CANARIE funding to help researchers achieve groundbreaking results while saving time and money

By Greg Duck Posted: July 22, 2019 10:00 a.m.

Max Ivanov, an instructor with the Department of Computer Science and a key project manager for the Online Therapy Unit (OTU), discusses improvements to the well-being program’s software with Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos, psychology professor and director of the OTU.
Max Ivanov, an instructor with the Department of Computer Science and a key project manager for the Online Therapy Unit (OTU), discusses improvements to the well-being program’s software with Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos, psychology professor and director of the OTU. Photo: University Advancement and Communications

New funding will help researchers turn their data into scientific breakthroughs — faster.

The University of Regina recently received CANARIE funding of up to $330,000 for specialized research software support. This funding is part of a pilot project to evaluate the success of a local software support team concept. The U of R was one of three Canadian universities to receive funding to create teams of software developers within the institutions to assist all researchers with their software development needs.

The grant will be used to hire three dedicated and knowledgeable research software specialists who will assist U of R researchers with finding, adapting, and developing software solutions to support research.

Software specific to research is designed with the quest for knowledge at the forefront and typically features functionality including data acquisition and storage, analytics, and presentation. Extensive training and expertise are often needed to use research software, which can create delays or other issues related to the research at hand.

“This funding will help to create a much more user-friendly experience for University researchers,” says Art Exner, University of Regina Associate Vice-President, Information Services. “It will allow researchers to spend time on what matters most: the research.”

One of the beneficiaries is the University’s Online Therapy Unit (OTU), which provides effective online clinical treatment programs to individuals experiencing mental health difficulties. Participants in the program complete modules, and receive one-on-one support through online messaging. The OTU also trains graduate students and therapists in the delivery of internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy, and conducts multidisciplinary research. Dr. Heather Hadjistavropoulos, psychology professor and executive director of the program, is excited to have local support staff to develop, enhance, integrate, and maintain the research software required for this work.

07-22-1.jpg

(l to r) Max Ivanov, key
project manager for the
OTU, Art Exner, Associate
Vice-President, Information
Services
, and Dr. Heather
Hadjistavropoulos,
psychology professor and
director of the OTU.

“With the added support to the program, more people from underserved communities, including those living in remote areas, will be able to receive critical mental health services,” says Hadjistavropoulos. “Our researchers will be able to do more with the data we receive in a shorter amount of time.”

Outcomes of the pilot study include increased collaboration between researchers, promotion of best practice, increased awareness of research software and digital infrastructure, and career opportunities related to support activities.

“We will be able to advance software-dependent research programs at a faster pace, at a lower cost, and ultimately, at higher quality,” says Exner.

CANARIE strengthens Canadian leadership in science and technology by delivering digital infrastructure that supports world-class research and innovation.

CANARIE and its 12 provincial and territorial partners form Canada’s National Research and Education Network. This ultra-high-speed network connects Canada’s researchers, educators and innovators to each other and to global data, technology, and colleagues.

Beyond the network, CANARIE funds and promotes reusable research software tools and national research data management initiatives to accelerate discovery, provides identity management services to the academic community, and offers advanced networking and cloud resources to boost commercialization in Canada’s technology sector. 

Established in 1993, CANARIE is a non-profit corporation, with the majority of its funding provided by the Government of Canada.

Related

Learn more about the Online Therapy Unit

Learn more about CANARIE and their programs