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April 2010 - Volume 34 No. 2

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In this issue

Upcoming deadlines

May 3, 2010 Nominations close for the Synergy Awards for Innovation (awarded for outstanding examples of university-industry collaboration)
May 7, 2010 Application deadline for the G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Research Funding (call for Preliminary Proposal in the area of Application Software Towards Exascale Computing for Global Scale Issues)
May 17, 2010 Nominations close for the Innovation Challenge Awards (awarded for the best potential products or services that could result from applying research conducted for a graduate thesis)
June 7, 2010 Nominations close for the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships (awarded to enhance the career development of outstanding and highly promising scientists and engineers at Canadian universities)
July 5, 2010 Application deadline for the Idea to Innovation Program (support to accelerate the pre-competitive development of promising technology and promote its transfer to Canadian companies)

Federal budget supports science and technology

Both the Speech from the Throne delivered on March 4 and the 2010 Federal Budget that followed on March 5 identified innovation as an important element of a healthy future for Canada. The budget contained a number of measures that expressed a vote of confidence in NSERCís mandate to support science and technology research. By extension, it also expressed confidence in the capacity of Canadaís higher education researchers as leaders and key players in the global knowledge community.

Specific new funding measures included the following investments:

  • $8 million devoted to discovery research
  • $5 million for NSERCís recently launched Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation
  • A new prestigious postdoctoral fellowship program that will help make Canada a more desirable destination for international calibre young researchers
  • An additional $15 million to double the budget of the highly successful College and Community Innovation program
  • An increase in funding of $8 million for the Indirect Costs of Research Program

Read NSERCís full response to the 2010 budget

Discovery Grants competition results announced

After the results of the 2010 Discovery Grants (DG) competition were released to universities in late March, a formal announcement of this yearís grants was made by the Minister of Industry, Tony Clement, on April 9, at …cole Polytechnique de Montrťal. With the overall DG budget remaining stable at $350 million, this yearís competition saw the number of applicants increase to 3,355, of whom 1,940 received funding.

As intended from the changes to the evaluation process that made the peer review system more dynamic, a number of the highest performing researchers received substantially increased grants. This group included both early career and established researchers. A substantial number of previously unfunded applicants also returned with strong proposals and were awarded funding.

Read the news release
View the competition statistics

Integrity framework update

NSERC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) have released an update on the work they are doing, with input from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, to improve the agencies' processes for research and scholarly integrity, and for financial accountability. The improvements currently being implemented focus on the internal procedures of the agencies and clarify certain existing requirements for institutions. A report reviewing the integrity policy framework was published last October. It concluded that the agenciesí overall approach to research integrity was sound, but identified four key action areas to strengthen the policy framework. This is the first of a series of updates on work being done to address these key action areas.

Canada Research Chairs Program undergoing 10-year evaluation

After 10 years of operation, the This link will take you to another Web site Canada Research Chairs Program is currently undergoing an evaluation focusing on identifying the programís successes to date and determining potential areas for improvement. Data collection is under way and includes:

  • surveys of university VPs of research and chairholders;
  • interviews with selected chairholders, non-renewed chairholders and students;
  • a survey of other NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR grant holders; and
  • focus groups.

The final evaluation report and the management response are expected to be released in early 2011.

G8 research councils join in new research initiative

The heads of the research councils of the G8 states have established the G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Research Funding. This initiative is aimed at supporting excellent research on topics of global relevance which can best be tackled by a multinational approach. Funding is intended to help researchers cooperate in consortia consisting of at least three partners from three of the participating countries. The first call for proposals is focused on Application Software Towards Exascale Computing for Global Scale Issues, with a deadline of May 7, 2010, for preliminary proposals.