Canadian researchers rise to the challenge of COVID-19 response

Image by <a href="">FrankundFrei</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>Following the launch by the federal government of Canadian 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rapid Research Funding, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research issued the following message (

We would like to thank the 1,195 applicants who submitted their research ideas within a nine-day window; the diversity of research ideas and quality of the science was impressive. We would also like to thank the 150 individuals who considered our request and volunteered to put their lives and work on hold in order to serve as peer reviewers. This group of individuals reviewed 227 applications, completing 681 high quality reviews, within five days. The response we received from our call for reviewers was truly remarkable, and we are deeply appreciative of all who volunteered to serve in this capacity. (full message here: Coronavirus:Canada’s rapid research response)

An overview of the funded project can be found on the CIHR website.

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RNA Innovation – NSERC CREATE Program

Gain real-world, hands-on research experience.

Not sure what to do with your BSc degree? Add value to your degree and become a part of the emerging RNA industry! RNA Innovation is the ideal program for students that desire real-world, hands-on experience during their research program.

Now accepting applications for Sept 2020 start. Apply by April 1, 2020!

To learn more, visit:

Research Excellence

RNA Innovation is a unique partnership between two leading RNA research institutions (University of Lethbridge, Université de Sherbrooke) and industry collaborators, providing trainees with an exceptional learning experience during their graduate studies program.

This NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program aims to produce highly qualified personnel with skills in advanced RNA research, scientific leadership, and industry experience.

The NSERC CREATE RNA Innovation Program supports trainees in:

  • Emerging RNA research and product development.
  • Adding value to their degree through on-site training.
  • Developing skills in management, leadership, communication and ethics.
  • Fostering an entrepreneurial environment.
  • Facilitating access to leading industry collaborations.

Industry Experience

The major advantage of RNA Innovation is the access to industry collaborations. Each trainee cohort will work together with an industry partner to solve a research and development (R&D) problem as part of the deepYellow Challenge. Together, trainees will learn to apply their research training, work as a team, and develop a final product.

Trainees will also receive funding for on-site industry training and project development through the Twinning Program. All participants will be matched with a specific internship, receive mentorship and a personalized networking experience. This program provides on-site training and fosters connections to future employers.

Professional Skills

In addition to academic and research skills, trainees will develop skills in management, leadership, communication, teaching, integrity and ethics through complementary workshops and courses.

Participation in the deepYellow challenge will encourage development of project management and entrepreneurial skills. Additional workshops providing some theoretical foundation in management will supplement the trainee’s learning experience.

All trainees will be required to participate in a new graduate level Scientific Leadership course. Modules will include professional communication, integrity & ethics, and leadership with respect to gender and minority representation.

Highly Qualified Personnel

Graduates of the RNA Innovation program will be uniquely trained, “job-ready” with knowledge of applied and basic research, and possess a diverse set of leadership skills. This multidisciplinary background will make them ideally suited to careers in a multitude of biotechnology fields.

RNA Innovation is the ideal program for students that desire real-world, hands-on experience during their research program. Funding is available for graduate students (MSc and PhD) and post-doctoral fellows.


RNA Innovation is an intensive two-year program and requires commitment from the trainee and support from their supervisor. All RNA Innovation commitments are in addition to any graduate program thesis requirements.

For more information, please visit our website:

How to Apply

Applications for the RNA Innovation program are open until April 1, 2020 at 11:59 pm MST. Students currently enrolled or accepted into graduate studies are encouraged to apply. Students accepted into RNA Innovation can commence their studies in September 2020.

Interested applicants should have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in their last two years of undergraduate studies, although applicants with a lower GPA are still encouraged to apply if they have sufficient research and/or industry experience.

Application requirements:

  • Completion of application form (available online).
  • Transcripts (undergraduate and graduate, if applicable).
  • Reference letters from 3 academic or industry referees.

For full application details, please visit our website:

Supporting institutions:

University of Lethbridge and Université de Sherbrooke

University of Lethbridge
Université de Sherbrooke


CSMB executives travel to Parliament Hill in Ottawa to promote the full implementation of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review

CSMB executives Tarik Moroy, Imogen Coe, Paola Marignani, Katey Ryner and Vincent Archambault visited Senators, Members of Parliament and staff on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on February 24 and 25 to promote the full implementation of the recommendations of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review (Naylor report). It was an opportunity of our executives to talk about science policy, basic research and the importance of federal support of science.