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Updates and Reports

Preferred Option for Future of the Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grants Program

As you know, NSERC recently conducted extensive consultations with the research community on the future of the Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grants Program, given its reduced funding envelope. Feedback received through these consultations highlighted a preference for Option 2 - a smaller scale competition where universities will be provided with a quota of applications that they can submit to national competitions conducted by NSERC. 

For more information about the future of the RTI Grants Program, please review the program news item or contact us through connect@nserc-crsng.gc.ca.

Open House at the University of Ottawa

NSERC representatives, lead by Isabelle Blain, Vice-President of Research Grants and Scholarships, were recently invited to the University of Ottawa to connect with the community on a number of key activities, programs and initiatives. Stakeholders from the research community participated in an open discussion around key topics such as the future of the Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grants Program, the upcoming launch on the Discovery Grants Program five-year review, the harmonization of the Canada Graduate Scholarships Program, and a variety of other topics.

We'd like to thank the University of Ottawa for having us on campus giving us the opportunity to hear from the community on the issues and activities that are important to them. We invite other members of the research community to connect with us through connect@nserc-crsng.gc.ca and to stay tuned for future visits by NSERC on campuses across Canada.

Committee on Grants and Scholarships Meeting Update

On November 16, 2012, members of the Committee on Grants and Scholarships (COGS) met in Ottawa to discuss a full range of programs and initiatives and provided their insight and expertise on each. Among the items discussed at the meeting were topics such as:

  • Future of the Research Tools and Instruments Grants Program
  • Tri-Agency Harmonization of the Canada Graduate Scholarships
  • Five-year evaluation of the Discovery Grants Program
  • Open Access

More details on each of the above programs and activities will be posted on this page of our Web site in the coming weeks. However, should you have any immediate questions or comments, please e-mail us at connect@nserc-crsng.gc.ca.

Tri-Agency Harmonization of the Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS)

In light of feedback from the research community on the benefits of harmonizing the Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) program, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) have formed a Tri-Agency Harmonization Team to redesign the CGS Master's and Doctoral components. The redesign and implementation will be done in close consultation with stakeholders to ensure that the new CGS program is delivered as efficiently as possible in support of the training of future generations of scientists.

This project is an opportunity for graduate students and post-secondary institutions to take full advantage of simpler application and adjudication procedures and processes. It also means that all stakeholders will benefit from the clarity that comes with greater alignment across the agencies of the program's key characteristics, such as eligibility and selection criteria.

A Web page will be launched in the upcoming weeks highlighting the project details and listing scheduled outreach opportunities. In the meantime, we invite you to share any comments or questions via Harmonization@cgs-besc.gc.ca.



James A. Blatz, Chair, NSERC Committee on Grants and Scholarships

Connect with NSERC: Consultation hosted by the University of Prince Edward Island

Following a productive discussion with the Committee on Grants and Scholarships (COGS) in late May, I worked with NSERC to facilitate a consultation in the Atlantic Region on June 12. Hosted by Kathryn Schultz, Vice-President, Research and Development, at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), the consultation provided Vice-Presidents Research, faculty members and others with an opportunity to comment on two options proposed to shape the future of the Research Tools and Instruments (RTI) Grants Program.

The feedback gathered at the consultation was particularly helpful, and will guide NSERC as it prepares for a full consultation with the research community across the country. The consultation document, including options for the future of the RTI Grants Program, will be available for comment by the research community on June 29, 2012. NSERC also plans to host further consultations with the research community via meetings, teleconferences and other channels.

I was pleased to be able to participate in the consultation at UPEI and hear from my colleagues on important issues that are of interest to the research community. I look forward to meeting more of you in the coming weeks as we continue to seek feedback on the future of the RTI Grants Program.

James A. Blatz
Chair
NSERC Committee on Grants and Scholarships



Changes to the Research Tools and Instrument (RTI) Program

I would like to thank the members of the scientific community who have written and shared their views regarding the changes to the Research Tools and Instrument (RTI) Program with the Committee on Grants and Scholarships (COGS – the committee providing policy advice to NSERC on the suite of “People” and “Discovery” programs). The perspectives are appreciated.

I am pleased to let you know that at its May 24-25 meeting COGS members were consulted on options on how to proceed with broader consultations with the research community on the changes to the funding envelope for the RTI program. I was pleased to see the committee fully engaged in this important issue and by way of update I can report that three members volunteered to help NSERC define options for taking the RTI program forward and review a consultation document that will be distributed publicly to the broader community for review and response.

I expect that the opportunity for the broader community to participate in consultations on the path forward for the RTI will provide for a positive impact.

James A. Blatz
Chair
NSERC Committee on Grants and Scholarships

People Discovery Innovation