Tag Archives: slider

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

ACCRU answers call for input on Budget 2019

Canada’s research and innovation ecosystem has benefited from recent historic investments that ACCRU has warmly welcomed.  In response to the Government of Canada’s invitation to share our priorities for the 2019 federal budget and in keeping with this year’s theme of Economic Growth: Ensuring Canada’s Competitiveness, we are pleased to offer the following recommendations, which if adopted, will have tremendous potential for the country’s competitiveness.


Support the next generation in acquiring the skills required by the knowledge economy by providing Canada’s granting councils with a budget to award or enhance Undergraduate Student Research Awards in all disciplines; and by providing MITACS with the necessary budget to open its Accelerate internships to applications from undergraduate students who are currently excluded from the program.

Why? In addition to contributing to Canada’s economic interests, these investments would help offset two current inequities: one towards undergraduate students in general (in the case of MITACS), and one towards undergraduate students in the social sciences, humanities, and health sciences (in the case of the granting councils).


Stimulate innovation and growth across Canada by strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion by providing financial incentives and enhancing the federal government’s requirements for equity, diversity, and inclusion in the distribution of Canadian granting council’s award budgets to include, among the target groups, faculty and students and trainees working in small- and medium-sized institutions or located in regions or communities outside major Canadian urban centres.

Why? Doing so will contribute to harnessing all of Canada’s strengths for enhancing social and economic development across all regions of the country.


Strengthen university research environments by increasing the amounts allocated to the Research Support Fund to align with the Naylor Report.

Why? This investment will provide a high rate of return in skill development, international attractiveness, and engaged society.

Click here to read the full submission.

Budget 2018: ACCRU welcomes historical investments in fundamental research

February 28,2018

Cliquez ici pour une version en français.

QUEBEC CITY, Quebec – The Alliance of Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities (ACCRU) welcomes the historic investments that will contribute significantly to the deployment of Canadian fundamental research. These investments are consistent with the orientations of the Report of the Expert Panel on Fundamental Science Review.

The Review Panel collected over a thousand responses and sat at tables with hundreds of colleagues across disciplines, career stages and provinces to ask about their work. The passion, dedication, and frustrations expressed, and the fears that resources – both intellectual and material – were wasting under the current system, were universal and powerful. I am pleased that this government has taken strong steps towards filling the gaps identified throughout the report.
–Dr. Claudia Malacrida, Associate VP Research at the University of Lethbridge, member of the ACCRU and member of the Expert Panel on Fundamental Science Review.

Among the budgetary measures announced, ACCRU highlights in particular:

  • Increased funding for SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR, which ends several years of declining funding for basic research.
  • The recurrent nature of the CFI’s forthcoming funding, which responds to the demands of the academic community for a predictable competition schedule to facilitate planning for research development in Canadian universities.
  • Additional investments in the Canada Research Chairs program that could contribute to the early career development of more than 250 promising young researchers.
  • The introduction of new funding opportunities that recognize the importance of internationalization in science and high-risk research, the imperative of intersectoral research and the need to rapidly mobilize scientists in critical situations that require a rapid and science-driven response.

These basic science investments, as well as those announced to facilitate collaborations between business and universities, will stimulate a knowledge-based economy across Canada. Canada’s some hundred universities are home to excellent researchers who work in a wide variety of scientific niches and are closely linked to the social, environmental, economic, technological and cultural conditions of the regions and communities in which they are located. These universities also train a majority of highly qualified Canadian personnel who will benefit from an increase in the level of scientific activity carried out at their universities and the opportunities for collaboration that they open up, particularly with SMEs. It is these highly skilled people who will advance prosperity in diverse communities across Canada and address the global challenge of sustainable development.

ACCRU also welcomes the importance attached to equity, diversity and inclusion in the allocation of funding for scientific research announced in the budget. The Government has challenged SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR, and the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat – which will be at the forefront of today’s funding announcement – to extend these principles to the program guidelines and policies of their organizations in order to facilitate support for the diversification of scientific research communities across Canada. ACCRU has voiced concerns about the increasing concentration of federal research funding in the hands of fewer researchers and the limitations this creates for training students at diverse universities across Canada. Implementing new efforts to ensure diversity and inclusion in research represents a major step forward in harnessing all of Canada’s scientific talent – those who serve Canadian society.

ABOUT ACCRU – Founded in 2011, the Alliance of Canadian Universities of Integrated Research brings together small and medium-sized, multipurpose universities from all ten provinces. Together, our members represent close to half of Canada’s universities.

For information:
Lyne Sauvageau, Chair of ACCRU

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.

ACCRU Responds to the Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science’s Report

The Alliance of Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities Responds to the Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science’s Report

For immediate release

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

NOTE: The following is an op-ed piece from Dr. J. Kevin Vessey, Chair of the Alliance of Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities (ACCRU)

As chair of the Alliance of Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities (ACCRU), I want to congratulate the Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science on the release of its comprehensive report, Investing in Canada’s Future: Strengthening the Foundations of Canadian Research.

We are very pleased with the report and we support the majority of the recommendations made by the panel.  In particular, we are very supportive of the panel’s primary recommendation that annual Federal spending across its main four funding agencies increase from approximately $3.5 billion to $4.8 billion.  We are also very pleased that many of the panel’s recommendation speak to better coordination of efforts, processes and programming across the major Federal funding agencies.

With that in mind, there are still areas where we wish that the panel’s report could have better articulated that research excellence is found in universities of all sizes across Canada.  We feel strongly that the support for fundamental science in Canada must be a level playing field across the country for awarding funding to universities regardless of their size.  We were very pleased with the panel’s conclusion that “the recent erosion of Canada’s research competitiveness . . . has been exacerbated by a policy shift in favour of new programs that focus resources on a limited number of individuals and institutions.”  This is something that we have long argued is an issue for the research ecosystem in Canada.

Additionally, there are some recommendations in the panel’s report that ACCRU member universities are extremely well placed to help deliver.  For example, the panel recommends that “The three granting councils should collaborate in developing a comprehensive strategic plan to promote and provide long-term support for Indigenous research.”  Many of the ACCRU member universities are located in rural settings and have excellent relationships and on-going research with indigenous and First Nations peoples, makes these universities especially well-suited to help realize the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations on research.

Overall we are very pleased with the findings of the advisory panel. Our member universities look forward to working with the Government of Canada as it acts upon recommendations from the report to improve the fundamental research enterprise in universities of all sizes and in all corners of Canada.

About the Alliance of Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities

  • Established in 2011, the Alliance of Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities (ACCRU) brings together vice-presidents research from over 30 small- and medium-sized universities across all 10 provinces in Canada.
  • ACCRU acts as a voice for communications on research and scholarly activity issues important to its members with research funding agencies, policy makers, and the public at large.
  • For a list of ACCRU member universities, please see: http://www.accru.ca/our-members/


Media Contact:

Dr. J. Kevin Vessey
Chair, ACCRU
Associate Vice President Research
Saint Mary’s University
Halifax, NS
Tel:  902-491-6478
Email: kevin.vessey@smu.ca