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Queen’s researchers receive $14.8 million from NSERC Discovery Programs

Friday, September 8, 2017

KINGTON - The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has provided a combined $14,808,621 million in funding to over 70 Queen’s researchers through the flagship Discovery Grants, Scholarships and Fellowships, and Research Tools and Instruments Grants programs. The funding received will enable researchers to carry out innovative research projects over the next one to five years in fields ranging from particle astrophysics to mechanical engineering.

“This funding provided by NSERC provides crucial support to long-term, ongoing programs of research,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “This allows researchers the flexibility to pursue promising new avenues and address higher-risk topics with the potential for tremendous rewards. The process is highly competitive, and the success of our researchers in receiving this funding speaks to both the significant potential of their programs and the leading expertise of the researchers themselves.”

NSERC’s Discovery Grants Program aims to promote and maintain high-quality Canadian research in the areas of natural sciences and engineering by fostering excellence and promoting scientific innovation. Notable recipients include Philip Jessop (Chemistry), Ryan Martin (Physics, Engineering Physics and Astronomy) and Virginia Walker (Biology).

Dr. Jessop has received $619,400 for a project aimed at developing new means of recycling waste CO2 collected from power plants and other industrial processes. This research could lead to the development of methods to produce needed chemicals in a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.

Dr. Martin has received $225,000 to support a team of researchers in developing and testing new particle detectors made of high-purity germanium. These detectors will be used in large-scale particle astrophysics experiments, such as the MAJORANA and MINER experiments, to help answer some of the most challenging questions in particle physics and further cement Canada’s status as a leader in the discipline.

Dr. Walker has received $300,000 to examine the role anti-freeze proteins play in protecting plants and animals from cold-related cell damage and in immune response. She proposes that a more thorough understanding of how these proteins function could assist in developing crops that are better able to withstand freeze damage, as well as improved techniques for the cryopreservation of tissues.

In addition, three Queen’s researchers were awarded Discovery Accelerator Supplements. Valued at $120,000 over three years, these grants serve to provide additional support for researchers who show potential to become international leaders in their fields. The additional funding aims to accelerate their potential progress and maximize the impact of top calibre research. Recipients include Leon Boegman, Julian Ortiz, and Ryan Martin.

Notably, Dr. Mark Chen received $2.6 million from the Subatomic Physics Discovery Grants program, and another 14 researchers received a combined $1.8 million to assist in acquiring tools and equipment necessary to carry out their research.

A further 20 doctoral research students were awarded scholarships with a combined total of $1.9 million over a two to three year period. Nine of these recipients were awarded the Alexander Graham Bell Graduate Scholarship, a prestigious award aimed at nurturing the research leaders of tomorrow.

For the full list of Discovery and Research Tools and Instruments program recipients, or to learn more about NSERC, please visit the website.


Dave Rideout
Communications Officer, Media Relations
613-533-6000 ext. 79648