“What new ways of learning, particularly in higher education, will Canadians need to thrive in an evolving society and labour market?”

That was one of the questions SSHRC and CAGS put to groups of graduate students across the country as part of the Imagining Canada’s Future project.

Participants at the session held at Queen’s University were unanimous in their answer: collaboration and connection are key. And research funding needs to reflect the costs and time involved in collaboration. It will pay off, they said.

“We definitely want those collaborations to take place if we want our research to be of better quality and have impact,” says Sarah Pavan, (PhD Political Studies)

“Getting people together from different disciplines is also key to parsing out the issues,” said Colin Khan (PhD Environmental Studies.

Some participants felt success would come from strengthening the links between universities, industries and community, said Oluwatobiloba Moody (PhD Law). Investing in liaison officers within the university to formalize links with industry so that students can learn from practitioners in the field was one of the suggestions that came from participants. But Moody warned that to that end, students also want universities to strengthen protocols on intellectual property and shared research.