Call for Applications for Lakehead University Research Chairs (LURC) -Deadline Extended to January 8, 2021

These Chairs recognize high quality research, scholarly and creative achievement, by providing a two‐year research grant to support an individual’s program of research. The LURCs program is a key initiative in retaining outstanding research talent at our institution, a goal consistent with Lakehead’s Research Plan.

Lakehead University is seeking applications for two (2) new 2021-2023 Lakehead University Research Chairs, one (1) in the disciplines supported by SSHRC/CIHR and one (1) in the disciplines supported by NSERC/CIHR.

Eligibility: All faculty who are full‐time tenure‐track or tenured members of LUFA and have been employed by Lakehead University for at least five years are eligible. Current or past research chair holders such as CRCs, LU/TBRHRI Research Chairs, LURCs, Ontario Research Chairs, SHARCNET Chairs, etc., are not eligible to receive this award.

Value of Award: Up to $45,000 as a research grant (up to $22,500/year) tenable over two years beginning February 1, 2021. The Chair’s research grant may be used to support the following eligible expenditures: teaching release (Chairs are required to teach a minimum of 1.0 FCE per year), stipends for students, post‐doctoral fellows and research associates, research and conference travel, equipment and grant‐writing support. Chairs must receive the necessary approvals for teaching release using Lakehead University’s Release Time Request Form. Salary payments to Research Chairs in lieu of teaching release are not an eligible expense.

Application Process: Applications must be submitted via the Romeo Research Portal no later than 4:30 pm Friday, January 8, 2021. The following information will be required as part of the application:

  • Lakehead University Research Chair application form (available in the Romeo Research Portal);
  • Release Time Stipend Request Form (if requesting release time from teaching);
  • Canadian Common CV (do not use generic CCV, use appropriate Tri‐Council CCV);
  • Three external letters of reference addressing the selection criteria.  One of the three letters must be from an individual who is at arm’s length from the applicant and does not have a conflict of interest; and
  • Supporting letter from the Faculty Dean.
    • The 3 letters of reference and the Dean's letter of support should be addressed to Dr. Andrew P. Dean, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Lakehead University and be emailed directly to


Selection Process and Criteria: The Vice‐President (Research and Innovation) shall appoint a Lakehead University Research Chair Selection Committee. The Selection Committee will review all submitted nominations and make its recommendations to the Vice‐President (Research and Innovation). The Lakehead University Research Chairs Selection Committee will review all eligible Lakehead University Research Chair nominations/applications utilizing the following evaluation criteria:

  • be outstanding and innovative researchers whose accomplishments have made a major impact in their fields;
  • be recognized nationally and internationally as leaders in their fields;
  • have a track‐record of attracting external research funding;
  • have an excellent record of mentoring undergraduate students, supervising graduate students and postdoctoral fellows (taking into account circumstances in the Department or practices in the relevant field or discipline) and as Chairs have the potential to attract excellent trainees and future researchers;
  • have a record of participating in collaborative interdisciplinary research and contributing to research capacity building (e.g., development of new graduate programs); and
  • have proposed an original, innovative research program of high quality that fits the priority research areas outlined in Lakehead University’s Research Plan.

Successful Lakehead University Research Chairs will be expected to give at least one public presentation as part of Lakehead’s annual Research and Innovation Week. Each Chair will also be required to submit to the Vice‐President (Research and Innovation) and their Faculty Dean a report highlighting their activities and accomplishments during their term as a Lakehead University Research Chair at the end of their award period.

For additional information regarding the application process, please contact Anne Klymenko, Director, Research Services at

Updated: CFI John R. Evans Leaders Fund (Unaffiliated) - Internal Deadline: January 29, 2021


All faculty members with tenured or tenure-track positions at Lakehead University are invited to submit applications to Lakehead University’s internal 2021 Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) competition.  The deadline for the internal competition will be January 29, 2021.  

Please note that up to $205,000 (CFI portion only) from Lakehead's JELF allocation has been allocated to this competition to support a total investment of up to $512,500 in research infrastructure.  Researchers are required to secure the required 20% matching funds in order to be eligible to apply. Please note that this internal competition will expend Lakehead's remaining CFI JELF 2019-2022 allocation.


