The president of International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR), Michael R. Twiss, PhD., has responded to a change in the structure of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s grants programs.

In Budget 2018, it was proposed that several NSERC funding streams would be consolidated into a single program. Engage Grants (including Engage Plus Grants), Industrial Research Chairs, Connect Grants, Strategic Partnership Grants for Networks and Projects, Experience Awards, and the existing Collaborative Research and Development Grants would be amalgamated into the Research Partnerships program.

“I am writing to counsel NSERC to consider the impact that eliminating the NSERC Strategic Grants program would have on Great Lakes research,” writes Twiss. “Doing so would adversely impact important environmental research partnerships with a burdensome cash requirement that makes it challenging to secure vital industry involvement.”

Michael R. Twiss. Image Credit: Clarkson University.

NSERC has called for comments from the Canadian research community with respect to four key elements of the Research Partnerships program: incentivizing multi-sectoral partnerships; non-profit organization partnerships in R&D; partnerships with Canadian research organizations and regional, national, and international partners; and value-added partnerships in the application or translation of research.

“IAGLR acknowledges that the NSERC Strategic Grants Program provides for important research that reduces risk to government and allows its mission to be served to the greatest extent,” writes Twiss. “On behalf of IAGLR and its members, I encourage the president of NSERC to consider the voices of those Canadians who consider that termination of the NSERC Strategic Grant Program to support environmental research will jeopardize the advancement of important research needed by Canadians now and in the future.”

NSERC’s overview of the Research Partnerships program can be found on their website. Comments can be directed to rpr@nserc-crsng.gc.ca.

IAGLR’s letter, in full, is available on their website.

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