Top Ten

November 19, 2021

Postsecondary researchers receive awards for research, excellence

The Government of Canada has issued NSERC Prizes to researchers at postsecondary institutions across Canada to recognize their research and celebrate their excellence. Dr Hanadi Sleiman from McGill University has received NSERC’s John C Polanyi Award to recognize her contributions to DNA nanotechnology, while Dr Sajeev John from the University of Toronto has received the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering for pioneering research on trapping and controlling photos in optical microchips. Synergy Awards for Innovation were awarded to five researchers: Yu Sun (U of T), Bonnie Mallard (University of Guelph), Ludvik Martinu and Jolanta Klemberg-Sapieha (Polytechnique de Montréal), and Edward Sykes (Sheridan College). Six researchers won the EWR Steacie Memorial Fellowships: Natalie Ban (University of Victoria), Emily Cranston (University of British Columbia), Jessica Grahn (Western University), Martin Krkosek (U of T), Sandra Rehan (York University), and Alfred Yu (University of Waterloo). News Wire | NSERC (Prize List) | CBC | UoGuelph (National)

UBC, Rogers renew $4.8M partnership focusing on 5G research, development

The University of British Columbia and Rogers have renewed a four-year, $4.8M partnership that will focus on 5G research and development. Projects in the partnership include a 5G system to monitor forest conditions; a telemedicine project that will use 5G, mixed-reality haptics, and control theory to reach rural and remote patients; and a medical system designed to address large-scale emergencies using 5G slicing and low latency. “Our continued partnership allows us to pursue research discoveries and develop new applications of 5G to address societal and economic challenges,” said UBC President Santa Ono. “Together, we are investigating how 5G technology can help to shape and rebuild our world in ways that can have far-reaching positive impacts at UBC and beyond.” Financial Post (BC)

Clarivate Web of Science releases the most Highly Cited Researchers list for 2021

The Web of Science, which is produced by Clarivate Analytics, has released its 2021 list of the 6,602 most highly cited researchers in one or more of 21 fields. Canada was the 7th best represented country with over 200 researchers reporting a primary or secondary affiliation with an institution or research organization in Canada. 196 researchers came from Canadian postsecondary institutions, with the highest numbers coming from the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University, McMaster University, University of Manitoba, University of Waterloo, Université de Montreal, University of Alberta, and University of Calgary. “The work these researchers do is often the basis for completely new and exciting fields of inquiry,” said Aminah Robinson Fayek, UAlberta VP (research and innovation). Web of Science | Executive Summary | UAlberta (National)

King’s establishes $1M fund to support faculty research

King’s University College has announced that it has established a $1M fund to support faculty research. The King’s Research Excellent Fund will provide three $10K King’s Research Excellence Scholar Grants to fund faculty research projects, and renewable $15K King’s Research Excellence Chairs funding to two researchers every three years. “The King’s Research Excellence Awards are a bold and unprecedented initiative in support of research excellence at King’s,” said King’s President Dr David Malloy. “It has been developed in response to and in recognition of our tradition of outstanding and impactful research and the great potential of our scholars.” King’s | London Free Press (Paywall) (ON)

Lakehead professor, team receives $1.2M for research on cancer prevention through traditional healing

Lakehead University has announced that a professor and research team have received $1.2M in CIHR funding for research on using traditional healing to prevent cancer. Dr Lana Ray, Lakehead’s Assistant Professor in Indigenous Learning and Indigenous Research Chair in Decolonial Futures, will lead the research in partnership with traditional knowledge holders and Waasegiizhig Nanaandawe’iyewigamig Health Access Centre (WNHAC), and with involvement from Lakehead, Nipissing University, and University of Toronto researchers. The five-year project will address colonialism through implementing traditional healing activities in the WNHAC’s region. “We need to stop framing prevalent risk factors of cancer as such and start thinking about them as symptoms of colonialism,” said Ray. “When we do this, we also begin to think of cancer as a symptom of colonialism, which allows for expanded approaches to primary and secondary cancer prevention.” Net News Leger (ON)

Alumni associations should tap into alumni talent to serve the broader world: Opinion

Alumni associations have a huge pool of talent they can tap into, but this talent is not often leveraged effectively, write Michael Madison and Martin Skladany. Madison and Skladany suggest that alumni associations could organize initiatives that would allow alumni to use their talent to improve society and address the world’s unprecedented challenges. Universities are stable institutions with a history of overseeing ambitious projects and loyal alumni, making them ideally positioned to solve global problems. Madison and Skladany say that success would require both administrator and alumni communities to take initiative and the formation of partnerships with NGOs and other institutions. Times Higher Ed (Paywall) (Editorial)

SK provides $2M for training Indigenous residents in in-demand skills

The Government of Saskatchewan has announced that it will be working with Northern Career Quest Inc to train Indigenous people in northern SK to fill employment needs. SK is providing approximately $2M in funding for one year to provide 400 Indigenous job seekers with industry-led training programs, employability supports, and employment services. Residents of the Prince Albert Grand Council and Meadow Lake Tribal Council regions will also have opportunities to gain training that will help them find or maintain their employment. “We are excited to work with the Government of Saskatchewan on this initiative,” said Northern Career Quest CEO Steve Innes. “This programming expands our previous mandate beyond just the resource sector, enabling us to work with Indigenous folks in more diversified areas of training and employment.” SK (SK)

YorkU launches Post-Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Operations

York University’s School of Continuing Studies has launched a Post-Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Operations. The program is designed for recent graduates with no previous experience in information technology, and teaches students the skills they need to work in an entry-level cyber security position. Students will learn the ways suspicious entities steal data, understand best practices and responsibilities, and learn to work with cyber security tools and software. “The demand today for cyber security professionals is high, but the job market is also highly competitive for entry-level candidates,” said Tracey Taylor-O’Reilly, AVP, Continuing Studies at YorkU. “The Post-Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security Operations provides exactly that—the knowledge, skills and experience students need, plus the credibility of a credential.” News Wire (ON)

TRU, SD 73 renew partnership to transform education to support current, future learners

Thompson Rivers University and School District 73 (SD 73) have renewed a partnership focused on “transform[ing] education to better meet the needs of current and future learners.” The partnership includes commitments in a variety of areas, including accessibility, student engagement, enrolment trends and organizational responsiveness, and research and scholarship. “This is an aspirational agreement that will encourage TRU and SD 73 to consider each other as we serve the needs of our students,” said TRU President Brett Fairbairn. “By aligning our values in this way, we preserve and enhance the continuity of the educational experience for students and ensure their journey, from kindergarten through to post-secondary degree, is seamless, meaningful and empowering.” TRU (BC)

Ontario Tech receives $3M gift toward Brilliant Energy Institute

Ontario Tech University has received a $3M gift from the estate of Nicholas Sion in support of the Brilliant Energy Institute (BEI). The gift will help position the BEI as a robust national research and data hub, support its efforts to develop clean-energy technology, and address the need for low-carbon energy solutions. The hub’s laboratories have been named the Nicholas Sion Brilliant Energy Laboratories in recognition of the gift. “This generous gift will help us develop transformative technology and meet the research needs of our industry partners, while training the energy innovators and leaders of tomorrow,” said Ontario Tech President Steven Murphy. Ontario Tech (ON)