On April 10, 2017, the Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science submitted its report titled “Investing in Canada’s Future – Strengthening the Foundations of Canadian Research” to the Minister of Science. The mandate of the panel was to conduct a “review of the federal system of supports for extramural research, understood to be research conducted by scientists and scholars employed outside of federal, provincial, or territorial government departments and agencies.”
The research community, including hospital lead health researchers, support the recommendations of the report and many are urging the federal government to act on the direction given by the Panel.
Among the 35 recommendations submitted by the panel, were:
Legislation to create an independent National Advisory Council on Research and Innovation (NACRI).
Working closely with Canada’s new Chief Science Advisor (CSA), the new council would raise the bar in terms of ongoing evaluations of all programming.
Wide-ranging improvements to oversight and governance of the four agencies.
This includes the appointment of a coordinating board chaired by the CSA.
To be undertaken on a multi-year basis.
To be balanced across:
investigator-led research operating grants (the highest priority);
enhanced personnel supports for researchers and trainees at different career stages;
targeted spending on infrastructure-related operating costs for small equipment and Big Science facilities; and
enhancement of the environment for science and scholarship by improved coverage of the institutional costs of research.
A cumulative base increase to move annual spending in steady-state across the four agencies and closely related entities.
From approximately $3.5 billion to $4.8 billion.
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