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I. Identifying the problems Shifting funding from basic research Defunding politically inconvenient research Obscuring the defunding Stacking granting.

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Presentation on theme: "I. Identifying the problems Shifting funding from basic research Defunding politically inconvenient research Obscuring the defunding Stacking granting."— Presentation transcript:


2 I. Identifying the problems Shifting funding from basic research Defunding politically inconvenient research Obscuring the defunding Stacking granting council governing boards Changing granting council priorities Diverting resources to stars Muzzling experts Directing public science for private profit Promoting undue corporate influence in university research

3 Shifting away from funding basic research

4 Funding for Canadas Granting Councils Granting Council base funding, (constant 2010 dollars, millions) Source: SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR Departmental Performance Reports, Reports on Planning and Priorities, Budget 2014

5 SSHRC Funding, constant dollars, millions

6 NSERC Funding, constant dollars, millions

7 CIHR Funding, constant dollars, millions

8 Defunding politically inconvenient research

9 Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) Experimental Lakes Area

10 Obscuring the defunding


12 Stacking granting council governing boards

13 NSERC Council Biologists - 0 Chemists - 0 Physicists – 0 Mathematicians - 0 Engineers - 6 Administrators - 3 Others - 2

14 SSHRC Council Humanities Languages & Literature - 0 Classics – 0 Visual Arts – 0 Performing Arts - 0 Philosophy - 1 History – 1 Social Sciences Sociology – 0 Anthropology – 0 Psychology – 0 Criminology – 0 Education – 0 Law – 0 Political Science - 0 Archeology - 1 Business - 4 Economics – 2 Others Corporate – 2 Centraide Montréal– 1 Administrator - 1 Trades - 1

15 CIHR Council Medicine – 3 Psychiatry - 1 Surgery – 1 Health Administration – 3 Corporate – 3 Caprion Proteomics Pfizer Barclays Capital Canada Other – 1 Télé-Québec Other health care professions - 0

16 Changing granting council priorities

17 Less support for open research Source: NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC Departmental Performance Reports, Federal Budget

18 Declining success rates Granting Council competition results FundableFundedFundableFunded SSHRC Standard Research Grant/Insight Grant80%40%65%21% NSERC Discovery Grant -73%-59% CIHR Open Operating Grant66%21%73%16% Source: SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR

19 Fettered funding within Granting Councils - NSERC Source: NSERC Departmental Performance Reports, Report on Plans and Priorities *Estimate

20 $21.8-million for the Engage Grants program: The Engage Grants Program is supporting short- term research and development projects aimed at addressing a company-specific problem in the natural sciences or engineering fields.

21 Engage Grant Program Source: NSERC

22 Working with the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) to develop an effective Concierge Service for business that includes the expertise within the postsecondary research community: In , NSERC will work with IRAP to assess and implement tools to link the expertise base within the NSERC systems with the new Concierge Service system being developed under the leadership of IRAP /index_eng.asp#s2.1.3 NSERC: Report on Plans and Priorities

23 NSERC Spending Priorities Actual spendingProjected spending% Change People: Research Talent % Discovery: Advancement of Knowledge % Innovation: Research Partnerships % Total1,123.21, % In millions, 2014 dollars. Source: NSERC and Report on Plans and Priorities

24 Solicitation: No. S Date: Strengthening Research Partnerships between Post-Secondary Institutions and Industry The overall goal of this project is to enhance the engagement of industry partners in research partnerships related to the social sciences and humanities as per SSHRC's key commitment in following the Budget Achievement of this goal will result in: o an increased awareness of opportunities for partnerships between post-secondary institutions and industry involving the social sciences and humanities; o an increased number of grant applications for projects that involve industry partners; o an increase in the average number of industry partners involved per application; and, o strengthened partnerships between post-secondary institutions and industry.

