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October 2010 - Volume 34 No. 5

In this Issue

Upcoming NSERC Deadlines

November 1, 2010 Applications for Discovery Grants (including Subatomic Physics projects below $500,000 per year) and Discovery Grants Northern Research Supplements
November 3, 2010 Applications for the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program
November 24, 2010 Letters of Intent for the This link will take you to another Web site 2012 Networks of Centres of Excellence Network Competition
January 4, 2011 Proposals for the Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering program (Ontario and Atlantic regions)
January 10, 2011 Applications for the Idea to Innovation program
January 25, 2011 Applications for the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowships program

Update on 2011 Discovery Grants Competition

NSERC expects to receive a record number of applications for Discovery Grants this year. Based on the Notification of Intent forms received by the August 1 deadline, up to 3,700 applications could be submitted for the 2011 competition. This compares to 3,300 applications submitted for the 2010 competition.

Assessment to Study Research Performance Indicators

On behalf of NSERC, the Minister of Industry has asked the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) to conduct an assessment on performance indicators for basic research. The assessment will examine approaches used to evaluate research performance and indicators that enable comparisons across areas of research in natural sciences and engineering. This is part of NSERC’s ongoing commitment to evaluate and improve its processes. The information will help NSERC find better ways to compare overall levels of excellence across disciplines, according to international best practices. These and other considerations, such as changing demographics and differences in cost structure across disciplines, will help determine appropriate budget allocations between the various Discovery Grants Evaluation Groups in the future. New methods to allocate funding across disciplines would make the system more objective and better able to respond to the ongoing evolution of the research environment. The CCA is expected to name the members of the expert panel by Winter 2011. NSERC encourages members of the research community to respond to any CCA requests to participate in the assessment. A report is expected in 2012.

Read more about the rationale for this assessment and the expected benefits.
Read more about the This link will take you to another Web site status and process of the assessment.
Read more about the This link will take you to another Web site CCA and the nature of its assessments.

Mathematics and Statistics Long-Range Plan Under Way

Various stakeholders in the mathematics and statistics community have begun working on a long-range plan, an exercise being completed in response to NSERC’s request for the community to identify goals and priorities for the coming 5-10 years. Progress to date includes establishing a steering committee, setting up a dedicated Web site and publishing the terms of reference for the exercise. Updates to the process, including the timing of various consultations, will be posted periodically at This link will take you to another Web site

NSERC Frontiers to Tackle Major Research Challenges

The new NSERC Frontiers initiative has just been launched with the goal of addressing national research priorities and global challenges by supporting a small number of major new transformative and integrative projects that connect Canadian research strengths to international partners. This initiative includes two separate streams, one that focuses on discovery research and another on university-industry partnerships. Grants will support teams of top researchers for up to five years, working in collaboration with international participants.

Research Integrity Update

NSERC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) have issued a statement on the Council of Canadian Academies' (CCA) This link will take you to another Web site report on research integrity. The statement provides a link to the second update on NSERC's, CIHR's and SSHRC's integrity project. This update includes the terms of reference and membership of the Agencies' new Research Integrity Advisory Group. It also includes a description of the progress made on developing new tools to improve the effectiveness and transparency of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship (TCPS-I), including a common approach for receiving and transmitting allegations, the handling of anonymous allegations and time lines for reviewing cases. 

Call for Proposals for Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering

NSERC has issued a Call for Proposals to fill the Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) in the Ontario and Atlantic regions. The CWSE program seeks to increase the participation of women in science and engineering, and provide role models for women active in and considering careers in these fields. Proposals can be submitted by individual universities or groups of universities based in the appropriate regions.