OTTAWA, April 10, 2017 – The plan released today by the Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science aims to steer Canada towards greater leadership in global research and innovation. Students are pleased to see that the panel has adopted many of their own recommendations, including simplifying the application process for research funding, improving the balance of funding across research disciplines and better supporting the indirect costs of research.
The report, entitled Investing in Canada’s Future: Strengthening the Foundations of Canadian Research, recommends substantial increases in research funding, which will better support the work of Canada’s post-secondary students. It also calls on the Tri-Council Agencies to harmonize their application processes for PhD research funding, as had already been done successfully at the Master’s level.
The report also calls for more balanced funding across the three Tri-Council Agencies. Michael McDonald, CASA’s Executive Director says, “CASA believes in the value of research across all disciplines and is pleased to see this principle reflected in Dr. Naylor and the panel’s recommendations. We hope to see funding distributed more equitably, so that students who conduct research in areas like social sciences or humanities have access to the support they need.”
In order to fully support research on post-secondary campuses, funding must be allocated to cover what are known as the ‘indirect costs of research’. These include costs to maintain research facilities, power library computer networks, administrative costs and other critical research infrastructure expenses. Students advocated this past November for better coverage of these indirect costs in line with international best-practices, and were happy to see this emphasized by the advisory panel.
CASA is also pleased to see the report underline the lack of diversity in Canada’s research funding environment and emphasize the need to take action. “CASA has long advocated for improved funding for Indigenous students and for reconciliation programming,” continues McDonald. “We agree that there is a strong need for the Tri-Council Agencies to provide better long-term support for Indigenous research.”
Students hope to see these recommendations implemented by the federal government, and look forward to being involved in the process.
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, national student organization composed of 21 student associations representing 250,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative, and of the highest quality.
Lindsay Boyd, Communications and Public Relations Officer
Phone: 613-236-3457 ext. 224