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December 2010 - Volume 34 No. 6

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In this Issue

Upcoming NSERC deadlines

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
March 18, 2011 Deadline for full applications (invitation only) for Discovery Frontiers grants
March 31, 2011 DEADLINE EXTENDED – Proposals for the Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering program (Ontario, Atlantic and Prairies regions)
April 1, 2011 Nominations for the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering, and the Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering
April 9, 2011 Preliminary applications for Chairs in Design Engineering
April 15, 2011 Applications for the Strategic Project Grants program
April 18, 2011 Applications for the Idea to Innovation program

Suzanne Fortier reappointed as NSERC President

On November 30, 2010, the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, announced the reappointment of Suzanne Fortier as President of NSERC. Dr. Fortier’s second five-year term officially begins in January 2011. “Dr. Fortier has led the organization by supporting discovery research, fostering innovation and further developing business–academic relationships. She has sharpened NSERC’s focus on excellence,” said Minister Clement. “Her extensive knowledge, expertise and commitment to NSERC have strengthened Canada’s record on innovation.”

Read the news release
Read Suzanne Fortier’s biography

New research areas set for strategic partnership programs

As part of the Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation, NSERC has reviewed the target areas for its strategic partnerships programs to identify a new series of research topics that will apply for the next five years, starting with the 2011 competitions. Following consultations with more than 570 academic, industry and government stakeholders, and follow-up focus groups involving 42 representatives of the same groups, NSERC has established four new target areas:

  1. Environmental Science and Technologies
  2. Information and Communications Technologies
  3. Manufacturing
  4. Natural Resources and Energy

Detailed descriptions of these areas are available on the Strategic Projects Grants program description page and the Strategic Networks Grants program description page.

Health and related life sciences, one of the priorities of the Government of Canada’s science and technology strategy, will be supported by expanding the Collaborative Health Research Projects (CHRP) program. CHRP is a joint initiative of NSERC and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Projects eligible for funding under the CHRP program will include biomedical technologies, which were formerly a target area of the strategic partnerships programs.

Discovery Grants competition applications rise

Based on data presented at the November meeting of NSERCís Committee on Grants and Scholarships, NSERC received 3,436 applications for the 2011 Discovery Grants competition by the November 1 deadline, up from 3,339 received for the 2010 competition. The number of established researchers increased by almost 200 to 2,940, while the number of early career applicants dropped by about 100. In the first part of the review process, NSERC staff assigned Evaluation Group members to review each application. The competition takes place in February.

TCPS 2 updates policies for research involving humans

The 2nd edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2) was launched by the three federal granting agencies (NSERC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) on December 7. This is the first major revision of the policy since it was introduced in 1998. The TCPS 2 is published on behalf of the agencies by the Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics (PRE), a body of external experts created in 2001 to ensure that the policy keeps pace with changes in research and society at large. Partly based on a decade of engagement with Canada’s research community, the updated policy offers a significantly improved single reference document for all agency-funded research that involves humans.

The TCPS 2 continues to be founded on respect for human dignity. It contains updated material, including a consolidated set of core principles; clearer definitions and simplified articles; and new chapters on qualitative research, multi-jurisdictional research, and research involving First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The revisions address relevant research ethics issues that are more inclusive of the research disciplines of each agency. The TCPS 2 replaces the first edition as the agencies’ official human research ethics policy.

Companion documents, plans for upcoming education activities, and downloads of TCPS 2 can be found on the PRE Web site. Please note that the original on-line tutorial has been retired and that a new, interactive tutorial is scheduled to be launched in February 2011.

New opening for women's Chair program and deadline extended

In addition to nominations for vacancies in Ontario and the Atlantic region, NSERC is calling for nominations for a Chair for Women in Science and Engineering position in the Prairies. With this new opening, the deadline for nominations for all three vacancies has been extended to March 31, 2011, to allow enough time for universities in all three regions to apply. To help Chairholders maintain their Discovery Grant-funded research program, NSERC has also added an option for Chairholders to receive up to $20,000 from NSERC towards the support of a postdoctoral fellow or research engineer (with the balance paid by the university).

Summit promotes women in science and engineering

A summit entitled “Maximizing Opportunities: Increasing Women’s Participation in Science and Engineering” brought leaders from academia, the private sector, government and students to Ottawa from November 15 to 16. Hosted by NSERC and supported by Engineers Canada and RIM, the participants sought to identify current best practices and generate innovative solutions for attracting and retaining women to careers in science and engineering. Discussions focused on what is currently being done in the business world and on campuses to attract women to these fields. Participants outlined concrete actions to foster greater participation and retention of women in scientific careers. A report summarizing the summit and outlining next steps will be published on NSERC’s Web site.

Read more
Download “Women in Science and Engineering in Canada” – a review of current statistics on women in science and engineering in Canada

Strategic Workshops program expands scope

The Strategic Workshops program is an element of NSERC's Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation, and is designed to build new collaborations between Canadian academic researchers and the industry and government receptor communities. Applications to this program are no longer restricted to a strategic target area and can now include any area of science and engineering research. To reflect this change, the Strategic Workshops program has been renamed the Partnership Workshops Program and has become a permanent part of NSERC’s Research Partnerships Programs. Following the successful pilot phase, minor changes have been made to the program’s monitoring and reporting requirements. Workshops must still be organized and championed by at least one university and one non-academic leader.

For more information, contact Réginald Thériault by e-mail or by telephone at 613-995-9431.