Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan announces new President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

News release

Appointment will help funding agency advance research and innovation in Canada

June 25, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The Government of Canada is proud to support the agency as it fosters and promotes the kind of discovery research that leads to the insights and breakthroughs of the future.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced the appointment of Dr. Alejandro Adem as the President of NSERC. As a professor of mathematics, Dr. Adem has held positions at a number of universities around the world and has been the Canada Research Chair in Algebraic Topology and Group Cohomology at the University of British Columbia since 2005. Since 2015, he has served as the chief executive and scientific director of Mitacs, which supports partnerships between universities, companies and the government to support industrial and social innovation. Dr. Adem’s new role at NSERC will be effective October 1, 2019.

This appointment was made under the Government of Canada’s new approach to Governor in Council appointments. This approach supports open, transparent and merit-based selection processes, which strive for gender parity and reflect Canada’s diversity, and supports ministers in making appointment recommendations for positions within their portfolio by providing them with information and referrals.


“Congratulations to Dr. Adem on his new role. NSERC and our granting councils are crucial in helping us invest in innovative, groundbreaking research, as well as supporting the next generation of researchers. Dr. Adem’s first-hand experience working with post-secondary institutions across Canada that are drivers of innovation will be an asset to him in his new role. I also want to thank Dr. Digvir Jayas for serving as Interim President these past several months during the selection process.”
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“It’s a great honour for me to have been appointed the next President of NSERC, a world-class organization that plays a central role in supporting and promoting science, engineering and innovation in Canada. I look forward to collaborating with the research community across the country to strengthen and develop high-impact programs of excellence at NSERC that reflect a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.”
– Dr. Alejandro Adem, Incoming President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Quick facts

  • NSERC’s Council consists of the President and up to 18 other members from the private and public sector. The Council sets strategy and high-level policies for NSERC with the goal of advancing research and development in Canada.

  • NSERC invests over $1.2 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. It also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows.

  • The Government of Canada has committed more than $10 billion to science, including the largest-ever increase in funding for fundamental research.

Associated links


Daniele Medlej
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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