The terms of reference

In the terms of reference for the steering committee, posted several weeks ago, a list of elements of the long range plan were listed in Section V:

  • Current and future scientific priorities;
  • How best to support the present programs of research;
  • The role of the Mathematical Institutes and BIRS as community resources;
  • Identification of important new initiatives and directions;
  • How best to incorporate new initiatives into the research agenda;
  • How best to leverage other research resources;

Comments from several people indicated that the first point, in particular, suggested that the plan would include some ranking of research areas.  This was not intended, and we have changed this element to “current and future scientific context”, which we hope is clearer.  As part of our discussions around this we gathered some of our thoughts on what each of these elements might encompass, and this is reflected in an expanded version of this section of the terms of reference:

  • Current and future scientific context;
    • How are current scientific developments affecting research in mathematics and statistics
    • How is research in mathematics and statistics impacting science
    • How does/should research in mathematics and statistics contribute to national science policy discussions
    • How best to support the present programs of research;
      • How does existing infrastructure support research and training in mathematics and statistics
      • Are there opportunities for different mechanisms that would strengthen the support of research, for example, to facilitate greater collaboration
      • Are there important areas of research that are ‘falling between the cracks’, in terms of NSERC funding
      • Recognizing that adequate funding continues to be a struggle, is the current mix of resources suitable for research goals in mathematics and statistics
        • The role of the Mathematical Institutes and BIRS as community resources;
          • How do current programs at the institutes impact research, training and recruitment in mathematics and statistics
          • What types of Institute initiatives might enhance their impact on research in mathematics and statistics
        • Identification of important new initiatives and directions;
        • How best to incorporate new initiatives into the research agenda;
        • How best to leverage other research resources;

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