Government of Canada investing in Canadian researchers to make world-class discoveries

March 15, 2019


Discoveries made in research labs across Canada are leading to cleaner, greener, healthier and more prosperous lives for all Canadians. Whether they are looking for effective cancer treatments or developing clean technologies, researchers need the right tools to turn their bold ideas into reality.

That’s why today, at the University of Guelph, MP Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, celebrated more than $39 million for state-of-the-art research labs and equipment through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)’s John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF). This investment will support 251 researchers leading 186 projects at 43 universities across Canada. JELF aims to help universities attract and retain top talent from around the globe by providing researchers with the highly specialized infrastructure they require to be leaders in their field.

As part of this funding, the U of G is receiving more than $430,000 in support of 4 projects. Today MP Longfield toured the research lab of Professor Jibran Khokhar, who will be establishing a neuroscience laboratory to study addiction in and mental illness.  He will be using his $97,087 grant for research infrastructure to better understand the mechanisms underlying substance use and serious mental illness. Khokhar plans to explore the long-term and psychiatric disease-related consequences of adolescent drug use. He aims to inform the development of targeted medications and influence drug policies including cannabis involving access or age restrictions.

Molecular and cellular biology (MCB) professor Rebecca Shapiro will use her $71,819 JELF award to study biological mechanisms in microbial virulence and resistance to antimicrobial agents. Focusing on Candida albicans, she will explore how the fungus tolerates drug treatment and causes disease.

MCB professor Jasmin Lalonde received $72,245 for a multidisciplinary neuroscience laboratory. By studying neuronal development and plasticity, he hopes to learn about the pathophysiology of brain impairments and identify potential treatment targets.

The largest grant went to physics professor Dennis Muecher, who received $186,000 for specialized equipment for use at TRIUMF, the national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics in Vancouver. Muecher will study how elements on Earth heavier than iron were formed to help predict how exotic nuclear matter, like neutron stars, participate in creation of heavy elements. His work may also apply in new, targeted cancer therapies.

MP Longfield also highlighted Budget 2018 commitments for the CFI, which include $763 million over the next five years and $462 per year starting in 2023-24. This investment provides the CFI with long-term, stable funding, one of the key recommendations from the Fundamental Science Review, completed last year by an expert panel.

These new investments will allow the CFI to continue to support researchers by investing in state-of-the-art labs and research equipment in our universities, colleges and research hospitals. Investing in research infrastructure creates the spaces to train the new generation of researchers and bring together researchers and entrepreneurs who can jump start innovation.


“The Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to science continues to highlight the great work of scientists and their teams at the University of Guelph.  Whether it is understanding the opportunities the universe brings, or the workings of the mind, Guelph is improving life by the work being done right here in the Royal City that attracts the brightest minds from around the world to make Guelph and Canada their home.  Today’s announcement reinforces the good we can do together.”

-Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph

“Our leading researchers will use this critical funding to advance research that places them at the forefront of their fields. Their novel work allows the University of Guelph to continue to be a leader in the creation of knowledge that improves life and builds on our reputation for quality and innovation.”

Malcolm Campbell, vice-president (research)

“We are investing in the tools and equipment our researchers need to become and remain leaders in their field. We are committed to making Canada a global centre for science, research and innovation – a country focused on driving economic growth, creating middle-class jobs and improving the lives of all Canadians.”

 – The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“The Canada Foundation for Innovation lays the cornerstone for the future by providing equipment that ensures the success of researchers from the very start of their careers. The John R. Evans Leaders Fund creates the conditions necessary for the extraordinary talents in Canada’s universities and hospitals to excel. With ongoing, permanent funding, the CFI will be able to continue to support their ambitions.”

– Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO

Quick facts

  • The John R. Evans Leaders Fund helps exceptional researchers at universities across the country to conduct leading-edge research by giving them the tools and equipment they need to become leaders in their field.
  • Total funding is $39,125,771: includes capital funding for infrastructure of $30,096,747, and an additional $9,029,024 for incremental operating and maintenance costs awarded under the CFI’s Infrastructure Operating Fund.
  • Budget 2018 is making a historic investment of nearly $4 billion over five years in research and in the next generation of scientists. This includes the single largest investment in fundamental research in Canadian history.
  • Budget 2018 set aside $763 million over five years for the CFI, and ongoing funding of up to $462 million per year starting in 2023. This permanent funding will put cutting-edge tools in the hands of our researchers and students to ensure they can make discoveries and innovate.

Associated links

For media inquiries:

Lianne C. Cassidy

Executive Assistant

Office of Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph