Canadian researchers are better supported and more diverse than ever before

News release

Minister of Science and Sport and Minister of Finance highlight government accomplishments in Canadian science

August 15, 2019 – Toronto, Ontario

Science and research are integral to the transformative discoveries and innovations that improve the lives of all Canadians. New medical breakthroughs, quantum computing technologies and innovative agricultural practices would not be possible without the creative ideas of our talented researchers. That’s why the Government of Canada has provided historic support to Canadian researchers and given them the tools they need to succeed.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, and the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, were at Ryerson University to announce a new equity, diversity and inclusion pilot program and to highlight the Government of Canada’s historic $10 billion investment in science and research over the past four years, which includes:

  • Providing a 25 percent increase in funding for our federal granting councils
  • Awarding over 420,000 grants to tens of thousands of researchers and students
  • Extending parental leave from six months to 12 months so that our researchers don’t have to choose between having a career and a family
  • Creating 500 new master's level scholarships awards and 167 more three-year doctoral scholarships awards annually 
  • Providing $763 million to the Canada Foundation for Innovation over five years and an ongoing $462 million per year for predictable, long-term stable funding to ensure our researchers have cutting-edge labs and tools

Minister Duncan spoke about Canada’s Science Vision and the impact of the Government of Canada’s changes to make science more collaborative globally, empower the next generation of brilliant Canadian scientists and researchers, and support evidence-based decision making by embedding it across government, while promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in research.

The Minister also announced that Ryerson University is one of 17 post-secondary institutions chosen to participate in the new Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada pilot program. Starting in September, this group will lead the way in increasing diversity at Canadian post-secondary institutions.

Dr. Mohamed Lachemi, President of Ryerson University, and Minister Duncan co-signed a copy of the Dimensions Charter, which demonstrates Ryerson’s commitment to adopting the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion in its policies, practices, action plans and culture.


“Our government has been working hard to return science and research to their rightful place. We invested over $10 billion in science and research to positively impact the lives of Canadians, our environment, our communities and our economy. Beyond investments, we are bringing wholesale culture change to Canadian science and research while incorporating the Canadian values of equity, diversity and inclusion so that our researchers better reflect the Canada we live in.”
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport 

“Canadian scientists and researchers have been at the forefront of innovations that make life better for everyone—from better ways to power our homes to discoveries like insulin and inventions like the artificial pacemaker that help save lives. Science and research are also helping drive the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs for Canadian workers. When we invest in science, we’re investing in healthier, more sustainable communities, in new jobs, and in a brighter, more prosperous future for Canada and the world.”
– The Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • In December 2018, as part of Canada’s new approach to science, the New Frontiers in Research Fund was launched, representing a fundamental shift in how Canada invests in research and fosters collaboration among non-traditional partners to support research that is international, interdisciplinary, fast-breaking and high-risk. In May 2019, 157 early-career researchers received grants through this fund for exploratory research and collaboration that crosses disciplinary boundaries, such as biomedical engineers working alongside social scientists to develop groundbreaking solutions for Canadian patients.

  • The most recent round of the Canada Research Chairs competition was more diverse than ever before: 47 percent of the nominees were women, 28 percent were visible minorities, 5 percent were persons with disabilities and 5 percent were Indigenous peoples.

  • Of the 25 Canada 150 Research Chairs that were recently appointed, 60 percent are women.

  • To date, almost 90 institutions have endorsed the Dimensions Charter and committed to adopt EDI principles in their policies, practices, action plans and culture. 

  • Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion is a Canadian pilot program based on the United Kingdom’s  Athena Swan Charter and supported by the three federal research granting councils: the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Associated links


Daniele Medlej
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Stay connected

Follow Canada’s three granting agencies on Twitter:  @CIHR_IRSC, @NSERC_CRSNG,  @SSHRC_CRSH

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