Archived — CREATE: Translating research into action

Students use neurotechnology (EEG) in one of the RADIANT labs at Dalhousie University.

Students use neurotechnology (EEG) in one of the RADIANT labs at Dalhousie University. Neurotechnologies include software and devices for sensory, motor, and cognitive assessment and training, brain imaging, brain-computer interfaces, drugs and drug delivery systems targeted at specific brain diseases.

Dalhousie University offers its students a broad range of educational and research activities. Through the Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) Program, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) a part of the Industry Canada portfolio, the University is taking training for its researchers to a new level.

Since 2009, NSERC's CREATE Program has offered funding to help highly qualified students and postdoctoral fellows across Canada add new dimensions to their studies. As well as concentrating on the traditional lab and research work, these students add practical, hands-on experience within industry to their educational experience. This innovative and collaborative approach provides student researchers with skills that better prepare them for their future careers in industry, government or academia.

"What makes this an interesting and unique training program is that it is progressive, as it helps our students translate their research into practical uses in a work environment," states John Newhook, Associate Vice President Research at Dalhousie University. "While co-op programs and internships are available to many undergraduate students, most graduate students did not have that option. Now, we're able to offer them opportunities to collaborate with industry and other disciplines in a way that complements their research and lab work. This broadens their scope and experience, allowing them to hone professional skills in leadership, entrepreneurship, communication, commercialization, and developing intellectual property."

"The CREATE Program is valuable because it focuses on people rather than product or process," says Newhook. "Students leave Dalhousie with complete skill sets, helping them become successful in their fields. These graduates are now able to translate research into action and become immediate and productive proponents of transforming Canadian industry."

"This program is very popular with graduate students because they round off their skill sets in a way that helps them with their careers and to acquire the type of job they want once they finish their studies," says Newhook. "In turn, the program helps Dalhousie create a world-class training environment allowing us to attract top graduate students who want to study here because they see the benefits."

Dalhousie is one of Canada's most prolific proponents of the CREATE program. Other universities include:

The CREATE Programs offered at Dalhousie University include:

  • DREAMS (Dalhousie Research in Energy, Advanced Materials and Sustainability);
  • BioMedic (Biomedical Technology, Innovation and Commercialization);
  • STEWARD (Systems Training and Education in Water Assets Research and Development);
  • RADIANT (Rehabilitative and Diagnostic Innovation in Applied Neurotechnology);
  • and ASPIRE (Applied Science in Photonics and Innovative Research in Engineering).
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