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    News Release - Queen's University receives $63.7 million grant from Canada First Research Excellence Fund

    Tuesday, September 6, 2016

    KINGSTON, Ont. – Queen’s University announced today that it has received an investment of $63.7 million from the Government of Canada’s Canada First Research Excellence Fund to support the creation of the Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre (CPARC). The new centre aims to strengthen partnerships between Queen’s and other Canadian universities, attract top talent and build on Canada’s position as a leader in the field.

    “We are very thankful to the Government of Canada for their support for the new Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University. “This funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund is a testament to the impact that Queen’s researchers are having in Canada and internationally in the study of the deepest mysteries of the universe. This new research centre will expand the scientific culture at Queen’s by attracting highly-skilled researchers who will lead the way on the next generation of ground-breaking experiments.”

    The new centre will be headquartered at Queen’s, with members located at seven affiliated Canadian universities – University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, Carleton, Laurentian, McGill, Université de Montréal and University of Toronto. The new centre will also partner with the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), the Institute of Particle Physics (IPP), the Perimeter Institute, SNOLAB and TRIUMF.

    To support the new centre’s continuing and future research and experiments, 41 new positions for researchers, engineers, designers and technicians will be created. The centre will also provide opportunities for about 18 postdoctoral fellows and 40 graduate students on an annual basis. Queen’s has already committed to adding seven new faculty members – including two Tier II Canada Research Chairs – in support of the centre and its research aims.

    “Through this initiative we will develop new particle astrophysics detectors capable of probing the highest priority questions in physics today while integrating students, fostering greater international collaboration, engaging industry and cementing Canada’s place as the global leader in the field,” says Tony Noble, Interim Director of CPARC.

    Through its new and existing partnerships, the new centre will be involved in many of the world’s leading dark matter (PICO, NEWS, SuperCDMS and DEAP-3600) and neutrino physics (SNO+ and Majorana) experiments. These partnerships will allow researchers to extract maximum scientific output from the current suite of SNOLAB experiments

    "Today's investment in creating CPARC is evidence of the Government's commitment to excellence in research,” says Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands. “This funding will help Queen's researchers become global leaders in particle astrophysics and is critical to Canada's long-term success in today's globally competitive world."

    In addition to its primary research aims, the centre will also provide additional opportunities for industry partnerships, which will benefit, amongst others, the nuclear, mining and medical industries. It will also provide new opportunities to embed students at all stages of their careers in this scientific culture, developing skills and creating training opportunities through linkages to colleges, industries and international programs.

    “At Queen’s we have fostered a culture of research excellence and strongly encourage and support the collaborative efforts of our researchers,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research).  “Through its many partnerships and the collective work of its researchers, the Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre will cement Queen’s and Canada’s place as a world-leading destination for particle astrophysics research.”

    Particle astrophysics is an institutional priority at Queen’s University. A leading research-intensive university, Queen’s has consistently demonstrated its unwavering support for this field since the inception of the SNO project over two decades ago. In 2014, Queen’s announced the appointment of Dr. Gilles Gerbier as the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Particle Astrophysics. Dr. Art McDonald’s co-receipt of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics, and the awarding of the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, came in recognition of his leadership role in the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory team – many of whom are now leaders on the CPARC initiative.

    For more information on the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, please visit the website.


    Queen’s distinguishes itself as one of the leading research-intensive institutions in Canada. The mission is to advance research excellence, leadership and innovation, as well as enhance Queen’s impact at a national and international level. Through undertaking leading-edge research, Queen’s is addressing many of the world’s greatest challenges, and developing innovative ideas and technological advances brought about by discoveries in a variety of disciplines. Queen’s University is a member of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities.

    Chris Armes
    Communications Officer, Media Relations
    613-533-6000 x77513