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McGill gets $38.6M share of NSERC funds


Grants and scholarships part of new federal science and technology strategy
McGill University has been awarded $38.6 million in research grants and scholarships from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) under the federal government’s new Science and Technology Strategy.

“NSERC funds support leading-edge research in basic and applied sciences such as nanotechnologies, optics and photonics, advanced materials, energy and many others,” said Dr. Denis Thérien, Vice-Principal, Research and International Relations. “This funding will enable McGill to continue fulfilling its mission as a public university by contributing to the prosperity of society and helping the community achieve a high quality of life through education, scholarly activities and research, and the dissemination of knowledge.”

Parliamentary Secretary Colin Carrie, on behalf of Industry Minister Maxime Bernier and Dr. Suzanne Fortier, president of NSERC, announced that 10,000 professors and students across Canada will share in $583 million under NSERC’s 2007 grants and scholarships program.

McGill’s funding includes 192 NSERC Discovery Grants worth a total $32.4 million, as well as 310 student scholarships totaling $6.2 million. The Discovery Grants are aimed at supporting research in the natural sciences and engineering and are payable over five years, while the scholarships fund graduate and postgraduate research projects and give undergraduate students the opportunity to gain hands-on research experience in the laboratory.

In addition to the $38.6 million, four McGill researchers were chosen to receive $120,000 each, payable over three years, under the $6-million Discovery Accelerator Supplements program to support their productivity at a critical juncture in their careers. They are Andrew Hendry of the Redpath Museum, Nilima Nigam of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Paul Wiseman of the Department of Physics and Bruce Pike of the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

“Our newly released science and technology strategy – Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage – recognizes the importance of doing more to turn ideas into innovations that provide solutions to our environmental, health and other important challenges, and to improve Canada’s economic competitiveness,” said Parliamentary Secretary Carrie. “These awards will help ensure that this country’s best and brightest professors and students can continue their work and their contribution to the prosperity and well-being of all Canadians.”

NSERC is a federal funding agency that supports some 23,000 university students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. Over the past 10 years, NSERC has invested $6 billion in basic research, university-industry projects and the training of Canada’s next generation of scientists and engineers.


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