McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Thu, 07/11/2024 - 19:00

McGill Alert. The downtown campus will remain partially open on Friday, July 12. See the Campus Safety site for more information.

Alerte de McGill. . Le campus du centre-ville restera partiellement ouvert le vendredi 12 juillet. Complément d’information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention.

Faculty Projects receive New Frontiers in Research Fund Grants

The New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) invests in high-risk research that is interdisciplinary, transformative, and led by Canadian researchers working with Canadian and international partners

On April 4, the Government of Canada released the results of the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) 2021 Exploration competition and the NFRF special call on innovative approaches to research in the pandemic context. The New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) competitions are designed to fund “high-risk, high-reward research that pushes boundaries.” Twelve McGill projects were funded for a total of $2.9 million. The projects funded through the special call are focused on community and field-based research, and on data collection efforts stalled during the pandemic. Projects funded through the Exploration competition have the potential to yield innovative results in social, cultural, economic, health-related, and technological areas.

Faculty Professor Richard Hovey received a grant of $240,000 for his project "Applied Philosophical Hermeneutics Research: the Hermeneutic Wager". 

Abstract: Applied hermeneutics as a qualitative research method seeks to gain a deep understanding of a topic, human experience, or event. It does so through conversation with others who add perspectives to the shared investigated topic. In practice, the hermeneutic wager consists of five circular reflections/conversations: imagination, humility, commitment, discernment, and hospitality that build rapport, promote understanding, and work across differences. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Hovey was placed in contact with a research team working on “Mapping the Ethical Landscape of Therapies for Pediatric Brain Tumours” from the Biomedical Ethics Unit and the Department of the Social Studies of Medicine, leading a pan-Canadian working group on pediatric brain tumours (PBTWG) to produce a White Paper on best treatment approaches. The working group consisting of (i) researchers, (ii) patient families, (iii) patient advocacy groups, (iv) clinicians, (v) regulatory agencies, (vi) pharmaceutical companies and (vii) industry was struggling to work together effectively across the seeming divides to procure the development and implementation of targeted therapies. The hermeneutic wager became the process used to guide the discussion while working toward consensus among diverse group of stakeholders to help ensure that collectively all stakeholders voices are heard and valued.

Professor Marc McKee and Dr. Didem Dagdeviren are also part of a project that received a grant for the Exploration competition. 

List of McGill projects awarded in the 2021 NFRF Special Call competition:

  • Principal InvestigatorKyle Elliot, Department of Natural Resource Sciences
    McGill Co-Applicant: Mélanie Guigueno, Department of Biology
    Project: Innovative and Resilient Approaches to Seabird Field Work in the Canadian Arctic
    Funding: $250,000
  • Principal Investigator: Jörg Fritz, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
    Project: Identification of B cell epitopes of SARS-CoV2-specific antibodies
    Funding: $240,000
  • Principal Investigator: Anna Hargreaves, Department of Biology
    Project: Distributed experiments to overcome pandemic lockdowns while promoting equity, diversity and global knowledge
    Funding: $240,000
  • Principal Investigator: Richard Hovey, Faculty of Dentistry and Oral Health Sciences
    Project: Applied Philosophical Hermeneutics Research: the Hermeneutic Wager
    Funding: $240,000
  • Principal Investigator: Catherine Potvin, Department of Biology
    Project: From carbon to forests for life: Towards sustainable Indigenous engagement
    Funding: $240,000
  • Principal Investigator: Brittany Wenniserí:iostha Jock, Department of Human Nutrition
    McGill Co-ApplicantsTreena Wasonti:io Delormier, School of Human Nutrition/Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
    Project: Integrating Indigenous knowledge systems into health research: supporting community engagement, program evaluation, and knowledge translation
    Funding: $240,000
  • Principal Investigator: Jérome Waldispuhl, School of Computer Science
    Project: A mobile gaming platform to accelerate flow cytometry data analysis
    Funding: $240,000

Exploration competition:

  • Principal Investigator: Ehab Abouheif, Department of Biology
    McGill Co-Applicants: Michael Witcher, Department of Oncology and the Jewish General Hospital; Paul Lasko, Department of Biology
    Project: Exploring Social Insect Pheromones as a New Chemotherapeutic to Fight Cancer
    Funding: $250,000
  • Principal Investigator: Hsin Chiang, Department of Physics
    Project: A Flexible Drone-Based Measurement Platform for Astrophysics and Glaciology
    Funding: $250,000
  • Principal Investigator: Guillaume Gervais, Department of Physics
    McGill Co-Applicant: Thomas Szkopek, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    Project: Physics of black holes on-a-chip
    Funding: $250,000
  • Principal Investigator: Adrien Peyrache, Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery
    McGill Co-ApplicantBlake Richards, School of Computer Science
    Project: The role of the retrosplenial cortex in orienting cognitive maps.
    Funding: $250,000
  • Principal Investigator: Natalie Reznikov, Department of Bioengineering
    McGill Co-Applicants: Didem Dagdeviren, Faculty of Dentistry and Oral Health Sciences; Marc McKee, Faculty of Dentistry and Oral Health Sciences
    Project: Upsampling of low-resolution/large-volume 3D tomographic images using generative adversarial neural networks applied to medical imaging, biological anthropology and evolutionary biology
    Funding: $250,000
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