ARCHIVED - 3. Federal research funding departments and agencies: Practices and processes - continued

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3.5 Agency processes

The extent to which the policies and procedures of the federal research funding agencies respond to the needs of OLMCs was also examined. The concerns raised by researchers regarding the evaluation of applications were noted earlier, as were the rigorous processes the agencies have put in place to assess funding applications. Their common characteristics are discussed below. It should be noted that the examples and best practices are self-reported by the funding agency representatives.

3.5.1 A strong focus on excellence

All federal research funding agencies and researchers emphasized excellence. The general view of the agencies is that allocations of research funding should be based solely on excellence. Some agencies also believe that programs should be national in scope and that OLMC institutions and researchers should not be granted preference. These agencies fund institutions and researchers who are in minority-language situations because they are experts in their field and their applications have been found to have merit through the peer review process.

In the case of federal departments carrying out research on a contract basis (as opposed to funding grants for research), the focus is typically on acquiring the services of an institution or a researcher that best meets the requirements specified in the statement of work included in the request for proposals and contractual arrangements.

3.5.2 Research priority setting by governing bodies

Each research funding agency typically has a process for establishing research priorities (e.g., through governing bodies comprised of external representatives or individual institutes). Members of governing bodies are distinguished individuals selected from the private and public sectors and universities, and represent a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines. A certain percentage of research funding is often researcher-driven while the balance is reserved for strategic initiatives or specific partnerships. Priorities are set after all stakeholders are consulted and the emerging issues that will be facing the Canadian population are taken into consideration.

Within federal departments, research priorities are generally established as part of a research plan (e.g., the Social Development Knowledge Plan at HRSDC) or the regular business planning cycle and are closely linked to policy development or program priorities.

Too often, as the Commissioner of Official Languages has noted in the past, language dimensions are not considered when federal departments are developing their research plans to support policy or program development. Given their responsibilities, it is important that departments examine this dimension and develop research on the vitality of OLMCs to understand the fundamental conditions that influence their development and to incorporate this knowledge when developing and evaluating programs.

3.5.3 Application processes for research funding

Every year, the federal research funding agencies receive thousands of funding applications. Steps taken to facilitate the application process include the following:

  • Streamlined application forms: Some agencies allow for an abbreviated form of application (e.g., letter of intent).

  • On-line applications: Some agencies are making a major effort to process grant registrations and applications and provide funding-related information on-line.6 The intent is to make the application process and forms easily accessible over the Internet and allow for collaboration on administrative tasks. Information on applicants is retained in a database.

  • Increased co-operation between agencies: To assist researchers who have to submit applications to multiple programs to obtain funding for cross-disciplinary projects, some agencies and research organizations are  co-operating with each other by requesting a common resumé, as well as co-operating in requesting proposals. There is also a trend toward multiple application agreements and other forms of collaborative arrangements between agencies.

  • Coaching: Some agencies make staff available to assist researchers with the application process.

  • Allocating funding to institutions: CFI, for example, established an allocation designed for the incremental operating and maintenance costs of infrastructure projects, with a different evaluation committee for smaller institutions.

  • Wide range of types of funding support: Funding support is provided through a wide range of mechanisms, including open competitions, joint initiatives and strategic research projects. It is available for a range of purposes, including grants to institutions and individual researchers, collaborative research and development, technology transfer, research networks, research agreements, research chairs, research communications, scholarships, special research fellowships, training, exchange programs, and equipment and facilities.

  • Service standards: Some agencies have set service standards. For example, one agency has developed and published a set of standards, established baselines and targets for improvement, and conducted surveys with their main clients regarding their satisfaction levels.

  • Client relationship managers: One funding agency has established coordinators to act as client relationship or account managers for groups of institutions. The relationship manager acts as the key contact point for the institution and is available to address issues and provide support.

For research in federal departments, researchers respond to requests for proposals. The research proposals are then evaluated according to regular contracting processes.

3.5.4 Peer review processes for evaluating applications

Funds are normally awarded on a competitive basis following the evaluation of applications by independent expert peer review at a national level. Each research application is evaluated by a peer review committee composed of a number of volunteer reviewers who write detailed reports on the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal. The agencies ensure a certain mix in their peer review committees in terms of expertise, regional representation, sex and language (typically 8–10 members serve on each committee). Some agencies also ask experts in specific fields to review applications and use a two-tier system whereby applications are reviewed one at a time by experts in specific fields (i.e., external referees or assessors) before they are submitted to the peer review committees. Through a consensus seeking process, the peer review committees arrive at a final rating for each proposal.

