Brock tops big research schools in NSERC grant renewals

Brock scored high on recent NSERC grant renewals, topping some of the country's biggest research schools.

Brock scored high on recent NSERC grant renewals, topping some of the country's biggest research schools.

Brock University scored an 88 per cent success rate for established researchers renewing their grants in the latest round of National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) funding, topping such heavyweights as the University of Toronto and McGill University.

NSERC announced last month the 2013 competition results for its Discovery Grants, Discovery Accelerator Supplements, Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships, NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships and Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Twelve Brock researchers were awarded $375,693 in Discovery Grants per year, making a total of $1.87 million over the five-year funding period. In addition, one of the 12 was awarded a Research Tools and Instruments one-year grant of $149,468.

“This is very clear evidence of something we’ve known for a long time, that our researchers are among the very best in Canada,” says Joffre Mercier, Associate Vice-President of Research – Sciences.

The 12 awardees are:

Karen Arnell, Psychology: Individual differences in attention: Behavioural and electrophysiological investigations
Stephen Emrich, Psychology: Decoding the contents and attentional states of visual short-term memory representations, and their effect on behaviour
Babak Farzad, Mathematics: Algorithmic and computational graph theory and game theory
Frank Fueten, Earth Sciences: The geological history of Valles Marineris, Mars
Tomas Hudlicky, Chemistry: Program in chemoenzymatic synthesis: Morphine and amaryllidaceae alkaloids, chiral building blocks, and design of new asymmetric protocols and reagents (Hudlicky was also awarded a Research Tools and Instruments grant to purchase a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry system)
Fereidoon Razavi, Physics: Magnetic and electronic properties of polycrystalline and thin films of ceramic oxides
Miriam Richards, Biological Sciences: The ecology and evolution of sociality in carpenter bees and sweat bees
Sidney Segalowitz, Psychology: ERPs and the dynamics of adaptive attentional control in the prefrontal cortex
Adonis Skandalis, Biological Sciences: Evaluation of adaptive significance of alternative splicing by phylogenetic conservation
Theocharis Stamatatos, Chemistry: Towards the synthesis of multifunctional molecular magnetic materials displaying dual physical properties
Craig Tokuno, Kinesiology: Human balance control
Paul Zelisko, Chemistry: Silicon biotechnology

NSERC’s Discovery Grants (DG) Program supports ongoing programs of research conducted by individuals and teams. The program aims to promote and maintain a diversified base of high-quality research capability in the natural sciences and engineering in Canadian universities, as well as a diversified base fostering research excellence and providing a stimulating environment for research training.

Discovery Grants are awarded for one to five years.

Brock’s graduate students also fared well in NSERC competitions. Awardees in the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships category are:

Kevin Mulvihill, Psychology: Pharmacologically induced 50 kHz vocalizations in the rat: Acoustic analysis
Leslie Nash, Biotechnology/Applied Health Sciences: The production of a ‘green’ catalyst for silica processing via mutagenesis
Jeffery Scull, Applied Health Sciences: Intervention with beetroot on nitric oxide signaling and bone metabolism in ovariectomized rats
Martin Zaback, Applied Health Sciences: The effect of fear on conscious control of balance

In the Postgraduate Scholarships (PGS) Program:

Matthew Green, Psychology: Social stress in adolescence alters the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system and the rewarding properties of social behaviour in adulthood
Michelle Przedborski, Physics: Static and dynamical properties of domain walls in unconventional superconductors
Yue Wu, Biotechnology: Purification and characterization of copper chaperone involved in SA perception”

Both categories netted a total of $238,000.

“We are very proud of the success of our students in these highly competitive awards,” says Mike Plyley, Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies. “This is a measure of excellence and recognition of the scope and calibre of work that our students pursue as they create their distinct identities as the researchers, scholars, and leaders of tomorrow.”

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