Internal Review of Applications

In order to support research excellence and ensure fairness and transparency in the distribution of these funds, applications will be reviewed internally by an internal CFI JELF peer review committee  which will rank the applications and then make recommendations to the Vice-President Research, and Innovation.

Eligibility and Application Process
The JELF "enables a select number of an institution’s excellent researchers to undertake leading-edge research by providing them with the foundational research infrastructure required to be or become leaders in their field. In turn, this enables institutions to remain internationally competitive in areas of research and technology development, aligned with their strategic priorities."

The candidate(s) listed in the proposal must be:

  • A recognized leader or have demonstrated the potential for excellence in the proposed research field(s);
  • Engaged in or embarking upon research/ technology development that is original, internationally competitive and of high quality; and
  • A current faculty member with a full-time academic appointment or a candidate that the institution is in the process of recruiting to a full-time academic position in an area of strategic importance.

The JELF is intended to serve the infrastructure needs of individual faculty, or groups of up to three faculty members where there is a need to share infrastructure.

Priority will be given to early career researchers, and infrastructure that will be shared (small group applications). Candidates who have previously been supported  through the JELF, Leaders Opportunities Fund, New Opportunities Fund or Canada Research Chairs Infrastructure Fund are eligible for funding under the JELF; however a justification of the value-added of a subsequent award is required. Application forms and guidelines are available by referring to the CFI's website.

Candidates must be recognized leaders in their field of research, or show promise of becoming research leaders. They must be engaged in, or embarking on, an innovative research program for which the infrastructure is essential and which will provide an enriched research training environment. CFI JELF  applications must also fit with the research priorities outlined in Lakehead University's Research Plan

In addition to meeting general CFI eligibility requirements, infrastructure items for JELF candidates must be essential for the research program of the candidate(s). If the requested items have been purchased or received, they must be obtained as an in-kind contribution no more than six months before the date of submission of the application.


Required Components for a Complete Application

Complete CFI JELF applications for the internal competition must be submitted to the Office of Research Services by the internal deadline and must consist of:

1.    CFI LOF Application Forms (CFI Award Management System)- Please use the John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF) – Unaffiliated version of the form.

2.    CFI Request for Quotations Form plus one quote for each major equipment item.

3.    CFI Internal Budget Worksheet and one quotation in CFI format for all equipment/renovation items.

4.     Letter from the relevant dean confirming support for application and confirming space. Space must be confirmed by the internal application deadline.* 

5.  Projects requiring renovations** must include:

  • a cost estimate (from Physical Plant) prior to the internal application deadline
  • Evidence of the required cash contributions to offset the 20% matching fund requirements.

6. Completed Internal Research Proposal Approval Form

7.  Regarding re-submissions: If your application is a re-submission of a previously unsuccessful application, you are required to include a maximum of one page addressing how the comments of the CFI reviewers have been addressed in your new application.

8.  CFI JELF internal checklist.

*Note: If any CFI infrastructure is to be located outside of Lakehead University, please note that  Lakehead must still  ". . . exercise de facto control over the research infrastructure, including assuming responsibility for its access and for the associated scientific programming" (CFI Policy and Program Guide).   In such cases, a letter of support from the organization that would be hosting the infrastructure must be attached to the internal CFI application.  

The letter must specify:

1.  The organization's agreement to host the CFI-funded infrastructure (with Lakehead maintaining de facto control).

2.  Agreement to allow the Project Leader full access to the space and if there were renovations involved in making the space ready to house the equipment, the receiving organization is required to agree to the renovations to their space.

If the CFI were subsequently awarded, an  inter-institutional agreement would need to be signed between Lakehead and the receiving organization outlining the above terms and conditions.

**Note:  Please note that if renovations are not required as part of acquiring and installing the requested infrastructure, the applicant(s) must indicate in the CFI application why renovations are not required.


