Canada’s Brain Gain. Round 2.

News release

Top international researchers from Harvard, NASA, University College London recruited as Canada 150 Research Chairs

March 29, 2018, Ottawa, Ontario — Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat

Canada is the destination of choice for some of the world’s leading scientists and scholars, including expatriate Canadian researchers who are coming home to further their thriving research careers.

They see that Canadians respect the work of researchers who create new knowledge and help train the next generation of students. They understand that the Government of Canada has made science a priority following unprecedented investments in basic science through Budget 2018 that will further our capacity to innovate and lead to the jobs of the future.

Today, at a ceremony in Ottawa, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, revealed the list of 24 Canada 150 Research Chairs selected through a program designed to attract some of the world’s top research talent. These international researchers hail from countries such as Australia, Austria, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, and South Africa. Today’s announcement follows a similar event held in December 2017 where the Minister introduced the first four Canada 150 Research Chairs.

Of the 24 Chairs, more than 58 per cent are women and 42 per cent are Canadian researchers choosing to return to Canada to carry out their ambitious research programs. Each Chair will have the opportunity to recruit students from Canada and beyond who will help them further their work in disciplines such as chemistry, microbiology, evolutionary genomics and psychology.

At today’s ceremony, Minister Duncan was joined by 12 of the new Canada 150 Research Chairs:

Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Canada 150 Research Chair in Theoretical and Quantum Chemistry, who comes to the University of Toronto from Harvard University (USA).

  • Yves Vincent Brun, Canada 150 Research Chair in Bacterial Cell Biology, who comes to the Université de Montréal from Indiana University (USA).
  • Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media, who comes to Simon Fraser University from Brown University (USA).
  • James S. Famiglietti, Canada 150 Research Chair in Hydrology and Remote Sensing, who comes to the University of Saskatchewan from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Irvine (USA).
  • Judith Elizabeth Mank, Canada 150 Research Chair in Evolutionary Genomics, who comes to The University of British Columbia from University College London (United Kingdom).
  • Katherine O’Brien, Canada 150 Research Chair in Vaccinology and Global Health, who comes to Dalhousie University from Johns Hopkins University (USA).
  • Josef Martin Penninger, Canada 150 Research Chair in Functional Genetics, who comes to The University of British Columbia from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Austria).
  • Jonathan Neal Pruitt, Canada 150 Research Chair in Biological Dystopias, who comes to McMaster University from the University of California, Santa Barbara (USA).
  • Azim Shariff, Canada 150 Research Chair in Moral Psychology, who comes to The University of British Columbia from the University of California, Irvine (USA).
  • Anita Tam Layton, Canada 150 Research Chair in Mathematics Biology and Medicine, who comes to the University of Waterloo from Duke University (USA).
  • Shireen Hassim, Canada 150 Research Chair in Gender and African Politics, who comes to Carleton University from the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa).
  • Sari Michelle van Anders, Canada 150 Research Chair in Social Neuroendocrinology, Sexuality and Gender/Sex, who comes to Queen’s University from the University of Michigan (USA).

The results of this competition show that the most promising researchers and scholars, including Canadian expatriates, are choosing Canada as the best place to conduct ground-breaking research that will lead to new jobs, new skills and new ways of understanding the world around us.

Quotes

“It is a privilege to celebrate our new Canada 150 Research Chairs whose contributions to research will help support a stronger economy and a growing middle class. Their arrival also represents a brain gain for our country; a country that is earning its reputation for being open, diverse and welcoming to the scientists and strivers of the world.”

—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

“We believe Canada is truly one of the best places in the world to conduct innovative, cutting-edge research that can harness the power of human ingenuity and creativity to advance our collective goals. Our Canada 150 Research Chairs are evidence of Canada’s success  in attracting  top international talent and we are proud that they have chosen Canada as the best place to pursue their ground-breaking research; and to mentor and train graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, who will become the next generation of leaders in all areas of our society and economy.”

—Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada invested $117.6 million in Budget 2017 to launch the Canada 150 Research Chairs competition, a one-time funding program designed to boost Canada’s brain gain.

  • The Canada 150 Research Chairs funds are invested through the three granting agencies: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council; and, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

  • The Chairs are created for a seven-year term at two values: $350,000 per year and $1 million per year.

  • The Canada Foundation for Innovation is providing additional investments of over $830,000 to support Canada 150 Research Chairs.

  • The investment in the Canada 150 Research Chairs program is aligned with the government’s overall support for science, which included more than $4 billion in funding for basic science.

Associated links

Contacts

Ann Marie Paquet
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science
613-404-2733
ann-marie.paquet@canada.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca


Julia Gualtieri
Media Relations Advisor
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
613-325-2656
julia.gualtieri@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca


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