Jake Pyne

A University of Guelph researcher has won a top research honour from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Jake Pyne, a Banting post-doctoral researcher, was named today as the SSHRC 2019 Impact Award winner in the talent category. The award recognizes outstanding achievement by a current holder of a SSHRC doctoral or post-doctoral scholarship or fellowship.

Pyne was recognized for his research and for being a champion of improving service accessibility for the transgender community.

He will receive a $50,000 grant for research, promotion, knowledge mobilization or related activities.

“This is an exceptional achievement and immensely deserved recognition for Jake,” said Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research).

“Receiving a SSHRC Impact Award speaks to his talent for research and, equally important, for mobilizing his research into knowledge and actions that improve life. Jake and the entire U of G community should be proud of this outstanding accomplishment.”

As a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at Re.Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, Pyne is studying the intersection of autistic and transgender life, as well as both the autistic and trans community social movements and the implications for our understanding of “humanness.”

“It’s a true honour to have this work recognized, and I’m excited about the possibilities this creates for  having these important conversations on a larger scale,” Pyne said.

“I’m indebted to everyone I’ve worked with and learned from, within autistic community and trans community as well as within the academy – most recently my outstanding supervisor Prof. Carla Rice.”

A social advocate and an award-winning researcher, Pyne has spent nearly 20 years studying and advocating in the trans community. He has led projects to improve trans people’s access to health care, shelter and housing, family law justice and support for gender-independent children and trans youth.

He has belonged to Trans PULSE and Trans Youth CAN! research teams and is active in local and national initiatives to support trans rights. Pyne has provided expert testimony about the mental health difficulties faced by trans people and effects of public awareness of the topic.

In 2018, he received a prestigious Banting Post-doctoral Fellowship worth $70,000 a year for two years. He is also a former Vanier Scholar and Trudeau Scholar.

He will receive the SSHRC Impact Award Dec. 4 in Ottawa.

Pyne is the third U of G member to win an Impact Award. Retired geography professor Barry Smit won in 2013 in the Gold Medal category — considered SSHRC’s highest honour — and English professor Ajay Heble won in the partnership category in 2016.