The key objectives of these review processes are excellence, independence and clarity. Agencies often post their peer assessment policy and process on their Web site. Some agencies (such as CFI) have established separate peer review committees for small and large institutions.

The peer evaluation process is not without its challenges. For example, there is a constant need for new evaluation committee members, and finding members who have both the specialized expertise and competency in both official languages is often difficult. This is especially true given the highly specialized nature of some research areas, the limited number of experts in the fields and the need to avoid conflicts of interest and maintain anonymity.

3.5.5 Ability of peer review committees to evaluate applications in both official languages

All the federal research funding agencies are committed to serving institutions and researchers in both official languages and using different approaches to ensure that peer review committees can fully assess applications in both official languages.

  • Ensure minimum representation of both official languages on evaluation committees: Typically, agencies operate bilingual peer review committees based on the self-declared functional bilingualism of reviewers. To assess applications submitted in French, peer review committee members are required to be functionally bilingual. Some agencies ensure that a minimum number of members on committees evaluating French applications are Francophone. The percentage of applications that are received in French should be taken into consideration: 19% of applications to SSHRC are submitted in French compared to 7% at NSERC. This may be due to the predominant use of English in publications by the natural sciences and engineering community or the number of small Francophone OLMC institutions who are not eligible for funding because they do not have science and engineering programs.

  • Develop representation of both official languages in databases of experts: All the federal research funding agencies ensure that a “functional” bilingual capacity among reviewers is maintained. The agencies typically maintain large databases of experts in various specialties (e.g., over 30,000 in SSHRC, over 134,000 at NSERC). Some  agencies track the percentage of experts in their databases who are functionally bilingual. For example, at NSERC, roughly 18% of experts in their database are able to speak, read or write in French. However, this is based on self-assessment and none of the agencies test the language skills of their external experts.

  • Organize both French and English evaluation committees: This is the approach taken by the Canada Council for the Arts, in order to encourage equity in the allocation of subsidies for artistic endeavours. Although it is not used to fund research, this model could serve as an example for other federal research funding agencies concerned about the equitable treatment of OLMCs.

  • Provide translation and interpretation services: The Canada Council for the Arts translates applications and also provides simultaneous interpretation for evaluation committees. Some agencies also provide interpretation services, but they are rarely used by evaluation committees.

  • Provide information and context sheets: Although it is used for arts subsidies and not research grants, the Canada Council for the Arts prepares information and context sheets to provide juries with background information on the situation of Francophone artists working outside of Quebec. This helps to increase jury members’ awareness and ensure they are informed of the challenges facing OLMC artists and organizations.

Example 1 – Mechanisms used by NSERC to ensure the bilingual capacity of peer review committee members

In 2005–2006, the Discovery Program received over 3,000 applications (6% written in French) and had over 16,000 external reviewers in its database, 300–350 selection committee members and 27 selection committees. Selected external referees must be able to evaluate applications in the language in which they are written. Some 7.5% of external referees are Francophones. Selection committees reviewing French applications must include at least two members whose first official language is French and as many bilingual members as possible. Fourteen percent of selection committee members are Francophone, and 34% are bilingual and can review both French and English proposals.

Simultaneous interpretation is also available for committees, if necessary. Comments are made to applicants in their language of choice.

Source: Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Investing in People, Discovery and Innovation. Presentation at the discussion forum held on November 17, 2006.

Summary—Evaluation processes are in place to ensure an objective and open evaluation of research funding applications. There is increased co-operation between federal research funding agencies, and efforts are being made to streamline application processes. Agencies  have pursued a variety of approaches to ensure that peer evaluation committees can function in both languages. However, no actual testing of language skills is carried out.

3.6 Promotion of research funding to official language minority communities

All agencies conduct promotional activities to increase awareness of their programs. Mechanisms in place to promote research programs include:

  • Site visits to the institutions: Agencies typically make periodic visits to the institutions, although the frequency of the visits appears to vary from annually to every few years. No clear strategy exists for the small universities and while some researchers commented favourably on the availability of granting council representatives, French-speaking researchers stated that their contact with representatives was less likely to be in person than over the telephone or through correspondence. Even if visits by representatives of the various federal research funding agencies to university campuses across Canada are greatly appreciated, they rarely occur at the small institutions, where the small number of researchers present in one place discourages the expenditure of time and money for travel outside major population centres.

