Canadian Poultry Magazine

CPRC Update: September 2009

By CPRC   

Features New Technology Production

Postgrad Scholarship Supplement

The future of Canada’s poultry sector depends upon a strong,
world-class research community. Training future researchers is
essential to meet this need. The Canadian Poultry Research Council
(CPRC) supports this endeavour in two ways.

The future of Canada’s poultry sector depends upon a strong, world-class research community. Training future researchers is essential to meet this need. The Canadian Poultry Research Council (CPRC) supports this endeavour in two ways. First, nearly all research grants awarded by CPRC incorporate graduate student support. Second, the CPRC has created, in conjunction with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC), a “Postgraduate Scholarship Supplement.” The supplement is $7,500 per year. To be eligible, a student must be studying (or planning to study) some aspect of poultry science and hold a NSERC scholarship at the masters (eligible for one year) or doctoral level (eligible for up to two years). Applications are due May 1 each year.

NSERC postgraduate scholarships are available on a competitive basis to Canada’s best postgraduate students. The purpose of the CPRC Postgraduate Scholarship Supplement is to encourage these students to consider a career in poultry science.


The specific objectives of the program are:

  • to encourage and support graduate students to carry out research in an aspect of poultry science;
  • to build Canada’s intellectual capacity in poultry science; and
  • to promote graduate research in poultry science at Canadian universities.

For more information on the scholarship supplement, including how to apply, please contact the CPRC office, or visit the NSERC website at and look in the “Postgraduate Programs” section of the “Program Guide” under “Information for for Students and Fellows.”

 The 2009 scholarship supplement was awarded to Bushansingh (Shyam) Baurhoo at McGill University. Shyam is investigating the effect of mannanoligosaccharides (MOS) and lignin on broiler chicken performance, especially in the absence of dietary antimicrobials. MOS are complex sugars derived from yeast that have been shown to have pre-biotic effects – that is, they may support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the chicken’s gut. Lignin is a co-product of the paper industry that may also be of benefit.  This work directly relates to CPRC’s priority of finding alternatives to commonly used antimicrobials.  Shyam’s PhD research project is very ambitious. He will be looking at effects on nutrient metabolism, gene regulation, immune function and microbial population dynamics. Work thus far suggests that MOS and low levels of lignin are both more effective than virginiamycin at decreasing gut colonization by the bacterium E. coli and at increasing numbers of beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. The supplements may also help protect poultry from salmonella challenge. These results could be of significant importance to the industry.

Growing Forward
Growing Forward, the new agricultural policy framework delivered nationally by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), is designed to help Canadian agriculture turn new ideas and technologies into viable market opportunities. Programs emerging from Growing Forward represent opportunities for the Canadian poultry sector to partner with AAFC in supporting new research. On behalf of the sector, CPRC, in conjunction with universities, government and industry organizations are developing an application under the “Canadian Agri-Science Clusters” initiative. A “cluster” is a group of scientists with varied, complementary expertise from a range of institutions working towards a common goal. The cluster application will cover three main themes, which are consistent with CPRC’s 2009 research priorities. They are:

  • Biology and control of avian influenza in poultry
  • The pathogenesis and control of enteric bacterial diseases in poultry
  • Innovative production technologies and practices for Canada’s poultry sector

CPRC has committed up to $600,000 over three years for the program.  Regional industry organizations across Canada have been given the opportunity to review the proposal and invited to participate in the application to AAFC. Their participation will increase the scope of the research program. Pooling industry funds to address issues of common interest is a powerful way to maximize the impact of our collective investment in research.For more details on any CPRC activities, please contact Gord Speksnijder at The Canadian Poultry Research Council, 483 Arkell Road, R.R. #2, Guelph, Ontario, N1H 6H8, by phone: 289-251-2990, fax: 519-837-3584 or e-mail:, or visit us at .

The membership of the CPRC consists of the Chicken Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Egg Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors’ Council. CPRC’s mission is to address its members’ needs through dynamic leadership in the creation and implementation of programs for poultry research in Canada, which may also include societal concerns.

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