Eight Perimeter researchers awarded NSERC Discovery Grants

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has announced the recipients of its 2023 Discovery Grants, including eight researchers from Perimeter Institute.

Eight Perimeter researchers have been awarded more than $2.39 million in grants to pursue long-term research programs.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grants program is the Council’s largest and longest-running funding mechanism. It is designed to foster research excellence and enhance research training, while allowing researchers the flexibility to follow promising new avenues as they emerge.

“The Discovery Research Program fosters research excellence by supporting the long-term goals of a diversified base of researchers at different career stages across Canada while also providing stimulating research training opportunities for the scientists and engineers of tomorrow,” says NSERC President Alejandro Adem. 

“The people behind these explorative research programs lay the groundwork for a thriving research enterprise in Canada. They make the discoveries that ultimately improve our society and quality of life.”


The recently announced Discovery Grant recipients include Perimeter Faculty members Freddy Cachazo, Kevin Costello, Bianca Dittrich, Dominic Else, Junwu Huang, Luis Lehner, Katherine Mack, and Lee Smolin.

In addition to the core grants, NSERC also provides Early Career Supplements to exceptional applicants within two years of their first eligible research positions. Two Perimeter researchers received supplements this year: Else for his proposal, “Non-perturbative and topological approaches to gapless strongly coupled quantum many-body systems,” and Mack for her program, “The impact of dark matter particle physics on galaxy evolution and small-scale structure.”

Discovery Grants are awarded following a national, peer-reviewed process to evaluate applications based on three criteria: the excellence of the researcher, the merit of their research proposal, and their contributions to the training of young researchers. Perimeter faculty will utilize their Discovery Grant funds to support PhD student research in partnership with University of Waterloo and York University.

This year, Perimeter researchers achieved a 100 percent success rate on Discovery Grant applications, far surpassing the national average, which ranged from 57 to 75 percent success between 2016 and 2020.

About PI

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement. 

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