Canada 150 Program Brings International ‘Brain Gain’ for Canadian Universities

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Last summer, in June, Science Minister Kirsty Duncan stated that they are looking to hire bright international researchers to come and work in Canada. For grants of over $1 million, Duncan has seen a huge number of scientists applying for the program.

Out of thousands of scientists who applied to the program, nine months later, 24 scientists were chosen to come from all over the world and work in Canada. Out of the 24 people, 10 of them are Canadians that planned to return home.

Kirsty Duncan said that the program is a “brain gain.” She also added that “we’re in a global talent competition. All the research superpowers want to pull the best and brightest to their countries.”

The Canada 150 Research Chairs Program

Last year, the program had $117 million to invest in research and planned to hire 15-35 scientists from abroad. They had to pick them from thousands of applicants after peer reviews.

The Science Minister is also pushing universities to attract more women to chair jobs. She has even conditioned them that only by improving gender ratios, she will renew funds for research jobs in schools.

The Canada 150 research chairs has 14 women, and Duncan considers it’s an improvement. The chair position is accompanied by a grant of either $350,000 or $1 million – for 7 years.

Duncan said that many scientists were attracted by the program because they were impressed how Canada chose to mark its 150th birthday: by investing in scientific research.

Canada 150 Program’s new 24 scientists come from the US: Harvard University, UCLA, Duke University, and Johns Hopkins University, from England, Austria and South Africa. They will become residents at more than a dozen schools all over Canada.

The New 24 Scientists for The Canada 150 Program and Their Fields of Research:

James Famiglietti (Hydrology and Remote Sensing), Alán Aspuru-Guzik (Theoretical and Quantum Chemistry), Yves Vincent Brun (Bacterial Cell Biology), Wendy Hui Kyong Chun (New Media), Judith Elizabeth Mank (Evolutionary Genomics), Katherine O’Brien (Vaccinology and Global Health), Josef Martin Penninger (Functional Genetics), Jonathan Neal Pruitt (Biological Dystopias), Azim Shariff (Moral Psychology), Anita Tam Layton (Mathematics Biology and Medicine), Shireen Hassim (Gender and African Politics), and Sari Michelle van Anders (Social Neuroendocrinology, Sexuality and Gender/Sex).

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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