Research Impact: Six StFX faculty receive NSERC Discovery Research Program funding

L-r, Dr. Jennifer Perry, Dr. John Corbit, Dr. Alex Foo, Dr. Cory Bishop, and Dr. Peter Marzlin. Absent is Dr. Hugo Beltrami.

Research on the StFX campus continues to thrive and make impact on Canadian life as six StFX faculty members were successful recipients in the latest round of funding awards from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Research Program. 

On August 29th, the Government of Canada announced over $514 million in funding over five years through the Discovery Research Program that will offer recipients the stability and freedom to pursue promising research avenues as they emerge to build the foundation for innovation and economic growth.

At StFX, successful researchers included Dr. Jennifer Perry, Dr. Alex Foo, Dr. Hugo Beltrami, Dr. Karl-Peter Marzlin, Dr. John Corbit, and Dr. Cory Bishop.  

This announcement was made as part of a series of major investments in science and research by the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages on behalf of the Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry and the Honourable Mark Holland, Minister of Health. Over $440 million of this funding provides new awards to researchers across the country. 

The exceptional results of StFX faculty in the 2023 NSERC Discovery Grants competition was noted by Dr. Richard Isnor, Associate Vice President Research, Graduate and Professional Studies. 

“In 2023, NSERC increased the average value of individual Discovery Grant awarded across all disciplines to address the impacts of inflation on research costs, as well as to provide increased funding for student researchers supported by these grants. As a result, the success rate for all categories of researchers were lower and the national competition was more intense than in recent years. Our early career researchers, such as Dr. Perry, Dr. Corbit and Dr. Foo did exceptionally well in their first competition and received excellent grants that would have been among the most highly rated in their respective disciplines. Dr. Beltrami and Dr. Marzlin both received significant increases in their renewed Discovery Grants. The overall success is due the exceptional research undertaken by all our awardees, the quality of the student research training they provide, and the efforts of Mr. David Bruce, our Director of Research Grants. who works closely with all applicants on their research proposals.”

StFX NSERC Discovery Grant awardees:
(Five-year grants)

•    Dr. Jennifer Perry, Department of Biology, $64,000/per year for research focused on “The ecology and genomics of sexual conflict.”
•    Dr. Alexander Foo, Department of Chemistry, $33,000/year for “Biophsyical and Immunological Consequences of Aeroallergen-mediated Membrane Disruption.”
•    Dr. Hugo Beltrami, Department of Earth Sciences, $47,000/year for research into “Climate Change records from the underground.”
•    Dr. Karl-Peter Marzlin, Department of Physics, $46,000/year for research focused on “Hybrid quantum technology and quantum-classical correspondence.”
•    Dr. John Corbit, Department of Psychology, $44,672/year for work on “Moral cognition and the origins of cooperation.”

StFX Discovery Development Grant awardee:
(Two-year grant) 

•    Dr. Cory Bishop, Department of Biology, $20,000/year for research on “Evolution and ecology of a symbiosis between unicellular algae and amphibian egg masses.”

Early Career Researcher awardees

•    Additionally, Dr. Perry, Dr. Foo and Dr. Corbit each received a one-year, one-time, $12,500 Early Career Researcher supplement.