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December 2011 - Volume 35 No. 6

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In this Issue

Upcoming NSERC deadlines

January 9, 2012 Applications for Idea to Innovation Grants
January 9, 2012 Notification of Intent for the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence
January 15, 2012 Applications for Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Invitation Fellowships
January 25, 2012 Applications for Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowships
January 27, 2012 Full applications (invitation only) for the G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Research Funding
March 1, 2012 Nominations for the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering
March 1, 2012 Nominations for the Brockhouse Canada Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Engineering
March 1, 2012 Nominations for the NSERC John C. Polanyi Award
April 1, 2012 Applications for Strategic Project Grants
April 8, 2012 Preliminary applications for Chairs in Design Engineering
April 18, 2012 Applications for Idea to Innovation Grants

Agencies introduce new Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research

NSERC, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research launched the new Tri–Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research on December 5, 2011. This new Framework replaces previous policies on the responsible conduct of research, including the Tri–Agency Policy Statement: Integrity in Research and Scholarship (TCPS-I, 1994), the Framework for Tri–Council Review of Institutional Policies Dealing with Integrity in Research (1996) and the Tri-Agency Process for Addressing Allegations of Non-Compliance with Tri–Agency Policies (2010). All researchers and institutions will be required to adhere to the new Framework and to the policies it refers to.

The Framework is being governed and implemented by the newly created Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research, whose mandate is to ensure a consistent approach to promoting the responsible conduct of research and addressing allegations of breaches of agency policies. The Panel is supported by the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research and its Executive Director, Susan Zimmerman.

The federal granting agencies have also established a requirement for all grants and scholarships applicants to sign a Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information form. In cases of a serious breach of agency policy, the consent allows the agency to publicly name the researcher involved, their institution and the nature of the breach. The agencies have implemented this disclosure process to further strengthen Canada’s reputation for excellence and responsible conduct in research.

More information about the new Framework is available on the Panel on Responsible Conduct of Research Web site.

Panel on Research Ethics posts new interpretations and education resources

Following the launch of the second edition of the Tri–Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS-2), the Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics (PRE) has begun posting selected interpretations. Based on responses to questions about TCPS-2, these interpretations help the community understand and effectively use TCPS-2. Further interpretations will be added periodically.

The newest addition to the TCPS-2 education program is a free webinar series, which began in November with “What’s new in TCPS-2” and continued in early December with “Scope of Research Ethics Review.” Each webinar provides an opportunity for participants to pose written questions to the presenter and will be posted on PRE’s Web site within a month of the presentation. Here are the upcoming topics (with separate sessions in English and French):

  • Governance of Research Ethics Review – January 12, 2012 (English);
  • La Gouvernance de l’évaluation éthique de la recherche – January 19, 2012 (French);
  • Research involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada – February 9, 2012 (English);
  • La Recherche visant les Premières Nations, les Inuits ou les Métis du Canada – February 16, 2012 (French);
  • Clinical Trials – March 8, 2012 (English); and
  • Les essais cliniques – March 15 (French).

The Panel has also launched the Course on Research Ethics—an interactive on-line tutorial to provide an introduction to TCPS-2. Designed primarily for novice researchers and new research ethics board members, the tutorial has been accessed by 19,000 people since first posted in June 2011.

College-University Idea to Innovation Grants launched

NSERC recently launched the College-University Idea to Innovation (CU-I2I) Grants, designed to support collaboration and strengthen research connections between Canadian colleges, universities and businesses that accelerate the development of promising technologies and promote their commercialization in Canada.

Applicants will receive up to $250,000 per year, with business partners matching this contribution in cash or in kind. Awards can span up to three years and the competition is open—teams comprised of colleges, universities and businesses are invited to apply for these grants at any time. The overall budget for the initiative is $12 million over five years.

Funding available to build Canada-India research ties

Applications are now open for the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence (CIRCE) —a new initiative administered through the Networks of Centres of Excellence program. Originally announced in the federal Budget 2011, the competition will result in one centre receiving $15 million over five years for creating partnerships that accelerate the exchange of research results between Canada and India in areas of strategic importance to both countries. The successful applicants will be expected to take advantage of existing partnerships to more rapidly achieve results that can be applied to productivity, economic growth, public policy or wellness. The competition will consist of three stages: a Notification of Intent (NOI), a Letter of Intent, and a full application. Applicants must submit an NOI to be eligible for the next stage of the competition. The deadline for the NOI is January 9, 2012.

Subatomic physics long-range plan completed

Following extensive consultation with the community, the next long-range plan (LRP) for NSERC funding of subatomic physics research has been completed. The Chair of the LRP Committee, Malcolm Butler, will present the committee’s report to NSERC President Suzanne Fortier in January. Since the establishment of the subatomic physics funding envelope in the 1990s, the Canadian subatomic physics community has established its scientific priorities through a series of five-year LRPs. These plans enable the community to focus on research endeavours that ensure Canada’s continuous scientific leadership on the international stage. Launched in 2010, the current LRP exercise covers 2011-16 and looks ahead to 2021. The LRP Committee consisted of 11 experts covering the main subatomic physics sub-disciplines, and included two members from international organizations.