Science & Policy Exchange Pre-Budget Consultation 2018

By: Sam Garnett

August 07, 2017

SPE has submitted a brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance’s 2018 Pre-Budget Consultation. This year’s committee sought briefs focused on productivity and competitiveness and SPE believes that strong support of fundamental research aligns with these topics.

Read the Executive Summary:

This brief outlines the critical impact of fundamental research funding on the training and careers of the next generation of scientists, as well as the importance of skills development initiatives for students. Fluctuations and uncertainty in funding hit students and postdoctoral fellows the hardest as it impairs their career development in its most critical point. Given that a large portion of research funding is dedicated to jobs and training, accrued investments will both support the development of a skilled, productive, and diverse workforce and create jobs, thereby helping to growing the Canadian economy and middle class. We therefore broadly support the recommendations of the Fundamental Science Review. We furthermore applaud the previous budget’s support of co-op and skill-centered initiatives which align with recommendations students have identified as critical to their career development. Students and young researchers are crucial and generally unrepresented stakeholders in these discussions, particularly as their futures are dependent on funding levels.

As emerging scientists and researchers, we believe the following recommendations are critical to the success of Canadian students, researchers, and scientists:

1. Increase funding for investigator-led direct project grants as recommended by the FSR

2. Increase value and consistency in funding for graduate and post-doctoral awards as recommended by the FSR

3. Invest in critical skills training for trainees and continue supporting work-integrated training programs through Mitacs

4. Promote diversity and gender equity by providing STEM education and training to underrepresented populations

Click below to read the full submission

If you want to support the implementation of the Naylor report you can sign our open letter here and read about the other initiatives to #SupporttheReport ongoing this summer.