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McGill once again enhanced its standing as a magnet for the world's top researchers on September 10 with the federal government's announcement of the latest round of Canada Research Chairs. McGill netted eight new CRCs and four renewals out of a national total of 62, the largest number of any Quebec university and one of the best showings in the country. The University now has a total of 141 Canada Research Chairs in multiple faculties, including Science, Engineering, Medicine and Arts.
Associate Political Science Professor Stephen Saideman, McGill's Canada Research Chair in International Security and Ethnic Conflict, credits receiving his Tier 2 Chair (renewed in the latest round) with his decision to come to McGill. "The CRC title has helped me in my most recent work, which has involved interviewing Canadian officers who have served in Afghanistan or have senior positions here," he continued. "The additional CRC funds have also allowed me to hire a series of fantastic undergrads to serve as research assistants."
"This announcement reflects the immense talent that we are attracting to McGill," said Denis Thérien, Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations). "Quality research requires quality people, and we are bringing in a generation of researchers who are advancing discovery and innovation in exciting new directions."
The Hon. Diane Ablonczy, Secretary of State (Small Business and Tourism) announced the CRC awards in Calgary, on behalf of the Hon. Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry and minister responsible for the Canada Research Chairs Program. McGill received five $1,400,000 Tier-1 Chairs and seven $500,000 Tier-2 Chairs, including the three renewals, for a total of $10,500,000. Tier 1 Chairs, tenable for seven years, are for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. Tier 2 Chairs, tenable for five years, are for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. Additionally, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is investing approximately $2,384,729 to fund research infrastructure essential to the work done by nine of those Chairs.
The Government of Canada created the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program in 2000 to establish 2,000 research professorships across the country by 2008, with the aim of making Canada one of the world's top five countries for research and development. Since then, McGill has used its CRCs to recruit an exceptional group of international researchers as well as to repatriate a number of outstanding Canadian and Québécois researchers from postings abroad.
Dr. Barbara Sherwin of McGill's Department of Psychology, the university's new Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Hormones, Brain and Cognition, looks forward to the impact the grant will have on her research. "I'm trying to further define the conditions under which estrogen protects aging women from cognitive decline. I've been doing work in this area for many years, but the CRC will give me the opportunity to hire more research staff to get more accomplished in my lab, and move the whole process along more quickly."
Michel Biron—Tier 2 (Renewal). Canada Research Chair in Québécois and Francophone Literature
Sylvain Coulombe—Tier 2 (Renewal). Canada Research Chair in Non-thermal Plasma Processing
Elaine C. Davis—Tier 2 (Renewal). Canada Research Chair in Anatomy and Cell Biology
Tho Le-Ngoc—Tier 1. Canada Research Chair in Broadband Access Communications
Stéphanie Lehoux—Tier 2. Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Physiology
Gergely Lukacs—Tier 1. Canada Research Chair in Molecular and Cellular Biology of Cystic Fibrosis and Other Conformational Diseases
Audrey Moores—Tier 2. Canada Research Chair in Green Chemistry
Vassilios Papadopoulos—Tier 1. Canada Research Chair in Biochemical Pharmacology
Thomas Quinn—Tier 1. Canada Research Chair in Soft Tissue Biophysics
Amir Raz—Tier 2. Canada Research Chair in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention
Stephen M. Saideman—Tier 2 (Renewal). Canada Research Chair in International Security and Ethnic Conflict
Barbara Sherwin—Tier 1. Canada Research Chair in Hormones, Brain and Cognition