Tag Archives: NSERC

A research community at the mercy of a leaderless NSERC  

The bureaucrats of a leaderless NSERC have extended the 5-year grants of three research institutes by two years. This amounts to assigning awards exceeding $7,500,000. They have done so without peer review and against the wishes of one of their … Continue reading

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Is the BIRS programme multiple disciplinary enough for NSERC?

The programs of the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) in Banff and Oaxaca are supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), Canada’s Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Mexico’s Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACyT),  and the … Continue reading

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Overhauling NSERC is a long overdue national priority (I)

With an annual budget of $1.1 billion, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is the agency through which the federal government funds advanced post-secondary research in science and engineering. Thousands of Canadian researchers rely on it, … Continue reading

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Fettering unfettered research funding: The NSERC ways

Last week, I resigned from a committee that is supposed to liaise between NSERC and Canada’s Mathematics and Statistics communities. The reason? An unsettling lack of transparency, shoddy consultation, and poor decision-making by NSERC’s management in handling recent government budget … Continue reading

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Budget 2017, Naylor’s review, and the Mathematical Sciences in Canada

James Colliander, Director of the Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS)  Nassif Ghoussoub, Director of the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) Ian Hambleton, Director of the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences (Fields) Luc Vinet, Directeur du Centre de Recherches Mathématiques (CRM) The … Continue reading

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Canada has two ministers of Science, yet Budget 2017 barely mentions Science

University researchers across Canada are stunned and puzzled. What happened to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals promises to undo the damage that the Harper years inflicted on the nation’s research capacity? The Liberals campaigned to end the “war on Science,” yet they … Continue reading

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Interview with a mathematician: Nassif Ghoussoub

Originally posted on The Intrepid Mathematician:
Nassif Ghoussoub is the founder and current director of the Banff International Research Station, the founding director of the Pacific Institute of Mathematics, and the co-founder of MITACS NCE. On top of all that,…

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Some unedited thoughts for Canada’s fundamental science review panel

The Government bureaucracy seems to be buckling under the sheer number of reviews that the liberal government is currently conducting. One of them is focused on “determining the strengths of our current arrangements and pinpointing gaps and bottlenecks in Canada’s … Continue reading

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Four lessons from an amazing site visit

A joint site visit to the Banff International Research Station (BIRS) by four granting agencies representing four different governments, happened on April 16 and 17. Eight officials from the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Canada’s Natural Science and Engineering Research … Continue reading

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Why Canada’s research granting councils mean so little to this government’s agenda

NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR, Canada’s main granting agencies in support of university research are not doing well. Their total absence from Budget 2015 is only one of many symptoms indicating how tired they are. Tired are their ways in trying … Continue reading

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Now that Government has listened to the research community, will NSERC?

“I’m in Ottawa at the moment at the NSERC Discovery Grant competition – it’s particularly disturbing,” wrote one colleague from engineering, confirming again that the budget pressure on NSERC’s Discovery Grant (DG) program is becoming untenable. Another Evaluation Group (EG) … Continue reading

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Budget 2014 is nothing short of a paradigm shift for Canada’s research and innovation

The substantial investment in university research that the Canadian government announced today is not the only story in Budget 2014. A bigger story may be the pivotal moment and the policy shift that it represents for this government on a … Continue reading

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The people who let you “matter” and those who don’t

Being singled out by the Ubyssey as one of “The people who mattered at UBC in 2012-13” brought much honour and satisfaction, but also introspection. For someone who fusses regularly about whether his latest actions mattered, the mention by the venerable … Continue reading

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Tell me about El CASA

Once again, I had to perform the unpleasant annual task of writing to more than 120 colleagues and their co-applicants all over the world to inform them that their proposals to run a research workshop at the Banff International Research … Continue reading

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The not-so-secret war between the universities and community colleges

The folks of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) may have entered the budget lockup in a sunny mood, but they can’t be now, in spite of their rosy post-budget announcements. The colleges on the other hand … Continue reading

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NSERC: Time to press the “reset” button on the mandate

Cathleen Crudden, President of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) has already hinted at it in her blog post on the occasion of Suzanne Fortier’s exit from NSERC. “Choosing her successor will be a critical task. With academic and industrial researchers calling for more funding … Continue reading

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Suzanne Fortier’s last salvo

You all heard the news by now, and I got more than my share of phone calls, emails and tweets informing me about it. Suzanne Fortier is to become the 17th Principal and Vice-Chancellor (President) of McGill University, effective early September, … Continue reading

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NSERC, Math, Stats, Innovation and all that jazz

Last weekend, representatives of Canada’s mathematical and statistical sciences community presented NSERC’s President, Suzanne Fortier, with a “Long Range Plan.” Entitled Solutions for a Complex Age, the report – commissioned by NSERC – is the result of two years of consultations and deliberations under … Continue reading

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“Embedded” in Ottawa

I am getting to understand the risks (and rewards) of “embedded journalism.”  Less than 24 hours into my trip to Ottawa, I started to feel uncharacteristically mollified, dangerously neutralized, and ridiculously guilty. Ever since I met with Gary Goodyear, Minister … Continue reading

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“We, the researchers in Europe … “

41,432 European researchers have already signed the following petition for the attention of the EU heads of state or government –1616 of them in the last hour alone. This follows the open letter of 42 European Nobel Laureates and 5 Fields … Continue reading

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