By Meaghan Thurston
Two McGill projects have received grants valued at $500,000 each from the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program.
The scholarship program, jointly managed by The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and Community Foundations of Canada and the Rideau Hall Foundation, with investment from the Government of Canada, is designed to help develop the next generation of innovative leaders and community builders, both at home and abroad through cross-cultural exchanges, international education, discovery and inquiry, and professional experiences. Students will be eligible to apply for the funding through the University.
McGill’s winning projects, “Quantitative biology and Medical Genetics for the world” and “Common Threads through the Commonwealth,” will devote the funds to traineeships and scholarships for a new generation of Canadian and Commonwealth scientists and scholars in the emerging fields of medical genomics and quantitative biology, as well as in cross-disciplinary research on the impact of social factors and policies on health, equity and well-being of populations in Canada and around the world.
“McGill is honoured to receive funding from the Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarships program,” said Rosie Goldstein, Vice-Principal, Research and International Relations. “Under the mentorship of McGill’s Genome Québec Innovation Centre and The McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy, ‘Queen Elizabeth Scholars’ will participate in interdisciplinary training spanning emerging molecular methodologies and advanced quantitative techniques, to new forms of governance, and citizenship.”
Professor Mark Lathrop, project lead of “Quantitative biology and Medical Genetics for the world” said, “It is important to make sure that all countries benefit from advances in our understanding of the human genome. By bringing graduate students from the Commonwealth together around these themes and providing them exposure to different academic environments, we believe that the QEII project will have a profound and lasting impact on global scholarship and health.”
Quantitative biology and Medical Genetics for the world:
The advances that have emerged from sequencing of the human genome have dramatically changed the landscape for young scientists. McGill’s Genome Québec Innovation Centre (MUGQIC), a leading international Genome Centre, and its Commonwealth partners have identified training in genomics, bioinformatics and related quantitative approaches as critical to addressing current and future health-related research challenges in the context of the human genome. MUGQIC has been developing a successful training program, and this new funding will support six additional traineeships with the partner institutions (the University of Oxford, the Kenya Medical research Institute, the Uganda Virus Research Institute and MRC Unit, the Noguchi Institute for Medical Research at the University of Ghana and the Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town). The project will support 18 Canadian students to train for periods of up to one year in Oxford and the other partner laboratories.
Common Threads through the Commonwealth:
The McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy (IHSP), a multidisciplinary research institute, will host internships and provide scholarships in the arts and sciences for both Canadian and Commonwealth students focused on exploring innovative and promising approaches to address key challenges to health, well-being and equity. Scholars will explore, through research and practice, innovative approaches to addressing local, national and global challenges to health, well-being and equity. Through an Innovation Learning Network and in-depth Leadership Development Program, IHSP DJQE Scholars will generate new knowledge on initiatives and strategies with local community partners, policy-makers, and organizations across the Commonwealth, sharing innovative approaches and ideas for future research, policy and practice. The project will be led by Professor Antonia Maioni (IHSP and the Department of Political Science).