Posted on: April 12, 2017
TRU is encouraged by and supportive of the recommendations made by Canada’s Fundamental Science Review Panel.
Investing in Canada’s Future: Strengthening the Foundations of Canadian Research, was released Monday, and establishes a framework to make Canada a world leader in scientific discovery and innovation.
“The panel’s recommendations to enhance the coordination of efforts, processes and programming across the major Federal funding agencies is excellent news,” said Alan Shaver, President and Vice-Chancellor of Thompson Rivers University. “A promise to reduce bureaucracy and increase support for researchers bodes well for TRU.”
The panel, led by Dr. David Naylor, recommends enhanced support for early-career researchers, strategic and coordinated attention to international and interdisciplinary research collaboration, improved gender equality in science, and substantially increased funding in for discovery research.
It found that Canada’s global research competitiveness has eroded in recent years; funding from federal government sources now accounts for less than 25 per cent of total spending on research and development in the higher education sector.
Recommendations include a call for greater coordination and collaboration among the four federal research agencies, enhanced support for the institutional costs of research and sustained and predictable funding for research infrastructure.
The review concludes that the erosion of Canada’s research competitiveness is due, in part, to a policy shift in favour of “new programs that focus resources on a limited number of individuals and institutions, without commensurate reinvestment to lift frontline research more broadly or sustain the value of existing programming.”
“We see this as a significant recognition of the ongoing value of smaller and regionally-focused universities, which are situated in important ways socially, culturally and geographically,” said Dr. Will Garrett Petts, Associate Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies.
“Overall, the panel’s recommendations promise strong support for our ongoing work with Indigenous and First Nations peoples, community-engaged research, population health, environmental restoration research, regional economic development, and technology transfer — and many other areas in which TRU excels.”
TRU faculty across all disciplines engaged in this national dialogue, providing feedback to a series of questions developed by the review panel and distributed by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.