At today's Faculty Board meeting, Trent University praised the Federal government for its $901,136 investment in indirect research costs at the university.
In its December 2001 budget the Federal government noted that more funding would be provided for a variety of indirect research costs including maintenance of labs and libraries, research administration, and the costs associated with maintaining health, safety, environmental and ethics standards.
President Bonnie Patterson commended Industry Minister Allan Rock and Peterborough MP Peter Adams for their generous support of the university.
"These investments are critical for Trent University's faculty who have worked very hard to establish our strong reputation for research excellence," says Bonnie Patterson, President of Trent University. "The investment reflects the government's commitment to a national innovation agenda that draws significantly on the research capabilities in our university. It also recognizes that a gap existed in our financial capacity to do the best job possible."
Patterson notes the funds will provide some immediate financial relief by mitigating the draw on teaching budgets to cover indirect research costs.
The indirect research funding will also be used for additional specific purposes. The funds will promote partnerships with public and private organizations and allow Trent University to participate in other innovation programs. Indirect funding will complement the work of Trent's high-end researchers who are currently supported by Canada Research Chairs. Trent's successful track record in obtaining research awards has increased purchasing activity to acquire new equipment. The Federal funding will be used in part to provide additional supports to the university's purchasing function to complete these tasks in a more timely manner.
Some examples of federally funded research at Trent University:
In 2000, Trent University was approved for Federal funding for eight Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) and has already installed four outstanding scholars in these prestigious positions. The CRCs are research professorships to be held by oustanding scholars, supported through specially designated CRC funds.
The four CRCs established at Trent in 2000-01, include - two at Tier One, or senior research level: Dr. Bryan Palmer (Canadian Studies) and Dr. Brad White (Biology); two at Tier Two, or junior research level: Dr. Eric Helleiner (Political Studies/International Studies) and Dr. James D. Parker (Psychology). The senior chairs are for a seven-year term, renewable, and the junior chairs are renewable once after a five year term.
The Office of Research and Graduate Studies is in the process of nominating two other junior CRCs in 2002. More nominations will follow in 2003-04.
In addition to the CRCs, a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) industry/faculty chair position was established. Dr. Peter Dillon is working in partnership with Ontario Power Generation on research into watershed biogeochemistry, in particular the interaction of regional and global-scale stressors on the aquatic environment.
In 2001, Dr. James Parker's research on emotion and health garnered an additional $500,000 in CRC and Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) funding.
In its national rankings of Canadian universities published in November 2001, Macleans magazine ranked Trent University number one for awards per full time faculty.