UNB Research

AARMS receives milestone federal funding

Author: UNB Research

Posted on Sep 22, 2021

Category: Partnerships , Research

Earlier this year, the Atlantic Association for Research in the Mathematical Sciences (AARMS) was awarded approximately $278,000 in new funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

So, what does this mean for UNB and for the region?

AARMS is one of four regional institutes that serve the mathematical sciences community in Canada and is currently headed up by University of New Brunswick mathematics professor, Dr. Sanjeev Seahra. Funded through NSERC’s Discovery Institutes Support bridging program, this marks the first time that AARMS has been directly awarded federal funding; previously, funding flowed to AARMS through other institutes.

“This represents a major increase in level of federal government support for the mathematical sciences in Atlantic Canada,” says Sanjeev Seahra, the Director of AARMS and Professor of Mathematics at UNB. “It is a significant acknowledgement of the quantity and quality of the scientific activity in our region, and its impact on the national and international stage.”

Dr. Alejandro Adem, the President of NSERC, commented that “The Atlantic Association for Research in the Mathematical Sciences plays a key role in fostering collaboration among mathematicians throughout Atlantic Canada. It acts as a critical nucleus around which Atlantic institutions can recruit and retain faculty in the mathematical sciences, and attract top-calibre students from undergraduate to postdoctoral levels.”

The most noticeable benefit at UNB will be an expansion of the AARMS postdoctoral fellowship and collaborative research group (CRG) programs.

The expansion of the postdoctoral program will include an increase in the value and number of these prestigious fellowships, which are distributed through a regional competition. As one of the largest universities in the region, UNB typically hosts one to three postdoctoral fellows annually.

The NSERC funding will also be used to increase the number and level of funding for AARMS Collaborative Research Groups, which connect researchers in specialized areas from across Atlantic Canadian universities. UNB Fredericton professor Dr. Bahram Rangipour and UNB Fredericton associate professor Dr. Nicholas Touikan are both current collaborators with the group on Groups, Rings, Lie and Hopf Algebras. Dr. Tariq Hasan is a collaborator with the group on Computation Aspects in Finance and Insurance.

Currently, researchers from multiple UNB departments are competing for new CRG funding (up to $50,000 annually).

Discovery Institutes Support funding will also be used to launch new graduate student scholarships and doctoral thesis awards, as well as improve access to advanced research for historically under-represented groups through programs such as AARMS-Girl Guide All SySTEMS Go events and the Connecting Math to our Lives and Communities Mi’kmaw community visit program in Nova Scotia. Funding will also be used to support and expand the AARMS Industrial Problem Solving Workshop program.