U of L researchers awarded more than $2 million in NSERC funding

University of Lethbridge researchers have been awarded $2.2 million in new funding by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), supporting projects in math & computer science, neuroscience, physics & astronomy, biological sciences, chemistry & biochemistry and kinesiology & physical education.

The funding was announced earlier today by Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont. and included results for NSERC’s Discovery Grants, Discovery Accelerator Supplements, Discovery Development Grants, Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships, NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Projects in math & computer science, neuroscience, physics & astronomy, biological sciences, chemistry & biochemistry and kinesiology & physical education all received support.

“The level of funding achieved by our researchers is testament to the excellence of their research programs and is reflective of the impact their work is making within the research community and on society,” says Dr. Erasmus Okine, the University’s vice-president (research). “Beyond the funding dollars, it is exciting to see the breadth of projects awarded, which speaks to the well-rounded research program that we continue to develop here at the University.”

U of L researchers receiving NSERC Discovery Grant funding include: Dr. Amir Akbary (math & computer science); Dr. Yllias Chali (math & computer science); Dr. Robbin Gibb (neuroscience); Dr. Claudia Gonzalez (neuroscience); Dr. Igor Kovalchuk (biological sciences); Dr. David Naylor (physics & astronomy); Dr. Stacey Wetmore (chemistry & biochemistry) and Dr. HJ Wieden (chemistry & biochemistry).

In addition, Dr. David Euston (neuroscience) was awarded a Discovery Development Grant and Dr. Masami Tatsuno (neuroscience) received Research Tools & Instruments (RTI) funding.

All the funding awards, except for the one-year RTI grant, are over multiple years.

“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,” says Duncan. “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 University’s graduate level students, five in master’s and four in doctoral programs, also received substantial funding support from NSERC.

Master’s level students receiving funding include: Cecilia Badenhorst (neuroscience); Kurtis Clarke (biological sciences); Dakota Duffy (mathematics & computer science); Ryan Kung (chemistry & biochemistry); and Zachary Wanner (neuroscience). Those in doctoral programs earning funding include: Harland Brandon (chemistry & biochemistry); Mirela Ambeskovic (neuroscience); Ian Veenendaal (physics & astronomy); and Jessica Parker (psychology).

“Our faculty and students consistently demonstrate they can compete with anyone on the national stage,” adds Okine. “The research work they are doing today has the potential to benefit society for years to come.”

NSERC grants aim to develop, attract and retain the world’s most talented researchers at Canadian universities who are working in a multitude of scientific and engineering disciplines.

The full announcement can be found on the NSERC website.