$33.5 million from CFI

The University of Victoria claimed top spot among the nation’s comprehensive universities in a recent major funding announcement by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

On June 25, CFI awarded more than $665 million for 133 projects at 41 Canadian research universities, with UVic researchers amassing $33.5 million for four projects. This places UVic sixth among all universities in the country and earned it the number-one spot among comprehensive universities by a wide margin.

The university’s projects include two major national and regional facilities led by UVic.

“The success of our researchers in this funding competition is simply spectacular,” says UVic’s Vice-President Research Dr. Howard Brunt. “The reason for this success is clear—it is the result of the quality of UVic researchers and their teams. Thanks to this new funding, UVic will continue to cast new light on the most hidden aspects of our universe—from sub-atomic matter and energy to what is concealed deep in our oceans and in outer space.”

When fully matched, the CFI funding will result in over $80 million in new research infrastructure for UVic. The university will also receive another $10 million in institutional operating funds from CFI to offset the direct and indirect costs of operating the new infrastructure.

Dr. Dean Karlen (physics and astronomy) will receive $17.8 million for a high-intensity electron accelerator at TRIUMF, Canada’s national accelerator laboratory in Vancouver. The accelerator will produce new isotopes to increase our understanding of how chemical elements were formed, allow detailed studies of the magnetic properties of materials, demonstrate an alternative technique for producing medical isotopes and ensure that TRIUMF will remain competitive with the world’s leading particle and nuclear physics laboratories.

Dr. Kim Juniper (earth and ocean sciences) was awarded $8.9 million for a university-based vessel and ROV platform that will be a regional facility operated by UVic. For this project, Juniper heads a team of senior world-class researchers and emerging leaders in Canada’s ocean research community. The vessel will support multi-disciplinary research and serve as a mother-ship for ROV dive operations to service the VENUS and NEPTUNE Canada cabled ocean observatories (led by UVic) and associated instruments.

Dr. Verena Tunnicliffe (earth and ocean sciences/biology) was granted $4.4 million that will enable a large team of scientists to expand the scope of studies taking place on the VENUS ocean observatory (headed by Tunnicliffe) by adding new instrument modules and extending measurements throughout the water column.

Dr. Colin Bradley (mechanical engineering) was granted $2.4 million for an adaptive optics testbed for use in a North American endeavour to build a 30-metre telescope, the largest ever built. The telescope will see 100 times further and more clearly than any other previous telescope. This grant will fund the development of an advanced optics system that will help remove distortion of the incoming light caused by the Earth’s atmosphere.

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Keywords: award, research, funding

People: Dean Karlen, Kim Juniper, Verena Tunnicliffe, Colin Bradley

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