Maryam Monsef

Your member of parliament for


Maryam Monsef

Your member of parliament for



RELEASE: Trent University Researchers Receive over $1.8M in Federal Funding

Screenshot above via Maryam’s weekly video update on Facebook.

13 Trent University researchers receive over $1.8M in federal funding to push the boundaries of knowledge and innovation

Half a billion in funding for scientists and engineers across Canada means more opportunities for discovery, skills training and job creation.

September 19, 2017 – Peterborough, ON

When Canada’s scientists and engineers have the opportunity to succeed, they’re able to make the discoveries that lead to ground-breaking innovations, sustainable economic growth and a stronger middle class. The hard work of these researchers also helps new generations of students master the advanced skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow.

That is why Maryam Monsef, MP for Peterborough—Kawartha, on behalf of the Minister of Science, Kirsty Duncan, announced over $1.6 million in support for fundamental research through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) 2017 competition for the Discovery Grants program, scholarships and fellowships for Trent University.

This is NSERC’s largest annual investment, and assists researchers by offering financial support though scholarships, fellowships, research supplements, and equipment grants.

Climate change, Ontario’s water resources, and Arctic tundra ecosystems are just a few pressing issues that Trent’s leading researchers will tackle with this support from the Discovery Grants program. Among the 12 individual recipients at Trent, a number are focused on environmental issues. Their research will not only have an impact on a global level, but will also benefit the many people here in Peterborough—Kawartha who rely on the natural beauty and bounty this region provides. Some of the funded research includes:

  • Aaron Shafer received $145,000 for his work in quantifying the drivers of animal migration project in the face of disappearing migration, and will ultimately provide students with skills that are highly transferrable and in demand in the growing Canadian bio-economy.
  • Erica Nol received $165,000 for her project identifying risks to migratory shorebirds, the most rapidly declining groups of birds in a changing climate.
  • Joanna Freeland received $165,000 for her work in addressing critical knowledge gaps in the management of invasive species.
  • Peter Lafleur received $135,000 to increase scientific understanding of how sensitive Arctic ecosystems are to climate change, and provide a framework for policy-makers to improve climate change adaption strategies for northern communities.
  • Chris Metcalfe received $140,000 for his project that examines the impacts of contaminants on aquatic organisms, which utilizes the state-of-the-art analytical facilities in Trent’s Water Quality Centre.
  • Catherine Eimers received $110,000 for her project that looks at how the intersection between prime agricultural land and a large and growing population poses particular challenges for water resources in southern Ontario.
  • Omar Alam received $100,000 for his project to develop Concern-Driven Development (CDD). CDD has the potential to transform the software engineering discipline as a whole, increasing the competitiveness and productivity of the Canadian software industry.
  • Maggie Xenopoulos took home a Research Tools and Instruments Grant of $259,200 for her work which examines the operation and maintenance for the Experimental Lakes Area. Dr. Xenopoulos will work with the International Institute for Sustainable Development on the Experimental Lakes Area, a unique, world-renowned field facility for freshwater research and training.

Additionally, Trent Materials Science Ph.D. candidate Ryan Cole has been selected as a recipient of a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, valued at $150,000 over three years. Vanier Scholarship recipients are brilliant examples of the important role young researchers play in producing the knowledge, discoveries and innovations that help build a strong future for our country.

This funding reflects the Government of Canada’s commitment to strengthen science by supporting the people who are working to build a better future for all.


“I am incredibly proud that our government is supporting this crucial work to make Canada a leader in innovation, to ultimately make the world a better, more sustainable place for everyone. Trent – my alma mater – is an important institution in Peterborough. Sustainable solutions for the world are being developed right here, right now – and this is something that we are very proud of. This research means more economic growth both locally and for Canada. My congratulations to all of the grant recipients; I look forward to seeing the impact that I know your research will bring.”

– The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Member of Parliament for Peterborough—Kawartha

“Our NSERC grant recipients reflect the breadth and innovative nature of scientific research being conducted at Trent. The awards are a national recognition of the high calibre of Trent’s research enterprise, from our exceptional faculty to our commitment to training new scientists.”

– Dr. Neil Emery, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Trent University

“The Government of Canada is committed to investing in fundamental research and engineering that will improve and enrich our country’s knowledge economy. We believe in encouraging scientists’ cutting-edge ideas that will lead Canada to greater social and economic growth. I am particularly proud of the support offered to postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows, who, thanks to today’s investment, will be exposed to advanced training experiences that will prepare them for the jobs and opportunities of tomorrow.”

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

“At the core of every research project, every laboratory and every discovery, there are people. NSERC empowers these people to build an innovative, prosperous and inclusive society. NSERC Discovery Grants, scholarships and fellowships provide thousands of top researchers, students and fellows with the foundation they need to concretize their research ambitions and explore the unknown.”

– Dr. B. Mario Pinto, President, NSERC 

Quick Facts

  • An overall investment of $515 million in NSERC Discovery Grants, graduate and postgraduate scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships across Canada.
  • The $368 million support for NSERC’s flagship Discovery Grants Program will foster research excellence in the full range of science and engineering disciplines, from biology and chemistry to advanced materials engineering and astrophysics. These grants, which are subject to rigorous quality assurance, support ongoing research programs with long-term goals and build the foundation for innovation.
  • The investment of close to $86 million in Scholarship and Fellowships will launch a new generation of scientists and engineers who are at the early stages of their research careers, with support at levels of study from graduate to postdoctoral.
  • Researchers will share an additional $36 million in Research Tools and Instruments Grants, to purchase new research equipment needed for world-leading discovery, innovation and training.
  • In addition, NSERC is providing $15 million for resources to selected researchers to accelerate progress and maximize the impact of their promising research proposals through the Discovery Accelerator Supplements Program. At small universities, 54 researchers will receive Discovery Development Grants, totalling $1,080,000, to support their research.
  • Launched in 2008, the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships was named after Governor General Major-General Georges P. Vanier.
  • The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program is funded through the three federal research granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).The program is administered through CIHR. 

Associated Links

List of Discovery Grant recipients across Canada

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships

A Vision of NSERC in 2020



Lucy Lai

Media Relations Officer

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Tel.: 613-996-2341


Media Relations

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Tel.: 343-291-1777


Ann Marie Paquet

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Science

Tel.: 613-404-2377


Tammy Thorne

Special Assistant Communications to Hon. Maryam Monsef

MP Peterborough—Kawartha

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Office: 705-745-2108