Senate Research Report - March 2021

  Research News  

The VP Research has recently publicized the Annual Research Report, appended, which highlights progress the research portfolio made in 2020 against our vision to advance research and knowledge mobilization, and strengthen Queen's local, national and global impact.  The 2020 Annual Research Report is also available online.

The Queen’s Research Opportunities Funds (QROF) competition awards researchers from across disciplines a chance to begin innovative projects while helping to advance the objectives of the institution. QROF also offers an opportunity to leverage external funding to build on areas of institutional research strength. 

  • The Catalyst Fund is intended to enhance areas of research excellence that are of strategic importance to the University by giving scholars an opportunity to accelerate their research programs.  Ten awards will be allocated, in the amount of $25,000, with a funding period of two years. A minimum of six of the awards will be allocated to Early Career Researchers (ECRs). The next competition will be launched in February.  Terms of reference for the Catalyst Fund.
  • The Post-Doctoral Fund is intended to both attract outstanding post-doctoral fellows to Queen’s and to support their contributions to research and to the university.  Funding  provides one year of salary support for up to three PDFs who have indicated their intention to hold the post-doctoral fellowship at Queen’s University.  The start date for the Post-Doctoral Fellowship will normally begin on July 1, and the PhD must be complete at that time.  The application deadline is March 31, 2021.  More details about the Post-Doctoral Fund.  

The Resources for Research at Queen’s (R4R@Q) series hosted by the Vice-Principal (Research) portfolio is intended to help researchers learn more about the many services that can help them throughout the development of their research projects. On topics from project conception to knowledge mobilization and promotion, speakers from across the university will give presentations, take questions, and provide resources on how researchers can leverage their units’ services. More information about R4R@Q.

Queen’s researchers received over $11.5 million in funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Project Grant competition, a program designed to capture and support ideas with the greatest potential to advance health-related knowledge in Canada. As CIHR’s largest funding program, the Project Grant competitions support multi-year grants for researchers at various stages in their career.  The awarded funding to Queen’s is divided among 13 research projects that contributed to a success rate of 26.3% compared to 15% nationally. Half of the projects are led by early-career researchers and two applications ranked first in their panels.

The federal government is continuing its investment in Canada’s research infrastructure with the announcement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of $518M in support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Innovation Fund. Two projects led by Queen’s researchers have received close to $10M to significantly advance their research. Queen’s is also a collaborator on a third project, led by Carleton University.

  • ExCELLirate Canada ($5M) – The Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG) and Queen’s researcher Annette Hay (Medicine) and Jonathan Bramson, of McMaster University, are funded to develop a national cellular therapy translational research platform, the first of its kind globally. ExCELLirate Canada: Expanding CELL-based Immunotherapy Research Acceleration for Translation and Evaluation is a collaboration between Queen’s, McMaster University, University of Calgary, University of Ottawa, Université de Montréal, and Canadian Blood Services. 
  • CASTLE (≈ $4.5M) – Queen’s civil engineering researchers Andy Take and Ian Moore are aiming to improve the future resiliency of Canada’s civil engineering infrastructure in the face of climate change. The Climate Adaptive infraStructure Testing and Longevity Evaluation (CASTLE) Innovation Cluster is a collaboration between Queen’s and the Royal Military College of Canada. The objectives for CASTLE are to improve storage of mine waste, ensure safety and improve resilience of transportation infrastructure, such as roads, railways, and pipes, and coastal defense structures, as well as ports and harbours, against the direct and triggered geotechnical hazards of climate change.
  • Dark Matter Detector – In furthering Canada’s leadership in the field of dark matter, Queen’s is a collaborator on a project to develop the next generation liquid argon dark matter detector and an underground argon storage facility at SNOLAB. Understanding the nature of dark matter, which makes up 85 per cent of the universe, is one of science’s unsolved mysteries. 

Over $6M has been awarded to 12 Queen’s researchers through NSERC’s Alliance grants to collaborate with industry partners in areas such as computing, wireless communications, and nuclear power.  Four Queen’s projects that received more than $1M in funding:

  • Edge Computing ($1.2M) – Hossam Hassanein, Director of the School of Computing, will develop “A Framework for Democratized Edge Computing and Intelligence” with industry partner and QPI collaborator, Kings Distributed Systems (KDS). 
  • Renewable Nano Power Grid ($1.2M) – A team of researchers led by Praveen Jain with Majid Pahlevani and Suzan Eren at the Queen’s Centre for Energy and Power Electronics will partner with Cistel Technology and EION Wireless to develop a “Renewable Nano Power Grid for Wireless Communications.”
  • Nuclear Energy – Suraj Persaud, UNENE Research Chair in Corrosion Control and Materials Performance, secured funding for two projects related to nuclear energy.
    • ($1.4M) The first is a partnership with Bruce Power, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Ontario Power Generation, and UNENE to investigate “Corrosion Control and Materials Performance in Nuclear Power Systems.” This project also includes collaboration with the University of Toronto.
    • ($1.03M) Dr. Persaud’s second project has partnered with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) to collaborate on the “Advanced Characterization and Modelling of Degradation in Nuclear Waste Canister Materials” with an interdisciplinary scientific approach and a diverse team of senior and early-stage researchers. 

  Partnerships and Innovation

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health is utilizing a scheduling program, developed by a Queen's-based startup, to help organize its mass immunization effort for COVID-19.  Mesh AI, a cloud-based human resource management software for the healthcare industry, is being used to handle increased scheduling needs of pandemic response.

Queen’s Partnerships and Innovation (QPI) host a variety of workshops and webinars for entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs. View the list of events and find more information.