McGill nets three of 20 inaugural NSERC CREATE grants

$4.94 million to support training next generation of researchers for careers in industry, government or academia

By McGill Reporter Staff

Three of McGill University’s training programs have recently received a major boost from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) new Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program. The program, launched in May 2008, is designed to help graduates expand their professional and personal skills so they can make a successful transition from the classroom to the workplace.

In total, McGill programs will receive $4.94 million over six years to enhance training in areas focused on cognitive neuroscience, healthcare operations and information management and astrobiology.

“The CREATE results, which will directly impact our ability to design and improve research experiences for McGill students, has been a welcome addition to the suite of programs available from NSERC,” Denis Thérien, McGill’s Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations), said. “McGill has been unusually successful in this program, generating nearly $5 million to support innovative new programs, and we are highly supportive of this new investment in future generations of researchers.”

Projects consist of initiatives led by teams of McGill researchers who see the value in helping students acquire skills that may not be part of their normal academic training.

McGill’s CREATE grant recipients are:

Prof. Caroline Palmer, Faculty of Science, Dept. of Psychology

CREATE Project: Training Program in Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience

Prof. Vedat Verter, Desautels Faculty of Management

CREATE Project: Training Program in Healthcare Operations and Information Management

Prof. Lyle Whyte, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Dept. of Natural Resource Sciences

CREATE Project: Training Program in Canadian Astrobiology

NSERC’s 2009 CREATE grants support 20 projects that will receive $32 million over six years. They focus on a variety of areas, including nanotechnology, aquaculture, biomedical engineering and biodiversity. The CREATE program will help attract highly qualified people and retain them in Canada’s workforce. It will increase student mobility nationally and internationally, between individual universities and between universities and other sectors.

“Our government is investing in science and technology to create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians,” said Gary Goodyear, Canada’s Minister of State (Science and Technology) who announced the projects on June 2. “These grants will give science grads the skills they need to find work and give them a head start on their careers.”