  • Regional information sessions: Agencies conduct periodic information sessions at both large and small institutions located in large urban centres and small communities.

  • Regional offices: Some federal research funding agencies have established regional offices. For example, NSERC has recently established regional offices in Moncton, Winnipeg and Vancouver to promote and create greater awareness of their programs and help bring people from head office to the regions more often. (Each regional office has a staff of three or four people.) Similarly, CIHR has 13 institutes located across the country. Nevertheless, the evaluation of research applications tends to be for the most part centralized at a national level.

  • Bilingual staff and program literature: The agencies serve the communities by providing services, programs and literature on their Web site in both official languages, as required under the Official Languages Act.

  • Working with associations: Some associations, such as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and CAUBO, represent all universities, while others, such as the Association des universités de la francophonie canadienne (AUFC), represent OLMC institutions. These associations contribute to raising awareness about the research funding programs offered.

  • Client relationship managers: Some agencies have designated a coordinator as the key contact person for each institution. Each institution in turn establishes a liaison point for communications with the agency.

  • Supporting research networks: The network of 19 National Centres of Excellence, established by the Government of Canada in 1989 to mobilize researchers in the university, public, private and non-profit sectors, has been successful in promoting innovation and knowledge transfer in the areas of health and human development, advanced technologies, engineering, manufacturing, natural resources and the environment.

Summary—Federal research funding agencies use a variety of mechanisms to promote their programs, and some are striving to build their regional presence. They might use agencies that fund other sectors (e.g., the Canada Council for the Arts) and that have been pro-actively consulting OLMCs as examples to assess their needs.

3.7 Programs aimed at small institutions

Certain federal research funding agencies have programs in place for small institutions and new researchers. NSERC has had a program in place for small universities since 2003–2004 entitled Research Capacity Development in Small Universities. The program is intended to help small universities address barriers to research productivity in terms of equipment, infrastructure and research staff. SSHRC also has a modest budget in place to support capacity building in small universities. In addition, it has conducted round tables to address the issue of helping younger researchers and adjusted its evaluation process to reflect the circumstances of new researchers and increase their chances of success. Another example is CFI, which has also customized its programs to reflect the needs of smaller institutions.

Example 2 – Mechanisms used by CFI to customize their programs to the needs of the smaller institutions

When CFI was first created in 1997, it considered the needs of smaller universities in co-operation with the AUCC. CFI evaluated the research capabilities of all the institutions and set aside an allocation for each institution that was proportional to its research portfolio. Institutions could apply for funding within this allocation. CFI also added colleges and small universities to the scope of institutions. CFI funding to date for infrastructure projects has been $26.4 million for 54 projects at colleges and $162.8 million for 710 projects at universities.

CFI eventually changed its programs so that smaller institutions could compete with the larger institutions because smaller institutions wanted access to more funding. The foundation created separate evaluation committees for colleges, smaller universities and other institutions.

Source: Information provided by CFI and a presentation by CFI at the discussion forum held on November 17, 2006.

Summary—Some federal research funding agencies have put programs in place for small institutions and new researchers. An opportunity exists to further help small institutions develop their research capacity.

3.8 Programs promoting research in official language minority communities or on official languages issues

During this study, the extent to which existing programs target OLMCs, or fund research on linguistic duality and OLMCs, was also examined. The federal research funding agencies do not generally have programs that are specifically intended to support researchers in official language minority situations. However, some agencies have undertaken initiatives that address the needs of OLMCs in their particular area of research.

Example 3 – CIHR’s implementation of an initiative to deliver health services to OLMCs

CIHR established an initiative for OLMCs to promote the study of the health determinants and specific needs of these two official languages groups to increase the number of researchers interested in these issues and to ensure that newly created knowledge is transmitted to researchers and clinicians in order to improve the health of the Canadian population. In addition, it established a consultative committee on OLMCs that was made up of representatives from large and small universities and hospitals. Its mandate is to provide strategic and expert advice to CIHR on the OLMC health research agenda and to draft an action plan to develop competitive research capacity. To ensure success, CIHR committed human and operational resources as well as $1.5 million in research funds. Two competitions for research funds have been held, one in December 2005 and one in 2006. To foster awareness of the challenges facing OLMCs and increase the interest of young researchers in this domain, summer institutes were also planned. One was offered in 2003 and another is planned for 2008, while a session dedicated to OLMCs was included in the CIHR 2006 Summer Institute.

Source: Canada Institutes of Health Research, Promotion of Official Languages: Practices in the Institutes for Health Research in Canada. Presentation at the discussion forum held on November 17, 2006.

 

 

Example 4 – Industry Canada’s funding support to OLMCs to better understand their situation

Industry Canada has provided project funding for Franco communauté virtuelle to ensure information technologies are available to Francophone communities. Industry Canada has also developed new tools to better implement section 41 and to increase horizontal co-operation in supporting OLMCs. One initiative in particular involved the production of a CD-ROM to increase awareness among managers of departmental programs and services. The tool helps them understand the geographic distribution of the communities. The first phase of the project includes 490 maps that indicate OLMC locations according to certain defined criteria. The second phase will extend the criteria and provide a more complete picture of the communities' socio-economic characteristics. The Department would like to create as comprehensive a tool as possible by seeking input on the information to be included from other federal institutions, such as Canadian Heritage and HRSDC. Industry Canada also conducts market research on its investments and its regional development agencies related to OLMCs.

Source: Information provided during an interview.

3.8.1 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

In terms of the main federal research funding agencies, research on linguistic duality issues falls under the purview of SSHRC. SSHRC funds research on issues pertaining to linguistic duality and OLMCs through the range of its investigator-framed and targeted programs. Although it can be difficult to identify and track all of the research that relates to these themes, SSHRC produces, as part of its annual status report on the implementation of section 41 of the Official Languages Act, a list of research projects that have been awarded grants related to these themes. In the 2006–2007 Status Report,7 SSHRC reported that approximately $2.4 million was awarded for research and related activities in the area of linguistic duality and official language minority issues.

Included in the $2.4 million are the projects that SSHRC funded through the Official Languages Research and Dissemination Program. This targeted program was a joint initiative with the Department of Canadian Heritage and provided $3 million in funding over a three-year period from 2004 to 2007 (see Table 9). SSHRC and Canadian Heritage each contributed roughly 50% of the funds. The Official Languages Research and Dissemination Program was a pilot project that lasted three years.

Example 5 – The Official Languages Research and Dissemination Program developed by SSHRC and Canadian Heritage

In 2001, SSHRC held a consultation on its five-year strategic plan. One major theme and priority area identified was that of culture, citizenship and identity. Beginning in 2003, negotiations were undertaken with the Department of Canadian Heritage about the possibility of developing an initiative related to official languages. This led to the launch of the Official Languages Research and Dissemination Joint Initiative Program in 2004. SSHRC and Heritage Canada each agreed to contribute $500,000 to each year of the program.

The objectives of the program were to foster collaboration between researchers with respect to policies and practices in official languages, and to ensure that the results of the research are disseminated and used. The focus of the program is on training in the language of the minority, second language learning, governance and community development, and linguistic duality. Examples of the themes pursued in 2006 include: distance learning in a minority language, issues with respect to ethnic and cultural diversity, challenges faced by OLMCs and strategies they can pursue, ways in which Canadian society currently supports official languages legislation policies and programs, and the role of minority-language schools as a catalyst within the community.

The success rate of applications has been high. Over the three years of the program, 52 grants were awarded out of a total of 97 applications (a success rate of 54%), providing total funding of $3 million ($1.5 million from each partner). The breakdown of awards by language of application was the following: in 2004–2005, 41% were in French and 59% were in English; in 2005–2006, 71% were in French and 29% were in English; and in 2006–2007, 61% were in French and 39% were in English.

Source: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, The Official Languages Research and Dissemination Joint Initiative Program: A Joint Initiative of SSHRC and Canadian Heritage. Presentation at the discussion forum held on November 17, 2006.

Based on information obtained from SSHRC, Table 9 summarizes SSHRC awards by institution over the three years of this program. Some 18 institutions received a total of 52 awards, representing about $3 million. The University of Ottawa received the most awards (17 or 33% of funding), while 10 institutions received one or two awards. The average value of the award was approximately $58,000.

