Inter-University Research Network (IURN)

Students are impacted by factors of income, gender and race. The combinations of these identities undoubtedly shape how students experience access to education, work and other types of social mobility.
The Inter-University Research Network (IURN) was created in 2016 to support local research into student achievement and effective strategies to close the achievement gaps.

The achievement gap in education refers persistent disparities in academic performance between groups of students. 

The achievement gap in the Nova Scotian context is evident in the underachievement of many African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaw learners, as well as learners experiencing generational poverty. 

View the IURN Funding Guidelines and Application.

The Government of Nova Scotia is committed to closing the achievement gaps, and to achieve equity in student achievement and wellbeing.

The research goals include addressing the existing gaps in the knowledge regarding the most effective policies and instructional practices to close the achievement gaps. Research so far has focussed on:

  • the effectiveness of the Culturally Responsive Pedagogy,
  • Social Emotional Learning,
  • the critical role of leadership at the regional and school-level, and
  • institutional capacity-building to sustain change.

Research Objectives:

  • Design and implement methods for gathering and sharing data about student achievement in Nova Scotia
  • Provide research assistance to Regional Centres of Education and CSAP to determine the extent of the achievement gaps in their respective regions, and promote evidence-based decision-making and programming
  • Gather, analyze and make available information and knowledge needed for effective programming and monitoring students’ progress and to close the achievement gaps
  • Share research on Social Emotional Learning and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
  • Present research findings to stakeholders in understandable and useful formats.

To accomplish the above goals, the IURN seeks out and provides research grants to educators and experts in educational research.

The following summaries are a compilation of the major research completed on behalf of the Inter-University Research Network.