U of G Celebrates Canada Research Chairs

March 27, 2014 - News Release

The University of Guelph will receive nearly $2 million from the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program for one new chair and one renewal.

The announcement was made today by Ed Holder, minister of state (science and technology). In total, 102 new and renewed chairs were named at 33 institutions across Canada, an investment of $88 million. U of G has 34 CRCs.

“The Canada Research Chairs program continues to be an important tool in helping universities attract and retain top scholars,” said Prof. John Livernois, associate vice-president (research services).

“Our CRCs play a vital leadership role in Guelph’s research community. They are engaged in teaching and research that is dynamic and innovative, and that also provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate student, the next generation of researchers.”

Geography professor Evan Fraser received a Tier 1 chair in Global Food Security to study food security under changing environmental and economic conditions. Tier 1 chairs are acknowledged international leaders in their fields and are awarded $200,000 a year for seven years.

“Developing an understanding of the processes that will sustainably feed a growing human population represents one of the century’s grand challenges,” Fraser said.

“Having the opportunity to devote myself to this topic through the CRC program is an incredible privilege and the sort of opportunity that most academics only dream of. I’m profoundly grateful to both the University of Guelph and the Canada Research Chairs program for their interest in this pressing global issue as well as their support of me personally.”

Fraser previously held a Tier 2 CRC. Tier 2 chairs are considered potential world leaders in their fields and receive $100,000 a year for five years.

A Tier 2 chair held by Prof. Myrna Dawson was renewed for another five years. She holds the CRC in Public Policy in Criminal Justice and is examining the effectiveness of violence prevention initiatives, specifically those targeted at domestic violence.

Unlike other CRCs, Dawson’s chair is linked to two U of G departments — Sociology and Anthropology, and Political Science — to take advantage of strong scholarship in justice policy issues.

She aims to determine whether the increase in violence prevention resources targeting domestic violence has contributed to the overall decline in this type of violence in Canada.

Begun in 2000, the CRC program is overseen by the minister of state (science and technology) and governed by a steering committee consisting of the presidents of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca; or Kevin Gonsalves, Ext. 56982, or kgonsalves@uoguelph.ca.

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