Section II – Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome

NSERC’s Program Activity Architecture

Section II of this report follows the structure of NSERC’s Program Activity Architecture (PAA) in terms of its three strategic outcomes (SO), related program activities and program sub-activities, as presented below:


Program Activity Program Sub-Activity
SO 1.0: People – Highly skilled science and engineering professionals in Canada
1.1 Promote Science and Engineering 1.1.1 PromoScience
1.1.2 Centres for Research in Youth, Science Teaching and Learning
1.1.3 Prizes
1.2 Support Students and Fellows




1.2.1 Undergraduate Student Research Awards
1.2.2 NSERC Postgraduate Scholarships
1.2.3 Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships *
1.2.4 Postdoctoral Fellowships
1.2.5 Industrial Research and Development Fellowships
1.3 Attract and Retain Faculty 1.3.1 Canada Research Chairs *
1.3.2 Industrial Research Chairs
1.3.3 Chairs in Targeted Areas of Research
1.3.4 University Faculty Awards
SO 2.0: Discovery – High quality Canadian-based competitive research in the natural sciences and engineering
2.1 Fund Basic Research 2.1.1 Discovery Grants
2.1.2 Special Research Opportunity Grants
2.1.3 General Support
2.2 Support for Research Equipment and Major Resources 2.2.1 Research Tools and Instruments
2.2.2 Major Resources Support Grants
2.2.3 Research Capacity Development in Small Universities
SO 3.0: Innovation – Productive use of new knowledge in the natural sciences and engineering
3.1 Fund Research in Strategic Areas 3.1.1 Strategic Partnerships
3.1.2 Collaborative Health Research Projects *
3.2 Fund University-Industry-Government Partnerships 3.2.1 Collaborative Research and Development Grants
3.2.2 Research Partnership Agreements
3.2.3 Networks of Centres of Excellence * +
3.3 Support Commercialization 3.3.1 Intellectual Property Mobilization *
3.3.2 Idea to Innovation Program
3.3.3 College and Community Innovation Program *

* Programs involving two or more Agencies.
+ The new Business-Led NCEs, Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, and Industrial R&D Internships will be included in this activity.

Strategic Outcome 1.0 – People: Highly skilled science and engineering professionals in Canada

NSERC will help ensure a reliable supply of highly qualified people for Canadian industry, government and universities by promoting science and engineering to Canadian youth, supporting students and fellows training in Canadian universities and abroad, and providing support to university faculty.

Program Activities

1.1 Promote Science and Engineering


 
2008–09
2009–10
2010–11
Financial Resources
$6.3 million
$6.3 million
$6.3 million
Human Resources
3
3
3
Description
This program activity encourages popular interest in science, math and engineering and aims to develop science, math and engineering abilities in Canadian youth.
Expected Results

Student interest in research in the sciences, math and engineering is encouraged.

Indicators
  • Number of organizations supported through PromoScience
  • Impact on teaching practices (K–12)
Outputs
In 2008-09, NSERC will:
  • Support 125 non-profit organizations, museums, science centres and post-secondary institutions who promote science and engineering to youth, through the PromoScience grant program;
  • Support five centres conducting research aimed at improving K–12 science teaching, through the Centres for Research in Youth, Science Teaching and Learning program;
  • Celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding researchers, research teams and students through the following prizes:
    • E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowships
    • Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering
    • Howard Alper Postdoctoral Prize
    • Innovation Challenge Awards
    • Michael Smith Awards for Science Promotion
    • NSERC André Hamer Postgraduate Prizes
    • NSERC Doctoral Prizes
    • NSERC John C. Polanyi Award
    • Synergy Awards for Innovation
Link to Priorities
Priority 1: Foster a People Advantage
Priority 5: Increase the visibility of Canadian NSE research

Selected key programs, services and initiatives within this Program Activity that will support NSERC’s priorities from 2008-09 to 2010-11 include the following:

1.2 Support Students and Fellows


 
2008–09
2009–10
2010–11
Financial Resources
$146.2 million
$146.7 million
$146.7 million
Human Resources
59
58
58
Description
This program activity supports the training of highly qualified personnel through scholarship and fellowship programs.
Expected Results

A supply of highly qualified people with leading-edge scientific and research skills for Canadian industry, government, and universities.

Indicators
  • Percentage of students supported staying in Canada after their studies
  • Average salary of scholarship recipients vs. general population after completion of studies
  • Average completion rates among recipients vs. general NSE student population
Outputs
In 2008-09, NSERC will support more than 4,000 undergraduate students, more than 4,000 master’s and doctoral students and nearly 700 postdoctoral fellows conducting research in the natural sciences and engineering, through the following Scholarship and Fellowship programs:
  • Undergraduate Student Research Awards;
  • Postgraduate Scholarships for masters and doctoral students;
  • Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarships for masters and doctoral students;
  • Postdoctoral Fellowships;
  • Industrial Research and Development Fellowships.

