Highlight: Dr. Jeffrey Parsons

Dr-Jeffrey-ParsonsDr. Jeffrey Parsons earned international recognition in 2019 by becoming the first Canadian to be named a Schöller Senior Fellow.

The prestigious fellowship, bestowed by the Dr. Theo and Friedl Schöller Research Centre for Business and Society at the Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany, recognizes outstanding scholarship that contributes to responsible leadership in business and society.

Dr. Parsons’ research, which is funded by both the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), looks at using cognitive principles to design better data collection systems.

One recent example of how his work may be applied are his contributions to NL Nature, a website that uses citizen science in data collection. Working with a team from Memorial, including PhD in management graduate Dr. Roman Lukyanenko, NL Nature examines the quality of information related to flora and fauna sightings by average citizens who aren’t experts in botany, biology or zoology. Insights from this work are being applied to the design of crowdsourcing applications in fields as diverse as business and health care.

“My work on crowdsourcing and user-generated content aims to develop information systems design principles that improve the quality and usefulness of data collected by engaging citizens in supporting research, civic activities and other forms of societal engagement,” Dr. Parsons says. “It’s gratifying to see the Schöller Centre recognize this work and its potential to support the greater good.”

The fellowship comes with up to €50,000 (around $74,800 CAD) towards a research project. Dr. Parsons intends to hire graduate students and cover expenses related to a project titled Designing data crowdsourcing platforms to increase data diversity.

To date, two Memorial students have been supported from this award: Dr. Shawn Ogunseye (PhD `19), assistant professor at Bentley University, and PhD in management student Sanaz Nabavian.

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