Graduate students at Nova Scotia universities have been awarded scholarships to help them stay in the province to do research that could lead to new products and more opportunities. Nine St. Francis Xavier students were awarded provincially funded scholarships for 2015-16 to conduct research in areas like crop fertilization, soil stability, agricultural practices and Lyme disease. “These scholarships support graduate students who are committed to continuing their education and research here in Nova Scotia,” said Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan. “Not only do these scholarships help graduate students directly, they will also benefit our citizens and help boost our economy as that research turns into more opportunities.” Michelle McPherson is an earth sciences master’s student from Dartmouth and one of this year’s recipients. “The work I’m doing will help predict the current and future occurrence of Lyme disease, which means more awareness, and more timely diagnosis and treatment,” said Ms. McPherson. “These scholarships let students focus on school and research. A lot of great research is happening at St. FX, and it’s really nice to be recognized for the work that’s being done here.” Universities administer the graduate scholarship program using existing Canada Graduate Scholarship application processes and selection committees. Universities are encouraged to maximize funds by leveraging other available research funding to ensure as many students as possible benefit. Recipients were selected based on their research potential, academic standing, and the link between their research and Nova Scotia’s priority areas like health and wellness, oceans and marine technology, information and communications technology, and life sciences. Government is phasing in the graduate scholarship program over four years, at which time it will invest $3.7 million annually. This program is part of government’s Make it Here initiative to connect young Nova Scotians with government programs for education and training, and entering the workforce. The Make it Here website is at http://makeithere.novascotia.ca/ .