Benjamin Ralston began his PhD studies at the College of Law in September 2018.

USask Law PhD student awarded $105,000 by SSHRC to research spatial dimensions and implications of constitutional rights

Lawyers and judges in Canada are regularly grappling with the legal consequences of large resource development projects and their impacts on constitutional rights—particularly Indigenous rights. What lie beneath these difficult legal analyses are often even more complex spatial conflicts over specific territories, resources, impacts, and rights.

With the financial boost of a recently announced Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Benjamin Ralston, a PhD student at USask College of Law, will examine how geographers’ tools for spatial analysis might support the protection and implementation of constitutional rights. He is particularly interested in how these tools might better inform environmental impact assessments used in planning for large resource developments.

The Bombardier scholarship is worth $105,000 and was awarded to Ralston by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

"I am tremendously grateful and humbled to receive this generous funding award for my doctoral studies through SSHRC,” said Ralston. “I am particularly thankful for the Saskatchewan advantage that I have through the steady support of the College of Law and the brilliant scholars on my supervisory committee: Dwight Newman, Ibironke Odumosu-Ayanu, Bram Noble, and Felix Hoehn."

Ralston began his PhD studies at the College of Law in September 2018. Prior to that he was an assistant professor for the college’s Nunavut Law Program where he further developed an interest in the links between geography and law while teaching courses on the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement.

“Continuing to develop these research and teaching interests through this doctoral program is a natural next step for my academic career and this award will go a long way in supporting my studies.”