Volume 92, Issue 26

Wednesday, October, 21 1998

bound and gagged


Western research may win funds

By Mark Brown
Gazette Staff

Western is one step closer towards securing $19 million for research infrastructure funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

On Monday night, the foundation announced which proposals would be considered for further review, the final stage before funding is awarded.

In June, 15 research proposals were submitted by Western to CFI for consideration. One of the proposals was withdrawn from this competition because it was awarded funding from the first competition which was announced in August, explained Western's VP-research Bill Bridger. He added nine of Western's proposals were selected to go on to the second stage.

If all nine of Western's research proposals are awarded money it could bring $19 million to Western, which represents 40 per cent of the total cost of these projects, said Frederick Keenan, coordinator for infrastructure programs for CFI and director of interdisciplinary research at Western.

The nine research projects represent a total cost of $47.8 million, Bridger said. CFI will pay 40 per cent of the total cost, while the remaining 60 per cent of the funding will come from other sources.

Bridger added he hopes the provincial government will match the funding from CFI so Western will only have to make up the remaining 20 per cent difference.

"I am happy that we've done as well as we did. Compared to other universities we've done very well," he said.

By comparison, Western tied the University of Waterloo for the second most research projects to be invited to phase two of the CFI review process, while the University of Toronto had the highest number of projects to be reviewed, with 14.

Approximately 50 per cent of the proposals received for this competition were invited for further review, said Pierre Normand, communications advisor for CFI.

Normand estimated only half of all the proposals invited for review would likely receive funding from the foundation, since the remaining proposals are requesting $735 million from a budget of only $370 million. "It is going to be a very competitive process," he added.

Western is confident most of its proposals will be successful. "We, of course, are optimistic at Western that we can do a little better than that," Keenan said.

The first set of results for this second competition will not be available until early 1999.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998