Canada announces Banting Fellowships

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New Delhi, July 14 (ANI): Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, has announced the establishment of Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, a prestigious new program by the Government of Canada to attract and develop world's best and brightest postdoctoral researchers in Canada.

"To remain at the forefront of the global economy, we must invest in the people and ideas that will produce tomorrow's breakthroughs," said Prime Minister Harper. "The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships will give scholars in research institutions across the country the support they need to explore and develop their ideas to their fullest potential."

According to the Canadian High Commission in Delhi, the Banting Post-doctoral Fellowships are the latest initiative under the Government of Canada's comprehensive, long-term National Science and Technology Strategy. The new program will establish Canada as a global leader in higher learning, research and science and technology development. Under the program, 70 new fellowships will be awarded each year, with funding provided through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

The Banting Post-doctoral Fellowships are designed to attract to Canada the best researchers in the world. The program will award 70 new fellowships a year valued at $70,000 annually for two years, totalling $45 million over five years. The value of these awards is competitive internationally and represents the same international calibre and prestige offered by the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships ($50,000 annually for three years).

The fellowships will be open to both Canadian and international applicants to support universities and research institutions in attracting and retaining top talent from within Canada and around the world. Up to 25 per cent of Canadian awardees will be eligible to go to a foreign research institution for their postdoctoral placements, helping them establish worldwide networks, and raising awareness of Canadian research excellence.

The new post-doctoral fellowships will help to build an economic and competitive advantage for Canada by attracting and training highly qualified, innovative people. This new program is part of a full suite of Canadian funding programs to support top-tier researchers at every stage of their careers. The new program will help establish Canada as a global leader in higher learning, research, and science and technology development. Canada's universities and all Canadians will benefit from greater international partnerships, and Canadian university students will be given enhanced learning opportunities.

The fellowships will be known as the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, in memory of Sir Frederick Banting, the Canadian physician, researcher, Nobel laureate and war hero who, together with his assistant Dr. Charles Best, is credited with the discovery of insulin.

The deadline for applying this year is 3 November 2010. Applicants who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada may only hold their Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at a Canadian institution. (ANI)

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