Federal Government Announces Implementation of Prestigious Research and Scholarship Programs

    TORONTO, Sept. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of
Industry today announced the implementation of two new and prestigious
programs that will position Canada as a global centre of excellence in
research and education: the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) Program
and the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship Program (Vanier CGS). Distinguished
members of the Selection Boards for each program were also announced.
    "Canada's prosperity as a nation is increasingly based on excellence in
innovation and technology and the highly skilled and creative individuals
whose talents bring discovery to life," said Minister Prentice. "Their ideas
spark the creation of new products, services, and whole industries that drive
Canada's economic competitiveness, strengthen our social foundations, sustain
the environment, and improve the quality of life of all Canadians. I am proud
to announce the launch of two new government initiatives dedicated to global
excellence in research and to strengthening Canada's ties to the global supply
of talent and ideas."
    The Government of Canada has taken unprecedented steps to compete in the
global research market, retain the best minds in Canada, and attract the
brightest new talent from around the world. In May 2007, the government
introduced the Science & Technology (S&T) strategy designed to turn ideas into
innovations that provide solutions to environmental, health, and other social
challenges while also improving economic competitiveness.
    "The two programs are important extensions of the S&T strategy,"
continued Minister Prentice. "They will empower people, strengthen knowledge,
and encourage entrepreneurial advantages to build a strong Canada for the
    The CERC program will award 20 Chair holders and their research teams
with up to $10M over seven years to establish ambitious research programs at
Canadian universities. When fully operational, the Vanier CGS Program will
support 500 Canadian and international doctoral students each year with three
year scholarships valued at up to $50,000 per annum. Both programs are a
tri-agency initiative of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council
(SSHRC), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and
Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). The CERC program is
administered by the Canada Research Chairs Secretariat, which is housed within
SSHRC. The Vanier CGS program is administered by each granting agency and
coordinated by the Canada Research Chairs Secretariat.
    "The Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program and the Vanier Canada
Graduate Scholarship Program will promote the development and application of
leading-edge knowledge and position Canada as a magnet for the world's top
research leaders and doctoral students," said Dr. Chad Gaffield, President of
SSHRC. "They will attract candidates of the highest calibre including leading
academics in every field."
    Applications and nominations to the CERC program will be peer-reviewed. A
prestigious and distinguished arms-length Selection Board, comprised of
world-renowned Canadian and international experts, will assess all
applications and nominations. Board members also include Derek Burney, Senior
Strategic Advisor, Ogilvy Renault LLP who will serve as the Chair, Robert
Prichard, President and Chief Executive Officer, Torstar Corporation who will
serve as the Vice Chair.
    The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program aims to attract and
retain world-class doctoral students by supporting students who demonstrate a
high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies and leadership
skills. Vanier CGS nominees will be evaluated by agency-specific
multidisciplinary Peer Review Committees that will forward selected
nominations to a blue-ribbon independent Inter-Agency Selection Board. The
Board will recommend Vanier CGS recipients, and will be chaired by Laurent
Beaudoin, Chairman of the Board of Bombardier Inc., Martha Piper, Chair of the
Board of Trustees of the University of Alberta-based National Institute for
Nanotechnology (NINT) will serve as the Vice Chair and Marc Lortie,Ambassador
of Canada to France will serve as one of the members of the board. The
selection Board will also comprise world-renown Canadian and international
    The Science and Technology and Innovation Council provided valuable
advice to the Minister of Industry in shaping the design of the two programs.

For further information:

For further information: on the Programs, please visit www.cerc.gc.ca
and www.vanier-cgs-bes.gc.ca or contact: Bill Rodgers, Media Relations,
Industry Canada, (613) 943-2502; Trevor Lynn, The Social Sciences and
Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Manager, Communications,
trevor.lynn@sshrc.ca, (613) 992-7302; Taylor Paxton, Canada Excellence
Research Chairs, Communications Advisor, taylor.paxton@chairs.gc.ca, (613)

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