$16.3M from NSERC awarded to more than 100 McMaster scientists and engineers

By Jennifer Hounsell , September 8, 2017

More than one hundred McMaster researchers, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have received a combined $16.3M from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). The awards were announced September 8 by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science.

Recognizing creativity and innovation, NSERC’s Discovery Grants program supports on-going, long-term research plans. These grants, fellowships, and scholarships have been awarded to researchers in three of McMaster’s six Faculties – Science, Engineering and Health Sciences – and will help mobilize the University’s research efforts by supporting and encouraging promising researchers at various stages of their careers.

Rob Baker, McMaster’s vice-president, research, says the NSERC Discovery funding represents an integral part of the University’s research portfolio.

“Discovery funds support our researchers with their long-term goals and provide them tremendous flexibility in their investigations as potential and promising opportunities arise,” he says, noting the awards also benefit our students as they’re based on research excellence and designed to support research training.

Baker also acknowledged six McMaster researchers who received a Discovery Accelerator Supplement (DAS) – an additional $120,000 over three years – granted to "researchers who show strong potential to become international leaders in their respective areas of research.”

The DAS recipients include:

André Bédard (Biology) is using gene profiling to characterize the growth of quiescent cells.

Ben Evans (Biology) is exploring the genomic mechanisms behind the evolution of sex determining systems.

Gillian Goward (Chemistry) is developing new strategies to characterize sodium-air and sodium-ion batteries.

Steve Hranilovic (Electrical & Computer Engineering) is creating innovative communication methods to use indoors, underwater, and in space.

Thia Kirubarajan (Electrical & Computer Engineering) is using point process models for state estimation in uncertain environments.

Emily Cranston (Chemical Engineering) is transforming nanocellulose performance through interfacial engineering to design high-performance, renewable materials.

The complete list of McMaster funded research projects, fellowships and scholarships can be found here.

Minister Duncan confirmed the government’s commitment to investing in fundamental research and engineering that will improve and enrich our country’s knowledge economy.

“We believe in encouraging scientists’ cutting-edge ideas that will lead Canada to greater social and economic growth. I am particularly proud of the support offered to postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows who, thanks to today’s investment, will be exposed to advanced training experiences that will prepare them for the jobs and opportunities of tomorrow,” she said.