Brock researchers awarded $3.8 million NSERC funding

Brock University photo – Niagara Centre Member of Parliament Vance Badawey congratulates Brock University assistant professor of psychology Karen Campbell on being part of a $3.8 million Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada funding announcement for Brock researchers Friday, Sept. 8/2017.

Up $1.4 million from last year

Brock University press release – The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has awarded more than two dozen Brock University faculty and student researchers $3.8 million in this year’s funding round, Niagara Centre Member of Parliament Vance Badawey announced at Brock Friday, Sept. 8/2017.

Provided through NSERC’s Discovery and student awards programs, funding is up $1.4 million from last year and supports an array of research looking at topics such as risky behaviours in teens, loss of memory control while aging and the reproductive behaviour of carpenter bees.

“This announcement, once again, affirms our government’s commitment to scientific research and the understanding of its importance in our society,” Badawey said. “Niagara is, year by year, continuing to establish itself as a centre of ground-breaking research and by providing much needed resources, we are enabling our brightest minds to meet challenges both today and into the future.”

The announcement was made within Brock’s Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, where much of the University’s research takes place.

“In my 28 years at Brock, this is the best round that I can remember for funding success through the NSERC Discovery programs,” said Interim Vice-President, Research, Joffre Mercier. “I am very proud of our faculty members, and I congratulate them for the outstanding work.”

The success rate for renewing NSERC grants is 80 per cent.

“The Government of Canada is committed to investing in fundamental research and engineering that will improve and enrich our country’s knowledge economy,” said the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, who was in B.C. Friday to announce total funding being granted to researchers across the country. “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.”

Examples of Brock research that received Discovery Grants funding include:

  • Determining how much of a role intuition plays when teens choose to pursue risky behaviours
  • Identifying what causes us to lose control over our memory as we age
  • Understanding how muscles work by better interpreting electrical signals coming from electrodes placed on the skin

With her Discovery Grant funding, Assistant Professor of Psychology Elizabeth Shulman will be able to purchase specialized equipment to study risky behaviour in adolescence.

“This research is important for understanding the most effective ways to keep adolescents safe — when they are a little bit more vulnerable to risk-taking — without going overboard or keeping them from having experiences that will allow them to learn,” Shulman said.

Also included in the $3.8 million are NSERC’s Canada Graduate Scholarship Master’s, the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Postgraduate Scholarship-Doctoral awards.

Examples of NSERC-funded student research include:

  • Examining how sexual selection influences the reproductive behaviour of male carpenter bees
  • Understanding the effect of high-intensity exercise training on bone and bone-regulating proteins in Olympic-level female rowers
  • Fine-tuning molecular properties for use in advanced computing technologies

Honoured to be a Vanier scholar, PhD student Caitlyn Gallant said the award enables her to research how people with mild brain injuries and those with autism spectrum disorders can better understand and interpret other people’s thoughts and emotions.

“It is a wonderful recognition of the work I have put into academics, research and community service and inspires me to invest greater effort in my research and community,” she said.



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