Where is Discovery’s money going?

Treasury Board’s main estimates for 2011-12 were put out this week. On page 219 you will find the estimates for NSERC. Discover grants are scheduled to go up by $2M (less than 0.5% increase) while infrastructure will go down by $.5M. Base RPP programs will grow by $57M. This represents a 21.7% increase. Most of this is for the new college programs. Scholarship will go down by $15M (10%). There is more explanation on page 220. But the main story is 5 years old. It is about the following NSERC data for the total amounts awarded in all EG’s for individual discovery grants:

(2006) $77,873,000
(2007) $82,292,000
(2008) $76,297,000
(2009) $86,160,000
(2010) $69,467,000
(2011) $64,467,000

Granted that the amount awarded for DG varies from year to year, but the numbers above are troubling, since what matters (roughly) is the comparison after a five-year cycle, as that is when most of the 2011 applicants got their last grant. The data shows that both Mathematics/Statistics and Chemistry dropped almost 20%.

Here is the data for Math/Stats

$3,720,000  (2006)
$3,895,750   (2007)
$3,834,833   (2008)
$3,679,000   (2009)
$3,494,427   (2010)
$3,007,000   (2011)

Below are the 2006-10 tables (for all disciplines) that you can find at


The 2011 data can be found at

http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/NewsRelease- CommuniqueDePresse_eng.asp?ID=285

This entry was posted in R&D Policy. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Where is Discovery’s money going?

  1. Pingback: NSERC’s scholarships and fellowships: Policy shift or collateral damage? | Piece of Mind

  2. Pingback: The decline in Discovery Grants budgets also begs for an explanation? | Piece of Mind

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