Top Ten

August 16, 2021

BC invests $25M through knowledge development fund

The Government of British Columbia has announced a $25M investment into 34 postsecondary research projects that will help create jobs, protect biodiversity, and keep British Columbians healthy and safe. The BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF) will be used for projects being undertaken at Simon Fraser University, Thompson Rivers University, the University of British Columbia (Vancouver and Okanagan), and the University of Victoria. “By investing in technologically advanced equipment and buildings, BC institutions will be well-positioned to develop successful collaborations with industry and other partners,” said Anne Kang, BC Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. BC (BC)

MUN receives funding to accelerate cancer-related precision medicine

Memorial University will be receiving $3.6M from the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to pursue a pilot project that will accelerate precision medicine in Atlantic Canada. MUN’s Atlantic Cancer Consortium (ACC) will use the funding for five projects. Projects will focus on the creation of provincial tumour biobanks, the development of a bioinformatics core, enrichment and expansion Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute’s trainee program, and two projects on lung cancer and colorectal cancer. “This exciting initiative further enhances Memorial’s global reputation for leading-edge precision medicine and health-related studies,” said Dr Neil Bose, VP (research) at MUN. MUN (NL)

UoGuelph’s OVC unveils new facilities for surgery, anesthesia

The University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) has unveiled its new cutting-edge surgery and anesthesia facilities. The facilities were supported by $23M from the Government of Ontario and $9M from an OVC Pet Trust fundraising campaign. The facilities will allow OVC to expand its care for patients with serious illnesses, and will expand its capacity to perform complex surgeries and treatments. “The newly opened, modernized facilities allow pets and their owners to benefit from medical advancements, innovative treatments and research, and permit students to receive an exceptional medical education,” said OVC dean Dr Jeff Wichtel. UoGuelph (ON)

Writing a narrative CV that connects with readers: Opinion

Narrative CVs are becoming more common, and those applying for academic jobs should learn how to write one that connects with readers, writes Jack Grove. The author explains that a narrative CV highlights not only an academic’s publications, but also their contributions to research and institutional life. Grove offers a variety of approaches on writing a narrative CV, including reversing the narrative form so that a CV establishes how a researcher’s findings have informed their practical approaches and by taking a storytelling approach. The author encourages writers to find an authentic voice through discussing CV content and then transcribing it and by using vocabulary that will connect with the audience. Times Higher Ed (Paywall) (Editorial)

UBC BioProducts Institute receives $3.5M for bioproduct development

The University of British Columbia’s BioProducts Institute has received over $3.5M from the Government of Canada to support the development, scale-up, and production of bioproducts. UBC’s BioProducts Institute will develop ways to sustainably produce items such as filters, adhesives, lightweight materials, and personal protective equipment. “Innovative research at the BioProducts Institute and other areas at UBC is driving the growth of sustainable technologies and products that can mitigate climate change impacts and address other social and economic challenges,” said UBC President Santa Ono. “This investment from the federal government will leverage UBC’s research strength to accelerate the creation of sustainable bioproducts and support the forest industry and clean technology sector right here in BC, and across Canada.” Newswire (BC)

UWinnipeg introduces toolkit, webinars to support Indigenous data management

The University of Winnipeg is introducing an online toolkit and six webinars to support Indigenous data management. The resources were developed with support from the Manitoba Network Environment for Indigenous Research (NEIRH). They will provide community members with basic information on research data management, Indigenization and decolonization of data management, data organization, data management of technologies, and management of access to data. “There has been a fair amount of research promoting the importance of Indigenous data sovereignty and governance, but not on the practicalities and technical details of Indigenous data management,” said Dr Jaime Cidro, UWinnipeg AVP, Research and Innovation. “Our hope is that these tools will support Indigenous organizations, communities, and researchers on their journeys to Indigenous data sovereignty and self-determination in research.” Nation Talk (MB)

Becoming a healing leader: Opinion

Academic leaders should strive to be healers, writes Annmarie Caño, who describes a variety of ways that postsecondary leaders can be healers in their institutions. Caño explains that leaders must observe and assess the feelings of those they work with, validate the experiences of others, and make time to conduct wellness checks. The author also encourages leaders to prioritize their own healing to combat fatigue. “[I]f part of our job is to develop and sustain the vitality of our units, then we also need to care about the health and wellness of our people as they work to create a healthy future for themselves and for others,” writes Caño. Inside Higher Ed (Editorial)

Trent launches Global Migration & Refugee Studies specialization

Trent University’s International Development Studies program has announced the launch of a new Global Migration & Refugee Studies specialization. The specialization will prepare students to understand issues such as displacement and forced migration, cross-border movement, migrant experiences, settlement, and citizenship. Students will participate in community-based research, projects, and international field courses to gain hands-on experience. “Migration studies is of critical and increasing importance across the globe,” said Dr Chris Beyers, chair of Trent’s International Development Studies Department. “Trent is well-positioned to offer rigorous programming on the topics of immigration and forced migration, with several faculty members conducting cutting-edge research in this field.” Trent (ON)

UNB, Stepscan, CyberNB partner to create pressure-sensitive flooring for security applications

The University of New Brunswick has collaborated with Stepscan Technologies and CyberNB to create pressure-sensitive, modular flooring that can analyze footsteps. Through the partnership, UNB research on topics such as machine learning and biometrics is being used to develop a flooring that can differentiate between people by their gait and foot-floor interactions. “This first-of-its-kind project is an exciting opportunity to apply our expertise in the real world to validate and improve Stepscan’s novel, touchless biometric solution,” said Dr Erik Scheme, director of the Health Technologies Lab at UNB. The project has received funding from organizations such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s Alliance Grants program, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program, the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, CyberNB, and Stepscan and Knowledge Park. UNB (NB)

Online course sharing platforms develop offerings, strike partnerships, in the face of increased competition

The online course sharing company Coursera has announced that it will increase the percentage of revenue it shares with university partners for credit-bearing degrees and credentials. Under the new fee structure, universities that reach $10M USD in revenue will see Coursera only take 35% of tuition revenue (down from 40%), and higher revenue tiers such as $25M USD and $50M USD will see Coursera’s share drop further. Inside Higher Ed reports that the announcement comes amidst increased competition between course sharing platforms. One such competitor, Noodle, recently announced that it would be launching a new lifelong learning platform for non-degree courses. The platform will cost universities 15-35% of tuition revenue and is scheduled to launch in early 2022. Inside Higher Ed (Coursera) | Campus Technology (Noodle) (International)