Focus On

Lippel wins gold medal at Impact Awards

Friday, September 15, 2017 @ 12:41 PM | By Carolyn Gruske

For winning the gold medal at the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) 2017 Impact Awards, Katherine Lippel is being rewarded with $100,000 in research funding.


Katherine Lippel

Lippel, the Canada Research Chair in Occupational Health and Safety Law, and a professor at the University of Ottawa's faculty of law, earned the highest honour the SSHRC could grant. The SSHRC is a federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and talent development in the humanities and social sciences

The Impact Awards were created to honour high achievements and excellency in research, research training, knowledge mobilization and outreach activities in the humanities and social sciences. Lippel's work focuses on protecting workers. The awards committee recognized her efforts to improve the lives of everyday workers and create a better, more just society.

Her Impact Awards biography notes some of Lippel's achievements.

"Her interdisciplinary work has examined not only the classical legal application of legislation designed to prevent occupational injuries and compensate for work-related disabilities, but the therapeutic and antitherapeutic consequences regulatory frameworks have on workers. Her seminal work is a 2001 SSHRC-funded study showing the effects of different compensation systems when applied to people with disabilities. Her findings have been cited by scholars and policy-makers in Canada and around the world.

"Throughout her distinguished career, Lippel has examined issues such as potential systemic discrimination based not only on disability, but also on gender, ethnicity and socio-economic status; employment challenges for geographically mobile workers; doctors’ roles in worker compensation systems; and policies needed to support precariously employed workers injured on the job."

Lippel acknowledges the role the SSHRC has played in her research.

"SSHRC provided me with funding to build an interdisciplinary team of researchers specialized in occupational health and safety and workers' compensation, on the one hand, and others whose work focused on the rights of people with disabilities. The team worked together over five years to develop research findings and to promote dialogue between communities. The work led to changes in policy and practice in Quebec, and has served as a model for interventions in other jurisdictions.

Karen Bakker won this year's connection award. She leads an interdisciplinary team of academic researchers and community-based organizations for the Sustainable Water Governance and Indigenous Law Project. She is also Canada Research Chair in Political Ecology at The University of British Columbia (UBC).

"This year's Impact Awards exemplify how collaborations — multisector, multidisciplinary, and multi-institutional — in the social sciences and humanities bring intellectual, cultural, social and economic benefits to Canada, and to the world. Katherine Lippel is a perfect example of a leading scholar whose work has a profound impact. Her research has helped break down the barriers between law, medicine and science, while also transcending language and culture," SSHRC president Ted Hewitt said.

Federal Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan also commented on the work of the awards recipients.

"I commend the tremendous achievements of the scholars we have the honour of celebrating today. Their hard work leads to new knowledge that helps us better understand each other and the world around us. Our government is committed to supporting their efforts because we know research provides the evidence we need to make decisions about our communities and economy, our health and future prosperity,"

Lippel, Bakker and the other recipients will be given their awards Sept. 15 at a ceremony in Rideau Hall in Ottawa.