Researchers awarded more than $10 million

University of Waterloo entrance
University of Waterloo entrance
Waterloo researchers awarded more than $10 million.

The University of Waterloo is a leading global research-intensive university and home to transformational research and inspired learning. Waterloo researchers recently received more than $10 million as part of $693.8 million in funding awarded on June 14 to support discovery and applied research.

The news was shared by Yasir Naqvi, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, and Ryan Turnbull, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry.

Four Canada Research Chairs were announced from the University of Waterloo, along with numerous researchers who have received funding under the following grants, scholarships and programs:
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation: John R. Evans Leaders Fund
  • PromoScience grant

  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada:
    • Discovery Horizons program
    • Discovery Grant program
    • Discovery Launch Supplement
    • Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) grant

The recent NSERC announcement is testament to Waterloo’s research strength," said Charmaine Dean, vice-president, Research and International. "Thank you to the federal government for continuing to recognize the importance of funding scientific discovery and congratulations to the awardees who will advance cutting-edge research to the benefit of all Canadians."

The recipients have demonstrated research excellence in engineering, natural sciences, health sciences and social sciences. This funding will enable them to continue transforming societies, economies, technologies, sustainability and health for society to thrive in our complex future. Learn more about their work below.

Faculty of Science $1.4 million

New Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Quantum Neurobiology

Neuroinflammatory diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are among the most serious health problems facing society today. They affect upwards of 700,000 Canadians costing the economy $11.6 billion annually. This is projected to double by 2030. Craddock’s expertise in the emerging field of quantum biological modeling of sub-neural structures combined with his experience in the clinically focused modeling of neuroinflammatory illnesses will advance knowledge and enable the design of first-of-their-kind treatment strategies. The research will be aimed at mitigating cytoskeletal damage caused by neuroinflammation to improve the quality of life for millions of people worldwide.

Faculty of Environment Canada Research Chair: $600,000

Canada Foundation for Innovation - John R. Evans Leaders Fund: $76,000

New Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Wildlife Ecohydrology and Global Change

Canada is facing a biodiversity crisis that particularly targets reptiles, one of the most endangered groups of vertebrates in the world and the most endangered in Canada. Markle’s research will support evidence-based policies for the conservation and management of this species at risk and advance our understanding of land use and climate change disturbances on reptile habitats. To do this, a unique interdisciplinary and multi-scale assessment will be used to understand how wildfires, extreme winter events and summer drought conditions impact reptile habitats and will lead to testing new habitat restoration strategies. Learn more about Dr. Markle’s work.

Faculty of Engineering $600,000

New Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Multiphase Polymers

The pursuit of global environmental sustainability is one of humanity’s greatest challenges, with advances in materials science at the core of many national and international sustainability strategies. The plastic industry has experienced substantial challenges associated with raw materials sustainability, safety, and environmental pollution concerns. Mekonnen’s research focuses on fundamental science and engineering tools to support the rational design and fabrication of sustainable materials, including compostable plastics, rubbers, and eco-friendly nanomaterials. His research combines chemical synthesis, polymer processing, material design & fabrication, rheology and advanced characterization to advance the sustainability and functionality of polymer systems.

Faculty of Engineering $600,000

New Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Microalgae Biomanufacturing

Sustainability is a three-fold task: addressing the legacy of first-generation production systems, improving current processes and developing processes for the future. While green energy is the focus of significant research effort because of the emissions produced by combustion of fossil fuels, thousands of everyday products are made from other petrochemical products. Ward’s research is focused on using microalgae to produce renewable chemicals, biopharmaceuticals and bioproducts. This includes biofuels, biochemicals and proteins. The goal of this work is to use the biorefinery concept to gain the maximum value from a single bioprocess by using all the fractions for subsequent applications.

Faculty of Arts Title: Rhetorical figures for human-like inductive biased language models

Awarded: $ 371,580 over five years

Dr. Paul Murphy Faculty of Science

Title: Innovative biotechnology systems to investigate tear film/eye surface somatosensory homeostasis

Awarded: $250,000 over five years

Faculty of Engineering Title: Waterloo Engineering Outreach - Empowering Access to STEM

Awarded: $540,000 over three years

NSERC: Discovery Research Program

  • Discovery Grants: 120 Waterloo researchers
  • Discovery Launch Supplements: 27 Waterloo researchers   
  • Research Tools and Instruments Grants: 12 Waterloo researchers

For a full list of recipients and funding amounts, visit the NSERC Discovery Research Program competition results.

We acknowledge the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).