- Contact your MP! – increased support for students is needed
- CAP Submits brief to Finance Committee re 2023 Federal Budget
- Advisory Panel on the Federal Research Support System – input accepted until December 1st
Contact your MP! – increased support for students is needed
You have probably noticed a significant initiative, led by the group Support Our Science (www.supportourscience.ca), to increase the level and number of NSERC fellowships for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows (HQP).
This initiative is motivated by the fact that these fellowships have not increased significantly over the last 20 years, leaving graduate student funding at levels below the poverty line.
The CAP/NSERC Liaison Committee has pointed out that only 20% of our HQP are actually funded by NSERC fellowships, with the remainder being funded through regular NSERC programs such as Discovery Grants (DGs), whose funding has also not kept up with inflation.
The CAP fully supports this initiative. In fact, support for our HQP was our first recommendation in our annual budget brief to the House of Commons Finance Committee (see next article).
SOS has asked members of the science community to write directly to our MPs to further strengthen these efforts. The CAP/NSERC Liaison Committee suggests we broaden our ask to include an increase to DGs to cover the other 80% of HQP.
To encourage your participation, we have prepared a draft letter (Word format / pdf format). You can find the contact information for your MP by entering your postal code in this online Parliament of Canada members page, clicking on the name of your MP, and then the contact tab.
Momentum is building, and now is the time to press for improved funding for our HQP. Please add your voice.
CAP Submits brief to Finance Committee re 2023 Federal Budget
On October 8th, the CAP submitted a brief to the House of Commons Finance Committee in answer to their call to all Canadians to share their priorities for the 2023 Federal Budget.
The CAP brief, which was prepared by our Director of Science Policy, Eric Donovan, in consultation with the CAP Science Policy Committee members and Board of Directors, included the following five recommendations:
- Recommendation 1: That the Government review the financial status of HQP (Highly Qualified Personnel) trainees, addressing whether that status has eroded over decades to the point of impacting economic growth, and the wellness and future opportunities of those trainees. This review should inform additional Government investment in funding for HQP training.
- Recommendation 2: That the Government provide, as per the Naylor Report recommendation, annual ongoing 10% increases to each of the Tri-Council budgets until research funding is commensurate with other G7 countries.
- Recommendation 3: That the Government take steps to identify all major research facilities that should be repaired/restored/upgraded and provide adequate funding to address these needs.
- Recommendation 4: That the Government implement the Naylor report recommendation to increase the budgets for the existing Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF), Major Scientific Initiatives (MSI) fund, and the NSERC Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) grants. Further, competitions for the CFI MSI should be held more frequently, ideally once every two years, but at least once every three years.
- Recommendation 5: That the Government manage its investments in Big Science (as defined in the Naylor report) in a more coordinated manner with funding from conception and approval through implementation and operations and invest the additional funding required for their renewal.
Copies of previous briefs and science policy news items can be found on the CAP’s science policy webpage.
Advisory Panel on the Federal Research Support System
– input accepted until December 1st
We have only recently found out that the Government of Canada launched the Advisory Panel on the Federal Research Support System to provide independent, expert policy advice to ensure that federal support for Canada’s research enterprise is:
- coordinated and cohesive, balancing respect for the needs of disciplinary communities with a holistic perspective across disciplines and across research, training, and associated infrastructure;
- responsive to the multi- and inter-disciplinary, collaborative, and international approaches that are increasingly the hallmark of transformative research and innovation;
- sufficiently agile to seize new opportunities and address emerging research, economic and societal needs and interests.
The panel will review the structure and governance of research support, with particular focus on the relationships among the federal research granting agencies (the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation. Read more about the panel’s mandate and members.
The Panel wants to hear from you! Their voluntary questionnaire focuses on key questions related to the panel’s mandate and is open to all Canadians. Responses to the questions are optional by design, allowing you to focus your time in your areas of greatest interest or expertise. Any information that identifies an individual or group will be kept private in accordance with laws designed to protect your privacy, including the Privacy Act.
To assist anyone who may want to provide input, the CAP has prepared a pdf of the questions included in the voluntary questionnaire. Click here to view that file.
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The CAP Communications Committee is committed to ongoing improvement. Please share your feedback on the CAP website and communications with us at any time. We value your opinion and look forward to hearing from you!
Donate to support CAP Educational Activities through the CAP Foundation
The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) represents the Canadian physics community pursuing initiatives that enhance the vitality of physics and the contribution of physicists in Canada. The funding for many of our education/outreach activities comes from contributions to the CAP Foundation. Please support the CAP Foundation through Canada Helps.