The Canadian Association of University Teachers welcomes today’s release of the report of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review, and the recommendations for a funding increase of $1.3 billion for basic, non-targeted research.
“The report makes it clear that basic science and scholarly inquiry in Canada have been seriously underfunded for much of the last decade,” says CAUT Executive Director David Robinson. “The most important recommendation in today’s report, and one that we urge the government to act on, is that Ottawa significantly and rapidly increase its investment in independent investigator-led research.”
Robinson notes the report also calls for a better-balanced allocation of funding across the three federal research granting agencies.
“The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, while representing the largest constituency of university researchers, has been the poor cousin for years. The report rightly notes that there is a need to allocate new funds across the granting councils in a more balanced way to ensure more opportunities for those scholars in the social sciences and humanities,” adds Robinson.
Robinson says CAUT also welcomes the report’s recommendations to support Indigenous researchers and to improve equity and diversity in federal research programs, including the setting of “hard equity targets and quotas where persistent and unacceptable disparities exist.”
The report further recommends the creation of a new National Advisory Council on Research and Innovation (NACRI) to provide broad oversight of federal research programs, and to develop and harmonize funding strategies across the agencies. It also calls for improvements to the oversight and governance of the granting agencies.
“When considering these changes, it will be critical we ensure that governance of the granting councils is reflective of the active research community and operates at arms-length from government,” adds Robinson.
Read CAUT's analysis here.
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