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An open letter on the student perspective of the Fundamental Science Review
Written by Shawn McGuirk, Vanessa Sung, Mary-Rose Bradley-Gill, Sam Garnett, & Tina Gruosso
July 07, 2017
The Canadian scientific community has a fantastic opportunity right now to shape the future of Canadian research for the better, and we need your help!
Federal funding for fundamental research in Canada has been declining significantly over the past decade. We, as students training to be the next generation of scientists, innovators, and professionals, are especially impacted by changes in research funding because it
Supports our training in research and critical transferable skills
Enables us to be competitive on the international stage
Supports our career-building process through employment
Promotes expansion of diversity from the student population to leadership levels
Fosters a curiosity-driven society in which we can build our futures
The good news is that the recently released Fundamental Science Review (commonly known as the Naylor Report) has set out 35 clear recommendations as part of a bold plan to restore and strengthen the fundamental research funding ecosystem in Canada. These include actions to increase federal funding for research, improve coordination among funding agencies, and promote diversity. There is a lot of momentum in the scientific community right now urging the government to implement these recommendations in short order, and you can add your voice today!
Sign our open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau to let him know that Canada’s students support the full implementation of the Naylor Report’s recommendations and that we believe in the importance of a strong foundation of fundamental research. Share the letter with your family, friends, colleagues, and on social media with #Students4theReport and #SupportTheReport.
Click here to access our infographic on the Fundamental Science Review and why it matters to students
Have more to say? Great! Let us know how funding for fundamental research has impacted your life in a short video. Get on your phone or camera and film a 1-2min message about why you support the Naylor Report. Feel free to record your message in either English or French
Click here to upload your video to our dropbox or share it on Facebook or Twitter with #Students4theReport so we can find your video. We will share your videos here on our website and on our Youtube channel, and select videos will be included in a compilation that will be sent to Prime Minister Trudeau along with the open letter.
Start by introducing yourself with your first name and what you study/research. Then tell us why it’s important to you that the government restore its support for fundamental research in Canada. We encourage you to share your personal experiences and anecdotes. Here are some questions to get you started:
What has fundamental research funding empowered to you achieve? (Discoveries, inventions, companies)
How has reduced fundamental research funding affected you and/or your colleagues?
What experiences/training did you receive through fundamental research funding?
Why is fundamental curiosity-driven research important to you and/or to Canada?
Make sure to finish by specifically saying that you support the full implementation of the Naylor Report’s recommendations!
Want to write your own letter?
Evidence for Democracy has provided resources for you to write to your MP, to set up a meeting with them, and organize letter writing events to maximize your impact. Even if you have already signed our letter, you should consider writing a personal letter to tell your MP why this cause is important to you.
Are you planning to meet with your MP?
You should consider joining the Summer of Science campaign organized by the Association of Early Career Health Researchers which gives you a step-by-step guide to do so and allows you to sign up to meet a particular MP. This will allow central players who are promoting the Naylor report to keep track of which MPs have been contacted.
How about taking a selfie?
The trainees at the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences (CSMB) has launched their Put a Face on Canadian Science Twitter campaign and provided bilingual signs for you to take selfies at the bench. Click here to download these signs. Don't forget to mention @JustinTrudeau and @Bill_Morneau and the hashtags #NextGenCanScience, #Students4theReport, and #SupportTheReport!
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