Two University of Calgary researchers have been awarded more than $1.6 million each from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program, and three researchers are collaborating with the University of Waterloo, an institution which also received funding today.
“This is great news for the University of Calgary,” says Vice President (Research) Ed McCauley. “The CREATE funding program is extremely competitive and these awards reflect the innovative approaches that our faculty are taking to train the next generation of research leaders. The funding will help enrich the breadth and quality of that training and will help us achieve our Eyes High goal of becoming one of Canada’s top five research universities.”
Richard Frayne, of the University of Calgary’s Department of Radiology and Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and a team of 17 colleagues in medicine, engineering, arts and science, received $1,650,000 over six years for the CREATE International and Industrial Imaging Training Program (I3T) to train researchers to be leaders in medical imaging.
“Historically, most trainees went to academia, or maybe a government lab,” says Frayne, the principal investigator. “But now, really, the concept and value of a graduate degree is recognized by a much broader set of potential employers and we want our students to have additional professional skills.”
The CREATE I3T program will develop a graduate level specialization in medical imaging, create opportunities for enhancing professional skills, set up exchanges with world leading programs as well as industrial exchanges with local and Canadian enterprises.
Andre Buret, professor and associate vice-president (research) in the biological sciences department and Inflammation Research Network (Faculty of Science and Calvin, Phoebe and Joan Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases), in collaboration with Derek McKay (Gastrointestinal Research Group, Faculty of Medicine) and John Gilleard (Veterinary Medicine) as well as four other researchers received $1,650,000 over six years for a CREATE project entitled Host-Parasite Interactions (HPI), an international collaborative training program to prepare researchers to tackle global issues such as parasite control, drug resistance, Northern climate change, food and water safety, and innovation technologies.
“Parasites take a huge toll on humans, our companion animals and domestic stock, costing billions of dollars in lost production every year and causing devastating effects on wildlife and ecosystems,” says Buret, the principal investigator. “The training will access cutting-edge basic research laboratories and expand into knowledge development through special ‘boot camps’ on various aspects of what the next generation of scientists will be expected to handle.”
Barry Sanders, the iCORE Chair of Quantum Information Science and director of the University of Calgary’s Institute for Quantum Information Science, Rei Safavi-Naini of computer science, and Wolfgang Tittel of physics and astronomy are research partners in a $1.6 million NSERC CREATE Program at the University of Waterloo that will train cryptographers to keep information safe from quantum threats, CREATE Building a Workforce for the Cryptographic Infrastructure for the 21st Century (BWCI-21).
“When you purchase or do banking online, you trust the encryption to be too difficult for present-day computers to ‘crack,’” says Sanders, “but future technologies, such as quantum computers, could access these secrets so we need more powerful tools to be secure in a quantum world.”
Minister of State for Science and Technology, Gary Goodyear, announced 17 NSERC CREATE projects that will receive a total of $28 million over six years to help science and engineering graduates add job skills to their academic achievements.