Tag Archives: NSERC

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

Posted in Op-eds, R&D Policy | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

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

Posted in Op-eds, R&D Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in R&D Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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

Posted in Op-eds, R&D Policy | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

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

Posted in R&D Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in R&D Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in R&D Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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

Posted in R&D Policy | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in R&D Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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

Posted in Op-eds, R&D Policy | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

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

Posted in R&D Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Was NSERC there?

“Was NSERC listening?” That was a reaction from the Twitter world to yesterday’s plenary address by Mike Lazaridis to the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Indeed, Lazaridis rocked the casbah yesterday with his speech on the “Power of … Continue reading

Posted in Op-eds, R&D Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Physicists debate “the changing role of NSERC’s Discovery program”

First, came the editorial of University of Ottawa Physicist, Béla Joós in last July’s issue of “Physics in Canada”. There, he zeroed in on the heart of the matter, which if you think about it, is mind boggling: “Over the last … Continue reading

Posted in R&D Policy | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Leshner and Toope didn’t get all of it right!

On the occasion of an upcoming meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Vancouver, Stephen Toope, the President of UBC and Alan Leshner, CEO of the AAAS, co-wrote an op-ed for the Vancouver Sun entitled, “Innovation, international collaboration … Continue reading

Posted in Op-eds, R&D Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A close encounter of the classy kind with Preston Manning

The place: The Doug Mitchell Hockey arena at UBC. The occasion: The University of Alberta Bears vs. the UBC Thunderbirds. Why? It’s great hockey and for a fraction of the price of Canucks tickets. The instigators: Ed and Karen Perkins, my friends … Continue reading

Posted in Honouring friends, Op-eds | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

In memoriam: Richard Kane, 1944 – 2010

Richard Kane passed away on October 1, 2010. He was a very dear friend, a friendship that was based on a common purpose of making Canadian Mathematics a major player on the international scene. His distinguished research career, his incredible … Continue reading

Posted in Honouring friends | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

NSERC sees researchers as out-source labour

NSERC announced two new programs as part of its “Strategies for Partnership and Innovation”. Engage grants are designed to cover direct project costs for up to 6 months and a total of $25,000, and Interaction grants are for $5,000 over three-months to … Continue reading

Posted in R&D Policy | Tagged , , | 1 Comment