Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was raised in High River, AB, and am a proud double alumna of uLethbridge. I got both my BSc (2017) and MSc (2020) in neuroscience, and during my studies I had the chance to get involved in some fantastic research opportunities; these included multidisciplinary projects, international conferences, and access to some of the most brilliant minds in the field. I decided early on to build a career supporting research and development in Canada, and began seeking out experiential education opportunities in public service and postsecondary administration that could teach me about all the behind-the-scenes support required for excellent research. After graduating, I was thrilled to get an opportunity to join Mitacs to help them support uLethbridge researchers and students.
How long have you been at the U of L and what do you do here?
I have been active on campus as the uLethbridge Mitacs Business Development Specialist since April of this year. My role is to build connections between academia and industry by financially supporting collaborative projects; I assist with every stage of the project development process, from matchmaking to grant writing. I meet with students, post-docs, researchers, and employees of Canadian industry from every program and sector to help them accomplish their research and innovation project goals. I also work to build awareness of Mitacs programming so no eligible project goes unfunded!
Tell us a bit about MITACS. How can faculty and staff use Mitacs to support their industrial collaborations?
Mitacs is a national non-profit research organization that supports Canadian innovation by building connections between academia and industry. Our main method of accomplishing this is by partially financially leveraging the cost of collaborative projects (up to 55%) between a researcher, an intern (undergraduate, graduate, or postdoctoral fellow), and an eligible industry partner (corporations, start-ups, not-for-profits, hospitals, and municipalities). Interns gain valuable work experience, partners gain affordable access to highly qualified personnel to meet their innovation needs, and researchers get financial support for their collaborative projects and increase the impact and scope of their research. We also offer programs to provide travel funding between Canada and several international partners for research collaborations, supporting both incoming and outgoing students.
If you are interested in utilizing Mitacs programming for your own research, or would like to learn more about ways that we are active at uLethbridge, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com. We also have more information about our programs at our website, www.mitacs.ca.
What is the best part of your job?
My favourite part of my job is getting to learn about all of the amazing research going on at the University of Lethbridge, and being able to help expand its scope to industry. I find many people involved in research lose sight of how incredible it is after being submerged in it every day, and encouraging these experts to think outside of the box about how to apply their skills and talents to the bigger picture is incredibly rewarding.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I expand and care for my collection of houseplants; my house looks more like a jungle every day! Nothing cheers me up more in the cold winter months than coming home to some greenery. I have over 70 plants, including three trees, 25 succulents and a 30-year-old aloe vera.
The Research Support Fund supports a portion of the costs associated with managing the research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, such as salaries for staff who provide administration support, training costs for workplace health and safety, maintenance of libraries and laboratories, and administrative costs associated with obtaining patents for inventions. The Research Support Fund is instrumental in supporting this position.