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Big boost for student researchers


Inaugural recipients of the Ocean Industries Student Research Awards, seen here with Dr. Ray Gosine, associate vice-president (research); Glenn Janes, president of RDC; and Clyde Jackman, minister of fisheries, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

By Meaghan Whelan

More than $1 million in funding is helping Newfoundland and Labrador attract and retain 22 top student researchers, thanks to funding recently announced by the Research & Development Corporation (RDC).

The students are the recipients of RDC’s Ocean Industries Student Research Awards. In total, eight doctoral, 12 master's and two undergraduate students at Memorial University are receiving $1,037,000 in support of their ocean research over a three-year period. The awards range in value from $7,500 per year for undergraduate research to $20,000-$30,000 per year at the graduate level. The students’ research supervisors also receive a research allowance to support their supervisory work.

The investment supports research in areas relevant to Newfoundland and Labrador’s ocean industries including offshore petroleum, ocean engineering, marine safety, fisheries and aquaculture and marine science. The students are enrolled in the Faculty of Science, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation at Memorial University.

“It is vital for Newfoundland and Labrador to recruit, foster and retain top student researchers,” said Glenn Janes, chief executive officer of RDC. “These students have a vested interest in research related to Newfoundland and Labrador’s growing ocean industries sector and their research will contribute to solving technical challenges and unlocking development opportunities. RDC is proud to support these students and I wish them continued success in their studies.”

Brian Claus is one of the recipients of RDC’s Ocean Industries Student Research Awards. Mr. Claus is originally from Prince George, B.C., but he decided to complete his doctoral studies in Newfoundland and Labrador thanks in part to the funding from RDC.

“This award will allow me to design autonomous underwater vehicles to record oceanographic data year-round off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said the doctoral candidate in ocean and naval architecture engineering in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “Understanding the Labrador Current, which flows down the coast and mingles with the Gulf Stream over the Grand Banks, is important in order to properly manage ocean-based resources.”

Selection of award recipients was based on academic achievement, the technical merits of the proposed research plan and the relevance of the research to Newfoundland and Labrador’s ocean industries. Final selection of award recipients was made with advice from RDC’s research awards committee, comprised of academia, industry and government stakeholders.

The awards target post-secondary students enrolled in science, engineering and technology programs who have an interest in pursuing research in the province’s growing ocean industries sector. They are open to post-secondary students in Newfoundland and Labrador, across Canada and internationally, who are interested in pursuing their studies and conducting leading edge research in Newfoundland and Labrador.

RDC recently announced details of its 2011 RDC Ocean Industries Student Research Awards competition.

The awards range in value from $7,500 per year for undergraduate research to $20,000 to $30,000 per year at the graduate level. There will be an estimated 20 research awards available. Award candidates will be selected based on academic achievement, the technical merits of the proposed research plan and the relevance of the research to Newfoundland and Labrador’s ocean industries.

Applications are available at www.researchnl.com. The deadline for applications is Jan. 28, 2011.

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