Emphasis on early-career researchers, diversity hailed as important steps
The federal government’s announcement of a major investment in research in Tuesday’s 2018 budget was welcomed by McGill University Principal and Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Fortier.
“I am delighted to see increased federal support for fundamental research,” Prof. Fortier said. “This investment will open up opportunities for our country’s talented researchers to explore new areas of knowledge and train the next generations of researchers.”
The budget includes nearly $1.7 billion in new money over five years for Canada’s research granting councils, along with $763 million for the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
The spending increases come on the heels of last year’s report by the expert panel on Canada’s Fundamental Science Review, headed by David Naylor, which called for massive investment in federal support for fundamental research.
Martha Crago, McGill’s Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) said she was pleased to see how the government has responded to the Naylor report.
“Across the country, the research community -- students, postdocs, professors and philanthropic foundations -- led a nation-wide initiative that championed the Naylor report,” she said.
“Budget 2018 represents the single largest investment in investigator-led fundamental research in Canadian history,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau told the House of Commons in his budget address. “And more than that, we’ll make sure that the new money for research supports the next generation of researchers, so that we can build a science community that looks more like Canada – more diverse, and with a greater number of women.”
Prof. Fortier was pleased to see the emphasis on both diversity and early-career researchers, who will be the primary beneficiaries of more than $200 million in spending over five years on the Canada Research Chairs program.
“Support for young researchers is vital to creating a dynamic environment that promotes new ideas, different perspectives and different ways of thinking,” she said. “This investment is particularly timely as Canada is increasingly attracting a more diverse pool of talent to the research enterprise.
“I would like to say thank you to the Government of Canada for this investment in the future and for recognizing the power of research.”
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