In addition to NSERC’s Scholarship and Fellowship programs, NSERC indirectly supports (i.e., through grants provided to professors) almost 5,000 undergraduate students, more than 4,900 graduate students and approximately 1,400 postdoctoral fellows.

Link to Priority
Priority 1: Foster a People Advantage

Selected key programs, services and initiatives within this Program Activity that will support NSERC’s priorities from 2008-09 to 2010-11 include the following:

1.3 Attract and Retain Faculty


 
2008–09
2009–10
2010–11
Financial Resources
$167.7 million
$167.7 million
$167.7 million
Human Resources
25
25
25
Description
This program activity aims to attract and retain faculty.
Expected Results

Enhanced research capacity in science and engineering.

Indicators
  • New professors coming to Canada: number of foreign educated new applicants to NSERC’s Discovery Grants program
  • Attrition rates: percentage of NSERC funded professors retained in Canada
  • Number of new applications for Industrial Research Chairs to be created in Canadian universities
Outputs
In 2008-09, NSERC will:
  • Attract and retain some of the world's most accomplished and promising researchers in the NSE by supporting 900 Canada Research Chairs;
  • Build research capacity in areas of priority to industry by supporting 200 professors who hold Industrial Research Chairs.
Link to Priorities
Priority 1: Foster a People Advantage
Priority 2: Foster a Knowledge Advantage
Priority 3: Foster an Entrepreneurial Advantage

A key initiative under Program Activity 1.3 that will support NSERC’s priorities from 2008-09 to 2010-11 is the following:

Strategic Outcome 2.0 – Discovery: High quality Canadian-based competitive research in the natural sciences and engineering

Support for ongoing programs of research provides the foundation for scientific and technological advances, ensuring Canada’s participation in the generation of new knowledge and ability to draw on such knowledge generated around the world. Support for research equipment and major resources ensures that Canadian post-secondary institutions are able to train the next generation of scientists and engineers in a world-class research environment, with access to state-of-the-art instruments and equipment and to major regional or national research facilities.

Program Activities

2.1 Fund Basic Research


 
2008–09
2009–10
2010–11
Financial Resources
$379.4 million
$379.0 million
$376.6 million
Human Resources
122
126
126
Description
This program activity invests in discovery through grants focusing on basic research activities.
Expected Results

The discovery, innovation and training capability of university researchers in the natural sciences and engineering is enhanced by the provision of support for on-going programs of basic research.

Indicators
  • Number of publications and percentage share of world production
  • Average relative impact factor of Canadian publications in the NSE (comparison with other countries)
  • Higher education R&D spending as a percentage of GDP, compared to G8 countries
Outputs
In 2008-09, NSERC will:
  • Support the ongoing programs of research of 11,500 researchers through the Discovery Grants program;
  • Accelerate the progress and maximize the impact of more than 175 outstanding research programs through the Discovery Accelerator Supplements;
  • Support 300 researchers through Special Research Opportunity Grants, enabling them to pursue new and emerging research opportunities and develop potential new collaborations, nationally or internationally.
Link to Priorities
Priority 1: Foster a People Advantage
Priority 2: Foster a Knowledge Advantage
Priority 3: Foster an Entrepreneurial Advantage

Selected key programs, services and initiatives within this Program Activity that will support NSERC’s priorities from 2008-09 to 2010-11 include the following:

2.2 Support for Research Equipment and Major Resources


 
2008–09
2009–10
2010–11
Financial Resources
$41.5 million
$29.7 million
$29.7 million
Human Resources
23
17
17
Description
This program activity helps to support the establishment, maintenance and operation of the research equipment, major research resources and research capacity necessary to carry out high quality research in the natural sciences and engineering.
Expected Results

The discovery, innovation and training capability of university researchers in the natural sciences and engineering is supported by the access to research equipment and major regional or national research facilities.
Indicators
  • Adequacy and impact of national and regional research facilities in Canada and level of access
  • Extent to which research equipment is up to date and sufficient to meet the needs of research programs
Outputs
In 2008-09, NSERC will:
  • Facilitate access of Canadian researchers to more than 75 major national or international experimental facilities or research resources;
  • Enhance research capacity in Canadian universities by providing $36 million to support the purchase of research equipment and access to installations;
  • Build research capacity at seven smaller universities through the Research Capacity Development in Small Universities Program.
Link to Priorities
Priority 1: Foster a People Advantage
Priority 2: Foster a Knowledge Advantage
Priority 3: Foster an Entrepreneurial Advantage

A key initiative under Program Activity 2.2 that will support NSERC’s priorities from 2008-09 to 2010-11 is the following:

Strategic Outcome 3.0 – Innovation: Productive use of new knowledge in the natural sciences and engineering

Wealth is created when Canadians add value in producing goods and services that are sold in world markets. Knowledge is the modern basis for adding value. NSERC aims to maximize the value of public investments in research for the benefit of all Canadians by promoting research-based innovation, university-industry partnerships, technology transfer activities and the training of people with the required scientific and business skill sets to create wealth from discoveries in the NSE.

