Volume 11, Number 1 August 8, 2003

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Research Round-up

Infrastructure support for new faculty

Ten newly recruited faculty at the U of S will share $663,916 in infrastructure support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

Quality of research and potential benefits across the country are among the selection criteria for the funding which will support projects in a variety of fields ranging from soil sciences and electrical engineering to biochemistry and geological sciences.

Commenting on the June 18 announcement, CFI President David Strangway said the money "will help ensure that researchers and students at the University of Saskatchewan have access to a world-class research and training environment".

Ralph Goodale, Federal Minister of Public Works and Government Services, said the funding represents "a good news story for the University of Saskatchewan which will bring economic and social benefits to the local community and the region".

A list of the awards can be viewed at: www.usask.ca/events/news/articles/20030618-1.html

New Canada Research Chairs announced

The Canadian Light Source synchrotron and the new Saskatchewan Structural Sciences Centre will be put to good use by three new Canada Research Chairs who assume their positions at the U of S this summer.

Ingrid Pickering (Canada Research Chair in Molecular Environmental Science), Graham George (X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy) and Thomas Haas (Life Sciences Related to Human Health and Disease) will occupy the chairs which will be supported with $2.4 million over the next five to seven years as well as about $440,000 for related laboratory equipment from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.

The new chairs are among the 31 allocated to the University under the $900 million federal chair program set up to enhance world-class research at Canadian universities. Profiles of the 18 current U of S chairholders are at: www.chairs.gc.ca/english/profile/index.cfm

More money for population health research

The provincial government recently announced $1.5 million in funding over the three years starting in 2004 for population health research carried out at the Saskatchewan's two universities.

Currently, the government provides $250,000 in core funding to the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU). The announcement means that guaranteed core funding of $500,000 will be provided through 2006-07.

SPHERU is a research partnership between the U of S and its counterpart, the University of Regina. Provincial funding is allocated to the unit by the new Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation.

$6.6 million to science projects

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) has awarded almost $6.6 million in operating grants and equipment funding to 73 research projects at the U of S.

Acting Vice-President of Research Bryan Harvey said of the June announcement that the projects address a wide range of challenges "in areas as diverse as climate change, movement disorders, waste management and arctic ecosystem pollution". He added that the research is expected "to greatly contribute to U of S graduate student training and undergraduate teaching".

A complete list of the funded projects along with a brief description is available at: http://www.usask.ca/research/NSERCgrants03.shtml

Oat research funding extended

QTC Canada Inc., which operates Quaker Oats in Canada, and Cargill Ltd. recently announced a continuation of their support for the oat research and development program at the College of Agriculture's Crop Development Centre.

In late July, QTC Canada announced it plans to contribute $850,000 over the next five years to work aimed at improved oat varieties for growers in western Canada and quality food ingredients for consumers. Another $285,000 will be provided by Cargill.

Over almost 30 years, the Crop Development Centre has received about $2.3 million in support from QTC Canada while Cargill has provided some $700,000 over 10 years. Saskatchewan is the largest producer of oats in Canada with more than 1.5 million acres planted annually. The value of the crop is about $150 million each year. Oat acreage in the province has tripled since the early 1990s, making this province one of the largest oat producing areas in the world.

Co-leader of the oat research project is Brian Rossnagel who said the funding will strengthen the centre's research into "oat disease, milling quality and field yield as well as mapping the oat genome".

Since 1983, the Crop Development Centre has released nine varieties of milling oat, the most recent being CDC Dancer and CDC Orrin. A new yet-to-be-named variety to be released this year will be rust resistant for the eastern prairie oat region.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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