A Report on the 2012 NSERC Discovery Grants Results for Toronto Math
Fifteen1 faculty members from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Toronto submitted proposals to the 2012 NSERC Discovery Grants competition. Of these, one was a first time applicant (En), two (Ga, Ia) applied after a successful appeal of 2011 results, and one (Cd) was an appellant whose appeal was denied but could reapply because the 2011 award was for zero dollars. The first table below shows the 2012 results (in thousands of dollars per year) with 2010, 2011 award amounts for those researchers.
Anticipating the 2012 NSERC Discovery Grants Competition Results
2011 Discovery Grants Competition Aftermath Anomalies in the results of the 2011 NSERC Discovery Grants competition provoked a flurry of activity nearly one year ago. My blog post from April last year reported on surprising results for several of my colleagues at Toronto. An email flurry among Canadian mathematicians culminated in a late April public statement which was eventually signed by 336 Canadian researchers, including 35 Fellows of the Royal Society and 27 Canada Research Chairs.
NSERC Peer Review System is Broken for Mathematics
Anomalous results of the 2011 NSERC Discovery Grants competition in mathematics have provoked a loss of confidence in the NSERC peer review system. To avoid a substantial loss of Canada’s scientific talent, which has been enhanced through the Canada Research Chairs program and other spectacular hiring over the past ten years, scientific policymakers need to quickly fix the broken peer review system. In the absence of an effective peer review process setting the strategy for research investment, Canada will miss out on the rewards made over the past decade’s recruitment of scientific talent.
Mathematics Discovery Grants are Insufficient and Broken
Beginning this academic year, I have served the Department of Mathematics as the Associate Chair [Research]. The principal responsibility of this position is to administer the hiring process, for tenure stream and postdoctoral appointments. I also recently served on the Connaught Physical Science Review Panel which reviews applications for Connaught funds and adjudicates the McLean Award. Serving on the Connaught Panel has given me a perspective on the research climate in fields outside of mathematics.
NSERC Rethink: Engage Grants Illustrates Mission Drift
The Globe and Mail recently posted a story entitled “Building partnerships between businesses and universities” which highlights NSERC’s Engage Grants Program. Following the article, there appears an attribution I don’t usually see in The Globe: Content in this section is provided in partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada. BDC provides entrepreneurs with financing, venture capital and consulting services. To find out more go to BDC.ca. I found this a bit strange so I followed the link and found the mission statement of BDC.