Supporting big research ideas

The Government of Canada announces support for Queen's researchers through the federal funding agencies and the Canada Research Chair program.

Over 125 Queen’s researchers across disciplines have received support that will advance discovery, innovation, and collaboration in their research programs. Today, The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (ISED), announced a bundled research announcement under the theme "Supporting BIG ideas!", meant to continue the Government’s historic investments in support of a strong and vibrant world-leading research ecosystem.

The bundled announcement includes funding from a variety of programs under the umbrellas of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Canada Research Chairs program. More than $635 million is being invested in scholars across Canada through new grants or grant extensions.

"We are proud to continue investing in, and celebrating, the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of Canada’s research ecosystem," says Minister Champagne. "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 funding will advance the research continuum from fundamental to applied scholarship at Queen’s. In addition to pandemic-related projects, these investments will support emerging and ongoing research in areas of critical importance, such as precision medicine, military family health, particle physics, climate change, citizenship and social justice, chronic pain, and gender, race, and inclusive policies. For more information on each of the funding programs and the Queen’s recipients please see below:

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

The goal of SSHRC’s Insight program is to build knowledge and understanding about people, societies, and the world by supporting research excellence in all subject areas eligible for SSHRC funding. Insight grants provide stable support for long-term research initiatives, while the Insight Development grants support research in its initial stages. The grants enable the development of research questions, as well as experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches, and/or ideas.

Partnership Development grants provide support for new and existing formal partnerships over four to seven years to advance research, research training, and/or knowledge mobilization in the social sciences and humanities. Partnership funding is intended for formal partnerships between postsecondary institutions and/or organizations of various types.

SSHRC Partnership Development Grants 2020

Principal InvestigatorAffiliationProject Title
Heather AlderseySchool of Rehabilitation TherapyRedefining the social contract: Rebalancing formal and natural support for people with disabilities and their families
Heidi Cramm

School of Rehabilitation Therapy; Psychiatry

Families matter: A partnership of partners to study, serve, and support the families of military, Veterans, and public safety personnel


SSHRC Insight Grants 2020

Principal InvestigatorAffiliationProject Title
Elizabeth BruléGender StudiesDecolonizing the academy: Indigenizing the university seven generations in the future
Rosa Bruno-JofréEducation; HistoryGiving the past a new meaning to re-imagine the future in education
Pierre ChaigneauSmith School of BusinessToo many rewards? Performance shares and the optimal structure of executive pay
Amanda-Mae CooperEducationSocial science research funding agencies' support and promotion of knowledge mobilization and research impact: Learning from high impact case studies of collaborative research networks
Theresa Claire DaviesMechanical and Materials EngineeringA Delphi Study to advance research on accessibility standards for augmentative and alternative communication
Anthony GoerzenSmith School of BusinessImproving global value chain governance
Kerah Gordon-SolmonPhilosophyDuties, constraints, prerogatives, and permissions: Or, how to defend lesser-evil options
Oded HaklaiPolitical StudiesPopulation settlements and territorial control
Fiona KaySociologyParalegals and access to justice: Regulation, job rewards, and legal services during COVID-19 pandemic
Benjamin KutsyurubaEducationUnderstanding the well-being capacity of pre-service teachers
Susan LordFilm and Media; Art History; Gender Studies; Cultural StudiesUnder the shadow of empire: Minor archives and radical media distribution in the Americas
David McDonaldGlobal Development Studies; Geography and Planning; School of Environmental StudiesPublic Banks + Public Water
Nicole MyersSociologyRisky decisions: Professional judgement, public safety and the bail decision
Steven SalterioSmith School of BusinessUnderstanding the extant and nature of replication research in social sciences: The case of accounting research
Marcus TaylorGlobal Development Studies; Sociology; School of Environmental StudiesCan climate-resilient crops transform smallholder agriculture? A comparative sociological analysis
Veikko ThieleSmith School of Business; EconomicsScale-up Ecosystems: Theory and Empirical Evidence
Grégoire WebberLaw; PhilosophyRecovering the good in law


Canada Research Chairs

Part of a national strategy to attract and retain leading and promising minds, the Canada Research Chairs program aims to make Canada one of the world's top countries in research and development. The program invests approximately $265 million per year to attract and retain some of the world's most accomplished and promising researchers. Queen’s is currently home to 51 Canada Research Chairs across a variety of disciplines.

Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Renewals

NameAffiliationStatusResearch Area
Heather CastledenGeography and Planning; Gender StudiesTier 2 - CRC in Reconciling Relations for Health, Environments, and CommunitiesApplying Indigenous and Western knowledge systems to research involving social and environmental justice and health equity: this research aims to create healthier relationships between Indigenous peoples and Settler (non-Indigenous) Canadians by advancing recognition, responsibility, and reconciliation in community-driven and participatory ways.
Philip JessopChemistryTier 1 - CRC in Green ChemistryUsing carbon dioxide as a “trigger” for “switchable materials” able to change from one form to another: this research will make industry safer and more environmentally-benign through the reuse of waste carbon dioxide gas.
Mark OrmistonBiomedical and Molecular Sciences; Medicine; SurgeryTier 2 - CRC in Regenerative Cardiovascular MedicineThe study of Natural Killer (NK) cells in the development of diseases such as pulmonary arterial hypertension: this research could lead to the creation of new immune-based treatments that could reverse changes made in a person’s lungs.


Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

The Discovery program supports ongoing research with long-term goals. These multi-year grants recognize the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of all research advances. Discovery program grants are considered “grants in aid” of research, as they provide long-term operating funds and can facilitate access to funding from other programs, but are not meant to support the full costs of a research program.

NSERC Discovery Program Grants 2020/2021

Principal InvestigatorAffiliationProject Title
Furkan AlacaSchool of ComputingSecuring user authentication in emerging threat landscapes
Brian AmsdenChemical EngineeringAliphatic polycarbonates: Building blocks for new biodegradable biomaterials
Levente BaloghMechanical and Materials EngineeringStructure-property relations of materials having complex microstructures generated by radiation damage and additive manufacturing
Sameh BastaBiomedical and Molecular SciencesM2a macrophage activation and the regulation of immune functions
Albrecht BirkMechanical and Materials EngineeringSafe transport and storage of pressure liquefied hazardous materials
Amanda BongersChemistryCognition in chemistry: Exploring how the brain encodes and manipulates scientific models
Joseph BramantePhysics, Engineering Physics & AstronomyAstroparticle theory for dark sectors
Chantelle CapicciottiChemistry; Biomedical and Molecular SciencesChemical biology tools for probing and discovering glycan-protein interactions
Pascale ChampagneCivil Engineering; Chemical EngineeringPhotosynthetically-enhanced eco-engineered treatment systems
Che ColpittsBiomedical and Molecular SciencesMembrane rearrangement by positive-sense RNA viruses: Molecular mechanisms and cellular responses
Cathleen CruddenChemistry

Nanoclusters, nanoparticles, and surfaces: Bridging the gap between homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis

Critical replacement of super critical fluid HPLC for chiral separations

Variable temperature UV/Vis spectrophotometer for study of NHC-stabilized gold nanoclusters

Michael CunninghamChemical Engineering; ChemistryReplacing traditional surfactants in the preparation of polymer nanoparticles
Mark DaymondPhysics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy; Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Effect of local microstructure on cracking of materials for next generation reactors

Characterising irradiation induced damage and phase changes

Kevin DeluzioMechanical and Materials EngineeringTools for the biomechanical analysis of human movement
George diCenzoBiologyGene networks of Sinorhizobium meliloti
Marc DignamPhysics, Engineering Physics & AstronomyNonlinear and quantum optics in two-dimensional materials and nanophotonic systems
Steven Honghui DingSchool of ComputingAssistant professor
Juergen DingelSchool of ComputingModel-driven engineering for distributed, reliable, adaptive, web-based software
Cao Thang DinhChemical EngineeringElectrode engineering for carbon dioxide electroreduction to fuels and chemicals
Paul DuchesneChemistryEarth-abundant heterogeneous catalysts for the synthesis of renewable fuels
Christopher EckertBiologyEcology & evolution of species range limits
Dixia FanMechanical and Materials EngineeringPhysics-informed (and -informative) reinforcement learning and bio-inspired design of a smart morphing flapping wing for dual aerial/aquatic-propulsion and maneuvering
Laura FisselPhysics, Engineering Physics & AstronomyUnderstanding the role of magnetic fields in star and planet formation using stratospheric balloon-borne polarimeters
Luis FloresPsychologyBrain function and real-world choice and effectiveness of intrapersonal and social forms of emotion regulation
Georgia FotopoulousGeological Sciences and Geological EngineeringFusion of heterogeneous geosensing observations for enhanced site characterization
Jason GallivanPsychology; Biomedical and Molecular SciencesHuman functional neuroimaging stimulus presentation and data collection system for studies of action, perception and decision-making
Jun GaoPhysics, Engineering Physics & AstronomySurfaces and interfaces of luminescent polymer mixed ionic/electronic conductors
Charlotte GibsonRobert M. Buchan Department of Mining

