With international collaborations growing at a rapid pace, in mid-May NSERC President Suzanne Fortier joined more than 50 heads of research councils from around the world in Washington, D.C. to lay the foundation for a new Global Research Council.
At the top of the agenda was the need to harmonize the principles and policies under which national agencies make their investments." There was broad agreement that common principles are required for today's borderless world of science and innovation," said Dr. Fortier, who described the meeting as a "historic moment" in a Nature News story published on May 24. "Common ground rules will allow us to be more agile in responding to new opportunities. They will also give governments confidence that multinational investments will be made under sound principles and policies," she added.
The important building blocks put in place at the meeting included adopting six principles for merit review. "Countries may differ in the manner in which they implement them but we all agreed that these core principles must be embedded in our merit review processes," said Dr. Fortier.
The principles include expert assessment, transparency, impartiality, appropriateness, confidentiality, and integrity considerations. The group that met in Washington also agreed to develop a unified approach to open access. The next meeting of the Global Research Council will be co-hosted by Brazil and Germany.