cadigan will have ample opportunity to expand his interests
at the Public Policy Research Centre. We want to promote
awareness about the policy relevance of much of the research
that happens here at Memorial. The centre is here to try to make
communication more effective and give our research a recognizable
shape for policy consumers. Its a place government agencies
can come when they want to know what research has been done relating
to an issue in public policy.
The academic directors role will also involve taking a
direct approach in letting the outside community know about the
policy implications of research at Memorial.
Were open to approach by any member of the university
community. Many of the departments in the Faculty of Arts, such
as economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, history
and folklore, have long experience in issues related to public
policy. But were also open to anybody within the university
community either in approaching and representing what they do
to various policy agencies or in developing research initiatives
of mutual interest.
The Public Policy Research Centre was established with the help
of $477,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. The
academic director reports to the university president through
the vice-president (research and international relations) and
the dean of arts. Part of Dr. Cadigans work will be to
develop funding sources for future research in areas of public
policy. Were very interested in developing additional
resources, for example partnerships with private sector consultants
in areas of mutual interest. A long-term project is to develop
funding opportunities for research in partnership with groups
such as community agencies that are interested in public policy.
Dr. Cadigan is currently planning a speakers series for
the new centre, and future activities will be publicized through
the Gazette. He can be contacted at 737-3479 or by e-mail at