PANEL MANDATE, SCOPE
OF REVIEW, AND PRINCIPLES
Canadian accomplishments in science and scholarly inquiry have long been a source of national pride. However, by various measures, Canada’s research competitiveness has eroded in recent years when compared with international peers. The change coincided with a period of flat-lining of federal spending through the four core funding agencies that support researchers in universities, colleges, institutes, and research hospitals. In those years funds were also directed preferentially to priority-driven and partnership oriented research, reducing available support for independent, investigator-led research by frontline scientists and scholars.
The proportion of federally derived funding for research has also declined. Canada ranks well globally n higher education expenditures on research and development as a percentage of GDP, but is an outlier in that funding from federal government sources accounts for less than 25 per cent of that total, while institutions now underwrite 50 per cent of these costs with adverse effects on both research and education.