The CAP completed an exercise that mined the Discovery Grant award data on the NSERC website.

The CAP recently undertook to investigate the changes in the breadth of DG funding under the new evaluation system. Specifically, the goal was to determine whether or not there was a significant difference in Discovery Grant Funding for small and medium sized universities compared to large universities since the change in NSERC funding policy beginning in 2009. The change in regional distribution of funds was also examined. Our overall conclusion was that small and medium sized universities appear to have received a smaller percentage of the total funding in the 2009-2011 cycle than they did in the 2004-2008 cycle and less funding per year.

In light of the potential impact of these apparent trends, we asked NSERC to comment on our methodology and results. The reply of Isabelle Blain, VP(Grants and Scholarships) is provided below. It provides some very useful commentary that suggests the need for a more comprehensive analysis of these issues. We are very grateful to Dr. Blain for the input and are pleased that NSERC is planning its own study as part of its review of the effect of the changes to the DG procedures.  Links to the results and NSERC’s comments are available below.

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cap_data_mining_nov27_final.pdf 286.28 KB
nserc-comments-re-cap-data_mining-signed.pdf 123.48 KB