CFI Funding Formula and Matching Funds

Please note that the CFI JELF program will contribute up to 40% towards infrastructure costs, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities' Ontario Research Fund will contribute 40% and the remaining 20% must be found from other sources by the researcher. Funds from CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC, as well as Tri-Council programs (e.g. the Networks of Centres of Excellence and the Canada Research Chairs) are not considered to be acceptable funding partners. However, the CFI will allow the cost of eligible item(s) to be covered in part by the aforementioned funding sources, provided that this portion is not used to leverage CFI funds. Equipment discounts beyond the best educational price are eligible as in-kind contributions towards the 20% matching funds required.

CFI JELF applications must include confirmation of the required matching funds. If the matching funds are to be provided by the private sector or other external agency, a letter of support outlining their commitment must accompany the application. If the 20% matching fund is provided in the form of a "discount beyond best educational price" by a supplier, a copy of the quotation must be included showing:

1. List Price

2. Best Educational Price

3. Discount Beyond Best Educational Price (the in-kind or CFI contribution)

4. Net CFI Price

Researchers must use Lakehead University's CFI Request for Quotations Form to ensure quotations meet CFI eligibility requirements. A CFI Internal budget worksheet must be completed and submitted along with copies of the equipment quotations used to complete the CFI form. Note that only "discounts beyond best educational price" are eligible.  Please note that project leaders should be aware that once the relevant taxes (3.41% HST) are applied to the total cost of the requested infrastructure in the application budget, the contribution by a vendor may actually work out to slightly less than the required 20%. Additional matching funds may be required to make up the resulting short-fall.

If you have any doubts regarding the eligibility of your matching funds, please call Anne Klymenko or Andrew Hacquoil in the Office of Research Services for advice.

Please note that LU start-up grants may be used towards the matching fund requirement whether it has been spent during the six months prior to the CFI JELF external deadline (June 15, 2021) or will be spent on research infrastructure. Funds from start-up grants are to be shown as a cash contribution from the institution, not in-kind (as per CFI guidelines). It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all in-kind contributions are eligible in accordance with CFI's guidelines.

Renovations to Space

Requests for renovations to new space (not currently allocated to the applicant) must be approved by the Lakehead University’s Space Committee prior to the internal deadline. Researchers should be aware that renovation costs can also include such expenses as changes to a space in order to accommodate a piece of equipment that has special power requirements, or environmental cooling (for example). If an application is to include renovations in the budget, researchers must contact Kevin Schlyter in Physical Plant far in advance of the January 29, 2021 internal deadline to arrange for a cost estimate. Applications that do not accurately reflect costs may be deemed ineligible for consideration. Additional information is available on-line at the Lakehead University Physical Plant website.  

Should you have any questions regarding the CFI JELF program, please contact Anne Klymenko at or Andrew Hacquoil at Additional information regarding the CFI program can be obtained by referring to the following website: CFI John R. Evans Leaders Fund.

Call for Applications: Community-Engaged Research Award (Deadline January 22, 2021)

Community-engaged research is a collaborative process between universities and diverse communities. The goal of such research is to improve community well-being and to describe, through participatory knowledge creation and creative expression, how this is accomplished. Community-engaged research respects the capacity of all stakeholders to contribute to the development of new knowledge and incorporates them in the design, conduct and dissemination of the different phases of the research process. 
Community-engaged research is founded upon the principles of social responsibility, respect, reciprocity, democratization of knowledge creation, and social and/or ecological justice.
Lakehead University has a long history and reputation of excellence in community engagement, regionally, nationally and internationally. Lakehead University’s commitment to social justice is a stated priority in the University’s Strategic Plan. We believe that by working together we can make a positive difference and contribute to a more sustainable, just and healthy society.
Through this prestigious award, Lakehead University aims to recognize community-engaged research projects, along with the researchers, students and community partners who have made those projects possible. The Community-Engaged Research Award will be given annually to individuals/teams of Lakehead University faculty members, students and community organizations in recognition of a community-engaged research project they have conducted that has had a positive and/or transformative impact. Although this award recognizes both the project and the researcher(s) who conducted it, evaluation is based on the impact of one specific project, rather than on a researcher’s overall research program. The project should be at a point (ie. completed or near completion) where evidence of impact can be demonstrated.
Applications for this award should be submitted by Friday January 22, 2020 by 11:59 pm through the ROMEO research portal.  The award will be presented during Research and Innovation Week 2021 Awards Ceremony.
For the full guidelines, including how to apply, please click here.

