Minister of State Uppal Celebrates Top Researchers, Encourages Brain Gain in Edmonton

May 22, 2015 – Edmonton, Alberta – Industry Canada

The Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism) and Member of Parliament for Edmonton–Sherwood Park, on behalf of the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), is celebrating four new Canada Research Chairs and one renewed Chair at the University of Alberta.

Dr. Darren Grant, the University’s new Canada Research Chair in Astroparticle Physics, joined Minister of State Uppal at today’s event. Dr. Grant is exploring the use of novel photodetectors in studying one of the universe’s most elusive particles: the neutrino. Dr. Grant’s research is on enormous detectors—more than one cubic kilometre in size—deep under the polar ice near the South Pole, where he hopes to discover fundamental properties of the neutrino.

The Minister of State took the opportunity to tour one of the particle-astrophysics laboratories housed in the University of Alberta’s Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science. Dr. Grant provided a first-hand demonstration of highly sensitive specialized equipment that can open new opportunities in the study of neutrinos and dark matter, two of nature’s most mysterious fundamental particles.

Quick facts

  • The University of Alberta received a total of $5.2 million through the Canada Research Chairs Program to support five researchers, including Dr. Grant.
  • The University of Alberta, a centre of research excellence in Canada, is home to nearly 90 Canada Research Chairs.
  • The Canada Research Chairs Program was created in 2000. Ongoing annual program expenditures of $265 million have helped attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds.
  • There are more than 1,700 chairholders working in the fields of natural sciences and engineering, health, and social sciences and humanities at more than 70 post-secondary institutions across the country.
  • Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered on the government’s commitment to provide an updated science and technology strategy. The strategy, Seizing Canada’s Moment, is a vision and a roadmap for strengthening Canada’s position as a global leader in scientific research and harnessing greater Canadian research and development that create jobs, increase prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians.


“Through our government’s updated science, technology and innovation strategy, we are making the record investments necessary to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and opportunities, and improve the quality of life of Canadians. Our Canada Research Chairs Program develops, attracts and retains top researchers in Canada whose research, in turn, creates long-term social and economic benefits. Chairholders are also helping train the next generation of researchers in Canada.”

– Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

“Our government is proud to help build Canada’s well-deserved reputation in research excellence. Canada Research Chairs are driving innovation, addressing health, environmental and social issues, and spurring economic growth in our community—all of which serve to improve the lives of Canadians.”

– Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism) and Member of Parliament for Edmonton–Sherwood Park

“The Canada Research Chairs Program plays a key role in maintaining Canada’s international competitiveness in science and technology. The program allows our universities to support the best researchers in a wide array of fields and gives these researchers the tools and resources they need to achieve real progress toward discoveries that have the potential to transform our lives.”

– Dr. Alain Beaudet, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

“With our four new Canada Research Chairs and one renewed Chair, the University of Alberta is now home to close to 90 chairholders—a clear demonstration of the research talent and expertise present here. On behalf of the University, I congratulate the new chairholders and thank the Government of Canada for its investment in Canadian research. The CRC Program is a key investment that helps the University of Alberta, and other Canadian universities, attract and retain top research talent—some of the world’s best and brightest who challenge the limits of what’s possible, advance human knowledge and help tackle some of world’s most pressing challenges.”

– Dr. Lorne Babiuk, Vice-President (Research), University of Alberta

“It is an incredible honour to have been considered and selected as a CRC. The CRC Program has been instrumental in accelerating many of our most exciting research programs. I consider myself very fortunate to continue to receive support and encouragement from such programs, which makes it possible to further pursue our understanding of two of nature’s most elusive building blocks—the neutrino and dark matter—using the current, and developing the future, leading-edge particle-astrophysics detectors.”

– Dr. Darren Grant, University of Alberta

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Scott French
Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Media Relations
Industry Canada

Anne-Marie Cenaiko
Media Relations Advisor
Canada Research Chairs Program