Category Archives: Member news

Government of Canada funding to support innovative ideas of early career researchers

Press release from Canada Research Coordinating Committee: 

“Canada’s researchers provide creative thinking and insight that help our health, environment, communities, and economy thrive. Young researchers, in particular, are engaged in some of the most innovative projects across and between disciplines, but often face challenges accessing funds to support their work, despite its potential to deliver huge benefits to Canadians. That’s why the Government of Canada launched the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF): to provide funding that supports high-risk, high-reward, interdisciplinary and international research to help Canadian researchers make the next great discoveries in their fields.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, was at Laurentian University to announce the first 157 early career researchers to receive funding for exploratory research that crosses disciplinary boundaries. This first investment of $38 million will support early career researchers with five years or less of experience since their first academic appointment. Each recipient will receive up to $250,000 over the next two years.

The Exploration stream is one of three streams that comprise the New Frontiers in Research Fund, a new initiative that will enable researchers to work together to solve the world’s most pressing issues. The Transformation stream will provide large-scale support for Canada to build strength and leadership in interdisciplinary and transformative research. Another future stream, International, will enhance opportunities for Canadian researchers to participate in research with international partners so they can exchange ideas with the world’s best and brightest.” Read the full announcement here.

We are pleased to announce that 11 teams based at ACCRU member institutions will receive funding under this program. The recipients are:
Recipient Institution Project Award
Spy Dénommé-Welch Brock University Sonic Coordinates: Decolonizing through land-based music composition $184,793
Xu Zhang Cape Breton University Harvesting Visible and Near-Infrared Light with Upconverting Black Titania Nanowire Membrane Devices for Water Treatment $250,000
Jasmin Raymond Institut national de la recherche scientifique Franchir les obstacles pour un développement énergétique durable de l’Arctique grâce au stockage thermique $250,000
Frédéric Veyrier Institut national de la recherche scientifique Novel device for sepsis and meningitidis detection $250,000
Jérôme Comte Institut national de la recherche scientifique Access to safe drinking water in a changing Arctic $250,000
Thomas Sanders Lakehead University Personal Identification (PID) and Social Determinants of Health: Invisibility as a Barrier to Services Among First Nations in Northern Ontario $196,500
Erin Cameron Lakehead University The Transformative Potential of Socially Accountable Education: Understanding Global and Local Perspectives $164,825
Carlos Rossa Ontario Tech University Steerable tumour-sensing needles for real-time biopsy and brachytherapy of breast, prostate, and gynecological cancers $250,000
Roxanne Lemieux Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières A psychosocial program to interrupt the intergenerational transmission of the biological consequences of child abuse and neglect $242,935
Christine Clark University of Lethbridge Concepts That Bite Through Time $249,953
Ali Ahmadi University of Prince Edward Island Development of technologies for cultivating “uncultivable” marine bacteria: a paradigm shift in natural product discovery $250,000

ACCRU universities awarded NSERC Partnership Grants

We are pleased to announce that recent funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council through its Strategic Partnership Grants program will bolster STEM research at ACCRU member universities.   The funding will support 11 projects related to the environment, communications technologies, and more.

The recipients are as follows:

Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) Daniel Guay $595,550
Superaerophobic porous 3D catalytic electrodes for water splitting
Jonathan Perreault $589,000
Electrochemical drug sensing with hydrophobic compound-adapted aptamers
Shuhui Sun $579,000
Strategies to obtain stable, active and operforming non-PGM catalysts for the reduction of oxygen in H2/Air PEM fuel cells
Claude Fortin $623,533
Terrestrial-aquatic mobility of  technology critical elements in a changing Canadian environment (TAMTeC)
Jose Azana $526,500
PERSEUS: Programmable Elastic broadband information processors with controlled high precision frequency and time Reference SystEms Using all optical fiberS
Roberto Morandotti $599,600
Frequency domain nonlinear optical conversion for efficient high-dimensional quantum processing
Roberto Morandotti $573,000
Optical reservoir computing for machine learning at the speed of light
François Vidal $462,700
In situ and real-time measurement of platinum group metal concentrations by laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy
Mount Royal University Michelle DeWolfe $306,250
Evaluating mineral potential of the Winter Lake greenstone belt, Slave craton, Northwest Territories
Ontario Institute of Technology (Now Ontario Tech University) Langis Roy $476,500
ANR – Reconfigurable Wireless Components Using Field Programmable Microwave Substrates (FPMS)
Trent University Céline Guéguen $797,104
Advancing clean water treatment technology through euglena transcriptome modulation and metabolome mining

Budget 2018 delivers smart science policy

NOTE: The following is an op-ed piece from Dr. Robert Luke, Vice-President, Research and Innovation at OCAD University and member of ACCRU.

