Send your ideas

The success of the long range planning exercise depends critically on input from researchers.  We will solicit formal input via discussion papers throughout the process.  Please feel free to comment informally via this blog at any time.

2 comments to Send your ideas

  • John Stockie

    In the latest NSERC Contact newsletter, there was an article about a
    study on “research performance indicators” that is being undertaken by
    the Council of Canadian Academies:

    http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/Contact-Contact_eng.asp#3

    Here is the related link from CCA:

    http://www.scienceadvice.ca/en/assessments/in-progress/science-performance.aspx

    From what is written there, I gather that one purpose of this study
    is to help guide NSERC in allocating funding between EGs now that the
    reallocations exercise has been abolished. This could potentially be very
    good news for math/stats — or very bad news — depending who is on the
    CCA panel and/or who they solicit input from. I sincerely hope that
    math/stats are represented in some way on this CCA panel.

    It occurred to me that there is an argument to be made about recent
    changes in the way Canadian mathematical scientists do research and how
    the apparent assumption at NSERC that “small grants are fine for
    mathematicians because they don’t run labs” does not hold water. In particular,
    there has been a big surge in project-based research, collaborations with
    industry, and large multi-disciplinary teams involving faculty, grad students,
    and postdoctoral fellows. I think MITACS is one of the big drivers behind this
    change, although it certainly isn’t the only reason.

    One now sees many more math scientists running “labs” (for want of a
    better term) like their contemporaries in chemistry, biology, etc. As a
    result, the costs of research for a significant portion of the community
    have changed, and yet NSERC has not kept up with this change, apparently
    leaving it to the NCE program or the Institutes (through PDF funding) to take
    up the slack.

    Keeping in mind that MITACS will be gone in 2012 — or at least the math/stats
    portion of MITACS — this issue would seem to me to be of particular importance
    to the community if we can expect a rejigging of NSERC EG budgets guided by the
    findings from this CCA report.

  • Nilima Nigam

    Here is a very nice collection of real-world applications of mathematics (addressing the impact question), by arxiv math classification:

    http://mathoverflow.net/questions/2556/real-world-applications-of-mathematics-by-arxiv-subject-area/2670#2670

    This may be a useful source to look at while compiling the final report.

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