Building Research Capacity at Lakehead University Award - Applications/Nominations Due January 29, 2021

Applications/Nominations are currently being accepted for the Building Research Capacity at Lakehead University Award. Each year, this award is presented to an individual researcher or a group of researchers who have enhanced Lakehead University’s research capacity beyond their individual program(s) of research.


Full-time tenure-track and tenured Lakehead University faculty members may apply for the award OR nominate another eligible faculty member or group. All applications/nominations must be submitted throughthe Romeo Research Portal, and must contain the following documentation:

●      A description OR a letter of nomination highlighting how the researcher(s) has/have enhanced Lakehead University’s research capacity beyond their individual program(s) of research. In the case of a nomination, eligible nominators must be full-time tenure-track or tenured faculty members.

●      Any evidence of the relevant research capacity building that the applicant/nominator(s) wishes/wish to submit, including letters of support.

One cash award of $1,000 and a framed certificate will be presented to the selected recipient(s) during Research and Innovation Week’s Awards Reception. Please click here for more details.

The deadline is Friday, January 29, 2021.

Mitacs: Special Thematic Call for the Globalink Research Award Program

Mitacs has announced a special Thematic Call for the Globalink Research Award Program.   The deadline to apply is December 7, 2020 (the internal submission deadline is November 23, 2020), for projects with start dates between March 15, 2021 and February 28, 2022.  Projects have one year from the approval date to start.  Themes and subthemes are:

1. Artificial Intelligence: 

i. Responsible AI
ii. Data governance
iii. Future of work
iv. Innovation and commercialization

2. Quantum Technologies:

i. Quantum computing and simulation
ii. Quantum networking and communication
iii. Quantum sensing and metrology

3. Green Economy:

i. Sustainable industry
ii. Clean technology and materials
iii. Clean energy transition
iv. Healthy environments (includes Arctic research, oceans, sustainable agriculture and smart cities)

4. Pandemic Preparedness:

i. Pandemic preparedness and AI
ii. Social impact policy making
iii. Societal response to Covid-19 pandemic
iv. One Health


General Guidelines. This call is separate from the Lakehead-specific GRA program, and there is no co-pay requirement. Unless otherwise noted, research stays are for 3-6 months, and the award amount is CAD 6,000.  Travel in both directions is eligible - Lakehead students/PDF can travel to the partner, or a Lakehead faculty member can host a student/PDF from a partner. Unless otherwise noted, all Lakehead students, including international students, are eligible.  Up to 5 students may participate on a project (single project application). A specific partner may have specific eligibility criteria/restrictions, and/or program enhancements.

General Eligibility. unless otherwise noted for a specific partner:

Students and postdoctoral fellows

  • Must be registered as full-time senior undergraduates, graduate students, or postdoctoral fellows at a Canadian university or at an eligible university or institution outside Canada and remain as such throughout their GRA project period. Postdoctoral fellows may apply if their date of graduation from a PhD program is no more than five years prior to the proposed start date of the research project.
  • Cannot undertake a research project at an institution where they have previously completed a degree
  • For participants travelling from Canada: cannot undertake a research project in a country where they hold citizenship (unless they are a permanent resident or citizen of Canada)
  • Must be the legal age of majority in Canada (18 years of age or older)
  • Must meet travel requirements for their intended destination, including visa and/or immigration requirements and associated documentation
  • Cannot hold more than one Globalink Research Award per academic lifetime
  • Cannot have previously held a Mitacs-JSPS Summer Program award

Undergraduate eligibility

Undergraduate applicants completing their first post-secondary degree must have completed their second year of studies prior to departure. All applicants enrolled in an undergraduate degree must have maintained a B average in their two most recent semesters prior to application. This average can be cumulative over the two semesters.

