Everyone who has ever held an NSERC Discovery Grant knows the advantages and flexibility it offers in allowing researchers to build a creative and ambitious program of research and to commit to the training of the next generation of scientists and engineers. It is for this reason that the Discovery Grants Program (DGP) lies at the very foundation of NSERC’s efforts to help build a nation of discoverers and innovators.
But, as a public agency, we must continually challenge ourselves to demonstrate that the funds the public entrusts to us are well invested.
To that end, we are publishing today, the final report of the International Review Committee’s exhaustive and independent investigation of the Discovery Grants Program. The report provides a great wealth of new evidence for the uniqueness of our program and its importance to Canada’s performance in science and engineering.
I do wish to express Council’s gratitude to the committee Chair, Dr. Peter Nicholson, and to all the members of his committee. The report that they have produced will stand for many years, I believe, as the definitive statement on the program. It will also help us better communicate the value and benefits of discovery research to Canadians.
Based on the evidence before it, the committee concluded that:
The committee has also made valuable suggestions for policy and delivery changes. These will be examined by NSERC’s Council during the next few months. All in all, this report is a strong vote of confidence in the Discovery Grant community and what it is achieving.
The review committee also asked me to pass on its gratitude, which NSERC echoes, to the academic, government and business leaders, societies and more than 4,000 individuals who took the time to share their insights with the committee. Your input was phenomenal in every sense of the word, and no doubt had a great bearing on the quality of the review.
In closing, let me express, again, my personal thanks for the dedicated and excellent work of the International Review Committee.
And do, please, take the time to find out how the International Review Committee reached its conclusions by reading on the NSERC Web pages all the analysis and insight in the report and in the background papers that fed into the Committee’s discussions.