News at the University of New Brunswick

Seventeen UNB researchers awarded more than $3 million in SSHRC and NSERC funding

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Aug 17, 2021

Category: UNB Fredericton , UNB Saint John

On June 15, the Government of Canada announced investments of more than $635 million from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to support more than 4,800 lead researchers and their teams.

UNB researchers have been awarded $3,041,565 of that funding, supporting emerging and established research programs and projects, intensifying UNB’s focus on some of the most pressing topics of our times, including protecting marine life and better understanding our past and present human experience.

“Thank you to our tri-agency partners for once again supporting our research community and the significant work they do to lift up the world,” said Dr. David MaGee, UNB vice-president (research). “Their funding is crucially important in enabling us to make a bigger, more positive impact both in academia and in our communities.”

Support for research infrastructure

Dr. Tommi Linnansaari, Atlantic Salmon Research Chair and associate professor of biology and of forestry and environmental management, has been awarded $148,098 through NSERC’s Research Tools and Instruments Program. These funds will support the acquisition and deployment of acoustic telemetry infrastructure for tracking migratory fish species at risk.

Support for research programs

UNB researchers received nearly $1 million in SSHRC Insight Grant funding. The five funded projects received a total of $950,967 over their two- to five-year funding windows.

SSHRC’s Insight Grants program support research excellence in a range of subject areas, furthering researchers’ abilities to build knowledge and understanding about people, societies and the world. These grants provide stable support for longer-term projects from two to five years in duration.

Eleven UNB faculty members were awarded five-year NSERC Discovery Grants totaling $1,880,000 to support their innovative research work, with five among them also receiving Early Career Research supplements worth $12,500 each in recognition of their future potential.

The Discovery Grants program supports researchers’ programs with ongoing and long-term goals. They support the creative and innovative inquiry that is at the heart of all research advances.

“Congratulations to all the members of our research community who have been awarded funding this cycle,” said Dr. MaGee. “I am especially pleased to see fully half of our Discovery Grant recipients receive early career support, indicative of our institution’s growing strength and optimism for future excellence. The research work funded today will support positive change in areas as diverse as protecting the women and children of the world, understanding financial markets, improving human-machine interfaces and more, all united by a desire to learn, to create, to improve, and to innovate.”

NSERC Discovery Grants with Discovery Accelerator Supplement for early-career researchers

  • Dr. Brynle Barrett, assistant professor of physics, researching a next-generation absolute quantum gyroscope using ultra-cold atoms;
  • Dr. Kimberley Davies, assistant professor of biological sciences, researching climate-driven variation in the quantity, quality and availability of endangered baleen whale food;
  • Dr. Timothy Erickson, assistant professor of biology, researching the sensory biology of swim bladder inflation in larval zebrafish;
  • Dr. Daniel Rea, assistant professor of computer science, researching interfaces for generating flow in teleoperation: game-based interaction design to improve teleoperator engagement and focus;
  • Dr. Veronica Whitford, Canada Research Chair and assistant professor of psychology, researching the impact of bilingual experience on healthy age-related changes in reading.

NSERC Discovery Grants

  • Dr. Les Cwynar, professor of biology, researching the paleoecology of butterfly and moth populations;
  • Dr. Kevin Englehart, professor of electrical and computer engineering, researching novel machine learning methods for robust myoelectric control;
  • Dr. Dan Kučerovský, professor of mathematics and statistics, researching KK-theory, quantum groups, and quaternions;
  • Dr. Usha Kuruganti, professor of kinesiology, researching advanced methods of human machine interface for improved myoelectric control;
  • Dr. Jon Sensinger, professor of electrical and computer engineering, researching the use of stochastic optimal feedback control and computational motor control to design personalized and adaptive human robot interfaces;
  • Dr. Yun Zhang, professor of geodesy and geomatics engineering, researching the development of a universal tri-level and tri-sensor fusion solution to retrieve high resolution hyperspectral images for all platforms.

SSHRC Insight Grants

  • Dr. Joanna Everitt, professor of political science, for the project, Identity, Images and Impact: The Role of Local Candidate Identity, Media Representations and Voter Affinity in Canadian Federal Elections.
  • Dr. Chunhua Lan, assistant professor of management, for the project, How risky are prime money market funds?
  • Dr. Lucia O’Sullivan, professor of psychology, for the project, Identifying Scripts and Norms Guiding Young Men's Use of Sexual Aggression Against Women, with UNB colleagues Dr. Sandra Byers and Dr. Scott Ronish.
  • Dr. Lisa Todd, associate professor of history, for the project, Racial Citizenship: Miscegenation, Scientific Authority, and the Creation of Intimate 'Others' in Modern Germany, 1880-1950.
  • Dr. Ziba Vaghri, senior research associate in psychology, for the project, InspiRights: Good Practices to Inspire and Facilitate Children's Rights, with UNB colleagues Dr. Suzanne Hindmarch, Dr. Ted McDonald, Dr. Andrea Bowes and Dr. Shelley Doucet.