Government of Canada Launches Review of Federal Support for Fundamental Science

News Release

June 13, 2016 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Government of Canada understands the role of science in maintaining a thriving, clean economy and in providing the evidence for sound policy decisions. To deliver on this role however, federal programs that support Canada's research efforts must be aligned in such a way as to ensure they are strategic, effective and focused on meeting the needs of scientists first.

That is why the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, today launched an independent review of federal funding for fundamental science. The review will assess the program machinery that is currently in place to support science and scientists in Canada. The scope of the review includes the three granting councils along with certain federally funded organizations such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

The review will be led by an independent panel of distinguished research leaders and innovators including Dr. David Naylor, former president of the University of Toronto and chair of the panel. Other panelists include:

  • Dr. Robert Birgeneau, former chancellor, University of California, Berkeley
  • Dr. Martha Crago, Vice-President, Research, Dalhousie University
  • Mike Lazaridis, co-founder, Quantum Valley Investments
  • Dr. Claudia Malacrida, Associate Vice-President, Research, University of Lethbridge
  • Dr. Art McDonald, former director of the Sudbury Neutrino Laboratory, Nobel Laureate
  • Dr. Martha Piper, interim president, University of British Columbia
  • Dr. Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist, Quebec
  • Dr. Anne Wilson, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Successful Societies Fellow and professor of psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University

The panel will spend the next six months seeking input from the research community and Canadians on how to optimize support for fundamental science in Canada. The panel will also survey international best practices for funding science and examine whether emerging researchers face barriers that prevent them from achieving career goals. It will look at what must be done to address these barriers and what more can be done to encourage Canada's scientists to take on bold new research challenges. In addition to collecting input from the research community, the panel will also invite Canadians to participate in the review through an online consultation.


"Our government must ensure its support for fundamental research is coherent, effective and agile enough to keep pace with the dynamic nature of contemporary science. I encourage all Canadians to participate in this review by submitting their thoughts to this esteemed panel. Science, after all, is everybody's business."

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"I look forward to working with my fellow panellists and with Canadians in assessing the programs that support researchers who are charting new frontiers in investigator-initiated research. Our review will provide the Government with the evidence it needs to build upon Canada's ambitious research culture."

– Dr. David Naylor, chair of the review panel

Quick facts

  • The Advisory Panel for the Review of Federal Support for Fundamental Science is an independent and non-partisan body whose mandate is to provide advice and recommendations to the Minister of Science on how to improve federal science programs and initiatives.
  • Feedback can be submitted online at A final report will be released by the end of 2016.
  • Today's announcement reflects the Budget 2016 commitment for the Minister of Science to undertake a comprehensive review of all elements of federal support for fundamental science over the coming year to ensure that federal support for research is strategic and effective.
  • The review of fundamental science will be a core component of the Government's Innovation Agenda as science and research are key to Canada's innovation and economic objectives.

Related products

Follow Minister Duncan on social media.
Twitter: @ScienceMin
Instagram: sciencemin


Véronique Perron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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