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Posted: June 2, 2009

Government of Canada helps new researchers gain 21st-century workforce skills

(Nanowerk News) The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced projects to help science graduates expand their professional and personal skills so they can make a successful transition from the classroom to the workplace.
"Our government is investing in science and technology to create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians," said Minister Goodyear. "These grants will give science grads the skills they need to find work and give them a head start on their careers."
The funding is being provided under the new Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program. Launched by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in May 2008, CREATE gives science graduates the enhanced skills set they need for careers in industry, government or academia. Important areas of training include commercialization, communication and project management. Students may also be exposed to other research groups, either nationally or internationally, establishing links that will further their chosen careers.
Under these inaugural grants, 20 projects at universities across Canada will share $32 million over six years. The projects focus on a variety of research areas, including nanotechnology, aquaculture, biomedical engineering and biodiversity.
"The CREATE program will allow our graduates to become in-demand, professional researchers nationally and internationally," said Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC. "This initiative will not only improve the skills of Canada's next generation of world-class scientists; it will also attract highly qualified people and retain them in the workforce."
BACKGROUNDER
Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program
The CREATE program, launched in May 2008, is designed to raise the standards for mentoring and training new Canadian researchers for careers in industry, government or academia. Grants are to be used primarily for direct student and postdoctoral support. Remaining funds are to be used to establish and maintain training programs.
CREATE program funding is directed to the following priority areas:
  • Environmental science and technologies
  • Natural resources and energy
  • Health and related life sciences and technologies
  • Information and communications technologies
  • Projects consist of initiatives led by teams of excellent Canadian university researchers who see the value in helping students acquire personal and professional skills that are not part of their normal academic training. Students will have the opportunity to enhance their ability to work productively in a research environment that has become increasingly multi-disciplinary. Important areas of training include commercialization, communication and project management.
    While the primary focus is on natural sciences and engineering, training may also include interdisciplinary projects across the natural sciences and engineering and the social sciences and health domains. If appropriate, students may also be exposed to other research groups, either nationally or internationally, establishing linkages that will further their chosen careers.
    The 2009 grants support 20 projects that will receive $32 million over six years. They focus on a variety of areas, including nanotechnology, aquaculture, biomedical engineering and biodiversity.
    The CREATE program will help attract highly qualified people and retain them in Canada's workforce. It will increase student mobility nationally and internationally, between individual universities and between universities and other sectors.
    To view the list of funded projects, visit www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca.
    Source: Government of Canada
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