Surface analysis for the concentration and extraction of metals using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy

Concentrating minerals critical to energy storage applications from Canadian hard rock deposits

Guillaume GirouxPhysics, Engineering Physics & AstronomyNEWS-G search for light dark matter with spherical proportional counters
Sidney GivigiSchool of ComputingSafe adaptive social cyber physical systems
Farnaz Heidar-ZadehChemistryTheoretical chemical design with machine learning: Model development and applications
Tom HollensteinPsychologyIntegrated psychophysiology and observational system for synchronous measurement and analysis
Neil HoultCivil EngineeringReimagined environmentally-friendly (RE-Design) of reinforced concrete infrastructure
Graeme HoweChemistryTracing enzyme mechanisms across evolution to elucidate the origins of enzymatic catalysis
Stephen HughesPhysics, Engineering Physics & AstronomyDissipative mode theories and reservoir engineering in quantum nanophotonics
Robin HutchinsonChemical EngineeringMeasurement and modeling of polymerization kinetics for process and product development
Judith IrwinPhysics, Engineering Physics & AstronomyFrom galaxy to intergalactic medium -- the magnetic connection in the age of the square kilometre array
Shideh Kabiri Ameri AbootorabiElectrical and Computer EngineeringHigh performance visually imperceptible on-skin sensors and electronics based on nanomaterials
Frederick KanBiomedical and Molecular SciencesOviductal regulation of gamete interaction and reproductive function
Sadan KelebekRobert M. Buchan Department of MiningInvestigations on the separation of metal-bearing values from secondary sources in the production of value-added products
Il Yong KimMechanical and Materials EngineeringSystem, layout, and topology optimization for automotive and aerospace design
Marianna KontopoulouChemical EngineeringEnvironmentally friendly and scalable processes for the production of graphene and applications in advanced functional materials and technologies
Ehssan KoupaieChemical EngineeringTechniques for enhanced anaerobic digestion and bioenergy and conversion of pulp and paper sludge
Valerie KuhlmeierPsychologyCognitive origins of ownership concepts
Yanzhe LeiSmith School of BusinessReal-time dynamic optimization for omnichannel retailers
Guang LiSmith School of BusinessRevenue management and policy design in the presence of customer multi-item shopping behavior
Qingguo LiMechanical and Materials EngineeringBiomechanical energy harvesting: Optimization, control and biomechanics
Hok Kan LingMathematics and StatisticsShape-constrained inference: Testing and estimation for incomplete survival data
Alexander LittleBiologyMechanisms and costs of adaptive plasticity in a starlet anemone (Nematostella Vectensis) model
Christopher LohansBiomedical and Molecular SciencesMechanistic enzymology of beta-lactam antibiotic resistance mechanisms and target proteins
Alan LomaxMedicine; Biomedical and Molecular SciencesAnalysis of the vagal afferent innervation of the mouse colon
Stephen LougheedBiology

Digital PCR infrastructure to enhance research and HQP training in biology

High performance computing infrastructure for evolutionary biology, spatial ecology, and conservation biology

Giusy MazzoneMathematics and StatisticsPartially dissipative systems with applications to fluid-solid interaction problems
Kim McAuleyChemical EngineeringCombining fundamental models with data
Chris McGlorySchool of Kinesiology and Health StudiesMechanisms underlying the regulation of human skeletal muscle protein turnover by omega-3 fatty acids
Jordan MorelliPhysics, Engineering Physics & AstronomyApplied magnetics - nuclear fusion
Michele MorningstarPsychologyDevelopment of neural and cognitive processing of peers' nonverbal cues in adolescence
Parvin MousaviSchool of ComputingLearning algorithms for predictive modeling in biomedical computing: Methods and applications
Christian MuiseSchool of ComputingAdvanced techniques for action model solicitation, verification, and induction
Kevin MumfordCivil EngineeringContaminant transport and remediation in dynamic gas-and-groundwater systems
Ram MurtyMathematics and StatisticsZeta functions and probability theory
Sara NabilSchool of Computing

