June 15, 2021 – Trois-Rivières, Quebec
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of a strong and vibrant science and research ecosystem. The Government of Canada remains committed to supporting this ecosystem, along with the talent and innovation that it nurtures. Since 2016, we have made the largest science investments in Canadian history. We are committed to continuing these investments in support of a world-leading science ecosystem and a strong economic recovery.
Today, at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced investments of more than $635 million in science, research and engineering to support more than 4,800 lead researchers and their teams.
This funding supports:
- more than 3,400 new grants and grant extensions through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Discovery Grants program
- 1,315 research projects across Canada through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) Partnership Grants, Partnership Development Grants, Insight Grants and Insight Development Grants
- 156 new or renewed Canada Research Chairs (CRC) at 36 institutions across Canada
In addition to pandemic-related projects, these investments will support emerging and ongoing research in areas of critical importance, such as Indigenous reconciliation, precision medicine, women’s health, particle physics, climate change, citizenship and social justice, chronic pain, and gender, race and inclusive policies. This research will help inform governments, businesses and individuals as they make decisions to grow our economy, protect our environment and ensure the well-being of communities across Canada.
Some of the recipients receiving funding include:
- Mathilde Jean-St-Laurent, a professor from the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, who is receiving $135,000 for a Discovery Grant to continue her research exploring the strength of composite materials
- Kisha Supernant, an anthropology professor from the University of Alberta, who is being given more than $235,000 for an Insight Grant to support her work in the important area of Indigenous archaeology
- Susan Samuel, from the University of Calgary, who is exploring a kidney disorder called nephrotic syndrome with the assistance of $1.4 million through the CRC Program
- Stanley Asah, from Dalhousie University, who is receiving $1.4 million through the CRC Program to support his work exploring human behavior and how it affects the adoption and acceptance of clean technologies
- James Shaw, from the University of Toronto, who is receiving a $61,000 Insight Development Grant for his research into the ethical foundations of the design of artificial intelligence technologies for health care
- Kristan Jensen, from the University of Victoria, who is receiving $195,000 for work in quantum gravity and hydrodynamics
Since 2016, the Government has invested over $13 billion in science and research. This includes more than $3 billion in new funding from Budget 2021 for Canadian researchers and science, including support for cutting-edge life sciences research and biotechnology; for research into systemic racism and gender inequality; and for national strategies on artificial intelligence, cleantech, quantum technologies and genomics. With continued support from the Government, Canada’s world-class researchers will have the tools they need to address some of our biggest challenges.
“We are proud to continue investing in, and celebrating, the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of Canada’s research ecosystem. It is inspiring to see the ingenuity and dedication Canadian researchers embrace in exploring big ideas that will fuel the discoveries and innovations of tomorrow to make our world a better place and create prosperity for Canadians.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“The Discovery Grants Program is truly the NSERC’s funding flagship. It is our largest program, in terms of both overall investment and number of recipients. What’s more, it provides researchers with a predictable, long-term foundation of support as they explore and push back the frontiers of knowledge. Discovery Grants are seen as the gold standard of research excellence in Canada and are founded on a rigorous peer-review process.”
– Alejandro Adem, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
“More than ever, this past year has shown that society cannot move forward without the strong contribution of researchers from across Canada and beyond. Advancing knowledge and insight within and across all disciplines-including social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, engineering and health-is essential to tackling the challenges we face and finding the solutions we need to make Canada healthier, safer, more innovative and more prosperous.”
– Ted Hewitt, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Chair of the Canada Research Chairs Program Steering Committee
“It’s an honour and a pleasure to host this press conference and to welcome the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry to the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. The major research investments announced today reflect well on Canadian universities as a whole. These funding commitments from the federal granting councils give us hope and make us proud that our researchers are seeing their efforts rewarded and their excellent research work recognized.”
Chris- tian Blanchette, President of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
The Discovery Grants represent an investment of $310 million. The program supports ongoing research with long-term goals, while also allowing researchers to pursue promising high-risk, high-reward topics and ideas.
In addition to supporting high-quality research, Discovery Grants invest in research training and other opportunities for students, researchers and fellows, helping to support the next generation of researchers.
The funding for the SSHRC’s Partnership Grants, Partnership Development Grants, Insight Grants and Insight Development Grants represents an investment of approximately $200 million. The research is on a wide range of projects, including Indigenous leadership in research, archaeology, youth perspectives on policing, workforce trends and sustainable social and economic development post pandemic.
The investment in the CRC Program represents more than $125 million. There are currently 1,892 active chairholders at institutions across Canada making significant discoveries, such as developing portable and affordable medical tools to diagnose diseases and working to better understand and address the impacts of the pandemic on the mental health and well-being of children and youth.
The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), a partner of the CRC Program, will contribute approximately $6.4 million through its John R. Evans Leaders Fund to maintain research equipment and laboratories for 29 Canada Research Chairs at 19 institutions.