25 Strengthening Research Partnerships between Post-Secondary Institutions and Industry 3.2 Definitions of "industry" and "postsecondary institution" For SSHRC, "industry" is defined as 'a for-profit organization, or an organization that assists, supports, connects and/or represents the common interests of a group of for-profit, incorporated organizations, such as an industry association or a formal or informal consortium.' The scope of this definition allows SSHRC to bring a variety of industry- focused organizations together with the best researchers and graduate students to add value to the Canadian business environment. _e.pdf

26 Diverting resources to stars

27 $10,733,333 was spent on 9 NSERC Canada Excellence Research Chairs in That would have supported 339 researchers with Discovery Grants and reversed the decline in success rates since 2006 $ 17,833,333 was spent on 13 NSERC CERC Chairs in That would have supported an additional 545 researchers with Discovery Grants that year

28 Muzzling experts

29 Muzzling Government Scientists Dr. Kristi Miller, Head, Molecular Genetics, Department of Fisheries and Oceans 2008 Federal Government Media Protocol: "Just as we have one department we should have one voice. Interviews sometimes present surprises to ministers and senior management. Media relations will work with staff on how best to deal with the call (an interview request from a journalist). This should include asking the programme expert to respond with approved lines."

30 Muzzling Academic Researchers Prof. Andreas Muenchow Associate Professor Graduate College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware DFO Publication Review Committee Procedures: All journal articles…must be submitted to your Division Admin for review and approval prior to being submitted for publication. Publication review procedures apply to all submissions where a DFO Science staff member is an author (whether the single author, or one of multiple co-authors)."

31 Directing public science for private profit

32 National Research Council to 'refocus' to serve business CBC News Posted: Mar 6, :58 PM ET Canada's national government research and development agency is being transformed and refocused into a service that provides Solutions for businesses, Canada's Minister of State for Science and Technology announced Tuesday. Gary Goodyear says he envisions the National Research Council becoming a concierge service that offers a single phone number to connect businesses to all their research and development needs.

33 Setting political priorities for university research

34 Budget 2013 All of the new funding for the granting councils ($37-million) to support research partnerships with industry through the granting councils, including $12 million to enhance the College and Community Innovation Program Budget 2007 $37 million for NSERC, targeted to research in energy, the environment and information and communications technologies. $11 million for SSHRC, targeted to research in management, business and finance. Budget 2008 NSERC - $34 million per year for collaborative research directly contributing to the knowledge & innovation needs of Canadas automotive, manufacturing, forestry and fishing industries. SSHRC - $12 million per year for research contributing to a better understanding of how the environment affects the lives of Canadians and of the social and economic development needs of northern communities."

35 II. What we need to do Educate the public about basic research Building pressure to Increase core funding of the granting councils and for government science Protect the integrity and independence of scholarly research Make the granting councils arms-length Fund research on the basis of scientific and scholarly importance, as determined through peer review not political preference Stop the muzzling of scientists and other academic professionals – their duty is to the public, not to the minister of the day Create a non-partisan Parliamentary Science Officer Adopt a sound science policy for Canada Enforce principled standards for university collaborations Make graduate programs affordable & pay postdocs properly

36 III. Some steps we are taking Dedicated web site [ ] Interactive map cataloguing cancelled and at risk projects Video testimonies and on-line submission forms & petition tool Local town halls and regional forums – for researchers to talk with the public about whats happening and what it means Report on university – industry collaborations Reports on granting councils priorities and practices Database of researchers and scientists to facilitate advocacy

37 Concluding Comment from Others

38 nature editorial Changes to Canadian science raise questions that the government must answer Governments come and go, but scientific expertise and experience cannot be chopped and changed as the mood suits and still be expected to function. Nor can applied research thrive when basic research is struggling. Nature 487, 271–272 (19 July 2012)

39 What we need are those creative people to be left to do creative things just for the hell of it … this is the game changer that forms the raw material for industry to capitalize. - Speech at the Perimeter Institute, 2003 Mike Lazarides Founder, Research in Motion

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