Home and host supervising professors

  • Must hold a faculty position at a Canadian university or must be recognized faculty members at their institutions outside Canada
  • Must be eligible to hold Tri-Agency funding and to supervise graduate students in Canada or must be eligible to host graduate students at their institution outside Canada


Partners for this special themed call are:

Brazil: Fundação Araucária Foundation
China: China Science and Technology Exchange Center (CSTEC)
France: Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies du numérique (Inria)
France: French Embassy in Canada
France: Université de Lorraine
Germany: Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (Helmholtz Association)
Germany: Jülich (Helmholtz Association)
India: Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute
Japan: National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science (AIST)
Korea: National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)
Singapore: AI Singapore (AISG)
Taiwan: National Cheng Kung University
Tunisia: Mediterranean Institute of Technology (MedTech)
United Kingdom: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

 * See the chart on the next page for specific institutions that are eligible, as well as partner-specific criteria.

To request an application:


For more information:

                Lakehead University:

Jill Sherman, International Research Facilitator, Office of Research Services, Lakehead University, Tel: 807-343-8014, email:


Mitacs – Business Development Representatives for Lakehead University

Wilson Luo | 226.787.4096 |
Christine Macdonald | 647.221.5709 |



Unless otherwise noted, undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are eligible, travel in both directions is eligible (Lakehead students and Post-doctoral Fellows (PDF) can travel to the partner, or a Lakehead faculty member can host a student/PDF from a partner), and all four themes are eligible. Unless otherwise noted, all Lakehead students including international students are eligible. Please check eligibility restrictions for any deviations from the general eligibility criteria.


Eligibility Restrictions




Master’s students, PhD students, or postdoctoral fellows only (undergraduates not eligible)

Fundação Araucária Foundation  (State of Paraná, Brazil)

  • Centro Universitário de Maringá – UNICESUMAR
  • Instituto Federal do Paraná – IFPR
  • Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná – PUC
  • Universidade Estadual de Londrina – UEL
  • Universidade Estadual de Maringá – UEM
  • Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa – UEPG
  • Universidade Estadual do Centro-Oeste – UNICENTRO
  • Universidade Estadual do Norte do Paraná – UENP
  • Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná – UNIOESTE
  • Universidade Estadual do Paraná – UNESPAR
  • Universidade Federal da Fronteira do Sul – UFFS
  • Universidade Federal da Integração Latino-Americana – UNILA
  • Universidade Federal do Paraná – UFPR
  • Universidade Positivo
  • Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná – UTFPR
  • Universidade Tuiuti do Paraná



PDF only


From Canada to China only

China Science and Technology Exchange Center (CSTEC)

All universities and research institutions in mainland China


To Canada:

PhD Students only.


From Canada:  Masters and PhD Students only

Institut national de recherche en sciences et technologies du numérique (Inria)

Centres de recherche Inria


From Canada only

French Embassy in Canada

All universities in France

Green Economy Theme only

Université de Lorraine



PhD & PDF Only


Artificial intelligence, Quantum technologies, Green economy themes only

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (Helmholtz Association)

KIT departments and KIT divisions

PhD or PDF only

Jülich (Helmholtz Association)

  • Ernst Ruska-Centre for Microscopy and Spectroscopy with Electrons (ER-C)
  • Institute for Advanced Simulation (IAS)
  • Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC)
  • Institute of Bio- and Geosciences (IBG)
  • Institute of Biological Information Processing (IBI)
  • Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK)
  • Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM)
  • Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS)
  • Nuclear Physics Institute (IKP)
  • Peter Grünberg Institute (PGI) Central Institute for Engineering, Electronics and Analytics (ZEA) 



Master’s students, PhD students, or postdoctoral fellows only (undergraduates not eligible)

Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute

List of SICI India Eligible Institutions:


Master’s students, PhD students, or postdoctoral fellows only (undergraduates not eligible)


From Canada only

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science (AIST) 

(AIST will cover round trip airfare and accommodation)


Master’s students, PhD students, or postdoctoral fellows only (undergraduates not eligible)


Travel from Canada only; for Citizens/PR of Canada only


National Research Foundation (NRF) Korea

All universities in Korea


Artificial Intelligence theme only


Master’s students, PhD students, or postdoctoral fellows only (undergraduates not eligible)


AI Singapore (AISG)


