$7 million worth of excellence

The Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) announced on Friday that 57 researchers at York University have received a total of $6,442,263 in NSERC grants and scholarships while 26 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have received a total $988,400. Fifty-five York undergraduate students received a total of $247,500 in Undergraduate Student Research Awards.

Joe Volpe, federal minister of citizenship and immigration, on behalf of David Emerson, minister of industry, made the announcement. A total of $510 million was handed out to fund innovative research. Across Canada, 3,040 professors will receive $380 million in discovery grants to support their research in natural sciences and engineering. In addition, 2,675 young university researchers – 2,398 at the graduate level and 277 at the postdoctoral level – will receive $111 million to pursue their studies in these fields. Some 4,253 students will receive Undergraduate Student Research Awards, worth a total of $19.1 million. The funding was awarded following national, peer-reviewed competitions conducted by Science and Engineering Research Canada.

“The NSERC awards help move Canada to the forefront of international research, and allow our professors to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers who will be essential to our success in the global knowledge-based economy,” said Volpe.

“These grant awards reflect the growing strength of York’s exceptional science, engineering and technology research community, and the importance of our students within this research,” said Stan Shapson, York’s vice-president research & innovation. “The federal government’s investments into basic and applied research are a key contributor to Canada’s knowledge base and to our quality of life and through these NSERC grants, York researchers are able to contribute significantly to scientific scholarship across a full range of disciplines.”

Each year thousands of professors from universities across Canada apply to NSERC for discovery and related grants. These funds provide the primary support for research in dozens of fields, such as chemistry, life and material sciences, mathematics and civil engineering. The professors dedicate a large portion of their grant funds to training Canadian undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers.

“Canadian universities are appointing hundreds of new professors to replace those who are retiring. It is also very good for Canada that these new people are not only eager, but well qualified to do research,” said NSERC President Tom Brzustowski. “NSERC discovery grants are very important because they provide funding to create new knowledge.”

NSERC also supports research projects with industry partners that put new knowledge to productive use in the economy. The results of those competitions are announced throughout the year.

Science and Engineering Research Canada is a key federal agency investing in people, discovery and innovation. It supports both basic university research through research grants, and project research through partnerships among postsecondary institutions, government and the private sector, as well as the advanced training of highly qualified people.