Category Archives: R&D Policy

NSERC president explains recent program decisions and agency’s evolution

We are grateful to “RE$EARCH MONEY” for granting “Piece of Mind” the permission to post the following exclusive interview they have recently conducted with the President of NSERC, Suzanne Fortier. The original article is accessible to “RE$EARCH MONEY” subscribers on the … Continue reading

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Canada’s young scholars to contend with NSERC’s new dirigisme

NSERC has finally responded to the multiple articles, blogs and editorials criticizing the declining success rate in its postdoctoral fellowship program. It is unfortunate that they chose to do so through a media outlet that is sitting behind a pay … Continue reading

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Quite unusual for an Ottawa Monday morning dump

As always, politicians were crowding the Monday morning issue of the Hill Times newspaper. But today’s was different from any other day. No less than four politicians were either making “major” statements about federal plans for funding R&D, or taking … Continue reading

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The puck stops where?

“NSERC makes decisions on how to best utilize the resources allocated to them by the government.” That was Gary Goodyear, the federal minister responsible for science and technology. He was not responding to our post of last week in which … Continue reading

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NSERC has lost its bearings, but who is responsible?

Canada’s “Natural Science and Engineering Research Council” has grown uncomfortable with the rapidly dwindling success rate in its postdoctoral fellowship programme, the latest having clocked in at 7.8%. So, it has decided to artificially inflate these rates by limiting the number of times young Canadian scholars … Continue reading

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R&D front: Signs that government may be starting to get it

And no, I am not sending out a public bouquet to government à la Naylor-Toope. I am talking about a government that is starting to realize that it’s more important to tune into the dreams and aspirations of Canada’s research community than to … Continue reading

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Goodyear: “This is a moratorium for one year as we seek counsel from the scientific community”

I talked to Dr. Ted Hsu, listened to Minister Goodyear, and missed Madame Hélène LeBlanc who has been “promoted” to Industry. I liked what I heard, which reminded me of my long-held view, that it is often more rewarding to deal directly … Continue reading

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Finally, media and Parliament pick up on research funding crisis

“Dr. Hsu has been made aware of your blog and is interested in knowing your thoughts on the federal government’s science and technology policy.” I Googled Dr. Ted Hsu, who turned out to be the MP for Kingston and the Islands, … Continue reading

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NSERC’s Discovery Program: Let it bleed?

Is the NSERC leadership bleeding its Discovery program even more than what the government is asking them to? Some say that the termination of the Major Resources Support (MRS) and the Research Tools and Instrument (RTI) programs alone translate into a 20% hit … Continue reading

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First reactions to the NSERC cuts

On the heels of the cheery press releases of the presidents of NSERC and CIHR regarding the 2012 federal budget, announcements about the fate of various programs are now coming out. They all start with, “As part of the Government of … Continue reading

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Anyone for a Canadian “Golden Goose Award”?

Are you old enough to remember the heyday of the late Senator William Proxmire “Golden Fleece awards” given to so called “wasteful” science in the US system? Well, luckily my science policy soulmate, Paul Dufour, claims that he is, and he … Continue reading

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Computer Science in the world of Gatorade and Disney

“Math and computer science are hard. Why bother?” read the caption, which appeared in the latest Forbes Magazine. The article entitled, “University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department, Increases Athletic Budgets. Hmm,” describes Dean Abernathy’s restructuring plan for the College of Engineering. “Any faculty … Continue reading

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Tri-council: Beyond the press releases of their presidents

The press releases of the presidents of CIHR and NSERC regarding their 2012 budget allocations are out. They are almost identical. Are they also trying to save on communication? NSERC’s is entitled “Economic action plan 2012”, yet  the meeting of Friday the 13th … Continue reading

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US republicans more supportive of science than …

…. their counterparts in the democratic party! I know, I know, you have all been eagerly awaiting “the deficit reduction action plan” of Canada’s three research councils. You will surely not get it from the “rosy” picture portrayed in the messages of … Continue reading

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Call your VP-Research before Friday the 13th at the Tri-council!

“My Mathematics” is going well lately. It is not always the case, so blogging has taken the backseat. It is unfortunate because much needs to be communicated before tomorrow’s meeting in Ottawa between the VPs-Research of Canada’s universities and Tri-council officials. … Continue reading

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Turmoil at the Tri-council?

The VPs-Research of all universities across Canada have been invited to a Tri-Council meeting “around Research and Innovation” in Ottawa. Officials are being very tight-lipped about the content of the meeting, which is scheduled for April 13th. What is it … Continue reading

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2012 federal budget: “We in Canada have yet to learn, so it seems”

My friend had called from Ottawa right after the budget lock-up to “re-assure me” that the three research councils did OK. The AUCC president, Paul Davidson, had also issued a press release offering praise for “investments (that) will preserve current levels of … Continue reading

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What to expect on the R&D front from tomorrow’s “transformational” budget?

Canada’s federal budget is due in less than 24 hours, and so we still have some time to speculate about it. There are four elements to work with and to extrapolate from. First, Harper’s declarations at Davos indicate a will … Continue reading

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Everything you wanted to know about GERD, BERD, GovERD and HERD

The UK department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) released its annual science, engineering and technology statistics, including a good deal of data on how much the G7 countries spend on research and development (R&D). Canada is fifth out of seven in the … Continue reading

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Are Canada’s best researchers failing the country’s innovation agenda?

Or is it that the system and current programs are failing to capture their talent and their expertise? Needless to say, both questions assume that “Innovation” is not really having a good ride in Canada, at least compared to other … Continue reading

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