NBIF Funding 212 Studentships, Investing $2 Million Through Research Assistantship Initiative

This week, NBIF is pleased to announce the results of its 2018-2019 Research Assistantships Initiative (RAI) funding round. A total of $2.03 million was invested by the organization, with 61 applications and 212 studentships being awarded by a team of external reviewers. Funding requests were received from institutions across New Brunswick, with successful applications coming from Mt. Allison University, St. Thomas University, Universite de Moncton, University of New Brunswick and IRZC.

A joint initiative between the NBIF and the New Brunswick Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour (PETL), the RAI program is designed to provide undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research programs as paid research assistants.

Graduate assistantships are valued at $12,000 each, while undergraduate assistantships are valued at $6,000. With these stipends, students can choose to spend their summers pursuing valuable research opportunities while earning money to fund the remainder of their studies. These students make valuable contributions to research programs at New Brunswick institutions and help to fuel our province’s innovation engine.

RAI funding recipients have historically been researchers whose work demonstrates high potential for commercialization, as well as a measurable potential impact on New Brunswick’s economy. This year is no different: 80% of NBIF’s RAI funding is being allocated to research areas that the province has identified as strategic priority areas, highlighted by sizable investments in Bioscience, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Energy and Environment.

The 2018-2019 funding recipients come from across the research spectrum, highlighted by researchers like Chris Gray at UNB-SJ and Grant Williams at STU.

Dr. Gray’s research takes him into New Brunswick’s forests, where he identifies and investigates mushrooms and uses Natural Product (NP) chemistry to discover and isolate specific biologically active molecules within them. He and his team can then discern whether or not these molecules can become the basis for future health products or medicines. It’s even possible that some of these bioactive extracts could act as reliable lead compounds in natural anticancer drugs.

Dr. Williams’ “The House That STEM Built” project is focused on providing middle and high school students with improved educational resources that demonstrate the ‘real-world’ applicability of subjects like math, science and technology. By creating videos and specialized curricula linking STEM education with common career pursuits such as construction, fabrication and engineering, Dr. Williams can give teachers in New Brunswick with better tools to reach and inspire their students.

Although these projects are quite different in nature, they each rely on meticulous lab work and careful planning led by graduate and undergraduate research assistants. Quality research is not possible without the collaborative efforts of a quality team, and the NBIF is proud to support the brilliant minds (and dedicated students) behind the innovative research happening every day in this province.

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