Today's Top Ten

February 23, 2018

Genomics centres led by McGill, UdeMontréal receive over $19M from Genome Canada

Genome Canada has announced that it will provide a total of $19.6M in funding over five years to the research teams of McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre, the Canadian Centre for Computational Genomic, and the Centre for Advanced Proteomic and Chemogenomic Analyses. $16.3M will go towards McGill’s work with MUGQIC and C3G, while $3.4M will go towards UdeMontréal and CAPCA. The funding will help these organizations support the research community with high-level tools, technologies, and services. MUGQIC supports academic and industry research teams with genomics research technology, C3G supports the life sciences community with informatics and analyses, and CAPCA provides leading-edge analyses to projects in cell biology, immunology, drug discovery, and human health research. McGill | Genome Québec

UVic introduces internationally unique Indigenous law degree

The University of Victoria has announced a new Indigenous law degree that it says is the world’s first program to combine the intensive study of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous law. Students of the program will study a wide spectrum of topics, participate in mandatory field studies in Indigenous communities, and graduate with professional degrees in both Canadian Common Law (JD) and Indigenous Legal Orders (JID). The program will be further supported by an Indigenous Legal Lodge, which will be built to house the JD/JID program and the Indigenous Law Research Unit. Senator Murray Sinclair commended the program and Lodge, describing them as “precisely what we had hoped would follow from the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.” UVic | Times Colonist

New AB report finds level of PSE attainment linked to steady salary growth

A new report from the Ministry of Alberta Advanced Education has found that university credentials have a significant impact on future earnings. The report linked AB graduate data with federal tax information and found that as graduates earn higher-level credentials, the median income associated with their level of education increases and continues to rise over the next decade of their careers. “Lifelong learning is important for career growth, and helps keep graduates competitive in the job market,” says University of Calgary Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dru Marshall. “Employers recognize that university graduates demonstrate content expertise, critical thinking and collaborative skills, and are future leaders.” AB | UCalgary

US instructor's goodbye letter to academia goes viral

A US academic’s farewell note to academia has garnered over 80,000 reads and sparked a significant conversation about the plight of PhDs searching for full-time work as professors. Erin Bartram, an assistant professor of history at the University of Hartford, recently wrote a message to her peers explaining why she was leaving academia, focusing particularly on the grief she felt at doing so. In an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, Bartram advises other academics who are thinking about giving up a life of part-time sessional teaching not to listen to anyone’s voice but their own: “You had this life of the mind, and you imagined a future in it, and that’s great. But if it didn’t turn out to be a healthy and stable life for you, you’re not obligated to stay in it.” Chronicle of Higher Education

Shawinigan redesigns Techniques de l’informatique program through community partnership

Collège Shawinigan will be offering a new Techniques de l’informatique program. The program was redesigned in partnership with the community in order to better respond to the needs of local businesses. The new curriculum includes enhanced web application training, computer and robotics programming, mobile application development, and video game development. The program’s manager, Lyne Amyot, explained that the new program will open the door to a greater variety of IT jobs for graduates, and will enable future programmers and analysts to explore the options available to them. Shawinigan

Successful grant writing for early career researchers

When up-and-coming researchers are learning the ropes of grant writing, being aware of common pitfalls is only so helpful, writes Lisa Chasan-Taber: “They need to know what goes into a successful grant proposal, too.” To this end, Chasan-Taber outlines ten tips for drafting a grant proposal that has the best odds of being accepted. The tips include guidelines on which grants to pursue as an early-career researcher, key resources to reference prior to writing the grant, organizing the proposal for the sake of the reviewer, and describing the project in a manner that is both clear and indicative of the researcher’s capacity to complete the grant. Chronicle of Higher Education

Carleton, India partner on Acceleration program for women tech entrepreneurs

A partnership between Carleton University and the All India Council for Technical Education will aim to support women tech entrepreneurs in Canada and India. A Carleton release states that the Canada-India Acceleration Program will help Canadian women scale-up their companies in untapped markets in cities across India with mentorship from global entrepreneurs, more than 200 incubators, meaningful connections to corporations, potential seed funding, and internship opportunities. A similar program will send women entrepreneurs from India to Canada. Carleton is contributing funds to the initiative and has been raising money outside the university, including $1M from NRI Startup India. Carleton

Key areas to address when pursuing a career search

When undertaking a career search, there are a number of key factors to consider to ensure that you do not sabotage your own success, writes Christine Kelly. The author encourages career searchers to take the time to develop a clear career focus before looking into jobs. Kelly then highlights the importance of thoroughly reading and understanding a job’s position description before applying, and ensuring that this understanding is reflected in their application. Finally, Kelly encourages career seekers to prepare for interviews by ensuring the quality of any technology used for video interviews, dressing professionally regardless of the interview style, and ensuring thoughtful preparation for the questions. Inside Higher Ed

QC not acting strongly enough on CEGEP failure rates: Leduc

Although some CEGEPs have up to one in five students who fail half of their courses, and in spite of the millions in special assistance being spent, Quebec’s Ministry of Education is not acting to remedy the situation, writes Louise Leduc for La Presse. The author notes that CEGEPs have instituted “success contracts” committing students to improve their grades when they fail courses. A review of the data provided by 34 CEGEPs found that roughly 10% of Quebec’s workforce was in this success contract situation in the winter of 2016, with peaks of nearly 20% in some locations. Leduc goes on to describe the strain that this situation puts on support services and other aspects of the CEGEPs. La Presse (1)| La Presse (2)

King’s launches new law mentorship initiative

A new law mentorship initiative at King’s University College in London, Ontario aims to provide qualified students with opportunities for experiential learning and mentorship in a professional field. The initiative benefits students enrolled in the Honours Specialization Major in History. A King’s release notes that the duration of the mentorship will be equivalent to 26 contact hours (equal to a 0.5 course). The student’s time and work will be monitored by both a faculty mentor and a lawyer mentor, and these two mentors will periodically consult on the student’s progress. King’s

Trent launches new programming in Forensic Science, Management

Trent University has recently announced two new programs: a unique course-based Master of Science in Forensic Science and a 16-month Master of Management program designed for students with an undergraduate degree in a field other than business. The Forensic Science program is reportedly the first in Canada of its kind, and will include a four-month forensic placement with organizations such as the OPP, RCMP, and Centre of Forensic Science. The Management program aims to provide students with a grounding in a broad spectrum of business and management disciplines, and is expected to be particularly appealing to international students. Both programs will begin in September 2018. Trent (MScFS) | Trent (MMgt)