Leading higher education and research organizations in Canada are calling on the government to take immediate action to fund the country’s science and research output. The Coalition for Canadian Research is calling for an increase in base budgets for federal research granting agencies, as well as graduate scholarships and post-doctoral fellowships.
Coalition for Canadian Research:
The coalition highlighted that Canada’s spending on research and development is significantly lower than the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD average. Whereas other countries have committed substantial funding to prioritize research.
The disinvestment in Canadian higher education has made it heavily reliant on income from international students, a situation seen as neither acceptable nor sustainable. The coalition encourages the government to follow the recommendations of the Bouchard Report and increase funding for research and innovation surrounded by installing international competition.
The recommendations include:
- Significant increases in the base budgets of federal research granting agencies, graduate scholarships, and post-doctoral fellowship awards, which have remained frozen for two decades.
- Investments in research infrastructure and facilities.
- Measures to attract and retain top talent in research.
The coalition’s executive director, Sarah Diamond, emphasized the importance of supporting graduate and postdoctoral researchers. “They are the future of Canadian research,” she said. “If we don’t invest in them, we will fall behind.”
Universities Canada, an association of Canadian universities, also highlighted the importance of funding research. “Investments in research are crucial for meeting industrial goals and addressing national challenges,” said Paul Davidson, the association’s president.
The CEO of U15, a group of Canada’s leading research-intensive universities, warned that Canada is losing focus on embracing science and research. “These are essential for building a competitive and prosperous society on the global stage,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur.
The coalition’s call for action comes as Canada faces increasing international competition in research and innovation. Other countries, such as China, the United States, and South Korea, are investing heavily in research and development.
If Canada does not take action to fund its science and research output, it risks falling behind other countries and losing its competitive edge on the global stage.