Minister Fast welcomes world-leading physicist to UBC as new Canada Excellence Research Chair

Dr. Jennifer Hoffman’s research has the potential to make Canada a leader in quantum materials research

June 26, 2015—Vancouver, British Columbia—Chairs Secretariat

One of the world’s most respected physicists has been appointed as the newest Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Jennifer Hoffman, who has come to Canada from Harvard University, becomes the 24th CERC. International Trade Minister Ed Fast made the announcement today in Vancouver on behalf of Minister of State (Science and Technology) Ed Holder.

As the CERC in Quantum Materials and Devices Based on Oxide Heterostructures, Dr. Hoffman will develop devices using quantum heterostructures. These devices are widely expected to lead a revolution in microtechnology, with the potential to create entirely new frontiers in the electronics, communications, energy and life sciences industries. Possible applications include ultra-fine wires for fast computing, ultra-dense memory, ultra-precise metamaterials for shaping electromagnetic fields, or ultra-sensitive magnetic detectors for enhanced medical imaging.  

Dr. Hoffman’s appointment will establish UBC, British Columbia and Canada at the forefront of quantum materials and heterostructures, and enhance Canada’s long-term global economic competitiveness.

Quick facts

  • Dr. Jennifer Hoffman is The University of British Columbia’s second Canada Excellence Research Chair. With the announcement, there are now 24 chairs in place at 17 universities across Canada.
  • The University of British Columbia will receive up to $10 million in funding over seven years to support Dr. Hoffman and her team’s ambitious research program.
  • The University of British Columbia’s other CERC, Dr. Matthew Farrer, holds the chair in Neurogenetics and Translational Neuroscience, and is one of the world’s leading experts in Parkinson’s disease.
  • Since its launch in 2008, the CERC program has positioned Canada as an international leader and destination of choice for research and development, and continues to attract and retain world-leading researchers.
  • The CERC Program is a tri-agency initiative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
  • As set out in Economic Action Plan 2015 and the updated federal science, technology and innovation strategy, the Government of Canada is committed to supporting world-class research talent and infrastructure that is essential to advanced discoveries in both the public and private sectors.


    “Our Government is committed to developing, attracting, and retaining world-leading researchers through investments in the Canada Excellence Research Chairs. Dr. Hoffman’s research will position Canada at the front of the quantum materials revolution, create new industries and jobs while training the next generation of highly talented Canadian researchers.”

    Ed Holder
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)

    “Our government has made record investments in science and technology to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and improve the quality of life of Canadians. Through our government’s Canada Excellence Research Chairs, I am pleased to welcome Dr. Hoffman to carry out her world leading quantum research in Canada. Her research into quantum materials has exciting potential to place British Columbian and Canadian manufacturing companies at the front of this materials revolution creating jobs here at home.”

    Ed Fast
    Minster of International Trade

    “The arrival of one of the world’s leading researchers at a Canadian university is always something to applaud. However, the impact of Dr. Hoffman’s arrival will extend far beyond her research laboratories. A recipient of awards for her academic teaching at Harvard University, she will be an exceptional mentor for her students, as well as a role model for the next generation of women in science.”

    Ted Hewitt
    Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and Chair, CERC Steering Committee

    “Dr. Jennifer Hoffman’s expertise in quantum materials will help to radically advance Canada’s stature in the field. Coalescing other researchers in this area will provide diverse opportunities for exploration in this exciting field. Recruiting and supporting international talent like Dr. Hoffman will allow Canada to play on the world stage.”

    B. Mario Pinto
    President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

    “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Hoffman to Vancouver to join UBC’s team of leading-edge quantum matter scientists. Quantum materials are expected to transform technology and spawn new industries and this investment allows our researchers to be at the forefront of discovering new materials and understanding how they work.”

    Arvind Gupta
    President, University of British Columbia

    Additional links


    Scott French
    Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
    Office of the Honourable Ed Holder
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Tel.: 343-291-2700

    Michael Adams
    Communications Adviser
    Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program
    Tel: 613-944-1758
    Cell.: 613-219-7523

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada

    Heather Amos
    Media Relations Specialist
    The University of British Columbia
    Tel.: 604-822-3213
    Cell: 604-828-3867