Canada Research Chairs

Canada Research Chairs
Canada Foundation for Innovation

Canada Foundation for Innovation

September 23, 2009 09:30 ET

Government of Canada Strengthens Research Excellence by Investing $159.1 Million to Fund 181 Canada Research Chairs Across the Country

GUELPH, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 23, 2009) - The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced $159.1 million in funding for 181 Canada Research Chairs newly awarded or renewed in 45 Canadian universities. The funding includes $7.4 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for research infrastructure, directly benefiting 46 chairholders named in this announcement.

"Canada's government is investing in science and technology to strengthen the economy, improve Canadians' quality of life and create the jobs of tomorrow - today," said Minister Goodyear. "The Canada Research Chairs Program helps attract and retain the best researchers from the country and around the world to Canadian universities, which has direct benefits for our communities."

Today's event featured Dr. Christian Blodau, a University of Guelph researcher who focuses on the subject of environmental sustainability. As Canada Research Chair in Environmental Geology and Bio-Geochemistry, Dr. Blodau studies Canada's aquatic ecosystems-wetlands, lakes and freshwater bodies-and the impact of climate change on their health. Among other things, he will examine how these environments intervene in the carbon cycle, particularly when it comes to its sequestration and liberation. His work is crucial for the conservation of Canada's ecosystems and the preservation of their inhabitants.

"The Canada Research Chairs Program fosters a research environment of international calibre in our country," said Dr. Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and head of the Program's Steering Committee. "The Program enables our universities to attract and retain the world's most accomplished and promising scholars, to achieve research excellence across the natural sciences and engineering, health sciences and social sciences and humanities, and to offer first-class learning and training experiences to the researchers and leaders of tomorrow."

"Since its creation, the CFI has provided thousands of world-class researchers, such as the Canada Research Chairs, with the tools they need to do their work." said Dr. Eliot Phillipson, president and CEO of the CFI. "Access to modern, cutting-edge equipment and facilities is imperative to research."

The 181 chairholders targeted by today's announcement will conduct research in many different fields, with potential benefits for policy-makers, business, health and education, as well as Canadians in general.


The Canada Research Chairs Program is designed to attract the best talent from Canada and around the world, helping Canadian universities achieve research excellence in health sciences, natural sciences and engineering, and social sciences and humanities. Since the Program's launch in 2000, chairholders have improved Canadians' depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthened the country's international competitiveness, and helped train the next generation of highly skilled people.

For example, Dr. Sophie D'Amours will serve a second term as Canada Research Chair in Planning Sustainable Forest Value Networks. This Universite Laval researcher is firmly committed to giving fresh life to the forestry industry through cutting-edge technological practices and bold business planning models. Using the Internet, artificial intelligence and computer simulation, she is developing tools that will help maximize the performance of all forest industry firms as well as their supply, processing and transportation divisions. The tools will also help decision-makers better draft their forest management and business plans.

Dr. Jose Domene has been appointed Canada Research Chair in School to Work Transition. This researcher plans to develop strategies that will help young adults complete their schooling and successfully enter the workforce. For this purpose, among other things Dr. Domene will examine which issues young people struggle with most, who they rely on for support, and what kinds of help from the community could best assist them to adapt during this important time of life. The work of this University of New Brunswick researcher will help improve social policy, educational programming and counselling practices to ensure that more young adults successfully make the transition to the workforce.

Dr. Philip Griebel has been appointed Canada Research Chair in Neonatal Mucosal Immunology. Dr. Griebel intends to develop oral vaccines for newborns to protect them from infectious intestinal diseases, some of which can have long-term health impacts. His research is timely because at present there is no effective vaccine to protect against these diseases. The work of this University of Saskatchewan researcher could also help develop treatments for children as well as adults to combat other diseases, including tuberculosis, avian flu and HIV

There are currently 1,796 research professorships at 70 universities across Canada. For these positions, almost 600 researchers were recruited from abroad, including 249 Canadian expatriates. For more information on this announcement, including detailed research profiles for each chairholder, please visit

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians. For a complete listing of CFI contributions, please visit

Contact Information

  • Canada Research Chairs Program
    Trevor Lynn
    Manager, Communications
    Cell: 613-302-9879
    Canada Foundation for Innovation
    Yves Melanson
    Coordinator, Media Relations
    Cell: 613-447-1723
    Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Gary Toft
    Director of Communications
    University of Guelph
    Lori Bona-Hunt
    Associate Director, Communications and Public Affairs
    519-824-4120 ext. 53338