On Monday, May 13, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced the inaugural investment of the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF), a funding initiative aimed at high-risk, high-reward, interdisciplinary, and international research.
This first competition for the fund, which came under the Exploration stream, brings $38 million in support for early career researchers who are pursuing exploratory research that crosses disciplinary boundaries. This funding will provide 157 researchers, who have five years of experience or less, with up to $250,000 over the next two years.
TRIUMF is happy to have several researchers in our community recognized in this first competition, who have, jointly with TRIUMF researchers, put forward compelling research proposals as the frontiers of knowledge:
Dennis Muecher of the University of Guelph and TRIUMF
'Unlocking the full potential of cancer radiation therapy'
Caterina Ramogida of Simon Fraser University and TRIUMF
'Novel radiopharmaceuticals to cure cancer'
Magdalena Bazalova-Carter of the University of Victoria
'Towards cancer radiotherapy with no side effects'
Drew Marquardt of the University of Windsor
'Neutron generation from accelerators for material research'
“Early career researchers are critical to driving innovation and impact at our lab,” said Dr. Reiner Kruecken, TRIUMF Deputy Director, Research. “Not only is this funding a recognition of the research excellence exemplified by these deserving projects, it is a strong vote of confidence in the potential and opportunity that early career researchers bring to Canada and the world. We look forward to continuing to support these individuals and the high-calibre research projects they pursue in collaboration with TRIUMF.”
"I was quite excited to learn about the NFRF funding opportunity last year, as it was a perfect fit for the interdisciplinary FLASH microbeam radiotherapy project I have been contemplating about for six months,” said Magdalena Bazalova-Carter.” I was thrilled to learn that our UVic-TRIUMF collaboration, which aims to improve the quality of life of cancer patients, received the funding. It will enable us to adapt a TRIUMF beamline to study two novel radiotherapy modalities that have shown promise in reducing radiotherapy side effects. We hope that the proposed and future experiments performed with the unique infrastructure will confirm the benefits of the novel treatment modalities and enable their future clinical translation."
“I was super excited when I learned about the positive funding decision,” said Dennis Muecher. “I am a nuclear physicist and wanted to branch out into medical applications to give some of our knowledge back to the community. This is my first grant on medical applications and it feels just great that the work is recognized as good work. This project wouldn’t be possible without co-applicant Cornelia Hoehr from TRIUMF. Her experience in the field and her network enabled us to set up the interdisciplinary team of experts we are now working with. The grant will help us to purchase optimized detection systems to be used at TRIUMF’s proton treatment facility. More importantly, the grant offers much needed financial support for my two Ph.D. students working on this project. The goal is to make proton therapy more precise and safe for all cancer patients.”
Congratulations, NFRF recipients!
More information on the Fund can be found here.