FREDERICTON, N.B – The provincial government has partnered with the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation to launch a new initiative to retain and attract graduate students to the province. The announcement was made this week by Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Jody Carr.
The New Brunswick Graduate Scholarship Initiative will advance $7 million over five years to graduate students as part of the province's innovation strategy. The initiative is expected to benefit more than 750 graduate students.
“We know that supporting graduate studies helps build an innovative economy,” said Carr. “As such, it is an essential part of creating opportunities for job growth. It is also a key factor in rebuilding New Brunswick that will help keep our young people at home while attracting talented students from outside the province.”
The new scholarships are for eligible students who register for full-time studies to complete a graduate program in one of the province’s publicly funded post-secondary institutions.
“We are proud to be offering these important scholarships for the first time in New Brunswick,” said Robert Hatheway, chair of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation. “There is a lot of ground-breaking research happening in the province, and we need to build on this. These scholarships will help recruit and retain the best students and inspire them to seriously consider innovation as a career path here.”
To be eligible, graduates must be nominated by a Canadian post-secondary institution to receive a Tri-Council (NSERC, SSHRC or CIHR) scholarship award or be studying in a discipline related to Social Innovation or in one of the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics); and have an excellent student record.
Foreign students who receive a peer-reviewed Canadian scholarship are also eligible for these scholarships and all scholarship recipients are eligible for funding under the separate Research Assistantships Initiative.
“Graduate students are the catalyst for any innovation strategy,” said Carr. “They bring new ideas to the table, dedicate countless hours of study both inside and outside the lab, and most importantly they move these ideas forward. Supporting these efforts through this scholarship program is one way to ensure New Brunswick universities are competitive in attracting and retaining this talent.”
In February 2013, the provincial government announced an $80-million investment in innovation and research and development. In addition to today's announcement, more than $52 million of this funding has been allocated to new initiatives, including:
● $6 million to increase the availability of research assistants and technicians;
● $2 million to increase capacity to recruit and attract leading-edge researchers to the province;
● $12 million, a threefold increase in funding, to university and college researchers to support world-class applied research with a view to commercialization;
● $7.25 million to create an industry research voucher program aimed at growing innovation and productivity in small and medium-sized enterprises in the province;
● $20 million to reinforce the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation's venture capital investment activities aimed at early stage, growth companies in the province; and
● $5 million to consolidate the innovation ecosystem through targeted investments in capacity building across the province.
“Our government committed to create a new bursary program for masters and doctoral students attending New Brunswick universities,” said Carr. “Today's announcement fulfils that commitment and is an exciting step forward in both enhancing the innovation capacity of our province and strengthening our post-secondary education sector.”