Category Archives: News

Dr. David Malloy takes the helm of ACCRU

The Alliance of Canadian Comprehensive Universities (ACCRU) is pleased to announce the appointment of the new Chair, Dr. David Cruise Malloy, Vice-President (Research) at the University of Regina. He is the Principal Investigator for the International Healthcare Ethics Research Team at the University of Regina, the Foreign Director of the International Bioethics Research Institute of Shandong Province, China, the Principal Investigator and Honorary Dean of the Research Institute for Multiculturalism and Applied Philosophy at Hunan University, China, and a Fellow of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association in Client Counselling and Organisational Consulting. At the University of Regina, Malloy has also served as the Associate Dean in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research and as the Assistant Dean in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Health Studies. He currently serves as an adjudicator for both the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR).

A graduate of the University of Western Ontario and Université d’Ottawa (Education Administration and Ethics), Malloy’s research focus is in applied philosophy in health care. Specifically, his interests include ethical decision-making, codes of ethics, existential hardiness, personhood, and ethical climate/culture. He has published numerous refereed articles and is the co-author of six texts dealing with applied ethics and philosophy. His current research has been funded by SSHRC,  CIHR, and Worksafe BC.

Malloy has served in a variety of roles with ACCRU since its inception in 2011, and as Chair, hopes to place special emphasis on the undergraduate research experience at member institutions. “We have a unique opportunity at small- and medium-sized comprehensive universities for significant and intimate involvement in the research enterprise because our student/professor ratios tend to allow for much more precise mentorship. Whether we are preparing our students for graduate programs at ACCRU or U15 institutions, or for careers in non-academic contexts, undergraduate research experiences will increase their capacity in critical thinking and boost their odds at success.”

 

 

ACCRU answers call for input on Budget 2019

Canada’s research and innovation ecosystem has benefited from recent historic investments that ACCRU has warmly welcomed.  In response to the Government of Canada’s invitation to share our priorities for the 2019 federal budget and in keeping with this year’s theme of Economic Growth: Ensuring Canada’s Competitiveness, we are pleased to offer the following recommendations, which if adopted, will have tremendous potential for the country’s competitiveness.

RECOMMENDATION 1

Support the next generation in acquiring the skills required by the knowledge economy by providing Canada’s granting councils with a budget to award or enhance Undergraduate Student Research Awards in all disciplines; and by providing MITACS with the necessary budget to open its Accelerate internships to applications from undergraduate students who are currently excluded from the program.

Why? In addition to contributing to Canada’s economic interests, these investments would help offset two current inequities: one towards undergraduate students in general (in the case of MITACS), and one towards undergraduate students in the social sciences, humanities, and health sciences (in the case of the granting councils).

RECOMMENDATION 2

Stimulate innovation and growth across Canada by strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion by providing financial incentives and enhancing the federal government’s requirements for equity, diversity, and inclusion in the distribution of Canadian granting council’s award budgets to include, among the target groups, faculty and students and trainees working in small- and medium-sized institutions or located in regions or communities outside major Canadian urban centres.

Why? Doing so will contribute to harnessing all of Canada’s strengths for enhancing social and economic development across all regions of the country.

RECOMMENDATION 3

Strengthen university research environments by increasing the amounts allocated to the Research Support Fund to align with the Naylor Report.

Why? This investment will provide a high rate of return in skill development, international attractiveness, and engaged society.

Click here to read the full submission.

Budget 2018: ACCRU welcomes historical investments in fundamental research

PRESS RELEASE
February 28,2018

Cliquez ici pour une version en français.

QUEBEC CITY, Quebec – The Alliance of Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities (ACCRU) welcomes the historic investments that will contribute significantly to the deployment of Canadian fundamental research. These investments are consistent with the orientations of the Report of the Expert Panel on Fundamental Science Review.

The Review Panel collected over a thousand responses and sat at tables with hundreds of colleagues across disciplines, career stages and provinces to ask about their work. The passion, dedication, and frustrations expressed, and the fears that resources – both intellectual and material – were wasting under the current system, were universal and powerful. I am pleased that this government has taken strong steps towards filling the gaps identified throughout the report.
–Dr. Claudia Malacrida, Associate VP Research at the University of Lethbridge, member of the ACCRU and member of the Expert Panel on Fundamental Science Review.

Among the budgetary measures announced, ACCRU highlights in particular:

  • Increased funding for SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR, which ends several years of declining funding for basic research.
  • The recurrent nature of the CFI’s forthcoming funding, which responds to the demands of the academic community for a predictable competition schedule to facilitate planning for research development in Canadian universities.
  • Additional investments in the Canada Research Chairs program that could contribute to the early career development of more than 250 promising young researchers.
  • The introduction of new funding opportunities that recognize the importance of internationalization in science and high-risk research, the imperative of intersectoral research and the need to rapidly mobilize scientists in critical situations that require a rapid and science-driven response.

These basic science investments, as well as those announced to facilitate collaborations between business and universities, will stimulate a knowledge-based economy across Canada. Canada’s some hundred universities are home to excellent researchers who work in a wide variety of scientific niches and are closely linked to the social, environmental, economic, technological and cultural conditions of the regions and communities in which they are located. These universities also train a majority of highly qualified Canadian personnel who will benefit from an increase in the level of scientific activity carried out at their universities and the opportunities for collaboration that they open up, particularly with SMEs. It is these highly skilled people who will advance prosperity in diverse communities across Canada and address the global challenge of sustainable development.

