Three Carleton University early career researchers received support today from the federal government’s New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) to pursue multidisciplinary projects in the diverse fields of language and computer programming, telling stories about endangered species, and energy-efficient buildings.

Each project is receiving up to $250,000 over the next two years from the new fund, which enables leading-edge research not traditionally supported in the past. Science Minister Kirsty Duncan made the announcement today.

“Carleton has a long history of supporting collaboration and sharing expertise across disciplines,” said Rafik Goubran, vice-president (Research and International). “These projects represent areas of research strength at Carleton and will add greatly to our research excellence in cognition, Indigenous and environmental research, and clean energy.”

The innovative fund encourages researchers to cross the boundaries of their disciplines and interact with other researchers. Taking a multidisciplinary approach to research can have positive impacts on society, regulatory frameworks and economic development.

Olessia Jouravlev and Kasia Muldner, professors at Carleton’s Institute of Cognitive Science, are exploring possible links between the domains of language and computer programming in the brain in their study Programming and Language: What is the Connection?

Prof. Zoe Todd in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and Prof. Ozayr Saloojee at the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism are joining forces with two colleagues from Athabasca University to develop an adaptable digital toolkit for storytelling about pressing environmental issues in Alberta’s Bighorn Country. Starting with a case study of the decline of the bull trout, researchers will work with artists, computer programmers, scientists, Indigenous knowledge keepers, journalists and other community stakeholders to study and communicate rapidly evolving environmental and species concerns, increase public appreciation for those species, and foster meaningful change to policy processes.

Professors Zach Colbert in the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, Jean Duquette in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Alexandra Mallett at the School of Public Policy and Administration are addressing  challenges presented by increasing urban populations and energy consumption. The project will develop a gravity turbine prototype concept for energy recapture in tall residential buildings. It will include public consultation with community partners, creating a cross-disciplinary research platform and establishing new narratives for energy efficiency in the built environment.

About the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF)

NFRF supports international, interdisciplinary and high-risk research and provides funding to help Canadian researchers make the next great discoveries in their fields. Created by the Canada Research Coordinating Committee, NFRF is administered on behalf of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

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Elizabeth Murphy
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Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 8834

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Monday, May 13, 2019 in
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