Budget research funding welcomed by York

York University officials are pleased that Tuesday’s federal budget has delivered on recommendations put forward as part of Canada’s Innovation Strategy, enhancing the opportunity for university research across the country.

For the sixth consecutive year, the federal government has delivered a balanced budget with Ottawa committing an additional $1.7 billion in this budget to support students, research and innovation. The budget is being hailed as a strong boost for researchers and graduate students.

“The budget will help universities to raise the bar on research,” said Robert J. Giroux, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

As part of the government’s commitment:

  • A $125 million per year increase in funding for Canada’s three federal granting councils (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) beginning in 2003/04, which represents approximately a 10 per cent budget increase in 2003/04.
  • $225 million per year to help fund the indirect costs associated with federally sponsored research through the granting councils beginning in 2003/04.
  • A new Canada Graduate Scholarships program supporting 4,000 new student scholarships with 60 per cent of those scholarships reserved for graduate students in the social sciences and humanities.

President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna R. Marsden (right) is pleased that the government has made a permanent commitment toward the indirect costs of research, which will allow universities to deliver the necessary services that will allow researchers to develop world-class research. “The federal government made the right choices,” said Marsden.

Vice-President Research & Innovation Stan Shapson (above, left) applauds the government for acting to ensure that university research remains a priority in Canada. “This budget will provide the resources necessary to allow our researchers to build on their individual research agendas and pursue unique new research opportunities while providing the university the resources necessary to deliver the best possible services to our researchers.

“This budget also provides a balanced approach that will ensure that the most pressing social, cultural, scientific and economic challenges facing Canada are addressed,” said Shapson.

The budget also delivers funding in areas important to each of York’s strategic research themes – health, international, culture and entertainment, and sustainability and urban.

In health research, for example, the government is investing $500 million in the Canada Foundation for Innovation for health research infrastructure and $75 million in Genome Canada. In sustainability research, the government will invest $50 million into the Canadian Foundation for Climate & Atmospheric Science. On the international research front, the government is investing in HIV/AIDS and Africa. And within the area of culture and entertainment, the government will invest in measures to strengthen and promote Canadian culture, including $150 million over two years for the Canadian Television Fund.”