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Government of Canada announces more than $465 million for fundamental research

June 23, 2016 – Hamilton, Ontario

The Government of Canada recognizes the role of science in a thriving, clean economy and in providing the evidence necessary to make sound policy decisions, decisions that can shape the future of our environment, climate, health and society. That’s why the government continues to make significant investments in fundamental science, as announced today by Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science.

Minister Duncan announced over $465 million for more than 4,000 awards that are the result of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) 2016 competition for the discovery research programs. The programs, which include funds for scholarships, fellowships, research supplements and equipment grants, support researchers and students who are furthering our understanding of the world and how it works.

Today’s announcement was made at McMaster University and featured the work of Dr. Leyla Soleymani, an engineering physicist who is investigating the relationship between light, electronics, molecules, and nanomaterials. Her goal is to fabricate a handheld device sensitive enough to detect trace amounts of genetic material that signal the presence of illnesses ranging from cancer to infectious diseases. Within a matter of years, Dr. Soleymani hopes her discoveries will give individuals and health-care providers the tools they need to quickly diagnose some of the most severe disorders before they cause significant harm. Dr. Soleymani is receiving a Discovery Grant along with a special $120,000 supplement in recognition of the promising nature of her research.

Quotes

"Today’s investment will allow many of Canada’s scientists and engineers to explore the frontiers of knowledge where they can make exciting new discoveries. Our government is committed to investing in these future research leaders and in the cutting-edge ideas that will lead Canada to social and economic growth for a better tomorrow."
- The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"Discoveries build the necessary foundation for an innovative, prosperous and sustainable society. A diversified and high-quality research base requires us to provide equality of opportunity across gender and culture. Bringing together multiple points of view strengthens our science, technology and innovation ecosystem and extends its many benefits more equally."
- Dr. B. Mario Pinto, President, NSERC

"The NSERC discovery program is extremely important to us as an institution. These awards support our scientists in their fundamental research efforts, their commitment to technology transfer and knowledge mobilization, and their training of the next generation of leaders."
Dr. Patrick Deane, President and Vice-Chancellor, McMaster University

Quick Facts

  • NSERC investments in discovery are backed by a highly-functional quality control process.  Panels of world-leading researchers review and evaluate research proposals submitted by their peers.
  • The $341 million support for NSERC’s flagship Discovery Grants Program will foster research excellence in the full range of science and engineering disciplines. These grants, which are subject to rigorous quality assurance, support ongoing research programs with long-term goals and build the foundation for innovation.
  • The more than $82 million in Scholarship and Fellowships will launch a new generation of scientists and engineers, with support at levels of study from graduate to postdoctoral.
  • Researchers will share an additional $26 million in Research Tools and Instruments Grants, to purchase new research equipment needed for world-leading discovery, innovation and training.
  • In addition, NSERC is providing $15 million for resources to selected researchers to accelerate progress and maximize the impact of their promising research proposals through the Discovery Accelerator Supplements Program.
  • At small universities, 43 researchers will receive Discovery Development Grants, totaling $860,000, to support their research.

Associated Links

List of Recipients
Where NSERC Invests and Why
A Vision of NSERC in 2020

Follow Minister Duncan on social media:
Twitter: @ScienceMin
Instagram: sciencemin

Follow NSERC on social media:
Twitter: @nserc_crsng

About NSERC

NSERC invests over $1 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries – valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 11,000 professors. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect industry with discoveries and the people behind them. Researcher-industry partnerships established by NSERC help inform R&D, solve scale-up challenges, and reduce the risks of developing high-potential technology.

NSERC also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows. These young researchers will be the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada.

Contacts

Véronique Perron
Press Secretary, Minister of Science
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Tel.: 343-291-2600
Email: veronique.perron@canada.ca

Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Tel.: 613-943-7618
Email: media@nserc-crsng.gc.ca