Professor Wolfgang Alschner and Professor Amy Salyzyn have each received an Early Researcher Award (ERA) from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. The ERA program provides funding to new researchers working at publicly-funded Ontario research institutions to assist them in building research teams.
Professor Alschner’s project is focused on equipping tomorrow’s lawyers with tools to perform their work more efficiently and effectively through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). This research builds on his work on the computational analysis of law, primarily in the domain of international economic law. Professor Alschner is assembling a research team dedicated to developing new metrics for the computational analysis of law, which will complement the Legal Text Mining Lab that he is setting up with colleagues from the School of Engineering and Computer Science to increase legal technology research capacity in the Nation’s Capital.
Professor Salyzyn’s research project aims to study and suggest concrete ways that technology can be used to facilitate more effective access to justice for Ontarians. In particular, the work will focus on mobile and web-based apps, which are already changing the ways that the public interacts with the law. Professor Salyzyn is a recognized leader on this topic, and will use her funding to continue enhance her research in the area, ensuring that legal apps can be optimally and responsibly used, while also contributing to Ontario’s Innovation Agenda by positioning the province as a leading hub of legal app research and development.
Both Professor Alschner and Professor Salyzyn are members of the Faculty of Law’s Centre for Law, Technology and Society, the leading Canadian research group in Law and Technology.
The Early Researcher Award program helps promising, recently-appointed Ontario researchers build their research teams of undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research assistants, associates, and technicians. The goal of the program is to improve Ontario’s ability to attract and retain the best and brightest research talent.
The award recipients will each receive $100,000 from the Ministry, with an additional $50,000 from the University in matching funds. Professors Alschner and Salyzyn are the fifth and sixth recipients of the Ontario ERA from the Common Law Section. Former Common Law professor Daniel Gervais received the award in 2005. More recently, Professor Suzanne Bouclin received an ERA in 2015; Professor Jennifer Bond received one in 2016; and Professor Steven Hoffman earned the award in 2017.
Congratulations to Professor Alschner and Professor Salyzyn on these well-deserved awards!