Canada Excellence Research Chairs

Canada Excellence Research Chairs

May 17, 2010 11:48 ET

New Government of Canada Investment Attracts Top Minds to Canadian Universities

Inaugural Canada Excellence Research Chair Introduced at University of Saskatchewan Ceremony

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - May 17, 2010) - Brad Trost, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon–Humboldt, welcomed to the University of Saskatchwan Dr. Howard Wheater, one of 19 world-renowned researchers who have chosen to pursue their leading-edge research at universities across Canada. The event followed the announcement of the recipients of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program made earlier today at the University of Toronto by the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry.

"The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of supporting world-class research," said Mr. Trost. "The CERC program helps to position Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. The cutting-edge research conducted by this global leader will spur innovation in Saskatchewan and contribute positively to Canada's competitiveness and future prosperity."

For each Chair, universities will receive up to $10 million over seven years to support chairholders and their research teams in undertaking ambitious research programs. The complete list of chairholders, including the 13 universities where they will be working, is available on the CERC website (

Dr. Wheater, Canada Excellence Research Chairholder in Water Security, will bring together ecology, toxicology and hydrology to usher in a new field called ecotoxicohydrology. His research will address industrial and social needs such as drought management, agricultural water use and pollution, and management of waste from mine sites. He will launch a new and unique global institute for water security, positioning Canada as the international leader in developing new solutions to critical problems involving global and domestic water security.

"By bringing together ecology, toxicology and hydrology, we will develop a new science and the risk assessment tools needed to understand and manage the complex interactions between water, land use and climate change," said Dr. Wheater. "Through our new global water institute, we will train the next generation of water scientists to better ensure a secure future for the world's water supplies."

"The arrival of these globally respected researchers will have multiple benefits for Canada," said Dr. Chad Gaffield, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Chair of the Tri-Agency Steering Committee. "Research chairs of this calibre working together with other researchers, students and post-doctoral fellows already in Canada will create meaningful new opportunities."

The CERC program was announced in Budget 2008 as part of the government's Science and Technology Strategy to help build expertise in strategic areas. Research conducted by the chairholders will focus on the areas of environmental sciences and technologies, natural resources and energy, health and related life sciences and technologies, and information and communications technologies.

"Through this major funding partnership between the federal and provincial governments, we will establish, under Dr. Wheater's pre-eminent leadership, a world-leading research and training institute on water security — addressing both water quality and quantity issues — with the potential to transform how the world uses and manages water," said Peter MacKinnon, President of the University of Saskatchewan.

The CERC program is administered jointly by Canada's three research granting agencies: the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

For more information, visit the CERC website (

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