June

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    NSERC is committed to providing Canada’s research community with timely information about funding opportunities and stories about research in your region. To receive the latest news and most up to date information about NSERC and research we fund, we encourage you to visit our website: www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca. You can also follow us on Twitter (@NSERC_CRSNG), connect with us on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/company/natural-sciences-and-engineering-research-council-of-canada), or send us an email at connect@nserc-crsng.gc.ca. Thank you.
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December

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    As industrial activity in Canada’s North expands, so does the need for cost-effective ways to remediate and restore soils that may be contaminated with hydrocarbons as the result of this activity. One product used to break down hydrocarbons in the soil is biochar, which is manufactured by heating various biological materials, such as wood and animal bones, under oxygen-limited conditions. Until now, biochar for remediating and restoring soils in northern Canada had to be brought up from the south. But now Katherine Stewart of Yukon College’s Yukon Research Centre is working with local industry to develop ways of producing biochar in the North using locally sourced biological materials. Having local sources of biochar not only will improve the likelihood that soils will be treated effectively, but also will provide economic benefits by simplifying logistics and cutting shipping costs for companies that use biochar in the North, while generating income for biochar producers in the region.
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    Important: Deadline for CGS M applications in the Research Portal extended to December 5 at 5PM (ET)

November

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    Prefabricating Buildings Building a new home using traditional methods consumes significant energy—nearly 200 vehicle trips during the framing, roofing and finishing processes alone, according to some estimates—and involves significant materials waste. Offsite construction methods researched by Mohamed Al-Hussein, a professor in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Engineering and holder of the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in the Industrialization of Building Construction, are revolutionizing the building construction industry, drastically reducing fuel consumption and virtually eliminating waste. Dr. Al-Hussein and his industrial partners have achieved these efficiencies by prefabricating building modules in the factory, then assembling the modules on site. Reza Nasseri, CEO of Edmonton-based Landmark Group of Builders, says this industrialization has been “a game-changer” for his company and the industry. “If I told you how much waste we’ve eliminated, it would sound like I was exaggerating,” says Nasseri. “I’m pretty sure this will change the entire North American industry.”
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    Dr. Greg Scholes, recipient of the 2013 NSERC John C. Polanyi Award, will deliver a lecture on his award-winning research as part of the NSERC/Royal Canadian Institute for the Advancement of Science Foundation Lecture. This English-only event will be held at Ryerson University and is free and open to the public. Think you know someone who would like to attend? Share this poster with them:

October

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    University of Manitoba food safety expert Richard Holley is working with food companies on natural treatments that could eliminate the risk of bacterial contamination. Naturally-occurring plant antimicrobials have a long history of use in foods, mostly for cultural reasons, but sometimes to extend shelf-life where refrigeration is unavailable. Dr. Holley’s basic research focuses on some of the more potent plant compounds to determine exactly how they inhibit spoilage and disease-causing bacteria. For example, his past work with the food industry revealed ground yellow mustard to be one of the more promising antimicrobial additives for preserving dry-fermented sausages. Because these sausages are manufactured without heat processing, they are occasionally vulnerable to E. coli contamination.
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    The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and NSERC are developing a harmonized policy on access to research publications. From October 15 to December 13, 2013, NSERC and SSHRC will consult with a wide range of stakeholders in the research community on the draft consultation document, Tri-Agency Open Access Policy. We invite you to review and provide your feedback on the draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy. Now live:
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    Introducing the new and improved NSERC Awards Database! NSERC’s Awards Database enables you to search the database containing all grants and scholarships awarded by NSERC since 1991. Once you choose one or more parameters, then conduct your search, a list of awards (or a report) will be displayed. You can then obtain more details on a specific project by clicking on it. Check out the revamped NSERC Awards Database. Competition results for 2012-2013 now live.
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    Mines operate in a complex, uncertain and high-risk global environment. Roussos Dimitrakopoulos is among the world's foremost thinkers in the field of stochastic mine planning optimization. This new framework is based on developing mathematical and computing models to help mining companies make the best possible strategic and sustainable decisions.

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    "Dr. Chan, a 2013 recipient of an NSERC Steacie Fellowship, is now leading the development of nanotechnology-based handheld diagnostic tools. This handheld-sized device would be capable of screening for biological molecules that indicate the presence of pathogens. The tool would be especially beneficial in the developing world and could be used to detect HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, malaria and syphilis."

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