New investment empowers Canada’s most promising young researchers to discover and innovate

News Release

More than $34M in funding to support trainees as they develop the skills and knowledge for the jobs of tomorrow

September 14, 2017 – (St. John’s, NL) – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

The Government of Canada values the role that young researchers play in producing the knowledge, discoveries and innovations that help build a strong future for Canada. Their research experiences equip them with the skills and expertise they need for the jobs of tomorrow; jobs that contribute to a stronger, sustainable economy and a healthy, vibrant middle class.

That is why the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced 166 new Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship recipients and 70 new Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship recipients, for a total investment of $34.7 million.

Minister Duncan made the announcement today at Memorial University of Newfoundland. The awards she presented will support some of Canada’s brightest doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows. The specialties of these young researchers span the health sciences, the natural sciences and engineering, and the social sciences and humanities.

The research being conducted by the following three young researchers illustrates the range of disciplines being supported:

  • Dr. Madeleine Mant, with Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Department of Archaeology, is using her SSHRC Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship to investigate the life histories of 18th- and 19th-century sailors. She will combine archaeology, history, chemistry and experimental physics to help bring the past to life.
  • Simon Boudreault, a biochemistry graduate student at Université de Sherbrooke, will use his CIHR Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship to study the human papillomavirus, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in Canada, and one which can lead to cancer.
  • Melanie Chanona, a PhD student in oceanography from the University of British Columbia, has received a NSERC Vanier Scholarship to study the changes in the way the warm waters from the Atlantic Ocean mix with the chilly waters of the Arctic Ocean, potentially causing loss of Arctic sea ice.


“We are honoured to celebrate all of the talented recipients of this year’s Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships. We believe in the potential of the next generation of researchers whose curiosity and ambition is driving us towards a bolder, brighter future for all people. Today’s investment demonstrates our government’s commitment to supporting researchers as they gain the skills and experiences needed for the jobs and opportunities of tomorrow.”
- The Honourable Kirsty Duncan
Minister of Science

“I’m happy to support the world’s most promising research talent in Canada, so that our country remains a leader in discovery and applied research. I congratulate the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholars and Banting Postdoctoral Fellows and wish them continued success with their research that will benefit the health of all Canadians.”
- The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

“The federal research agencies – CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC – are proud to support the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships and the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships. Through these programs we are supporting the creation of Canada’s next generation of researchers whose work will have a tremendous positive influence on the wellbeing of citizens from around the world.”
- Dr. Roderick R. McInnes, CM, O.Ont., MD, PhD, FRSC
Acting President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Quick Facts

  • Launched in 2008, the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships was named after Governor General Major-General Georges P. Vanier.

  • Established in 2010, the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program is named after Dr. Frederick Banting, Nobel Prize winner for the discovery of insulin.

  • Both the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program and the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program are funded through the three federal research granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The program is administered through CIHR.

Associated Links


Ann Marie Paquet
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan

David Coulombe
Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

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