The New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) 2019 Exploration competition awarded $46.3 million in funding to support 186 research projects that bring disciplines together in non-traditional ways to explore new research directions. McGill researchers will receive $5.2 million shared among 21 projects, with each receiving up to $250,000 over the next two years.
The NFRF’s Exploration stream addresses gaps in the federal funding system to promote innovation. It supports research that defies current paradigms, bridges disciplines, or tackles fundamental problems from new perspectives. A key principle of this stream is the recognition that exploring new directions in research involves some risk, but is ultimately worthwhile given the potential for significant impact.
McGill’s funded Exploration projects support a wide range of topics—from resolving microbial carbon transformations in a warming world, to using machine learning to build a comprehensive database of disclosure information, to reverse engineering the neural circuits of perception.
The NFRF is an initiative of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee and is managed as a tri-agency program on behalf of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
McGill 2019 NFRF Exploration competition recipients
Dan Nicolau: Biocomputation with motile biological agents
Stephanie Weber: Organization and function of the dinoflagellate genome
Jennifer Ronholm: Development of biodegradable electrospun nanofabrics with mechano-bactericidal activity
Stuart Trenholm: A closed-loop brain stimulation system for vision restoration following damage to visual cortex
Chao-Jun Li: Low Temperture Solar Nitrogen Fixation
Susan Gaskin: Environmental copper exposure as a modifiable risk factor for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amy Blum: Viral origami
Jun Song: Artificial intelligence powered materials innovation in emission reduction and energy conversion
David Juncker: Rapid identification of antibody-producing cells against viral agents of new emerging threats and epidemics
Matthew Harrington: From fluids-to-fibers: Tracking the transition from condensed phase biomolecules to biomaterials
Sara Ahmed: Holistic evaluation of the determinants of mobility to enhance social and work participation: Platform trial of the Electronic Mobility Monitoring and Intervention (EMMI) Portal
Nagissa Mahmoudi: Resolving microbial carbon transformations in a warming world
Nicholas King: Automating Scientific Transparency: Using Machine Learning to Build a Comprehensive Database of Disclosure Information
James Kirkpatrick: Scientific Exploration of Induced Seismicity and Stress: Phase 1
Hamed Shateri Najafabadi: Understanding the driving forces behind cellular heterogeneity in cancer
Yue Li: Unraveling cell-dependent driver genes in complex traits by single-cell deconvolution
Thomas Preston: Understanding Titan: Supramolecular Chemistry beyond Earth
Amin Emad: A machine learning framework for preclinical-to-clinical drug response prediction and identification of therapeutic targets
Arjun Krishnaswamy: Reverse engineering the neural circuits of perception
David Wachsmuth: Integrating Sustainability Research and Policymaking Through Online Scenario Modelling: The Montreal Sustainability Dashboard
Julia Burnier: Microfluidic Systems for nanoparticle synthesis and characterization to understand cancer cell-derived EV uptake