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News Releases

REF NO.: 185

SUBJECT: Memorial University to launch Research Report 2009
DATE: June 15, 2009

Memorial University of Newfoundland has released its Research Report 2009 and unveiled a unique and innovative advertising and promotional campaign trumpeting its impressive growth in research funding over a five-year period.
Titled Research Report 2009: This is the start of something big, the report and campaign highlight some of the significant research activity undertaken by researchers at Memorial. The “big” theme is drawn from Memorial‘s being named number one in research income growth over 2002-2007 among Canadian medical/doctoral universities. Research Infosource, Canada’s premier publication about research and development, released that ranking during the period covered by Memorial’s Research Report 2009.
The university’s research income grew by 116.7 per cent between 2002 and 2007, ahead of other leading post-secondary institutions including the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. Memorial’s growth was more than double the category average of about 50 per cent growth.
The publication, which releases the lists each year, reported that Memorial spent $75 million on research in 2007 (actual research-related revenues were more than $89 million). This is up from $35 million in expenditures in 2002.
For 2008-2009, the news was even more impressive. According to Memorial’s Office of Research, the university was awarded research funding totaling $90.6 million. Research funding comes from a variety of sources including national research granting agencies, provincial government, businesses and the non-profit sector.
The university’s report – an oversized and eye-catching booklet – will be officially launched by Dr. Ray Gosine, Memorial’s vice-president (research) pro tempore, during the opening luncheon of the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association’s (NOIA) international petroleum conference tomorrow afternoon beginning at 12:30 p.m. in St. John’s.
More than 700 delegates from around the world will be in attendance at the event.
With the theme “big” in mind, the university has embarked on a comprehensive advertising and promotional campaign to highlight this year’s Research Report. The campaign includes double-page ads in national publications including the Globe and Mail and the National Post, as well as targeted print and online advertising throughout the province and the country.
“Memorial's noteworthy growth in research funding is certainly the start of something big,” said Dr. Gosine. “Our researchers are working in a diverse number of disciplines advancing our knowledge of the various aspects of our ocean environment. They're developing new technologies that improve our province’s competitiveness, their work is increasingly important to our natural resource industries, including oil and gas and mining. Our researchers are also helping advance the health and well-being of our people, and other avenues of investigation and exploration help to preserve Newfoundland and Labrador’s culture and heritage.
“This campaign springs from a need to let other parts of Canada know that Memorial has been building its research capacity and continues to do so,” added Dr. Gosine. “The current campaign will help to further enhance Memorial‘s reputation as a leading research institution with a range of specialized capacities.”
Research Report 2009 features a variety of researchers from across the disciplines, including engineering and applied science, ocean sciences, geography, music and medicine. Highlighted faculty and projects include:
 
  • Historian Dr. Sean Cadigan and sociologist Dr. Peter Sinclair, both of whom are studying how oil affects social and economic relationships in this province.
  • Engineer and geoscientist Dr. Steve Butt who leads a multi-million project to develop new bit designs that will drill faster without becoming dull. The success of the project could bring a monumental boost to the oil and gas industry.
  • Dr. Beverley Diamond is Memorial’s Canada Research Chair in Traditional Music and Ethnomusicology who is studying the role music plays in the daily experiences of the rural parts of the province.
  • Biological oceanographer Dr. Paul Snelgrove is heading up the newly established Canadian Healthy Oceans Network (CHONe), researching new tools for sustainable ocean development.
  • Dr. Marguerite MacKenzie, Linguistics,  has contributed to the creation of the first comprehensive cultural website devoted to names, photos and stories about Innu places (www.innuplaces.ca).
  • Dr. Ralf Bachmayer, Canada Research Chair in Ocean Technology and one of this year‘s recipients of the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Award, who is developing an autonomous underwater vehicle that can stay under ice for months at a time, taking samples and conducting analysis.
 
Memorial’s growing research has a multiplier effect that is far reaching, said Dr. Eddy Campbell, acting president and vice-chancellor Memorial. He said university researchers are having an impact beyond influencing minds in the classroom.
“Our research benefits us all,” he noted. “From students and professors to businesses and organizations right here at home, as well as local, provincial and
national economies. At Memorial we have plans to continue this expansion, to build on our recent research successes, to attract more outstanding researchers and partners, to become a more research-intensive institution with the aim of sustaining economic growth and development.”
Dr. Campbell acknowledged the support of the provincial government in that pursuit. In its 2009 budget, the province committed to strengthening research and development opportunities in Newfoundland and Labrador including supporting researchers at the university. 
“Memorial University continues to take important actions to increase its research funding and capacity, activities that enhance the institution’s overall positive reputation on the world stage,” said Darin King, provincial minister of Education. “As a government, we have consistently and strategically increased funding to Memorial to ensure it continues to offer programming of excellence that is recognized nationally and internationally. It is important that our students have the highest quality education system that is both affordable and accessible. I am pleased to report that our success on this front is being acknowledged across the country.”
Research Report 2009 includes a website www.mun.ca/big. Beyond the content of the booklet, the web site provides contacts and information on research services and partnership opportunities at the university, as well as unique videos promoting this year’s report. The video clips feature Memorial alumni at various locations around the world.
Research Report 2009 and campaign were produced by Memorial’s Division of Marketing and Communications for the Office of the Vice-President (Research).

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