Top Ten

October 11, 2018

NSERC announces more than half a billion for Discovery research

Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan has announced that the federal government will provide $558M for discovery research through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. According to CBC, the 2018 funding package amounts to an additional $70M compared to last year. “The (discovery) grants are really the foundation for research activities whether you are a scientist or engineer,” said Michael Siu, VP for Research and Innovation at the University of Windsor. “The money helps allow you to do what really a university is here for.” The Windsor Star states that the funding will support 4,300 research projects across Canada. CBC | Windsor Star

Desjardins announces $600K investment for UQTR entrepreneurs

Desjardins Group has announced that it will invest $600K for two research projects at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. According to a news release, $500K will support the Entrepreneurs propulsés initiative, an entrepreneurship incubator offered through La Zone entrepreneuriale du Cégep de Trois-Rivières. The initiative will feature workshops for groups of entrepreneurs, mentoring, and co-development opportunities. The remaining $100K has been set aside for a business accelerator to assist local startups and growth companies. The investments are part of a $100M fund created by Desjardins in 2016, the release adds. UQTR

USask opens $38M agricultural research facility

The University of Saskatchewan has officially opened its Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence. According to the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, the Centre houses the 1,500-head Beef Cattle Research and Teaching Unit, the 300-head Forage and Cow-Calf Research and Teaching Unit, and the Goodale Research Farm, which includes 165 cows, horses, bison and deer. The $38M Centre was funded by a host of public and private organizations, including the federal and provincial governments, USask, the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association, and others. USask President Peter Stoicheff stated the Centre will  “break down barriers between academics and livestock and forage producers and bring scientists from across disciplines together to promote an integrated approach to solving industry issues.” Saskatoon StarPhoenix | SK

Boréal unveils $3M greenhouse

The Sudbury Star reports that College Boreal has opened the Applied Research Centre for Biodiversity, a high-tech greenhouse that features classroom and warehouse spaces, drive-in freezer, and open-air garden. “With these programs College Boreal is leading the way to represent the skilled trades as a viable and respectful career path,” said MPP for Simcoe West Jill Dunlop. “I’m excited about the apprenticeship opportunities that are being provided here, and I believe through increasing supports to skilled trades in educational settings, our government has an incredible opportunity to create better jobs and grow our economy.” According to the Star, the federal government contributed $1.5M toward the $3M project, while the province chipped in an additional $200K. Sudbury Star

Montreal gives student housing project a boost

The City of Montreal will contribute $1.6M to a proposed 90-unit student housing co-op, triple its investment when the project was first announced in 2017, reports the Montreal Gazette. “Our participation in this project is perfectly in line with our promise to develop 12,000 affordable and social housing units over the next years,” stated Montreal mayor Valèrie Plante. The Gazette states that the project was initially scheduled for completion in the summer of 2018, but higher-than-expected construction costs slowed its momentum. It is now slated to open in 2020. Montreal Gazette

English departments, websites “need a makeover”: Van Wyck

Even as English professors continue to rail against clichés and jargon in the classroom, their departments’ websites are often littered with bad writing, argues James N. Van Wyck. Department websites that fail to engage their audiences, adds Van Wyck, will not do any favours for faculty who want to attract more students amidst ongoing contractions in the humanities. The author states that a better website begins with a cultural change in English departments that veers away from a “vaguely bookish technophobia,” and which instead pursues the potential value that critically-engaged English scholars can bring to the technology sector. Above all, Van Wyck concludes, English department websites simply need to tell better stories. Inside Higher Ed

Sundial signs MOU with USask for medical cannabis research

Alberta-based cannabis producer Sundial Growers has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Saskatchewan, reports the Calgary Herald. The partnership will facilitate clinical trials at two SK care facilities to investigate cannabis’ potential to treat dementia, the Herald adds. “The broader win here is we are trying to prove to medical associations, pharmacy associations and insurance companies around the world that medical cannabis does work and it will make a cause of influence on specific ailments,” stated Sundial President Geoff Thompson. The company has also struck partnerships with the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge, the Herald says. Calgary Herald

NBCC, CCNB to enhance health and safety education for workforce through WorkSafeNB partnership

New Brunswick’s community colleges are looking to develop a safer and healthier workforce for their province through a new partnership with WorkSafeNB. New Brunswick Community College and Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick recently signed MOUs with the organization that will help ensure their health and safety curricula adhere to the country's best practices and provincial legislation. “This collaboration will ensure quality safety curriculum and help instill a sound workplace health and safety culture in students – our future workers,” said Douglas Jones, WorkSafeNB's president and CEO. NBCC

StFX responds to criticism that it mishandled sexual assault allegations

Saint Francis Xavier University has responded to growing criticism around the way it handled a case of sexual assault that saw the victim drop out of school after the alleged perpetrator was permitted to return to classes. The school notes that it immediately launched an investigation after the woman came forward and found the accused responsible. It later allowed the accused to attend classes for the next academic year, noting that “it is important to understand that we assess the risk of each claim and put measures in place to mitigate the risk as much as possible, balancing a claimant's and respondent's right to education and due process until a determination in a case can be made.” CBC | National Post

Loyalist partners with VIVO for cannabis research

Loyalist College has partnered with VIVO Cannabis to research extraction techniques for commercial cannabis oil products. According to the Belleville Intelligencer, the partnership will facilitate research for improved extraction processes, expand capacity for product development, and provide experiential learning opportunities for students of Loyalist’s Applied Research Centre for Natural Products and Medical Cannabis. “We believe our agreement with Loyalist will be highly beneficial for both organizations and look forward to collaborating on a range of projects that will allow students to contribute to our growth while we all learn and continue to produce the highest quality products for our customers,” stated VIVO VP of Product Development and Supply Jaipaul Massy-Singh. Bellville Intelligencer