Canadian Scientists Raising Funds Like Beggars on the Street
In an article published in the Ottawa Citizen this past December, journalist Tom Spears wrote about the unfortunate financial circumstances of Canadian scientists who now have to depend on alternative forms of fundraising to secure their research budgets. While in the past researchers were able to secure their funding from government agencies such as the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR), public purse strings have recently tightened and it is no longer a sure bet that the majority of a scientists funding will come from traditional sources.
So what are now considered to be viable sources of scientific funding? According to those interviewed, many scientists are now taking up consulting projects or approaching industrial counterparts hat-in-hand begging for money. Less government funding and an increased level fundraising activities means less time focused on scientific discovery and less productivity for Canadian scientists.
And who is being impacted the most by these changes? While larger research institutes such as OHRI and the UHN have staff dedicated to raising research funds, scientists in smaller research centres need to spend much of their time looking for money to run their lab. As such, in Canadian science, the rich really get richer, while the poor suffer.
Are you in a small, Canadian research centre? How have your research activities been impacted by the change in funding? Have you had to become more fundraising savvy? If you would like to share your story, please let us know by leaving a comment in the comment section below and we will be glad to publish your story here on the Canadian Biotechnologist Blog.