24 weeks in duration, award is CAD 12,000

AI Singapore


All Themes

Master’s students, PhD students, or postdoctoral fellows (undergraduates not eligible)

National Cheng Kung University

National Cheng Kung University


All Themes


PhD students, or postdoctoral fellows only (undergraduates not eligible)

Mediterranean Institute of Technology (MedTech)

South Mediterranean University (MedTech and Mediterranean School of Business )


PhD Students only


Travel from Canada only (no travel to Canada) 

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

All universities in the UK (including Scotland)

The CALAREO Consortium: MOU Signing

On Wednesday, October 7, 2020, The CALAREO Consortium, represented by Dr. Moira McPherson and Dr. Andrew Dean, signed an MOU for cooperation with 6 technical and polytechnic universities in the Mexican state of Querétaro.   The virtual signing event, hosted by the Embassy of Canada in Mexico City, was attended by the Canadian Ambassador Graeme C. Clark, the Minister of Education from the State of Querétaro, José Alfredo Botello Montes, and representatives from the Queretaro universities. 

The signing of the MOU was the preliminary event to a series of B2B meetings between the Canadian members of CALAREO and the universities in Querétaro.  The State of Querétaro, adjacent to the State of Mexico in the centre of the country, has a strong economy, including investment from Canadian companies (e.g. Bombardier), thanks in part to the recent development of the higher education sector to meet industry demand for skilled workers.  The partnership has strategic value for both sides for student exchange and and internships, and research partnerships, particularly in engineering and applied research. 

The Queretaro universities included:

 Universidad Politécnica de Santa Rosa Jáuregui (UPSRJ)

Universidad Tecnológica de Querétaro (UTEQ)

Universidad Politécnica de Querétaro (UPQ)

Universidad Aeronáutica en Querétaro (UNAQ)

Universidad Tecnológica de Corregidora (UTC)

Universidad Tecnológica de San Juan del Río (UTSRJ)

photos: The CALAREO Consortium; Dr. Andrew P. Dean

Call for Proposals: LUARS Agricultural Research Capacity Development Program - Applications Due November 30, 2020

LUARS Agricultural Research Capacity Development Program - Applications Due November 30, 2020
The Vice-President Research and Innovation (VPRI) is pleased to announce another call for proposals through the LUARS Agricultural Research Capacity Development Program. 
Areas of research priority for LUARS to be supported include, but are not limited to: agriculture, agribusiness, environmental studies, water management, soil science, food security, natural resources management, and other areas that can demonstrate the project has an agricultural focus. In addition, research projects that are based at LUARS and address the emerging regional research needs of the economy of Northwestern Ontario will receive priority.

Eligibility: The LUARS Agricultural Research Capacity Development Program is open to all full-time tenure-track and tenured faculty members.

Grants Available: Up to $30,000 total per project will be available for projects ranging from 1 – 3 years. Projects that leverage matching funds and partnerships are encouraged but not required. Funds may be used to support the following: 1) research expenses, including supplies, materials, equipment and travel; 2) stipends or salary support for the training of graduate students; and 3) organization of workshops and conferences involving community partners with the goal of expanding LUARS-relevant research.

Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020

All applications must be submitted through the Romeo Research Portal. Additional details and requirements can be found here.

Zehbe Research Group Steps Up Work into HPV-Associated Cancers and Treatments

Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe      

Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe is a cancer biologist and researcher in the field of cancers related to human papillomavirus (HPV). photo credit: Zehbe Research Group; Dr. Guillem Dayer, a post-doctoral fellow, is investigating the use of antibodies against cervical cancer; Graduate student Mehran Masoom assisted on a project identifying proteins in HPV-infected cells.

By Julio Heleno Gomes

 A team of scientists and students affiliated with Lakehead University, the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine has been conducting research related to certain types of cancers springing from a common infection. The efforts of members of the Zehbe Research Group has earned them a sterling reputation.

“My collaborations with other scientists has carved out a research niche that is unique in Canada and that has been well-rewarded with success and awards in the very competitive research landscape,” says Dr. Ingeborg Zehbe, a cancer biologist and head of the Zehbe Research Group.

