Government of Canada

Government of Canada

March 22, 2010 10:00 ET

Government Invests and Strenghtens Canada's Research Capacity

Research students gain international experience that benefits Canadians at home

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 22, 2010) - Up to 250 Canadian graduate students will have an opportunity to study abroad and bring valuable international experience home to Canada thanks to an innovative research initiative. Speaking at Carleton University, MP Royal Galipeau announced the recipients of the 2009 Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements under the Canada Graduate Scholarships Program.

"Our government is committed to developing, attracting and retaining the world's best researchers," stated Mr. Galipeau. "This program helps young scientists gain valuable international experience and build connections with top researchers and universities around the world that will benefit Canadians here at home."

The Michael Smith program helps high-calibre Canadian graduate students undertake short-term research studies outside Canada. The government invests $1.5 million per year to provide supplements for 250 students each year, valued at up to $6,000 each, to help them offset the costs (including travel, tuition and accommodation) of studying outside Canada for a three- to six-month period. 

The program is open to students who hold active Canada Graduate Scholarships and are pursuing master's or doctoral degrees. The supplements are awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

"By accessing international research and training, recipients will significantly increase the potential for collaboration between universities and affiliated research institutions in Canada and their counterparts outside Canada," added Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. "These students will become more nimble in their approach to research, they will make new discoveries and could become the research leaders of tomorrow."

"In the 21st century, global engagement requires a deep understanding of the diversity, complexity and creativity of societies and economies around the world," noted Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. "The Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements Program fosters this understanding by enabling Canada's top graduate students to gain international experience as a basis for leadership across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors."

"To face emerging and international health challenges, Canadian researchers need to gather global experiences and knowledge," said Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. "Allowing young Canadians to train in universities around the world will strengthen partnerships between researchers to create new knowledge and translate it into improved health for Canadians and the global community."

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council is a federal agency whose vision is to help make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports some 28,000 university students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. The Council promotes discovery by funding more than 11,800 university professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,500 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects. More information is available at

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council is the federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. Through its programs and policies, the Council enables the highest levels of research excellence in Canada and facilitates knowledge-sharing and collaboration across research disciplines, universities and all sectors of society. More information is available at

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is the Government of Canada's agency for health research. Its mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to catalyze its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health-care system. Composed of 13 institutes, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research provides leadership and support to more than 13,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada. More information is available at

Contact Information

    Martine Perreault
    Media and Public Affairs Officer
    Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Gary Toft
    Director of Communicationsq
    Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
    Trevor Lynn
    Manager, Communications
    Canadian Institutes of Health Research
    David Coulombe
    Media Specialist