FUNDING THE PROGRAM CHANGES
CPRC adjusted its funding program for the 2016 call for Letters of Intent (LOI) to fit better into the annual funding timeframe. Government funding organizations generally look for industry financial support to show that the proposed research is an industry priority. Some funders, such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), require industry funding approval prior to application. Others will accept an application prior to industry funding commitments but will not provide final approval until industry support is confirmed. CPRC moved its call for 2016 LOIs to mid-December with a submission date in early February so that it can complete its review process and issue funding decisions by the end of June.
CPRC uses a two-step review and approval process. The first step is an internal review by the CPRC Board of Directors and its support staff to determine the level of support for a research proposal by the member organizations. The review assesses the proposal’s importance to industry and how well it aligns with priorities identified in the 2012 National Research Strategy for Canada’s Poultry Sector as well as new priorities identified by CPRC and its member organizations (e.g.: climate change, precision agriculture). A short list of projects is developed to move on to the next part of the process.
The second step is to complete peer reviews conducted by research scientists of the short-listed projects, which looks more at technical aspects of the project and the validity of the research (e.g.: duplication of prior research, methodology). The peer reviews provide valuable input to CPRC’s final decisions on the projects that will be funded. The final funding decision will be made at CPRC’s June Board of Directors meeting. CPRC received 28 LOIs in the 2016 call.
2015 CPRC SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT
The 2015 CPRC Scholarship was awarded to Sasha van der Klein, a PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Martin Zuidhof, University of Alberta. Sasha completed her M. Sc. at the University of Wageningen in 2015 in the areas of immunology, genetics and nutrition. She published one and co-authored another paper following from her thesis in genetics, about the relationship between production traits and immunology in laying hens.
Sasha’s research at the University of Alberta will look at broiler breeder management strategies. Her objective will be to better understand the long term effects of broiler breeder rearing strategies on production and the effects on offspring performance. The focus will be on lighting and body weight management. She will also conduct research on understanding the mechanisms of transgenerational effects of nutrition. In her studies she will use the Precision Broiler Breeder Feeding System, developed by Dr. Zuidhof, which can control individual bird feed intake using real-time body weight measurements to make feed allocation decisions.
REDESIGNED CPRC WEBSITE
The membership of the CPRC consists of 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.