On behalf of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Minister of Industry has asked the Council of Canadian Academies (the Council) to assess international practices for evaluating research performance in the natural sciences and engineering. The Council's Expert Panel that conducted this assessment has now released its report, entitled Informing Research Choices: Indicators and Judgment. This report presents approaches that other funding agencies use to evaluate research performance and indicators that they use to make comparisons across research areas in the natural sciences and engineering.
Commenting on this report, Dr. Suzanne Fortier, President of NSERC, stated, "I would like to extend my appreciation to the Expert Panel and the Council for an excellent and very useful report. It will provide us with a strong foundation, grounded in thorough analyses, on which to base our discussions and consultations with our community and to seek input from across the country."
NSERC's Committee on Grants and Scholarships will meet in late July to review the report and to plan consultations to receive feedback from the research community. The information in the report and the feedback from the research community may help NSERC to develop a reliable methodology for allocating budgets among Discovery Grants Program Evaluation Groups. No changes in the budget-allocation methodology are expected for the 2013 Discovery Grants competition. NSERC's goal is to implement any changes in this methodology in time for the 2014 competition.
For more information about this report and the steps that NSERC is taking now that it has been released, see the Consultations section.