ACCRU also welcomes the importance attached to equity, diversity and inclusion in the allocation of funding for scientific research announced in the budget. The Government has challenged SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR, and the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat – which will be at the forefront of today’s funding announcement – to extend these principles to the program guidelines and policies of their organizations in order to facilitate support for the diversification of scientific research communities across Canada. ACCRU has voiced concerns about the increasing concentration of federal research funding in the hands of fewer researchers and the limitations this creates for training students at diverse universities across Canada. Implementing new efforts to ensure diversity and inclusion in research represents a major step forward in harnessing all of Canada’s scientific talent – those who serve Canadian society.

ABOUT ACCRU – Founded in 2011, the Alliance of Canadian Universities of Integrated Research brings together small and medium-sized, multipurpose universities from all ten provinces. Together, our members represent close to half of Canada’s universities.

For information:
Lyne Sauvageau, Chair of ACCRU
lyne.sauvageau@uquebec.ca

ACCRU Responds to the Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science’s Report

The Alliance of Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities Responds to the Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science’s Report

For immediate release

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

—————————————————————-
NOTE: The following is an op-ed piece from Dr. J. Kevin Vessey, Chair of the Alliance of Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities (ACCRU)
—————————————————————-

As chair of the Alliance of Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities (ACCRU), I want to congratulate the Advisory Panel on Federal Support for Fundamental Science on the release of its comprehensive report, Investing in Canada’s Future: Strengthening the Foundations of Canadian Research.

We are very pleased with the report and we support the majority of the recommendations made by the panel.  In particular, we are very supportive of the panel’s primary recommendation that annual Federal spending across its main four funding agencies increase from approximately $3.5 billion to $4.8 billion.  We are also very pleased that many of the panel’s recommendation speak to better coordination of efforts, processes and programming across the major Federal funding agencies.

With that in mind, there are still areas where we wish that the panel’s report could have better articulated that research excellence is found in universities of all sizes across Canada.  We feel strongly that the support for fundamental science in Canada must be a level playing field across the country for awarding funding to universities regardless of their size.  We were very pleased with the panel’s conclusion that “the recent erosion of Canada’s research competitiveness . . . has been exacerbated by a policy shift in favour of new programs that focus resources on a limited number of individuals and institutions.”  This is something that we have long argued is an issue for the research ecosystem in Canada.

Additionally, there are some recommendations in the panel’s report that ACCRU member universities are extremely well placed to help deliver.  For example, the panel recommends that “The three granting councils should collaborate in developing a comprehensive strategic plan to promote and provide long-term support for Indigenous research.”  Many of the ACCRU member universities are located in rural settings and have excellent relationships and on-going research with indigenous and First Nations peoples, makes these universities especially well-suited to help realize the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations on research.

Overall we are very pleased with the findings of the advisory panel. Our member universities look forward to working with the Government of Canada as it acts upon recommendations from the report to improve the fundamental research enterprise in universities of all sizes and in all corners of Canada.

About the Alliance of Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities

  • Established in 2011, the Alliance of Canadian Comprehensive Research Universities (ACCRU) brings together vice-presidents research from over 30 small- and medium-sized universities across all 10 provinces in Canada.
  • ACCRU acts as a voice for communications on research and scholarly activity issues important to its members with research funding agencies, policy makers, and the public at large.
  • For a list of ACCRU member universities, please see: http://www.accru.ca/our-members/

 

Media Contact:

Dr. J. Kevin Vessey
Chair, ACCRU
Associate Vice President Research
Saint Mary’s University
Halifax, NS
Tel:  902-491-6478
Email: kevin.vessey@smu.ca

ACCRU welcomes the opportunity to participate in defining the future of Canada’s research agenda

Upholding a large and diverse research portfolio in all of Canada’s universities is in the higher interest of Canada and all Canadians. It not only contributes to building Canada, it maintains Canada’s universities’ ability, from coast to coast and in all sectors and in all of Canada’s regions, to react promptly and adequately to diversity full range of economic, social, demographic, natural and/or technological challenges which continue to face our country both in short and the long run. Maintaining a diverse research portfolio is congruent with what Canadians expect from a strong scientific ecosystem. Only by maintaining and strengthening the research capacity of all of Canada’s universities will a strong ecosystem exist which serves Canada’s higher interests, both by exploring ideas arising from the insight and inquisitiveness of researchers but also by addressing the needs and challenges of its different organizations and communities at the local, regional, national and international level.

Click here to read ACCRU’s response.

Analysis reveals smaller universities being shortchanged in NSERC competitions

Researchers from ACCRU member universities at Lakehead University, University of Regina, and Universite de Moncton recently published an analysis of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) Discovery Grant decisions.  Their analysis “consistently reveal the probablilty of success and the mean monetary value of awards in Discovery Grant competitions are higher for large universities than for small- and medium-sized universities.”  To learn more, visit University Affairs or read their research article in the journal PLOS ONE.

New $2 billion infrastructure program for postsecondary institutions

April 6, 2016 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Video: Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund

Canada’s post-secondary institutions are at the forefront of excellence in science, research and innovation. They help to train the workforce of tomorrow and create the knowledge and insights needed by the private and public sectors to build a clean, sustainable economy.

The Minister of Science, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, today announced that the Government of Canada will launch the application process for a $2-billion fund that will improve research and innovation infrastructure at universities and colleges across the country.

Announced in Budget 2016, the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund will enhance and modernize research facilities on Canadian campuses and improve the environmental sustainability of these facilities. Consultation with the provinces and territories as well as work to implement the initiative as quickly as possible are already under way.

The targeted, short-term investments under the Fund will promote economic activity across Canada and help Canada’s universities and colleges develop highly skilled workers, act as engines of discovery and collaborate on innovations that help Canadian companies compete and grow internationally.

Source: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1046709