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CAUT Bulletin Archives

November 2010

Grants program fair: CAUT replies

The reality is the overall success rate of the Discovery Grants Program has dropped at an alarming rate. The charge to the inter­national review committee was precisely to assess whether the relatively high success rate in DGP competitions (70 per cent in 2007) at the time was justified. Not only did the committee support a high success rate, it warned specifically about the adverse consequences of lower rates — as we reported.

NSERC has implemented some of the committee’s recommendations, but ignored others. For example, the committee also recommended doubling the annual limit on Discovery Accelerator Supplements to 200. Instead, half of the current accelerators are targeted at areas in line with government priorities.

NSERC submitted in its 2010–2011 Report on Plans and Priorities that it intends to reduce funding for basic research a further 3.6 per cent from $364.9 million in 2009–2010 to $351.9 million by 2012–2013. The “innovation” budget, meanwhile, which supports commercialization initiatives and university-industry partnerships, will increase by more than $2 million over the same period.

James Turk
Executive Director

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