Trent Graduate Student Awarded Prestigious NSERC Foreign Study Scholarship


Adrian Powell to Use $6,000 Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement Award to Conduct Plant Hormone Research in Japan

Wednesday, March 31, 2010, Peterborough

In a recent announcement, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada stated that Trent University’s masters student Adrian Powell is the recipient of a prestigious 2009 Canada Graduate Scholarship – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement, valued at $6,000.

The Michael Smith program helps high-calibre Canadian graduate students as they pursue exceptional research experiences at institutions outside of 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.

Mr. Powell, who completed an undergraduate degree in biology at Trent before beginning the masters program in Environmental and Life Sciences, will use the funding to conduct his research on cytokinins, a family of plant hormones, in Japan.

“Understanding the roles that cytokinins play in regulating kernel development and barley yields is necessary for maintaining agricultural production in the face of developing environmental challenges,” explained Mr. Powell. “The Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement will allow me to experience and conduct science in a different environment. Japan has its own research culture and I hope to learn from the experience of immersing myself in it. In more specific terms, the work I will do when in Japan will tie in well with my current M.Sc. research. In addition, I will be able to deal with particular techniques that I would otherwise not have the opportunity to learn about.”

“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,” said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, president of NSERC. “These students will become more nimble in their approach to research; they will make new discoveries and could become the research leaders of tomorrow.”

The Michael Smith program is open to students who hold active Canada Graduate Scholarships and are pursuing masters or doctoral degrees. The supplements are awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).


For more information, please contact:
Adrian Powell, Environmental & Life Sciences Graduate Program, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x7152