Program Activities

3.1 Fund Research in Strategic Areas


 
2008–09
2009–10
2010–11
Financial Resources
$104.5 million
$103.3 million
$102.5 million
Human Resources
36
39
39
Description
This program activity funds research in areas of national importance and in emerging areas that are of potential significance to Canada.
Expected Results

Research and training in targeted and emerging areas of national importance is accelerated.

Indicators
  • Trends in funding for research in the Federal S&T Strategy priority areas
  • Trends in number of organizations participating in Strategic Partnerships Programs
  • Partner satisfaction with project outcomes in targeted areas
Outputs
In 2008-09, NSERC will:
  • Support 500 early-stage research projects in targeted areas that could strongly enhance Canada’s economy, society and/or environment within the next ten years, through the Strategic Project Grants program;
  • Support 20 large-scale, collaborative networks in targeted areas that could strongly enhance Canada's economy, society and/or environment within the next ten years, through the Strategic Network Grants program;
  • Support 75 Collaborative Health Research Projects for research projects in the NSE which, if successful, will lead to health benefits for Canadians, more effective health services, and economic development in health-related areas.
Link to Priorities
Priority 1: Foster a People Advantage
Priority 2: Foster a Knowledge Advantage
Priority 3: Foster an Entrepreneurial Advantage

Selected key programs, services and initiatives within this Program Activity that will support NSERC’s priorities from 2008-09 to 2010-11 include the following:

3.2 Fund University-Industry-Government Partnerships


 
2008–09
2009–10
2010–11
Financial Resources
$139.5 million
$143.2 million
$146.7 million
Human Resources
77
77
77
Description
This program activity fosters collaborations between university researchers and other sectors, including government and industry, in order to develop new knowledge and expertise, and to transfer this knowledge and expertise to Canadian-based organizations.
Expected Results

Mutually beneficial collaborations between the private sector and researchers in universities, resulting in industrial or economic benefits to Canada.

Indicators
  • Ratio of partner contributions to NSERC funding
  • Partner satisfaction with research results
  • Trend in number of companies involved in university-industry partnerships
Outputs
In 2008-09, NSERC will:
  • Support more than 1,000 university researchers working in partnership with industry through the Collaborative Research and Development Grants;
  • Support 16 Networks of Centres of Excellence (in the natural sciences and engineering) and up to five Business-led Networks of Centres of Excellence, bringing together researchers and partners from the academic, private, public and non profit sectors in areas of strategic importance for Canada;
  • Support internationally recognized centres of commercialization and research expertise in four priority areas of strategic importance for Canada, through the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research program;
  • Encourage Canadian industry to invest over $50 million in leveraged funds through programs fostering private-public sector research and commercialization partnerships;
  • Provide indirect support, through grants for industry-university partnerships, for an estimated 500 undergraduate students, nearly 1,200 graduate students and approximately 200 postdoctoral fellows;
  • Create opportunities for an estimated 500 science and technology graduates to apply their expertise in industry through the new Industrial R&D Internship Program.
Link to Priorities
Priority 1: Foster a People Advantage
Priority 3: Foster an Entrepreneurial Advantage

Selected key programs, services and initiatives within this Program Activity that will support NSERC’s priorities from 2008-09 to 2010-11 include the following:

3.3 Support Commercialization


 
2008–09
2009–10
2010–11
Financial Resources
$14.0 million
$26.5 million
$26.5 million
Human Resources
4
4
4
Description
This program activity supports innovation and promotes the transfer of knowledge and technology to Canadian companies.
Expected Results

The transfer of knowledge and technology residing in Canadian universities and colleges to the user sector is facilitated.

Indicators
  • Trends in technology and knowledge transfer activity
Outputs
In 2008-09, NSERC will:
  • Support approximately eight new collaborations to encourage research and technology transfer between colleges and industry through the College and Community Innovation Program;
  • Provide $3.5 million in funding to accelerate the transfer of knowledge and technology residing in Canadian universities, hospitals, and colleges, through the Intellectual Property Mobilization Program;
  • Support 75 projects to accelerate the pre-competitive development of promising technology and promote its transfer to Canadian companies, through the Idea to Innovation (I2I) Program.
Link to Priority
Priority 3: Foster an Entrepreneurial Advantage

A key initiative under Program Activity 3.3 that will support NSERC’s priorities from 2008-09 to 2010-11 is the following:

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