Celebrating creativity and innovation

- June 23, 2020

A total of 54 Dalhousie University researchers have been announced as recipients of over $2 million in funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) through its Discovery Grants and Research Tools and Instruments Grants Programs.  

The Discovery Grants (DG) program is NSERC’s largest and longest-standing program. By supporting ongoing research programs with long-term goals, Discovery Grants give researchers the flexibility to explore the most promising avenues of research as they emerge. Recipients are not only making an impact on their field of study, but are specializing in research with the potential to impact the world.

The Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grants Program fosters and enhances the discovery, innovation and training capability of university researchers in the natural sciences and engineering by supporting the purchase of research equipment.  

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I’d like to thank the country’s researchers for the hard work they continue to do at such a challenging time,” said The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, in a press release. “With this support, we are investing in, and celebrating, the creativity and innovation that are at the heart of all research.”

The announcement was made on Wednesday, June 17. An investment of almost $500 million was made in 2,400 researchers across the country who are pursuing research in a wide variety of natural sciences and engineering disciplines, including biology, mathematics and statistics, computer science and artificial intelligence, chemistry, and chemical engineering.  

In addition to the Discovery Grants, two Dal researchers received Discovery Accelerator Supplement grants, which are valued at $120,000 over three years. This program provides substantial and timely additional resources to accelerate progress and maximize the impact of established, superior research programs. Dr. Samina Abidi was a recipient for her project highlighted below, and Dr. Paul Ralph (Faculty of Computer Science) received a grant for his project, “Reconciling modern design practices with agile software development methods.”

“Congratulations to all the recipients,” says Alice Aiken, vice-president research and innovation at Dalhousie University. “These researchers are leaders in their fields, and to be recognized with DGs and RTIs demonstrates the significant impact of the creative and innovative research they are undertaking.”

Some of the successfully-funded projects include:

Researcher: Dr. Samina Abidi
Faculty: Medicine
Project: E-Health Platform for Remote Health Monitoring using Automated Activity Recognition to Assist Self-Care and Healthy Lifestyle Behaviours

Researcher: Dr. Hélène Deacon

Faculty: Science
Project: Children’s reading development: Identifying underlying mechanisms

Researcher: Dr. Graham Dellaire

Faculty: Medicine
Project: Evolutionary molecular biology of the interplay between the DNA damage response and innate immunity

Researcher: Dr. Srinivas Sampalli
Faculty: Computer Science  
Project: Unified architecture for security, reliability and trust in the Internet of Things.  

Researcher: Dr. Sageev Oore
Faculty: Computer Science
Project: Deep learning systems for musical audio generation


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