NSERC awards $1.65 million to York-led research partnership

April 14, 2016  – An academic-industry partnership led by York University has received a total of $1,650,000 through the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's (NSERC) Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Grants Program.

The Government of Canada announced funding for the project this morning, part of $21.4 million investment in 13 new CREATE projects that will prepare science and engineering graduates for jobs.

Ray Jayawardhana, dean of the Faculty of Science and a professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, is the principal investigator of the successful Technologies for Exo-Planetary Science (TEPS) program, which has been allocated $1.65 million over six years.

This innovative program will take full advantage of Canada's major investments in such breakthrough facilities and missions as the James Webb Space Telescope, the OSIRIS-Rex Asteroid Sample Return and the Thirty Meter Telescope, as well as Canada Foundation for Innovation grants to co-applicants on the Canadian Planetary Simulator and the SPIRou infrared spectrometer projects, to position TEPS trainees at the forefront of the rapidly developing and exciting field of exo-planetary science.

The program will offer students and postdoctoral fellows innovative and collaborative training environments, incorporating internships, student mobility and professional training to address scientific challenges associated with Canada's strategic research priority in Advanced Manufacturing. The program will also provide trainees with the breadth and depth of expertise and skills required to fill gaps in job markets, specifically in the key industrial sectors of robotics, aerospace, optical technologies and space exploration.

The co-applicants on the project team include eight researchers at seven Canadian universities – including John Moores, assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering at York University – as well as 16 other academic collaborators and 7 non-academic partner organizations. The program will contribute to the training of 80 students and postdoctoral fellows over six years.

“We are delighted to provide a world-class training environment in the field of exo-planetary and planetary science through this program,” said York’s Vice-President Research & Innovation, Robert Haché. “The NSERC CREATE program supports industry-academic collaborations and provides an important opportunity for students and postdoctoral trainees to receive mentoring from leaders in the field.”

York University has always been known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our 52,000 students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world.  Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds.  York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 24 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide.

Media Contact:
Janice Walls, Media Relations, York University, 416 736 2100 ext. 22101 / wallsj@yorku.ca