The University of Winnipeg



UWinnipeg gets major investment in research excellence

Photo by Cory Aronec

The University of Winnipeg is now home to eight Canada Research Chairs, following an announcement today by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport.

The federal government is making an investment of over $275 million for 346 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at 52 institutions across Canada for research excellence.

Canada Research Chairs are world-class scientists and scholars from diverse backgrounds who are working on new discoveries and innovations that help our environment, health, communities and economy thrive.

The investment at UWinnipeg will see a seven-year renewal of Dr. Jeff Martin’s Tier I Canada Research Chair in Fundamental Symmetries in Subatomic Physics. It will also see the addition of four new Tier II Canada Research Chairs for five-year terms:

• Nora Casson — Canada Research Chair in Environmental Influences on Water Quality
• Jaime Cidro — Canada Research Chair in Health & Culture
• Mary Jane Logan McCallum — Canada Research Chair in Indigenous People, History and Archives
• Julie Nagam — Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts, Collaboration and Digital Media

The University currently hosts three other research chair holders: Dr. Christopher Wiebe — Canada Research Chair in Quantum Materials Discovery, Dr. Angela Failler — Canada Research Chair in Culture and Public Memory, and Dr. Ryan Bullock — Canada Research Chair in Human-Environment Interactions.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates key progress for diversity, equity, and inclusion with the addition of three female Indigenous scholars as Canada Research Chairs and our first female natural science and engineering research chair. Their important work will enhance the research excellence that already takes place at UWinnipeg,” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, President and Vice-Chancellor.

“These appointments reflect the quality and significance of research undertaken at UWinnipeg and confirm that the University is engaged in excellent research. All of these researchers are world renowned in their fields, and we are confident that our students, the citizens of Winnipeg and Manitoba, and Canadians in general will reap the benefits of their outstanding work,” said Dr. Jino Distasio, Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

The University of Winnipeg gratefully acknowledges the funding received from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund in aid of research infrastructure.  Every year, the federal government invests in research excellence in the areas of health sciences, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities through its three granting agencies. The Research Support Fund (RSF) reinforces this research investment by helping institutions ensure that their federally funded research projects are conducted in world-class facilities with the best equipment and administrative support available. Please visit Research Support Fund.


Dr. Nora Casson. ©UWinnipeg

Dr. Nora Casson. ©UWinnipeg

Nora Casson, Geography — Tier II Canada Research Chair in Environmental Influences on Water Quality (5-year term, $600,000), start date May 1, 2019: Canada’s boreal region is rich in water resources, which provide cultural, economic and ecological benefits to Canadian communities.  Water quality in this region is subject to many environmental pressures; notably, rates of climate change are among the highest of anywhere on the continent.  Rising temperatures, changes to precipitation patterns and declining snow cover will fundamentally alter fluxes of water and chemicals through the environment.  This research program will investigate effects of global change on nutrient cycling in boreal watersheds, and ultimately enhance understanding of how human actions impact water quality across the region.

Julie Nagam, Jaime Cidro, Mary Jane McCallum

Dr. Julie Nagam, Dr. Jaime Cidro, Dr. Mary Jane Logan McCallum (Photo by KC Adams)

Jaime Cidro, Anthropology — Tier II Canada Research Chair in Health & Culture (5-year term, $600,000), start date November 1, 2018: Medical maternal evacuation has been a common practice in First Nations communities in Canada for decades and the impacts are becoming recognized as contributing to a range of negative cultural, health and social consequences. Adequate and appropriate support is identified as one way to ameliorate some of these negative outcomes, particularly when that support is culturally based. This research program will examine how an Indigenous doula program can address poor health, social and cultural outcomes for First Nations women who travel for birth in partnership with First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba and the Manitoba Indigenous Doulas Initiative.

Mary Jane Logan McCallum, History — Tier II Canada Research Chair in Indigenous People, History and Archives (5-year term, $600,000), start date November 1, 2018: This CRC is about promoting a central role for Indigenous people in the production, preservation and use of knowledge about history. The objectives are two-fold: first, to support Indigenous scholars’ and communities’ efforts in researching and teaching knowledge about the past in ways that reaffirm relationships to land, environment and other people and support Indigenous self-determination. The second objective is to inform local, provincial and national institutions of Indigenous historical preservation in Canada on topics related to Indigenous historical research including access, ethics and research methods and their implications for Indigenous people, communities and lands.

Julie Nagam, History — Tier II Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts, Collaboration and Digital Media (5-year term, $600,000), start date May 1, 2019: The proposed research program plans to create a place-based app, and digital and new media labs centred in Indigenous ideologies and methodologies that will work in tandem with marginalized communities. This CRC will provide the opportunity for breaking new ground on dialogues and interactions and these labs will explore differing models and methodologies, to examine their pedagogies, and to answer the question: how can this knowledge benefit Indigenous people, especially youth, and what kind of decolonial tools can be used to build an Indigenous future within arts organizations and institutions in Canada?

Dr. Jeff Martin, © UWinnipeg

Dr. Jeff Martin, © UWinnipeg

Jeff Martin, Physics — Tier I Canada Research Chair in Fundamental Symmetries in Subatomic Physics (7-year term, $1,400,000), start date November 1, 2018: In the last seven years, Dr. Martin successfully led the ultracold neutron (UCN) project at TRIUMF through its installation and initial commissioning phases. This has culminated in the production of the first UCN from the source at TRIUMF in November 2017. Canada Foundation for Innovation(CFI), NSERC, and CRC supported these developments, and new CFI funding for the next phase of the project was received recently. Martin constructed local laboratories in Winnipeg and used them to conduct R&D related to the neutron electric dipole moment experiment which is proposed to commence data-taking in 2021. In October 2017, CFI announced support for the next phase of the ultracold neutron project at TRIUMF.  This involves an upgrade of the ultracold neutron source, including an entirely new cold moderator system, and the construction of a world-class neutron electric dipole moment experiment. Martin will lead the project through this next major set of upgrades, through design, installation, commissioning, and the generation of science results.  First physics results will be obtained within the next seven-year period. Furthermore, he plans to develop a science program beyond the nEDM experiment for the ultracold neutron source facility at TRIUMF.