Advanced techniques for everyday embodied interaction

E-textiles digital design and fabrication

Guy NarbonneGeological Sciences and Geological EngineeringWhen life got big - Ediacaran evolution in a period of profound global change
Jianbing NiElectrical and Computer EngineeringSecure and privacy-preserving edge caching in next-generation mobile networks
Jean-Michel NunziPhysics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy; ChemistryLife-mimetic nano-photonics
Gema OlivoGeological Sciences and Geological EngineeringMineral resources in basins: Base metal ore systems and footprint
Mary OlmsteadPsychologyImmune-reward interactions: Contributions of the endocannabinoid system
Christopher OmelonGeography and PlanningImpacts of talik microbial geochemistry on a changing permafrost landscape
Diane OrihelBiology; School of Environmental StudiesA new ecological framework for adverse outcomes of contaminants on ecosystems: Microplastics as a case study
Patrick OosthuizenMechanical and Materials EngineeringNumerical and experimental studies of steady and unsteady natural and mixed convective heat transfer from horizontal and inclined surfaces of complex shape
Anna PanchenkoBiomedical and Molecular Sciences; Pathology and Molecular Medicine; School of ComputingDeciphering the mechanisms of modulation of DNA accessibility in chromatin: Discovery of novel pioneer transcription factors
Sarah Jane PayneCivil EngineeringElucidating drinking water quality deterioration in premise plumbing
David ReedMedicineInhibition of visceral sensation by cannabinoids in the gastrointestinal tract
David RivalMechanical and Materials EngineeringHigh-speed, plane-wave ultrasound imaging for Lagrangian particle tracking
Matthew RobertsonMechanical and MaterialsNovel robot actuators leveraging the molecular mechanics and topology of biological muscle
Nir RotenbergPhysics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Frontiers of nonlinear quantum optics: From fundamentals to technology

Ultra-coherent lasers for the exploration of quantum photonic nonlinearities

Karen RudieElectrical and Computer EngineeringKeeping secrets: Realizing the potential of decentralized discrete-event systems
Sarah SadavoyPhysics, Engineering Physics & AstronomyThe role of magnetic fields in forming stars, disks, and planets
Yuksel Asli SariRobert M. Buchan Department of MiningInnovative dynamic short-term, medium-term and long-term mine planning strategies incorporating new automation and data analytics technologies
Jessica SelingerSchool of Kinesiology and Health Studies; Mechanical and Materials EngineeringA lower-limb exoskeleton system for investigating the neuromechanical control of human locomotion and designing assistive robotic aids
Bhavin ShastriPhysics, Engineering Physics & AstronomyNeurophotonic-electronic brain-machine interface system
Zhe SheChemistryProbing molecular interactions of soft surfaces by scanning probe microscopy
Amber SimpsonSchool of Computing; Biomedical and Molecular SciencesIntegrated computational modeling of multi-scale biomedical data
Gregory SmithMathematics and StatisticsCombination algebraic geometry
Yanglei SongMathematics and StatisticsSequential decision making under uncertainty: Fundamental limits and applications
Sameh SorourSchool of ComputingEnabling intelligence on multi-access edge networks with heterogeneous resources
Christopher SpencerGeological Sciences and Geological EngineeringConstraining the interplay of geodynamics with the biosphere and atmosphere across the Archean-Proterozoic boundary
Patrick StromanBiomedical and Molecular SciencesFunctional MRI investigation of spinal cord resting-state networks and their physiological relevance
Myron SzewczukBiomedical and Molecular SciencesNobel biased G-protein coupled receptor-signalling paradigm regulating growth factor and pathogen-sensing receptors
William TakeCivil EngineeringLandslide triggering, mobility, and monitoring in a changing climate
David ThomsonMathematics and StatisticsStatistical spectrum estimation and solar gravity modes
Aaron VincentPhysics, Engineering Physics & AstronomyDiscovering the dark sector with astroparticle phenomenology
Bas VriensGeological Sciences and Geological EngineeringSustainable mine waste management: From microscale hydrogeochemical processes to macroscale prediction models
Jeffrey WammesPsychologyMechanisms underlying learning-related representational reorganization
Robert WayGeography and PlanningSusceptibility of peatland permafrost in coastal Labrador to future environmental change
Peng WangChemistry; Physics, Engineering Physics & AstronomyDiscovery and development of crystalline radiation detection materials
Joshua WoodsCivil Engineering

System-level multi-element analysis of structures using hybrid-simulation (SMASH) lab

High-performance structural systems for seismic protection and resilience of built infrastructure

Gang WuChemistryDevelopment of new 17O NMR spectroscopic techniques for studying biological systems
Sarah YakimowskiBiologyThe evolution of herbicide resistance
Laurence YangChemical EngineeringLearning models of metabolism and gene expression from biological big data
Scott YamElectrical and Computer EngineeringIntelligent fiber sensors via digital signal processing and machine learning
Mohammad ZulkernineSchool of ComputingBuilding and monitoring security in emerging softwarized systems


For more information on the Government of Canada’s Support BIG Ideas announcement, please visit the website.

Note: This article originally appeared in the Queen's Gazette.