Is Canadian Research Funding In Trouble?
A story appearing in the Toronto Observer yesterday described anecdotal evidence of financial difficulties faced by Canadian researchers in recent years. According to the article, CIHR funding rates are expected to drop to 12% of submitted proposals from 27% of submitted proposals in 2000.
The article quotes Christopher Pin, an associate professor in the University of Western Ontario’s department of pediatrics, oncology, and physiology and pharmacology, as saying that the cuts have forced the University to become more politically-oriented with regards to what scientific areas they should be focusing on. Such a move is necessary in order to maximize the benefits of the ever-shrinking research budgets.
The article certainly sets a dismal tone for future biologists with the following knockout advice to budding scientists:
Go get a job somewhere else and come back when Canada is doing research again
On the other side of the coin, Industry Canada denies that Canada is experiencing a research funding crisis and insists that the 2014 federal budget included the largest increase to the granting councils in a decade.
With such conflicting information coming from both sides of the fence, it is hard to know which side represents facts on the ground. Have you experienced research funding prosperity or desperation in your lab?