UVic welcomes 2024 budget’s research support during Trudeau visit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits UVic on April 19.

The University of Victoria (UVic) is welcoming investments to support Canadian research and innovation detailed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a campus visit on Friday that included meeting faculty and students whose research is transforming the lives of Canadians every day.

“UVic has emerged as a national research powerhouse in areas such as clean energy transition, health, and Indigenous scholarship in law and language revitalization,” says Kevin Hall, president of the University of Victoria. “Hosting the prime minister is an honour, and we are grateful he recognizes UVic as a top-tier research-intensive university.”

Alongside Minister of Citizens’ Services Terry Beech, the prime minister provided details on the $2.6 billion in core research grant funding, scholarships and fellowships to support researchers, including $1.8 billion in research grant funding and $825 million over five years to the research granting councils.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Lisa Kalynchuk, UVic’s vice-president, research and innovation
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Lisa Kalynchuk, UVic’s vice-president, research and innovation.

The new federal investments in research, training and student scholarships will help the next generation of innovators reach their full potential and propel Canada forward on the global stage. UVic research is growing at an unprecedented pace, so we’re very grateful to the federal government for this support.

—Lisa Kalynchuk, UVic vice-president, research and innovation

During the tour, the prime minister engaged researchers from Accelerating Community Energy Transformation (ACET), a ground-breaking research initiative moving Canada closer to a net-zero future by supporting local, place-based clean energy transitions. From harvesting offshore wind, tidal and solar energy to innovative low-carbon financing and governance models, ACET is integrating breakthrough renewable energy technologies and solutions with the support of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

We need community-based solutions to successfully shift to a low-carbon future. ACET supports First Nations and small to mid-sized communities in their search for place-based renewable energy solutions, and to help them achieve their net-zero goals.

—Curran Crawford, ACET executive director

The budget also committed $30 million over three years starting in 2024/25, to support Indigenous participation in research, with $10 million each being provided to First Nation, Métis, and Inuit partners.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Qwul'sih'yah'maht, Robina Thomas
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Qwul'sih'yah'maht, Robina Thomas, UVic's vice-president, Indigenous.

It is essential, as we undertake our work together, that we approach both Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners with care and creativity. This will help us prepare for the work that will benefit future generations.

—Qwul'sih'yah'maht, Robina Thomas, UVic vice-president, Indigenous

UVic currently has 1,422 research master’s students, 893 PhD students and 160 post-doctoral fellows. Funding to support increases to students’ annual graduate scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships, as well as increases in fulltime Canada Student Grants, was also welcomed news.

“It was great to be in the room with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as he announced support for graduate students in Budget 2024. Grad students are passionate about research, so this is great news for students across Canada,” says Sophie Janke, a UVic master’s student in mechanical engineering with the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems.

“Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows contribute to University of Victoria in immeasurable ways—in our classrooms, in the field, on the ocean and in our labs, and it is gratifying to see their research efforts will be appropriately funded with new federal investments,” says Robin Hicks, dean of UVic’s Faculty of Graduate Studies.

The visit was held in CanAssist, which supports independence and inclusion of people with disabilities with customized technologies and innovative programs by using a client-focused approach.

UVic’s key research impact areas, which align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, include climate, environmental change and sustainability; health and wellness; Indigenous-led scholarship; social justice and equity; and technology and the human experience. To learn more, www.uvic.ca/research.

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Keywords: research, community, Indigenous, international, sustainability, administrative, student life, SDGs

People: Robina Thomas, Lisa Kalynchuk, Kevin Hall, Curran Crawford, Robin Hicks

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