Basic research support declines in Canada, report says | July 10, 2017 Issue - Vol. 95 Issue 28 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 95 Issue 28 | p. 19 | Concentrates
Issue Date: July 10, 2017

Basic research support declines in Canada, report says

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: research funding, Canada, basic research, Global Young Academy

Canada needs to invest heavily in fundamental research or risk losing its place as a leader in innovation and discovery, a new report says. The analysis of Canada’s basic research investments comes from the Global Young Academy, an international society of young scientists. Canada’s overall investment in research and development has declined over the past decade, from 1.98% of gross domestic product in 2005 to 1.61% in 2014, the report points out. Basic research has been hardest hit. Success rates for grant applications at several major science funding agencies have fallen dramatically, including at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, which saw a decline from 28% in 2005 to 14% in 2015. Funding has also shifted from fundamental to applied research, leaving many basic research scientists with little government funding, the report says. A survey of 1,300 Canadian researchers shows how that lack of funding has forced many to move into more applied science. Between 2006 and 2010, 24% of respondents worked only on fundamental research. That fell to 1.6% for the period between 2011 and 2015.

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