‘A strong case for fundamental research’

Announcement 10.04.2017

CIFAR President & CEO Alan Bernstein congratulates Naylor Panel on science report

CIFAR President & CEO Dr. Alan Bernstein congratulated Dr. David Naylor and the members of Canada’s Fundamental Science Review panel for producing a comprehensive and thoughtful report on the research landscape in Canada.

The report released today was commissioned by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science. It examines every aspect of federal support for fundamental research and makes a powerful case for increased multiyear support through the four core federal agencies (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC and CFI), especially for investigator-initiated research and for early career investigators. In total, the report makes 35 recommendations regarding the organization and funding of extramural research.

“Dr. Naylor and the other distinguished panelists have produced a thoughtful, thorough and clearly written report that makes a strong case for the importance of fundamental research,” said Dr. Bernstein. “I am especially pleased that the report highlights the importance of funding for early career investigators and of international and multidisciplinary science, core CIFAR values from our very beginning.

“The report provides a good starting point to begin implementing some of its 35 recommendations. I applaud the Minister for initiating this review and call on her to move forward on its recommendations. It is time to move from discussion to action. The rest of the world will not stand still as Canada modernizes its research funding enterprise.”

David Naylor is the former president of the University of Toronto. He and the panel were charged in June of last year with looking at every aspect of federal support for fundamental science, with an eye towards identifying and filling any gaps. During the process they consulted with more than a thousand stakeholders, including universities, colleges and polytechnics, research hospitals, research institutes, individual researchers, industry, civil society and the public.

The nine-person panel included two CIFAR fellows – Associate Fellow and Nobel Laureate Dr. Art McDonald of Queen’s University and Fellow Dr. Anne Wilson of Wilfrid Laurier University ­ ­– and former CIFAR board member and UBC President Emeritus Dr. Martha Piper.

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