The federal government’s Budget 2018 is an advance for the science, research and innovation communities. The overall approach to gender equity, diversity and decolonization is important and timely.

The government has clearly heard the call from the Fundamental Science Review to increase our investment in research. There is a strong focus on supporting interdisciplinary and international collaborative research, which is essential for not only uncovering new areas of knowledge but for realizing the value of ideas as they are translated into application, products, services and other innovation. This underscores the importance of design disciplines as crucial to Canada’s innovation carrying capacity.

And here’s the big news: “Budget 2018 proposes an investment of nearly $4 billion in Canada’s research system to support the work of researchers and to provide them access to the state-of-the-art tools and facilities they need” (p 82).

This is smart policy. Linking investments in science and technology ($3.2B investment in “research” writ large) to national priorities and, importantly, diversity and decolonization, is imperative for inclusive innovation. It is also in line with other leading OECD countries that set national priorities and focus on the spectrum of research – from idea to invoice – in order to realize the benefits of public investment in the production of public knowledge.

Click here to read the full op-ed.

Saint Mary’s researcher appointed to Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Dr. Kevin Vessey is among the latest appointments to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada(NSERC), the nation’s focal point for discovery and innovation in natural sciences and engineering.

The appointment was announced recently by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.

Dr. Vessey joins 18 distinguished Canadian’s on NSERC’s governing council. NSERC is a federal research agency that plays an important role in Canada’s research and scientific landscape. It invests over $1.2 billion a year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada

It is an honour to have been appointed to NSERC,” said Dr. Vessey. “I look forward to working with President Mario Pinto and the other Council Members to help oversee the extremely important work of NSERC in its mandate to support research and innovation across Canada.”

Read the Government of Canada announcement here.

University of Lethbridge Associate Vice-President (Research) appointed to SSHRC governing council

Dr. Claudia Malacrida, University of Lethbridge Associate Vice-President (Research), joins 14 other diverse Canadians in being appointed to the governing council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Kirsty Duncan, Canada’s science minister, announced the appointments to SSHRC, the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports post-secondary research and research training in the humanities and social sciences, in Ottawa this week.

“I welcome the returning and newly appointed council members to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council,” says Duncan. “This impressive list of diverse candidates will help the council further its support for the social scientists and scholars who are pushing the boundaries of knowledge and helping us better understand the world around us.”

“I’m honoured and excited to take on this new responsibility,” says Malacrida, who has been appointed to a three-year term. “As a social scientist with a long career in the West, I’m pleased to be included and to bring the perspectives of my colleagues to the national level.”

SSHRC plays an important role in Canada’s research and scientific landscape and is committed to fostering greater equity, diversity and inclusion in research. SSHRC invests more than $350 million every year, supporting more than 8,000 graduate students and nearly 14,000 researchers. The governing council meets regularly to set policy and program priorities and allocate budgets.

Malacrida, a professor of sociology, joined the U of L in 2002. Her work investigates questions of power and how difference is constructed, both historically and in the present. Her research interests include eugenics, relational challenges faced by disabled women, and issues of power and medicalization in childbirth practices.

“SSHRC funding is critical to sustaining research that responds directly to community needs and the improved quality of life of Canadians,” says Malacrida. “As someone who has been supported by SSHRC grants throughout my career, I appreciate how these funds support developing talent from undergraduate and graduate students right through to senior investigators working on global issues.”

Read the Government of Canada announcement here.

Dr. Robert Luke appointed to Expert Panel on the State of S&T and IR&D in Canada

Dr. Robert Luke, Vice-President Research and Innovation, and OCAD University’s representative to ACCRU, has been appointed to the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) Expert Panel to assess the current state of science and technology (S&T), and industrial research and development (IR&D) in Canada.

Initiated at the request of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), this assessment will be the third edition in the State of S&T and Industrial R&D assessment series.  Additional information on this panel is available on CCA’s website.

ACCRU congratulates Robert and wishes him well as he undertakes this important work.