Zehbe is a Lakehead University Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute Research Chair and an associate professor with the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. The Zehbe Research Group focuses on cancers related to human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection that can linger in men and women, potentially leading to cancers such as head and neck, cervical and anal. In Northwestern Ontario, for example, there is a significantly higher incidence of cervical cancer, particularly in First Nations communities.

“Indigenous women have a higher risk of developing cervical cancer,” Zehbe says, noting rates can be two to 20 times the national average. The reasons for that discrepancy are due to geographical barriers, limited access to care, and cultural sensitivities.

“There are many logistical issues, but also historical trauma and lack of awareness,” Zehbe says. “It’s really three things — logistics, education and history — that leads to the fact that Indigenous women in our area aren’t screened as much.”

To that end, in 2012 Zehbe and a multi-disciplinary team launched the Anishnaabek Cervical Cancer Screening Study (, which encouraged screening among women from 10 First Nations in the region. By working with women and health-care providers in these communities, the team developed a culturally safe self-testing method, increasing cervical cancer screening for Indigenous women.

Zehbe joined the Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute in 2009, having completed post-doctoral research in Germany on HPV as a cancer-causing agent. Her work on HPV screening and prevention involves experts in fields such as physics, engineering and chemistry, focusing on early detection, treatment and follow-up.

“The key is our interdisciplinary approaches,” Zehbe says of those efforts.

The current complement at the Zehbe Research Group consists of graduate students, PhD candidates and post-doctoral fellows. One of them is Dr. Guillem Dayer, who grew up in Africa and became interested in the interaction of different parasites that cause infectious diseases such as malaria and giardiasis. Since arriving in Thunder Bay two years ago he’s been investigating the use of small antibodies to target a specific viral protein that is a main contributor to the development of cervical cancer.

“Understanding protein interactions and functions is essential to target them for the development of therapeutics,” Dayer says. “For my post-doctoral fellowship, I wanted to apply my knowledge in protein interactions to work more specifically on targeting them using antibodies. Dr. Zehbe gave me the opportunity to perform such research in her lab.”

Mehran Masoom, who recently obtained his Master’s degree in Biology, assisted on this project. His role was to develop a method to isolate certain proteins through mass spectrometry analysis.

“This took quite some time but I did succeed in making a protocol that worked and I was able to identify numerous proteins,” Masoom explains.

He’s currently working on confirming the presence of each identified interacting protein within the HPV-infected cells.

“If these pathways or mechanisms are able to be targeted, it can open a new possibility to develop potential therapeutics,” he adds.

Recent members of the Zehbe Research Group are: Robert Jackson and Melissa Togtema (PhDs in biotechnology); Jordan Lukacs (researcher); Statton Eade (research assistant); Alejandro Ortigas Vásquez (bioinformatics researcher); and fourth-year student Simran Bedi.

Zehbe has mentored more than 50 students at all levels and secured more than $2-million in funding, from, among others, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp., and the Northern Cancer Research Foundation.

published in the Chronicle Journal August 31, 2020

Zehbe Research Group Steps Up Work into HPV-Associated Cancers and Treatments

INTERNSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT: Mitacs Business Strategy Internships (BSI)

In collaboration with Mitacs, Lakehead’s Faculty of Business Administration is pleased to offer six Business Strategy Internships to returning Lakehead students, for Fall-Winter 2020-21.  Awards are in the amount of $10,000 for students to undertake a strategic project with a small or medium-sized company (SME) or not-for-profit organization. The partner organization and the Faculty of Business Administration will each contribute $2,500 toward the award.

Interns will undertake a strategic analysis of the SME to help them restore or modify their business operations in a new business environment disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Projects should be for 4 months (full-time) up to 6 months (part-time, total of 480 hours) in duration. Projects may begin as soon as approved by Mitacs, but must begin no later than August 31, 2020. 

Application and selection guidelines

Student Eligibility.  Full-time undergraduate and graduate students in the Faculty of Business who are returning to studies in Fall 2020 are eligible (including international students). Students must be registered during the award period. Students who are actively working on another Mitacs-funded project are not eligible.

