Last year the Trudeau government initiated the first comprehensive review of Canada’s research funding and support system in over 40 years. Hard on the heels of a decade of research policy that offered decreasing support and simultaneously increased research demands, the Federal Science Review Panel was mandated to understand how the Canadian research system stacks up against its own past and how it compares internationally. The review involved high-level consultations across the country. It also received almost 3,000 individual submissions from Canadian academics.
The resulting report – at 278 pages – offers compelling evidence that the system is underfed and overworked. To be sure, many of the changes are financial, but others address deeper questions about who ‘owns’ knowledge production, whose questions matter, and how ‘excellence’ can be best supported for all Canadian university-based researchers.
As a member of the Review Panel, I am hopeful for the inclusive and comprehensive changes recommended by the enquiry. As a qualitative, interdisciplinary social scientist from a small, regional liberal arts university, I am also heartened to report that these changes will benefit researchers across disciplines, career stages, regions, institutions, and subject positions. The work now is to galvanize our response, as budgets loom and decisions are being made.
To read the full report follow this link: Federal Science Review Report