Science researchers receive more than $4 million in NSERC Discovery Grants

Twenty researchers in the Faculty of Science received a total of $4.2 million in Discovery Grants from the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to pursue promising ideas and breakthrough discoveries. Of note, Professors Jennifer Chen in the Department of Chemistry and Amro Zayed in the Department of Biology received the Discovery Accelerator Supplement (valued at $120,000 over three years), which is awarded to researchers who have an established, superior research program that is highly rated in terms of originality and innovation.

Additionally, first-time recipients Nassim Bozorgnia (Department of Physics & Astronomy), Nikola Kovinich (Department of Biology), Ozzy Mermut (Department of Physics & Astronomy) and Trevor VandenBoer (Department of Chemistry) received a Discovery Launch Supplement to help them establish a Discovery Grant funded research program.

“Looming within and beyond climate change is an Earth system with unprecedented mobilization of reactive nitrogen, released from burning fossil fuels and use of fertilizers in food production. A Discovery Grant from NSERC is allowing my research team to develop state-of-the-science analytical instrumentation to explore reactive nitrogen chemical linkages between Earth system compartments, such as soils and the atmosphere,” said VandenBoer. “Creation of these tools at York will allow our team to start unravelling the chemistry controlling the movement of reactive nitrogen compounds from local to global scales, which will aid international nitrogen management policy.”

The full list of Discovery Grant recipients in the Faculty of Science includes Professors Mark Bayfield, Dasantila Golemi-Kotra, Scott Kelly, Nikola Kovinich, Jean-Paul Paluzzi, Chun Peng, Sapna Sharma, Karl White, Amro Zayed, Jennifer Chen, Trevor VandenBoer, Edward Furman, Neal Madras, Nassim Bozorgnia, Anantharaman Kumarakrishnan, Ozzy Mermut, Sean Tulin, Laurence Packer, Claire David and Deborah Harris.

The NSERC Discovery Grants Program supports ongoing programs of research with long-term goals rather than a single short-term project or collection of projects, and provides researchers with the flexibility to pursue promising research avenues as they emerge and the opportunity to address higher-risk topics.