Table 9 – SSHRC funding under the Official Languages Research
and Dissemination Program 2004–2005 to 2006–2007
Awarded by region and administering organization

Region and Organization

2004-2005
Awards

2005-2006
Awards

2006-2007
Awards

2004-2005 to 2006-2007
Awards

Number of
Projects

Total
$

Number of
Projects

Total
$

Number of
Projects

Total
$

Number of
Projects

Total
$

%
of total

Average
$

Atlantic

                   

Memorial University

-

-

1

50,000

-

-

1

50,000

1.9%

50,000

University of Prince
Edward Island

-

-

1

50,000

-

-

1

50,000

1.9%

50,000

Université de Moncton

1

47,900

2

83,768

2

79,000

5

210,668

9.6%

42,134

Quebec

                   

Bishop’s University

1

14,495

-

-

-

-

1

14,495

1.9%

14,495

Université Laval

1

92,940

-

-

-

-

1

92,940

1.9%

92,940

McGill University

2

196,645

1

30,024

-

-

3

226,669

5.8%

75,556

Université de Sherbrooke

-

-

1

50,000

-

-

1

50,000

1.9%

50,000

Université du Québec
à Montréal

1

95,900

2

93,703

-

-

3

189,603

5.8%

63,201

Ontario

                   

Lakehead University

1

71,145

-

-

-

-

1

71,145

1.9%

71,145

University of Ottawa

5

444,157

5

205,619

7

306,906

17

956,682

32.7%

56,275

Queen’s University

1

88,983

-

-

-

-

1

88,983

1.9%

88,983

York University

3

215,197

1

50,000

-

-

4

265,197

7.7%

66,299

Manitoba

                   

Collège universitaire
de Saint-Boniface

-

-

2

72,600

-

-

2

72,600

3.8%

36,300

Alberta

                   

University of Alberta

3

245,030

-

-

2

99,956

5

344,986

9.6%

68,997

University of Calgary

-

-

1

35,300

1

16,400

2

51,700

3.8%

25,850

British Columbia

                   

University of
British Columbia

1

99,700

-

-

-

-

1

99,700

1.9%

99,700

University of
Northern British
Columbia

1

50,000

-

-

-

-

1

50,000

1.9%

50,000

Simon Fraser University

1

99,956

-

-

1

23,905

2

123,861

3.8%

61,931

Total

22

1,762,048

17

721,014

13

526,167

52

3,009,229

100%

57,870

Source: Data provided by SSHRC.

3.8.2 Department of Canadian Heritage

Canadian Heritage works with associations, community groups and universities that are active in research related to official languages and linguistic duality issues. From the researchers’ perspective, all of the following sources of funding are attractive, since community groups that receive such funding can then sub-contract them to conduct the research. Examples of research programs in which Canadian Heritage partners with community groups and federal research funding agencies, such as SSHRC, include the following:

  • Virtual Scholar in Residence Program: This program, which has been in place since 2004–2005, funds one researcher per year to work with Canadian Heritage’s Official Languages Support Programs Branch to advance research on minority-language  community issues. Each year, proposals are received from researchers, a peer review is carried out by a SSHRC jury, discussion and negotiation takes place between the researcher and the Department of Canadian Heritage, and a research program is established with negotiated deliverables. For example, in 2006, Professor Janet Mosher from Toronto was chosen as the Virtual Scholar in Residence and was awarded $50,000 for her research project Access to Justice: A New Policy Framework.

  • The AUFC: Canadian Heritage has provided funding to this group over the past 15 years ($7.3 million from 1990–1991 to 2005–2006) for networking, infrastructure and developmental activities to encourage greater coordination and capacity in post-secondary teaching and research.

  • Réseau de la recherche sur la francophonie canadienne: As part of its 2007–2012 action plan, the AUFC recently presented a support plan for research on Francophone minority communities, thereby carrying out one of the components of its mission: research, teaching and services to the community. With the financial support of Canadian Heritage and the Government of Quebec through the Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernmentales canadiennes, the AUFC aims to increase the research capacity of researchers in its member universities and is working with various groups to meet this objective.

  • The Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities: A $10 million endowment was provided in 2002–2003 to establish a national institute at the Université de Moncton with the mandate to conduct research on official language minorities.  Money from the endowment enables the Institute to conduct independent research and carry out research projects for government departments and community-based organizations.

Information presented by Canadian Heritage at the November 17, 2006 discussion forum suggests that, as a topic of research, Quebec’s Anglophone  communities have received very little attention. From 1998–1999 to 2002–2003, SSHRC-funded research on these communities was negligible: just 8% of funds that went to projects targeting OLMCs studied Anglophones in Quebec. Between 2004–2005 and 2006–2007, not a single research grant application was received in three rounds of competitions for the Canadian Heritage-SSHRC joint initiative on English-speaking communities. Apart from the Eastern Townships Research Centre at Bishop’s University, no centre or institute attached to a Quebec university focuses on the English-speaking communities in Quebec.8

The study conducted by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in 2006 entitled A Sharper View: Evaluating the Vitality of Official Language Minority Communities also noted that there are no research networks in Quebec looking at issues related to the vitality of the English-speaking community and recommended the creation of a research institute to specifically carry out research on the Anglophone communities of Quebec and to foster networking. As well, the study noted that there is generally little emphasis in Quebec’s Anglophone universities on research on the vitality of the province’s Anglophone minority. (See section 4.5.)

