Fulbright Canada has partnered with the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law to establish a Visiting Research Chair in Race and Health Policy. The inaugural visiting professor will take up residence in the 2022-23 academic year. The chair will allow outstanding Canadian scholars to pursue a semester of interdisciplinary research at the Tennessee law school. The award, which carries a cash value of $25,000 US, is meant to develop capacity in race and health policy and create synergies between Canadian universities and the storied law school in Memphis. 

Applications for the program will open in May 2021. 

“This partnership was motivated by our common commitment to work towards a better understanding of the relationship between race and health outcomes, at an institution that is a leading source of new scholarship in this important area,” said Dr. Michael K. Hawes, CEO of Fulbright Canada. “This award will provide leading Canadian scholars with the opportunity to work with the exceptional faculty and students at the University of Memphis. I’m very excited about this partnership.”    

Fulbright Canada currently has 16 Research Chair awards that provide Canadian scholars with funding to conduct research at top-tier US universities. This partnership represents the first chair dedicated to the study of race and public health. Scholars who receive the award will support the new Center for Race & Public Health at the University of Memphis.

"This partnership with Fulbright Canada will bring the fresh perspectives of accomplished scholars to the well-established community of Memphis researchers studying the complex interplay of race and health,” said Katharine T. Schaffzin, Dean and Professor of Law at Memphis Law. “This interdisciplinary program will strengthen the law school’s Institute for Health Law & Policy, the University’s Center for Public Health & Race, and countless community partnerships. I am very excited about the opportunities this collaboration will create for our students and the benefits it will yield to our larger community."

Hawes and Schaffzin began discussing potential opportunities after collaborating on an event for the Fulbright Canada Post-COVID Challenge. The program, which is currently underway, seeks to empower youth from underrepresented groups to present challenges to issues caused by the global pandemic. The launch event for the challenge featured two University of Memphis School of Law students, Lupita Martinez and Kevin Hayes. 

Fulbright Canada broadens horizons by supporting academic exchanges between students and scholars in Canada and the United States. The Fulbright Program is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary, while Fulbright Canada is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The Research Chair in Race & Health Policy is the first of several new Fulbright Canada initiatives introduced in 2021 to further social justice, racial equality, and reconciliation.