Government of Canada Backs Trailblazing Canadian Researchers

January 12, 2022

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry announced a combined investment of more than $550 million for more than 5,500 researchers through the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) 2020 Transformation Competition, the Canada Research Chairs and Tri-Agency scholarships and fellowships.

“Our government has taken action to establish the role of science and scientists, and over the past two years, all Canadians have seen the true impacts of science and research in our lives. Such is the value of Canadian institutions and researchers who think outside the box to tackle major challenges. These programs are a catalyst for generating new breakthroughs and discoveries that will improve people’s lives, nourish our innovation ecosystems and shape Canada’s prosperity for years to come. Congratulations to all recipients!”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry




New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) 2020 Transformation Competition

Seven Canadian-led research teams are receiving $144 million over six years, to spur major advances in fields as diverse as next-generation organ transplantation, spinal cord repair, repurposing marine byproducts, biodiversity tracing, bio-conservation to improve Indigenous health and wellbeing, protection of metallic surfaces, and inclusive design for employment access.

The New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) supports world-leading interdisciplinary, international, high-risk/high-reward, transformative and rapid-response Canadian-led research. The Transformation stream supports large-scale, interdisciplinary research projects focused on addressing major challenges with potentially far-reaching impacts, in terms of scientific breakthroughs and applied economic, environmental or health outcomes.

UBC is leading one of the announced projects, which was awarded $24 million. UBC researchers are also named as co-applicants on additional projects led by other institutions.

Read the NFRF announcement

UBC-led NFRF Transformation Stream Project

Mend the Gap
A Transformative Biomaterials Platform for Spinal Cord Repair

Nominated Principal Investigator: Madden, John (Electrical and Computer Engineering)

UBC co-principal Investigators: Cheung, Karen (Electrical and Computer Engineering / School of Biomedical Engineering); Illes, Judy (Neurology); Kwon, Brian (ICORD / Orthopaedics); MacLachlan, Mark (Chemistry); Rohling, Robert (Electrical & Computer Engineering); Shahriari, Dena (School of Biomedical Engineering / Orthopaedics); Tetzlaff, Wolfram (ICORD / Zoology / Surgery); Wolf, Michael (Chemistry); Ye, Ziliang (Physics and Astronomy)

Other co-principal investigators: De Laporte, Laura (DWI Leibniz-Institute); Fouad, Karim (University of Alberta); Fournier, Alyson (McGill University); Shoichet, Molly (University of Toronto); Wallace, Gordon (ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, University of Wollongong); Yang, Victor (Ryerson University / University of Toronto)

Read more about the project

Mend the Gap website

Canada Research Chairs

The Canada Research Chairs Program is investing more than $151 million to support 188 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at 43 institutions. The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), a partner with the Canada Research Chairs Program, will invest more than $9.5 million to support 43 chairholders at 19 institutions across the country through its John R. Evans Leaders Fund for the cutting-edge labs and equipment they need to pursue their important work.

Twenty-two UBC researchers were appointed as new and renewed Canada Research Chairs in the latest round of appointments announced on January 12, 2022. The new and renewed UBC chairholders being announced represent an investment of $19.5 million through the Canada Research Chairs program. $1 million was awarded to seven new chairholders at UBC through the CFI John R. Evans Leaders Fund.

The Canada Research Chairs Program enables Canadian universities to achieve the highest levels of research excellence and become world-class research centres. Chairholders improve our depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen Canada's international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of highly skilled people through student supervision, teaching and the coordination of other researchers' work.

Canada Research Chairs Program Announcement

UBC Canada Research Chairs

NEW Chairs 
  1. Ahmed, Rumee (School of Asian Studies UBCV) Tier 1 CRC in Theology and Ethics
  2. Callison, Candis (School of Journalism, Writing, and Media / Institute for Critical Indigenous Studies UBCV) Tier 1 CRC in Indigenous Journalism, Media and Public Discourse
  3. Chan, Kai (Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability UBCV) Tier 1 CRC in Re-Wilding and Social-Ecological Transformation
  4. Cherkasov, Artem (Urological Sciences UBCV) Tier 1 CRC in Precision Cancer Drug Design
  5. Cookson, Tara (School of Public Policy and Global Affairs / Geography UBCV) Tier 2 CRC in Gender, Development, and Global Public Policy
  6. Davis, Jennifer (Faculty of Management UBCO) Tier 2 CRC in Applied Health Economics
  7. Hanley, Gillian (Obstetrics & Gynaecology UBCV) Tier 2 CRC in Population-Based Gynecologic and Perinatal Outcomes
  8. Hill, Jane (Chemical and Biological Engineering / School of Biomedical Engineering UBCV) Tier 1 CRC in Breath Science and Technology
  9. Hung, Lillian (School of Nursing UBCV) Tier 2 CRC in Senior Care
  10. Leung, Janice (Medicine UBCV) Tier 2 CRC in Translational Airway Biology
  11. Li, Isaac (Chemistry UBCO) Tier 2 CRC in Single-Molecule Biophysics and Mechanobiology
  12. MacLean, Karon (Computer Science UBCV) Tier 1 CRC in Interactive Human Systems Design
  13. McIver, Jessica (Physics & Astronomy UBCV) Tier 2 CRC in Gravitational Wave Astrophysics
  14. Neimanis, Astrida (Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, English and Cultural Studies / Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, Community, Culture and Global Studies UBCO) Tier 2 CRC in Feminist Environmental Humanities
  15. Richardson, Lindsey (Sociology UBCV) Tier 2 CRC in Social Inclusion and Health Equity
  16. Rubin, Julia (Electrical and Computer Engineering UBCV) Tier 2 CRC in Trustworthy Software
  17. Sasidharan Madhav, Manu (School of Biomedical Engineering UBCV) Tier 2 CRC in Neural Circuits of Cognition and Control
  18. Schrader, Kasmintan (Medical Genetics UBCV) Tier 2 CRC in Clinical Cancer Genetics and Genomics
  19. Tworek, Heidi (History / School of Public Policy and Global Affairs UBCV) Tier 2 CRC in History and Policy of Health Communications
RENEWed Chairs
  1. Chaudhry, Ayesha (Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies / Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice UBCV) Tier 2 CRC in Religion, Law and Social Justice
  2. Eltis, Lindsay (Microbiology and Immunology UBCV) Tier 1 CRC in Microbial Catabolism and Biocatalysis
  3. Kobor, Michael (Medical Genetics UBCV) Tier 1 CRC in Social Epigenetics

The CFI is awarding funding through its John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF), in partnership with the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program. The JELF funding allows universities to attract top talent in diverse fields of research by providing them with the state-of-the-art infrastructure required to think big and innovate. CFI announced an investment of more than $9.5 million to 43 Canada Research Chairs at 19 universities across the country for the cutting-edge labs and equipment they need to pursue their important work. The total includes more than $2 million under the CFI’s Infrastructure Operating Fund to help institutions with the incremental operating and maintenance costs associated with the new infrastructure.

A combined total of $1m in JELF Funding was awarded to 7 new UBC Canada Research Chairs Drs. Jennifer Davis, Jane Hill, Janice Leung, Isaac Li, Manu Sasidharan Madhav, Lillian Hung and Heidi Tworek. 

Read the CFI Announcement