University of Calgary

Janki Shankar

  • Professor
  • Clinical Practice
  • Disabilities
  • Family Issues & Family Violence
  • International Social Work
  • Leadership in Human Services

Research Interests

Currently Teaching


Janki Shankar, Associate Professor, joined academia after 17 years of clinical experience as a social worker and therapist primarily in mental health and rehabilitation settings. While most of her work experience has been in mental health settings in Sydney, Australia she has also worked in West Africa and India.  Before moving to Canada, she was a teaching faculty in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Charles Sturt University, Australia.  She holds an Adjunct Associate Professor position in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Alberta, Canada. She teaches at graduate and undergraduate levels and her teaching expertise is in the areas of mental health and addictions; diversity, oppression and social justice; family violence in diverse cultural contexts, qualitative research, social policy and field practice.  She has a strong network of research and community partners who are closely involved in her research projects and often provide valuable input to her teaching.

Research and Scholarly Activity

Janki holds several research grants as a principal investigator and co-investigator.  She provides research supervision and mentorship to PhD and MSW thesis students from the University of Calgary and University of Alberta and has been on thesis examination committees of graduate students from Canada, Australia and India.   

Current Research

Her current areas of research include: 

  • Workplace health, safety and well being, 
  • Domestic violence and settlement issues in immigrant families
  • Family caregiving for children and young adults with disability
  • Support needs of postsecondary students with mental health difficulties, 
  • Food choices of immigrant mothers.  


PhD:  Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Australia

M.Phil: National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India 

MSW: Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India  

Professional and Community Associations

Dr. Shankar is a member of the Alberta College of Social Workers, International Association of the Schools of Social Work, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association Canada, Alberta Caregivers Association, Center for Race Relations and Indo Canadian Women’s Association, Edmonton.  She has served on the Boards of Alberta Caregivers Association and Centre for Race Relations.

Awards - Research ( 2008-201)


Immigrant employees’ perspectives on occupational safety, work conditions and their return-to-work experiences after occupational injury, OHS Futures, Dept of Labor, Alberta (Principal Investigator)


Immigrant worker, service provider and employer perspectives on the occupational safety and work conditions of immigrant workers and their return-to-work experiences after occupational injury or illness, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Principal investigator).


Optimizing food choices and practices in the perinatal period for immigrant women. (Co-investigator) (CIHR)


Working Together: Engaging communities to end violence against women and girls: Preventing and reducing violence against women and girls in the name of "honor" – Collaborator and Evaluator of Research project 


Unspoken skills and tactics: Essentials for immigrant professionals in integration to workplace culture. (Co-investigator) 

2012- 2015

Transition from pediatric to adult care services:  the experiences of family caregivers of young adult survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI)    Funded by Alberta Centre for Child Family and Community Research (ACCFCR). (Principal Investigator)


Access to Health Care Services in the Hospital Emergency Room for Street Involved Youth. Funded by ACCFCR. Co-investigator


Employer perspectives on mental illness, disability and workplace practices to improve employee mental health and well- being. Funded by Alberta Mental Health & Addiction Services. (Principal Investigator).


Harmful cultural practices in Immigrant communities.

A collaborative project with Indian Cultural Women’s Association. Funded by Status of Women, Canada .  (Collaborator and Evaluator)


A qualitative Longitudinal Cohort Assessment of Unaccompanied Refugee Youth in Edmonton: Pathways and transition Options for Successful Integration and Resettlement. Funded by SSHRC/Prairie Metropolis. Co-investigator.


Child caregivers in Edmonton– a collaborative study with University of Alberta and University of British Columbia, Funded by ACCFCR. Co-investigator.


Examining the Transitional Needs of Adults with Developmental Disability and Mental Illness(Coinvestigator)


Support needs of post secondary youth who experience mental health difficulties (indigenous, immigrant, refugee and mainstream youths) - URGC Grant, University of Calgary. University Research Grant (URGC). Principal investigator.

Media Work


2015, Edmonton Journal, Group of Edmonton social workers aims to sponsor Syrian family. 

2015  CIHR South Asian Food Choices: healthy eating in perinatal period 

Selected Publications 2008 - 2017

Shankar, J., Ip, E and Khalema, N.E (2017). Addressing Academic Aspirations, Challenges

and Barriers of Indigenous and Immigrant Students in a Postsecondary Education

Setting. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work (in Press)


Drolet, J., Enns, R., Krietzer, L., Shankar, J., and Mclaughlin (2017), A Supporting the resettlement of a

Syrian family in Canada: The social work resettlement practice experience of Social Justice

Matters, International Journal of Social Work ( In Press)


Lai, D., Shankar, J and Khalema, N. E. (2017) Unspoken skills and tactics: Essentials for immigrant

professionals in integration to workplace culture", has been accepted for publication in Journal

 of International Migration and Integration. (In press)


Higginbotham, GMA; Valliantos, H., Shankar, J, Safipour, J and Davey, C (2017), Immigrant women’s

food choices in pregnancy: perspectives from women of Chinese origin in Canada, Ethnicity &



Shankar, J & Khalema, N.E (2016).  Supporting Visible Minority and Indigenous Students in a

Postsecondary Education Setting in Canada: Addressing their Academic Aspirations, Challenges,

and Barriers, Research & Reviews: Journal of Educational Studies


Khalema, N.E., & Zulla, R., Shankar, J., Chiu Y and Oritz, L (2016) Participatory community

Action Research process addressing employment integration of internationally trained

professionals (ITPs) in Canada, Action Learning and Action Research Journal Vol 22 (1)


Higginbottom, G.M.A., Vallianatos, H., Shankar, J., Osswald, B., & Davey, C (2016).

Understanding South Asian Immigrant Women’s Food Choices in the Perinatal Period

International Journal of Women’s Health and Wellness Volume 2 | Issue 1   1-7


Shankar, J., Lili, L., Nicholas, D. Warren, S., Lai, D., Zulla R.,Tan, S., & Couture J ( 2014).

Employers Perspectives on Hiring and Accommodating Workers with Mental Illness", SAGE Open

Journal. DOI: 10.1177/2158244014547880


Khalema, N.E & Shankar, J (2014). Perspectives on Employment Integration, Mental Illness

and Disability, and Workplace Health, Advances in Public Health, Article ID 258614, 7 pages   


Shankar, J., Ip, E., Khalema, E., Couture, J., Tan, S., Zulla, R. T., & Lam, G. (2013). Education as a Social

Determinant of Health: Issues Facing Indigenous and Visible Minority Students in Postsecondary

Education in Western Canada. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public

Health, 10:9, 3908-3929. 


Shankar, J., Atwal, S., & Das, G (2013). Challenging cultural discourses and beliefs that perpetuate

Domestic Violence in South Asian communities: A discourse analysis. Journal of International

Women’s Studies, 14(1), 248-262.


Shankar, J., & Barlow C. (2011). Work, employment, and mental illness: expanding the domain of

Canadian social work. Journal of Social Work in Disability and Rehabilitation, 10 (4), 268-283.


Shankar. J., Martin, J., & MacDonald, C. (2009). Emerging areas of practice for mental health social

workers: Education and employment. Australian Journal of Social Work, 62(1), 28 – 44.


Shankar, J.  (2009). Policy barriers to the employment of people experiencing psychiatric disabilities.

Journal of Social Work in Mental Health, 7 (1/2/3), 271-282.    

Powered by UNITIS. More features.