York researchers and students receive $6.8 million in NSERC grants

The Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has awarded $6.8 million to York University scholars to fund health, science and engineering research following several peer-reviewed national competitions. Federal Industry Minister Jim Prentice announced the national totals in mid-May. Under details now made public, the grants and scholarships will support 76 faculty, graduate and postdoctoral projects at the University.

Fifty-six York professors received research grants cumulatively valued at nearly $6.2 million. The funding will support projects ranging from precision studies of simple atomic systems to modeling forest fires and area burned for sustainable forest management, and from visual field assessment in healthy elderly research participants to an air table experiment system for testing nano-satellite end-of-mission re-orbiting devices.

Twenty York graduate and postdoctoral fellows were also awarded $666,800 to pursue research projects in diverse fields, including behavioural science, evolution and ecology, software development, hydrology, analytical chemistry, atmospheric science, and aquatic ecology and limnology.

“These grant awards reflect the diversity of York’s exceptional science, engineering and technology research community, and the important role our students play within this research,” said Michael Siu (right), York associate vice-president research, science & technology. “The federal government’s investments into basic and applied research are key contributors to Canada’s knowledge base and quality of life. Through these NSERC grants, York researchers will significantly contribute to the creation of new knowledge and scientific scholarship across a full range of disciplines.”

“There are three challenges at the heart of science, technology and innovation today: attracting the best minds, funding the most cutting-edge research and commercializing the best ideas," said Prentice in his original announcement. "By unveiling Canada’s new Science & Technology Strategy last year, our government is addressing each of these issues. I’m proud to announce this research funding today, which builds on our strategy. We’re directly addressing the first of these two challenges and laying the groundwork for the third.”

NSERC is a federal agency whose vision is to help make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports some 25,000 university students and post-doctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 11,000 university professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in university research projects.

For more information about NSERC or to view the full list of competition results, visit the NSERC Web site.