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(January 25, 2001, Gazette)

NSERC announces millions for target areas
NSERC is introducing significant changes to its strategic projects grants competition to stimulate research in the following areas: biosciences; environment and sustainable development; information and communications technologies; value added products and processes; and new directions.

“We’ve made a special effort to update the eligible areas to accommodate some of the most exciting new developments in science and engineering,” said Janet Walden, NSERC’s director general of research partnerships.

“NSERC is especially interested in encouraging participation by those involved in interdisciplinary research where ideas are converging from what were once seen as unconnected areas of research,” she added.

The changes are effective for the new round of applications due April 15, 2001.

“In 2000 the success rate was close to 46 per cent, reflecting the very high quality of proposals,” said Ms. Walden. “With these new target areas, we want to maintain this high quality of innovative, early stage research.”

The NSERC strategic program encourages the pursuit of new knowledge or technology that has the potential to contribute in a significant way to Canada’s economy, society or environment within the next 10 years.

The council approved the new strategic areas following a three-month review that included a literature study, as well as consultation with leaders in the academic, industrial and government sectors.

Each project has to have at least one non-academic partner. Money, however, is not a necessary condition of their involvement. The primary requirement is that a partner exchange information and expertise with the research team. Under the New Directions category, funding for projects in emerging areas will be considered even if there is no obvious partner for the research.

The new descriptions of the eligible categories of research can be found at:

Free swimming at the Aquarena
The Aquarena invites university faculty, staff and their families to its MUN free swims. Please note that admission is free only for the swims listed below. Water slides, Tarzan rope and water rafts are just some of the exciting things going on during the swim.

Free swims are from 6:45-7:45 p.m. on the following Thursday evenings: Feb. 1; March 1; March 29; April 26; and May 24.

The Aquarena asks that you bring one non-perishable food item per person in aid of the Campus Food Bank. Children under eight must be accompanied in the water by a responsible supervisor 15 years or older. To reserve your tickets contact Elaine Harvey at the Aquarena at: or 737-3786.

Benefit for sick family member
Geniene Harris, daughter of Clyde Harris, a Campus Enforcement and Patrol officer, has contracted a very serious rare disease called mononalic amprophy. This disease attacks limbs and organs throughout the body one at a time.

Eighteen year-old Geniene has already lost the use of some of her limbs. Arrangements are now being made for Geniene to travel outside the province for medical treatment. To help his family cover expensive travel and care, a special fundraiser has been undertaken by friends and co-workers of Mr. Harris. An account has been set up at the Public Service Credit Union.

Donations can be made to: Clyde Harris Trust Fund, Public Service Credit Union, 403 Empire Avenue, St. John’s NF, A1E 1W6, Tel: 709-579-8210.

For further information, please contact: William O’Shaughnessy, Campus Enforcement and Patrol, at: 737-8561 (w), or 368-3911 (h).

Collaborative research initiatives
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council announced $11.8 million in research funding to support six major social, economic and cultural projects over the next five years.

The announcement was made Jan. 11 by Brian Tobin, minister responsible for SSHRC.

SSHRC awarded the grants following the eighth national competition under its major collaborative research initiatives program. The program supports innovative large-scale projects emphasizing collaboration between researchers and across disciplines. Its purpose is to focus critical masses of research talent on complex issues which demand both breadth and depth of perspective.

Details of the projects can be found at

Conference proposal call
The 21st annual conference of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, is being held at Memorial University, June 13-16, 2001. The conference is a great opportunity for faculty at Memorial to share their thoughts, practices, and strategies relating to teaching and learning with colleagues from other universities and colleges. The deadline for submission of proposals is Jan. 31, 2001. See the conference Web site ( for details or, to receive the conference brochure, contact Marjorie Mercer, conference coordinator, ext. 3144.

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