Media Release | Nov. 8, 2012

UBC gains two new Canada Excellence Research Chairs

The University of British Columbia will be home to two more Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC), valued at $20-million over seven years, in the areas of quantum materials and devices and digital media research and innovation.

Results of the latest CERC competition were announced today by Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology) in Ottawa. Out of 46 research proposals submitted by 27 universities, eight universities were selected to recruit 11 chairholders to the program. The eight universities are now invited to nominate world-renowned researchers to carry out the proposed research.

Launched in 2008, the CERC Program is among the most generous in the world. Designed to attract the best researchers to build a critical mass of expertise, the program funds universities up to $10 million over seven years to support the chairholder and their teams in ambitious research.

“The CERC program has made it possible for UBC and other leading Canadian institutions to recruit some of the brightest minds to Canada,” says John Hepburn, UBC Vice President Research and International. “It is accelerating critical discoveries that have already made real differences in the lives of people in our country and beyond.”

Since his appointment in May 2010, Matthew Farrer, UBC’s inaugural CERC in Neurogenetics and Translational Neuroscience, has made landmark discoveries in gene mutations associated with Parkinson’s disease, bringing society one step closer to targeted gene-therapy of the debilitating disease.

To see the full complement of CERC announced today, visit



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Randy Schmidt
UBC Public Affairs
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