University Affairs

A budding cannabis research cluster in Fredericton

The city’s two universities create new research chairs related to cannabis.

A new research cluster will soon be sparking to life in Fredericton as the city’s two universities each begin their search for a researcher to fill a new chair in cannabis research, reportedly the first two such chairs in the country.

St. Thomas University’s new chair will focus on the social impact of cannabis, both as a medicinal and recreational drug, while the University of New Brunswick’s chair will tackle the pharmacology and biochemistry of cannabis. Read more in University Affairs.

Federal government getting pressed on many sides to adopt Naylor report

Researchers, university administrators, students and others across Canada rally in an unprecedented effort to ensure the government doesn’t ignore the report’s recommendations.

Canada’s academic community has launched a full court press to encourage the government to adopt the recommendations of the report of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review panel, also known as the Naylor report.

The report, requested by Science Minister Kirsty Duncan in June 2016, was drawn up by a panel led by former University of Toronto president David Naylor and released this past April. It found that Canada has been falling behind its international peers in science in recent years, and recommended a major increase in funding for basic, investigator-led research. The panel’s recommendations, if fully implemented, would see annual federal spending on research-related activities increase from approximately $3.5 billion to $4.8 billion over four years. Read more in University Affairs.

Canada Foundation for Innovation awards $18 million to Amundsen

CFI aims to secure ongoing operation and maintenance funds for research facilities including Canada’s only research icebreaker.

Laval University has received more than $18 million for the research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen in the latest round of funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Major Science Initiatives Fund.

Over the next five years, the funding will mainly be used to maintain and deploy the coast guard ship’s scientific equipment and to pay the specialised engineers who operate the Arctic research vessel, says Louis Fortier, the Amundsen’s scientific director. But the money will also be used to subsidize some scientific projects that need a little extra cash. Read more in University Affairs.

At smaller universities, fundraising is a challenge of scale, not technique

With a limited alumni pool and resources, small- and medium-sized universities leverage personal connections to find donors.

In fundraising, it’s the personal relationships that matter, says Susan Montague, senior campaign advisor at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. “People give to people.”

Those personal relationships will be vital in the coming months, she says. In December, UNB launched its latest major fundraising campaign – the largest in its history – seeking $110 million to boost scholarships and bursaries, improve facilities and support research. The campaign has already secured $77 million in pledges and has set a deadline of April 2018 to meet its target. And, for the first time, the university will be relying solely on private donations; previous campaigns relied on the provincial government kicking in around 20 percent of the total. Read more in University Affairs.