Faculty and Partner Organization Supervisors. The student will have two supervisors, one at Lakehead and one at the partner organization. A Lakehead Faculty member (must be Tri-Council eligible) must agree to supervise the student research project. The participating organization will also appoint a supervisor. Both supervisors are expected to meet with the student at least once a week – meetings can be virtual.

Partner Organization.  Small-to-medium sized businesses (fewer than 500 employees) are eligible, as are not-for-profit organizations. Partner organizations will contribute $2,500 toward the award.

Projects.  Projects will be designed to address one or more business strategy components (i.e., marketing strategy, operations strategy, finance strategy, etc.) dependent on the need of the partner organization.

Because of safety measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic, students should propose projects that can be conducted remotely.  If the campus re-opens while the project is underway, the project can continue on campus, provided it can be safely conducted under the guidelines in place at that time. 

Program Coordinator:  Maryann Kleynendorst, Experiential Learning Navigator, Faculty of Business Administration, Tel: 807-628-4166, Email:

If you would like to participate and have a research project idea:

  1. Download and review the Primer and the Toolkit.
  2. Contact a Faculty member who might be your supervisor, and discuss your project idea.
  3. FOR STUDENTS:  Complete the preliminary application online at and submit it by Monday, July 6, 2020.  If you have questions about completing the application, you can contact the Program Coordinator. 
  4. For EMPLOYERS (SME / Not-for-Profit): The Faculty of Business at Lakehead will be accepting project applications until July 17, 2020. 
  5. The Faculty of Business will work to match student applicants with available projects. 
  6. If selected, you will then work with the Program Coordinator to complete and submit your application to Mitacs. Mitacs will give a decision on your application within 1-2 weeks.
  7. At the end of the project, you will be required to participate in an exit survey and prepare and deliver a final report and a presentation to the supervisor during the last week of the award period.


For Student Applicants:Deadline:  Monday, July 6, 2020.

 For interested SMEs / Partner Organizations: Deadline:  July 17, 2020


Maryann Kleynendorst

Experiential Learning Navigator

Faculty of Business Administration

Tel: 807-628-4166



SSHRC Grant Application Enhancement Program

The Office of the Vice President (Research and Innovation) at Lakehead University is pleased to announce the continuation of the SSHRC Grant Application Enhancement Program. This program is designed to encourage and support researchers at Lakehead University to begin preparation of their SSHRC applications well in advance of the internal deadline (two weeks before the SSHRC deadline), with the ultimate goal of increasing overall success rates. The workshops will be designed to develop skills to write each application type, with common and specific references made during the sessions.

Beginning in April each year and spanning a five week period, applicants will participate in a series of four workshops devoted to the drafting of specific elements of a SSHRC application, common across disciplinary boundaries. Workshop topics may include participating in a mock SSHRC peer review exercise, organizing a comprehensive description of the proposed research project, preparing an engaging summary, crafting a project budget, and creating a feasible knowledge mobilization plan. The topics and schedule of these workshops will be finalized in consultation with participants who are accepted in this program. At the conclusion of the workshops, participants’ feedback will be sought to assist in the evaluation of the program.

Participants in the program will be eligible for a research grant of up to $1500, distributed in two installments to aid in the development of their SSHRC applications. Researchers may use this grant for costs associated with research, including but not limited to hiring research assistants and grant writers/editors, collecting preliminary data, meeting with research partners, and gathering materials for the literature review. The $1500 grant will be distributed in two separate allotments: 1) $750 at the completion of the workshops in which the participant had full attendance and 2) $750 after a SSHRC application has been submitted. Applications from the completion of the workshops must be submitted to the next immediately available Insight Grant, Insight Development Grant competition.

All researchers engaged in research in the area of social sciences and humanities are welcome to participate in the program. Participants from previous programs are welcome to apply to re-enroll in the program on an “audit” basis, which means that they will not be eligible for the financial incentive. 
The number of applicants selected to participate in this program will be capped depending on financial resources available and will total no more than 10 participants. Evaluation of applicants will be based on originality, relevance to SSHRC’s mandate, project description cohesiveness, and background of the researcher.

If you would like more information, please contact the Research and Knowledge Mobilization Facilitator at