Network for Economic and Social Trends

About NEST: Western Social Science Research and Policy

Modern societies are experiencing unprecedented social and economic changes, including a slowdown in economic growth, rising inequality, and increasing ethnic diversity and geographic mobility.

NEST, the flagship research and policy alliance in the Faculty of Social Science at Western University, addresses these challenges by conducting world-class multidisciplinary research, fostering national and international collaborations, and facilitating the training of the next generation of leaders in academia, the private and non-profit sectors, and government.

NEST is the umbrella organization for all seven Western Research Centres in the Faculty of Social Science which set its agenda and provide its governance.  NEST also aims to train the next generation of policy researchers through mentorships, fellowships, and the MA in Research for Policy and Evaluation.

News & Announcements

Study sheds light on current level of representation of women, racialized persons and Indigenous Peoples in leadership roles locally and province-wide | June 2021 
A study led by researchers Alina Sutter and Victoria Esses at Western University’s Network for Economic and Social Trends on representation in the public and nonprofit sectors locally and across Ontario offers useful information to organizations and sector leaders aiming to diversify their senior leadership teams. The study is a follow up to the 2016 study Medianu and Esses conducted on the same topic and was supported by Mitacs through the Mitacs Accelerate Program and by Pillar Nonprofit Network. Read More

Inviting applications for Director of the Centre for Research on Social Inequality | June 2021 
The Executive Committee of the Centre for Research on Social Inequality (CRSI), within the Network for Economic and Social Trends (NEST), invites applications for a Director. The Director will serve a 2.5-year term (until the Centre’s renewal in February 2024), with the possibility of a five-year renewal at that time.
If you are interested in serving in this role, please email Patrick Denice ( with a letter of interest and current CV by Thursday, July 1. Include “CRSI Director” in the subject line. Your letter should briefly describe your qualifications – including prior experience in relevant leadership and administrative roles, and ongoing research in social inequality – and your plans and vision for the Centre.
You can find more information about the CRSI at

International students, a key piece of the vitality of our communities | May 2021 
More than ever, it seems that the future of French-language postsecondary institutions is at a turning point in their history. The last few months have brought to light all their fragility, whether it is the Saint-Jean Campus, strongly affected by the cuts by the Alberta government; the Université de Moncton, where certain departments are reduced to the "suitable" portion due to the increase in tuition fees, which compensates for the drop in funding from the New Brunswick government; or the new University of French Ontario (UOF) which is struggling to attract new students, not to mention the ubiquitous setbacks of the now Laurentian University. The announcement of the independence of the University of Hearst (finally!) turns out to be the only good news in this swamp of cataclysms. Read More

Urban Policy Centre Launches Report on New Brunswick Municipal Reform | May 27 2021
Centre for Urban Policy and Local Governance Director Zack Taylor has prepared a report with M.A. student Jon Taylor in response to the Government of New Brunswick’s nationally significant initiative to reform the province’s local government system. The report is entitled Representative Regionalization: Toward More Equitable, Democratic, Responsive, and Efficient Local Government in New Brunswick. Read More

NEST Team Recognized in Templeton World Charity Foundation's $60 Million Commitment for Innovations in Human Flourishing | April  2021 
On April 29, 2021, Templeton World Charity Foundation announced the initial investment in a $60 million commitment for bold research that pushes the boundaries of scientific knowledge to help people flourish. The global scientific Foundation selected 11 teams of researchers, including a Western University-based team led by Dr. Jordan Mansell, to receive inaugural awards of the Grand Challenges for Human Flourishing. Read More

Supporting Canada's COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery Through Robust Immigration Policy and Programs | March 25 2021 
Canada has been seen globally as a leader in immigration and integration policies and programs, and as an attractive and welcoming country for immigrants, refugees, temporary foreign workers, and international students. The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed some of the strengths of Canada’s immigration system, as well as some of the fault lines that have been developing over the last few years. Read More

New centre launches to understand the politics behind it all | November 30 2020
The Centre for the Study of Political Behaviour (CSPB) brings together researchers from across the Faculty of Social Science, as well as King’s University College and the Ivey School of Business, to study political behaviour.. Read More  


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