3.8.3 Canada Research Chairs

Between 2000 and 2005, a total of 1,698 Canada Research Chairs were awarded. Of these, 213 were awarded to OLMC institutions for research in all disciplines.9

SSHRC, which administers the Canada Research Chairs Program on behalf of the three granting councils, provides a sample of active Chairs whose research focuses on linguistic duality and official language minority issues in its annual status report. In 2005–2006, SSHRC provided a list of 14 Chairs who carry out research in this area. Examples include the following:

  • University of Calgary: A study of second-language input (i.e., what learners see and hear in the process of learning a second language) and how different types of input affect the learning process;

  • Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface: An ethno-historical study on the culture of Manitoba’s Métis, with a focus on the issue of identity;

  • Université de Moncton: A study of Acadian and Québécois literature and of selected texts from Ontario and the West;

  • Université Sainte-Anne: An oral literature laboratory for conserving and analyzing the oral heritage of Francophone and Acadian minority communities in Canada and the rest of North America; and

  • University of Ottawa: A scientific study of bilingual speech in immigrant communities, African-American English in Nova Scotia and how spoken French has evolved over the centuries.

The subject matter of research chairs is determined by the universities, who must present a strategic research plan to the Canada Research Chairs Program. This confirms the key role that universities play in supporting research related to OLMCs and linguistic duality.

In conclusion—Most federal research funding comes from a small number of agencies (NSERC, CIHR and SSHRC). With the exception of the large English-language universities in Quebec, OLMC institutions are not receiving large amounts of funding. The agencies generally have similar processes in place to evaluate research funding applications, have been working together to streamline application processes and use a variety of mechanisms to promote their programs. Ensuring the bilingual capabilities of peer evaluation committees is a challenge. Agencies have taken initial steps to help small institutions develop their capacity to conduct research, and some have established programs directed specifically to promoting research related to OLMCs and linguistic duality. A summary of best practices is presented in Table 10.

Table 10 – Summary of best practices identified by federal research funding agencies

Actively promote and inform researchers about available funding

  • Consult with official language minority institutions and the Association des universités de la francophonie canadienne to determine their needs

  • Make more frequent visits to the universities

  • Use a wide range of information dissemination strategies to increase the visibility of the funding programs

  • Maintain direct contact with the researchers

    Pursue an integrated approach to providing information on research funding programs across all government agencies

Develop the capacity of federal research funding agencies to serve researchers in their own official language

  • Increase the bilingual capacity of peer review committee members

  • Raise the awareness of peer review committee members about the circumstances and challenges of OLMCs

  • Identify a champion within the research funding agency

  • Provide staff training to federal research funding agencies

Establish research funding strategies that target small institutions

  • Tailor funding support to the circumstances of the small bilingual and official language minority universities and develop a range of funding support instruments for small institutions

  • Encourage more networking among researchers in official language minority institutions

  • Create research centres

Streamline funding administrative processes

  • Use letters of intent for major research projects to simplify the application process and to identify potential research projects

  • Explore other tools to simplify the application process

Establish programs that target research on official languages issues

  • Dedicate funding for research on official languages issues

  • Reinforce federal interdepartmental coordination for research on official languages

  • Support the dissemination of research results

  • Give priority to OLMC researchers

  • Establish an advisory board comprised of university representatives involved in research on official languages issues

  • Monitor research support to OLMC institutions

Engage the institutions

  • Integrate official languages and linguistic duality into university research plans

  • Encourage universities to establish research programs on OLMCs and linguistic duality

  • Develop the capacity of universities to review applications in French

Notes

6 For example, CIHR launched ResearchNet, its first pilot project for electronic submissions, in 2004. While the system still experiences hiccups near competition closing dates when large volumes of users are on-line, it is an important tool for researchers in large or small settings.

7 Available at www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/web/home_e.aspGovernment site

8 Canadian Heritage presentation at the discussion forum held on November 17, 2006.

9 See www.chairs.gc.caGovernment site.

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