The creation of a new lucrative research award will help foster emerging faculty from disciplines far and wide at Memorial University, said Dr. Ray Gosine, vice-president (research) pro tempore.
With the deadline just weeks away, the university is hoping for a strong list of candidates for this prestigious honour.
The creation of the Terra Nova Young Innovator Award was announced in October 2009 by Memorial and Suncor Energy, operators of the Terra Nova development, an offshore oil field.
Suncor has donated $250,000 to support promising researchers at the university.
Its donation will allow awards to be presented annually to Memorial researchers in each of the next five years. Suncor will fund the award which will be administered by Memorial.
With the April 15 deadline looming, the countdown is on and the hope is to receive nominations from a variety of research disciplines, units, schools and faculties.
“This award is not earmarked for researchers in one particular discipline,” said Dr. Gosine. “The hope is that each year we receive nominations and lists of strong eligible candidates for consideration from all areas of the university; from the arts and the humanities to business, engineering, music, science, kinetics, medicine and beyond. We do not want to limit the award to just faculty from one discipline. We want the best eligible emerging researchers to come forward.”
According to its terms of reference, the award “recognizes, promotes and supports outstanding and innovative new faculty researchers at Memorial … whose work impacts positively on their departments and whose research has the potential to be of significance to society at large.”
A total of $50,000 will be awarded each year and there may be several recipients as determined by the applications which are received and reviewed by the selection committee.
Dr. Gosine commended Suncor and the owners of the Terra Nova development for the creation of the new award.
“It will go a long way in attracting emerging high-calibre researchers at our university,” he added.
The award was announced during a ceremony last October on the St. John’s campus honouring the 2009 recipients of the Petro-Canada Young Innovator Awards. Petro-Canada, which merged with Suncor Energy in August of 2009, had presented the award at Memorial University since 1998.
“Recipients of the Young Innovator Award represent the outstanding educational and scientific capabilities in our province,” added Alan Brown, vice- president, East Coast for Suncor Energy. “We’re delighted to be supporting a scholarship program that will not only keep promising researchers in our province, but will help to attract innovative researchers to Memorial.”
The recipient(s) of the Terra Nova Award should be notified by this summer.