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Government of Canada Training Program Positions Canadian Researchers to Succeed

Ottawa, June 26, 2012 — An investment by the federal government gives young researchers the opportunity to learn the technical and professional skills that will prepare them for successful careers in science and engineering. The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, was at the University of Waterloo today to announce funding for projects that explore a variety of research areas, including water research, photonics, clean energy technology, medical imaging and food safety.

“Our government supports initiatives that encourage young people to consider careers in science and engineering,” said Minister Goodyear. “Supporting the development of new talent will strengthen Canada’s workforce and increase our capacity to innovate and foster a strong economy.”

Through the Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program, managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), 17 projects will receive a total of $28 million over six years to help science and engineering graduates add job skills to their academic achievements.

“NSERC’s CREATE Program is providing a valuable experience for students and postdoctoral fellows to learn practical skills and to engage in cutting-edge, multidisciplinary and, in some cases, international research,” said NSERC President Suzanne Fortier. “Exposing our trainees to an innovative, collaborative training environment will enable them to succeed in careers that contribute to the world’s top research.”

In its first two years (2009-11), the CREATE Program supported 40 teams of researchers and 1,513 students and postdoctoral fellows. More information on the Program is available in the backgrounder, and a complete list of funded projects is available on NSERC’s Web site.

Two recipients from the University of Waterloo will share $3.3 million through the CREATE Program. David Cory will teach students how to use quantum information processing and neutron methods to develop fuel cells or batteries. Michele Mosca will train the next generation of highly qualified personnel in the field of quantum cryptography—technology that prevents data breaches and ensures information security.

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging about 2,000 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects.

For further information, please contact:

Michele-Jamali Paquette
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State for Science and Technology
Tel.: 613-947-2956

Media Relations
Industry Canada
Tel.: 613-943-2502

Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Tel.: 613-943-7618
E-mail: media@nserc-crsng.gc.ca

Backgrounder

Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program

Launched in May 2008, the Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program was designed to add professional skills training to the qualifications and technical skills of Canadian researchers to better prepare them for careers in industry, government or academia. Since the program’s inception, grants have been primarily used for direct student and postdoctoral support, while remaining funds have been used to establish and maintain training programs.

At least 60 percent of Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program funding targets the following priority areas:

  • Environmental science and technologies;
  • Health and related life sciences and technologies;*
  • Information and communications technologies; and
  • Natural resources and energy.

Funded projects are led by teams of Canadian university researchers who see the value in helping students acquire personal and professional skills that are not part of their everyday academic training. Students have the opportunity to enhance their ability to work productively in a research environment that has become increasingly multidisciplinary. Important areas of training include leadership training, entrepreneurship, communication and project management.

While the primary focus is on the natural sciences and engineering, training may also include interdisciplinary projects if, by combining the strengths of the various disciplines, a greater impact is achieved for the trainees. If appropriate, students may also be exposed to other research groups—nationally or internationally, establishing links that will further their chosen careers.

In 2011, an agreement was made between the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (the German Research Foundation) to support a bilateral training program involving an exchange of students between Germany and Canada. The Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program accepts proposals for training that will be carried out in collaboration with German counterparts.

The 2012 Collaborative Research and Training Experience Grants support 17 projects—one in collaboration with Germany and nine in collaboration with industry—that will receive a total of $28 million over six years and focus on a variety of areas—including photonics, clean energy technology, medical imaging and food safety.

The Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program attracts highly qualified people and facilitates their transition into the Canadian workforce. In addition, the Program encourages increased student mobility—nationally and internationally—between universities and other sectors.

* Note that this target area will be replaced by Manufacturing beginning with the 2013 competition.

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