Trent Partners on $5M Project to Shape Sustainable Capacity Building for Guyana

October 3, 2019

Guyanese students to complete graduate studies at Trent under new program designed to advance local knowledge, skills in research and sustainable development

Representatives from each of the program’s partners announce the launch of the initiative in Guyana.
Representatives from each of the program’s partners announce the launch of the initiative in Guyana. From left: Michael Stockinger, Vice President of Operations, CGX Energy Inc.; John Knight, Manager, Corporate Research Partnerships, Trent University; Dr. Suresh Narine, Professor, Trent University; Dr. Mark Bynoe, Director, Department of Energy, Ministry of the Presidency, Cooperative Republic of Guyana; Duncan Nightingale, Vice President, Operations Development and Reservoir Engineering, Frontera Energy Corporation; Dr. Paloma Mohammed-Martin, Professor and Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Guyana; Anne Walters, Head of Legal (Canada), Frontera Energy Corporation; Janine Cocker, Deputy High Commissioner, Canadian High Commission to Guyana

A groundbreaking new partnership between Trent University and the University of Guyana (UG) is aiming to increase and retain the pool of highly skilled workers in Guyana.

The Advanced Academic and Research Program in Sustainable Transformation of Guyana was announced at a special event at the UG on October 3. The program will see $5 million (Cdn) invested by CGX Energy Inc., Guyana’s pioneering Indigenous oil and gas exploration company, and FEC to train and develop a group of future leaders into the next generation of pivotal highly-skilled Guyanese trainers required to truly transform the country into a robust sustainable economy. 

Importantly, the program is targeted at addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as they apply to Guyana and will focus on the following areas: Watershed Ecosystems and Water Quality; Sustainable Food and Agriculture; Indigenous Studies; Natural Products, Materials Physics and Chemistry.

Dr. Neil Emery, vice president, Research and Innovation at Trent University, says partnering in the new research program is a natural evolution for Trent’s long relationship with the Guyanese nation: “For over 50 years, Trent has welcomed outstanding Guyanese students who graduate to fulfilling and successful careers. When Guyanese Dr. Suresh Narine, himself a Trent alumnus, accepted a prestigious professorship and research chair position at Trent University in 2009, the institution also deepened its ties with Guyana and formed a relationship with Guyana’s Institute of Applied Science and Technology. We are delighted to continue to host Guyanese students as an integral partner in this groundbreaking CSR program. This effort will engage Trent’s world-class programs, guided by renowned faculty and enabled by unique infrastructure in support of Guyana-centered research programs targeted at the realization of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Trent University is well-positioned to lead the training for Guyanese graduate students with our long-standing reputation as a leader in social and environmental innovation. Trent is home to the first-ever Ph.D. program in Indigenous Studies in North America, a globally-recognized School of the Environment, and a world-renowned Centre for Biomaterials Research. Trent faculty who will be supervisors for the future research projects by the Guyanese students are professors Chris Metcalfe, Neil Emery, Raul Ponce, Andrew Vreugdenhil, Asaf Zohar, Karen Thompson, Dan Longboat, and Suresh Narine.

As a partner in the program, Trent University will receive $3.35M over five years to fund 12 scholarship awards for UG employees to pursue graduate studies and training at Trent. Guyanese receiving the scholarships to pursue advanced level degrees at Trent will return to Guyana following the completion of their research with new skills to contribute to future initiatives supporting economic growth in the country.