Maryam Monsef

Your member of parliament for


Maryam Monsef

Your member of parliament for



Trent professors receive $322,193 in funding for research labs, state-of-the-art equipment


CFI Funding to support Dr. James Conolly’s research in underwater
archaeology and Dr. Karen Thompson’s research on soil health and
sustainable agriculture

Two Trent University researchers are the recipients of $322,193 in federal funding as part of today’s
Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) announcement of more than $39 million for state-of-the-art
research labs and equipment through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF).

Dr. James Conolly, Anthropology, will receive $158,414 to support infrastructure that will enhance
and expand Trent’s research capacity in underwater archaeology, while Dr. Karen Thompson,
School of the Environment, will receive $163,779 to support infrastructure for her research into
developing better sustainable agricultural management.

“I am very pleased with the announcement today that Trent University will receive over $320,000 in
federal funding through the John R. Evans Leaders Fund,” said Dr. Neil Emery, vice-president
research and innovation at Trent University. “Major grants such as these demonstrate the
government’s investment in Trent’s research infrastructure enabling innovative inquiry by
outstanding researchers like Dr. Conolly and Dr. Thompson.”

Professor Conolly’s project is part of the new Maritime Archaeology Research Laboratory that will
provide university researchers and graduate students access to world-class remote sensing
instrumentation for researching underwater cultural heritage in the Great Lakes and surrounding
regions of Ontario. Research projects enabled by this infrastructure investment include discovery
and documentation of ancient landscapes inundated several thousand years ago, study of
submerged forests and historic shipwrecks.

“This funding provides Trent with new world-class equipment that will enable my laboratory and our
research partners – the Ontario Marine Heritage Committee and Discovery Harbour – to build on our study of maritime archaeology in the Great Lakes region,” says Prof. Conolly. “It extends our SSHRC-sponsored work on underwater cultural landscapes in the Kawarthas into new areas and extended depths. It will contribute to a greater understanding and awareness of the over 10,000 years of human interaction with the Great Lakes, ranging from identification of ancient hunting sites
that are now deep underwater, to the documentation of shipwrecks of the nineteenth century.”

Professor Thompson’s research project is part of the Agricultural Soil Health Laboratory and focuses
on improving soil health as a means to better protect Canada’s valuable natural resources while
improving food security.

“I look forward to supervising interdisciplinary research projects utilizing the infrastructure provided
via this funding, and am thrilled to be able to provide the tools for students to be trained in highly
technical analyses with applications to multiple fields,” says Prof. Thompson.

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, minister of Science and Sport, announced the JELF funding, which
will support 251 researchers leading 186 projects at 43 universities across Canada. JELF aims to
help universities attract and retain top talent from around the globe by providing researchers with the highly specialized infrastructure they require to be leaders in their field.

During today’s announcement, Minister Duncan also announced a funding boost for the Canada
Foundation for Innovation (CFI) of $763 million over the next five years and $462 million per year
starting in 2023-24.

This investment provides the CFI with long-term, stable funding, one of the key recommendations
from the Fundamental Science Review, completed last year by an expert panel.

“The Canada Foundation for Innovation lays the cornerstone for the future by providing equipment
that ensures the success of researchers from the very start of their careers,” says Roseann O’Reilly
Runte, CFI President and CEO. “The John R. Evans Leaders Fund creates the conditions necessary
for the extraordinary talents in Canada’s universities and hospitals to excel. With ongoing,
permanent funding, the CFI will be able to continue to support their ambitions.”

About Trent University
One of Canada’s top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning
that’s personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in
teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country
and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with
faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms,
disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines,
Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent’s unique approach to personal
development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than
ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and
collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and
social change, Trent’s students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are
catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent’s Peterborough campus
boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee
River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.


Quick facts

  • The John R. Evans Leaders Fund helps exceptional researchers at universities across the country to conduct leading-edge research by giving them the tools and equipment they need to become leaders in their field.
  • Total funding is $39,125,771: includes capital funding for infrastructure of $30,096,747, and an additional $9,029,024 for incremental operating and maintenance costs awarded under the CFI’s Infrastructure Operating Fund.
  • Budget 2018 is making a historic investment of nearly $4 billion over five years in research and in the next generation of scientists. This includes the single largest investment in fundamental research in Canadian history.
  • Budget 2018 set aside $763 million over five years for the CFI, and ongoing funding of up to $462 million per year starting in 2023. This permanent funding will put cutting-edge tools in the hands of our researchers and students to ensure they can make discoveries and innovate.