Four researchers at Carleton University are receiving a total of $498,468 in new funding from the provincial government.

Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi announced the grants yesterday.

“This is going to engage undergraduate and graduate students who will be researching and learning which is exactly what universities are all about,” he said.

Among the recipients is Dr. Maria DeRosa.

She’ll be getting $140,000 from the province to hire researchers for her work on a specially coated “smart fertilizer,” which would release nutrients only when crops need them, reducing waste and environmental impact.

The funding, she said, would have lasting benefits beyond her specific project.

“It has kind of a spin-off benefit,” she said.

“We get this money to do this research, but now the people that we’ve trained are going to be the next generation of researchers that are going to be innovators and help Ontario.”

Also receiving funding are Dr. Patrice Smith, Dr. Ash Asudeh and Dr. Jeremy Laliberte.