Top Ten

June 14, 2021

Institutions receive NSERC CREATE grants to support research, development

13 research teams across Canada have received new funds from NSERC’s Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program to support research, development, and training projects. The projects range from artificial intelligence to energy sustainability to health informatics. “By bringing together multidisciplinary teams to offer mentoring and skills training opportunities, CREATE complements the research training that students receive,” said NSERC President Alejandro Adem. “This positions them well to succeed in their careers and make important contributions to Canadian science and engineering.” The institutions that have received grants include McMaster University, Ryerson University, Queen’s University, University of British Columbia (both Vancouver and Okanagan), the University of Alberta, the University of Saskatchewan, York University, Université Laval, Concordia University, Simon Fraser University, and Dalhousie University. NSERC | NSERC (Recipients List) (National)

UQAT, CNRS, Université Franche-Comté announce international “cold forests” collaboration

The Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT) has signed a MOU with French institutions Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) and the Université Franche-Comté to create the Forêts froides project. The project will characterize, reconstruct, and model the ecological processes governing boreal and mountain ecosystems, and will propose adaptation strategies in response to climate and societal changes. The research will be interdisciplinary in nature, combining approaches and concepts from fields such as ecology, paleoecology, and paleoclimatology. The project will see professors working at research sites around Canada as well as various mountain areas around the world. UQuebec (QC)

Instructors can benefit from taking courses in unfamiliar fields: Opinion

Postsecondary instructors should take classes in unknown fields to expand their experiences, writes Jean Coltharp. The author encourages instructors to take advantage of any tuition remission policies or discounts that may be available to them at their institution. Coltharp writes that there are many benefits of taking postsecondary classes as an instructor: In addition to exploring new areas of study, classes can provide lessons on different teaching techniques, push instructors into taking on different roles in the classroom, enable them to see and interact with students in a new context, and enhance their understanding of the student workload. “Many of us went into our fields and chose teaching because of a love of learning,” writes Coltharp, “and this opportunity allows us to take classes just for learning’s sake.” Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

Canada provides NSERC funding to projects that engage young Canadians in science

The Government of Canada will be providing Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) funding to postsecondary institutions to support programs that make science and research engaging for young Canadians. The funding supports a variety of initiatives that foster curiosity through hands-on learning experiences, such as summer camps, science centre programming, and after-school programs. Several institutions – including Canadore College, McMaster University, and Cape Breton University – will be using the funds to support and encourage Indigenous learners to explore STEAM pathways. NSERC PromoScience | NSERC PromoScience Grant Recipients | Canadore (National)

AlgomaU, Northern College to launch Computer Science joint program

Algoma University and Northern College have announced that they will be expanding their partnership to launch a new dual credential program called the Computer Science joint program. The program will enable eligible students to earn a Computer Engineering Technician Diploma and a Bachelor of Computer Science degree in three years of full-time study. “This long-standing partnership is critical to the growth of post-secondary education in Northern Ontario while addressing regional labour market needs,” said AlgomaU President Asima Vezina. “The dual credential is an example of how our collaboration with Northern College continues to evolve, and I look forward to continuing to expand the options we can provide for our students and the communities in which they live and work.” AlgomaU | SooToday (ON)

NorQuest launches fundraising campaign to support STEM training for women

NorQuest College’s 1000 Women: A Million Possibilities luncheon has launched a fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $3M over three years to provide funding for women seeking training in STEM at NorQuest. The campaign aims to increase the number of women working in STEM in Alberta by providing funding for those who otherwise could not afford to complete education at NorQuest. “By connecting NorQuest resources like our workforce-ready programming in STEM, industry-focused equity, diversity, and inclusion training through our Colbourne Institute for Inclusive Leadership, and the power of Alberta’s wonderful philanthropic community, we’re helping to make STEM workplaces across Alberta more welcoming and inclusive for women,” said Marian Gayed, VP, External Relations and Partnerships at NorQuest. NorQuest (AB)

Ryerson launches Healthcare User Experience Lab

Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication and Design has launched a Healthcare User Experience (HUE) Lab, which will use human-centred principles to improve patient healthcare experiences. The centre has already received a grant from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge for projects that will promote vaccine confidence and uptake in diverse Canadian communities. “FCAD’s launch of the Healthcare User Experience Lab will be focused on supporting healthcare practitioners by developing new ways of communicating and engaging patients,” said FCAD Dean Charles Falzon. “We are proud to be in discussion with leading health partners in Toronto and around the world to apply creative thinking and ingenuity to Canada’s health sector.” Ryerson (ON)

Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal completed after over 10 years

The $3.6B Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) has officially been completed over ten years after ground was originally broken, reports Journal de Montréal. The new hospital brings together the Notre-Dame, Hôtel-Dieu, and Saint-Luc hospitals within one building to allow work to be conducted in one centralized building. CTV News reports that CHUM also operates as the l’Université de Montreal’s centre for medical teaching and research. In addition to new spaces and technology that will be used to offer high quality care, CHUM contains offices for researchers and doctors, a library, a common workspace, and an amphitheater for virtual and in-person conferences. Journal de Montréal | CTV News (QC)

Truths to embrace when moving from academia to industry: Opinion

Moving from academia to industry can be challenging to academics, who need to adapt their skills and experiences to a non-academic career, writes Janelle Ward. The author explains that academics should face three “hard truths” as they pursue a different career: Academia can be difficult to understand for those outside of it, advanced degrees need to be translated to show what transferrable skills academics offer, and non-academic careers commonly value experience more than a PhD. Ward also emphasizes the importance of learning industry language and translating previous experience so that it is relevant to hiring managers. “[T]he burden falls on you to do the work of closing the gap between what you were and what you want to become,” writes Ward. Times Higher Ed (Editorial)

UNB, Algonquin, UWindsor dean continue to respond to Kamloops tragedy with events, services, calls for investigation

Institutions have continued to hold events and launch new services in response to the 215 children discovered at Kamloops Residential School. The University of New Brunswick’s History department has announced that it plans to expand its pro bono research and assistance services in areas such as land claim documentation. “We see this as the least we can do, considering this really horrific ongoing colonial process,” said UNB Assistant Professor Angela Tozer. Algonquin College also held a virtual gathering called “Every Child Matters” last Thursday to honour the children who died at the residential school. The gathering included music, poetry, and two minutes and 15 seconds of silence. Beverly Jacobs, the Acting Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor, penned an article for The Conversation calling for further investigation into residential school sites and urging all Canadians to “care, learn, listen, respect, and unlearn the lies that have been told.” CBC (UNB) | CTV News (Algonquin) | The Conversation (ON, NB)