U of S responds to Review of Federal Support for Fundamental Science

Members of University of Saskatchewan (U of S) community are keenly aware that the knowledge economy is critical to the future of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Canada, and that the economic, social and cultural contributions of the U of S are an important part of future advancements.

U of S President Peter Stoicheff said he wholeheartedly supports the recent report released by the Advisory Panel for the Review of Federal Support for Fundamental Science and chaired by David Naylor, former president of the University of Toronto.

“The process by which funding from tax dollars is translated into discoveries with broad benefit, is a very complex one,” said Stoicheff. “This report will act as a critical guide for a national conversation on how science and research is supported, and how funding models can best ensure that knowledge creation leads to meaningful innovation.”

Stoicheff agreed with the report’s central findings—that federal agencies are not providing enough funding towards science to enable Canada to keep pace in the global innovation landscape. 

“This is a critical conversation and I commend the Government of Canada for starting it, and I thank the panel for all the time and energy they contributed to this report,” said Stoicheff. “As a U15 institution, we look forward to contributing in a meaningful way to this dialogue.” 

Of particular note, Stoicheff said, was the recommendation calling for increased resources in support of Indigenous researchers, something that the U of S has been working towards for a number of years. “Indigenization is a priority for our institution and that includes, not only our student population, but also our academic body. This is an area in which we feel we can lead.”

Closely connected to this recommendation, Stoicheff continued, is the notion of inclusive science and promoting better equity and diversity outcomes. “While we have made progress in having more balanced participation in STEM disciplines, there is still much work to do here and, though not surprised, I am certainly pleased that this was also a finding of this report.”

Support for research and innovation infrastructure, he continued, has been a theme of federal government for some time and signals “the importance of post-secondary institutions to the Government of Canada.”

Stoicheff noted that the U of S has a strong track record with federal investment, pointing to successes like the Canadian Light Source and VIDO-InterVac which are two of Canada’s largest science initiatives.

“We are always grateful to be entrusted with federal funds. We look forward to continuing to support this government during the next steps of this process in which findings and recommendations of this report are implemented to ensure Canada is leading the way in research excellence.”

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