Twice as many early-career researchers at the University of Guelph as last year will receive provincial Early Researcher Awards (ERA) in 2018.

The Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation recently announced that six U of G researchers will receive funding for wide-ranging studies, including precision agriculture, electric vehicles and functional foods. Each award is worth up to $100,000.

This year, 102 research projects across Ontario will receive ERA funding, which covers salaries and travel for student research assistants, research equipment and facility expenses.

Reza Moridi, minister of research, innovation and science, said the awards help institutions establish modern facilities and equipment and expand research teams.

“Ontario’s research funding programs are an important way we support our province’s researchers as they make exciting and innovative discoveries,” Moridi said.

Malcolm Campbell, U of G vice-president (research), said the funding will further strengthen U of G research teams, leading to discoveries and innovations and enabling students to receive training and experience.

“The variety of research projects supported by the Early Researcher Awards is a testament to the University’s exceptional strength as a research and innovation hub across a phenomenally broad range of subjects. Each project in its unique way will improve life, now and well into the future.”

“To see the number of award recipients doubled over last year is very gratifying,” he added. “It speaks to the excellence of University of Guelph researchers and bodes extremely well for our future research and innovation environment.”

This year’s ERA recipients are:

  • Prof. Iris Joye

    Department of Food Science: using cereal proteins to deliver bioactive ingredients in healthful functional foods;

  • Prof. Christina Smylitopoulos

    School of Fine Art and Music: a new lab for improving visual competency and observation;

  • Prof. Andrew Gadsden

    School of Engineering: new approaches to monitoring the fitness of electric vehicle batteries;

  • Prof. Asim Biswas

    School of Environmental Sciences: integrated soil sensing and digital soil mapping for precision agriculture;

  • Prof. Jamie Burr

    Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences: intentional blood flow restrictions to enhance physical exercise;

  • Prof. Kirby Calvert

    Department of Geography: mapping and managing land-use implications of renewable energy.

ERA recipients must be full-time faculty members or principal investigators at universities, colleges, research hospitals and research institutes who started their academic career within the past five years.