Jayas appointed Interim President of NSERC
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) today announced the appointment of U of M’s Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor Digvir S. Jayas as Interim President of NSERC.
“I thank Minister Duncan for entrusting me with this responsibility,” says Digvir Jayas, vice-president (research and international) and Distinguished Professor. “With support from NSERC’s Executive, I will ensure that NSERC delivers its programs and services smoothly and that NSERC’s interests are well represented at national and international organizations.”
The appointment is on a part-time basis, for the period Nov. 8, 2018 to Nov. 7, 2019 (or until such time as a new President is appointed, whichever occurs first).
Jayas’ first act as the Interim President is the appointment of Dr. Marc Fortin, Vice-President of Research Partnerships, as Chief Operating Officer of NSERC—to be responsible for all aspects of the agency’s daily operations and for routinely reporting to the Interim President—effective immediately.
“Dr. Jayas has been a member of the NSERC Council since 2014, representing interests of all natural sciences and engineering researchers from across Canada,” said David T. Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor at the U of M. “I congratulate him on this new interim appointment and am certain his leadership will ensure the continued smooth operations of NSERC.”
Jayas, an alumni of the University of Manitoba, University of Saskatchewan and G.B. Pant University of G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar, India, has held the position of Vice-President (Research), Associate Vice-President (Research), Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Department Head of Biosystems Engineering, and Interim Director of the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, during his tenure at the U of M.
He has received awards in recognition of his research and professional contributions, including a Canada Research Chair in Stored-Grain Ecosystems, 2017 Sukup Global Food Security Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, as well as the NSERC Brockhouse Canada Prize in 2008. He was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2009.
As Interim President, Dr. Jayas is a member of NSERC’s Council and Executive Committee, and is an ex-officio member of the program standing committees (the Committee on Discovery Research and the Committee on Research Partnerships). He is also a member of NSERC’s Independent Audit Committee.