UBC Gains $46.4 Million in Science and Engineering Funding

UBC gained $46.4 million in federal research support for 631 science and engineering projects, earning second place among Canadian universities in the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) 2007 grants and scholarships competition.

A total of $583 million was granted to 10,000 professors and students across Canada. Top spot went to the University of Toronto, which secured $65.8 million for 786 projects. McGill University ranked third with $38.6 million granted to support 502 projects.

“This strong federal support reaffirms UBC’s ability to impact people’s lives through discoveries in natural sciences and engineering,” said John Hepburn, Vice-President, Research. “UBC ranks among the world’s top universities because innovative scientists such as these continue to expand our research capacity.”

Seven scholars at UBC also received $120,000 Discovery Accelerator Supplements, a new NSERC initiative that supports researchers at a critical juncture in their careers. UBC ranked second in Canada with seven supplements. The University of Toronto placed first with eight and the University of Alberta placed third with five.

“These new grants target 50 outstanding researchers,” said NSERC President Suzanne Fortier. “Based on their success and accomplishments so far, we believe they are poised to make real breakthroughs in their fields.”

UBC’s seven NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement recipients are:

  • Allan Bertram, Chemistry
  • Elizabeth Croft, Mechanical Engineering
  • Liisa Galea, Psychology
  • Paul Gustafson, Statistics
  • Dinesh Pai, Computer Science
  • Robert Schober, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Patricia Schulte, Zoology

UBC investigations funded by NSERC include:           

  • Prof. Ivar Ekeland of the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences won $5.5 million to research math and its impact on society, industry and the environment.
  • UBC Okanagan School of Engineering Prof. Jonathan Holzman has been awarded $247,798 to research optical imaging systems.
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering Prof. Jim Grace received $149,600 to study traveling collaborative fluidization columns.
  • Earth and Ocean Sciences Assoc. Prof. Roger Beckie has been awarded $147,791 for his work on inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) instruments.
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering Prof. Sidney Fels was given $145,220 for his work on an anthropomorphic robotic face.
  • Botony Prof. Fred Sack won $120,458 to study the use of multi-optics light microscopes for cell and developmental biology.

UBC attracts innovative researchers from a broad spectrum of disciplines. This year’s total research funding is approximately $400 million, which supports more than 6,500 studies.

For more information on NSERC annual grants and scholarships competition, visit www.nserc.gc.ca/index.htm.

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