Open letter to members of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee

We are delighted that you will serve as members of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC). The CRCC will play an important role in reinvigorating Canada's federal science funding system so that it can meet the current and future needs of our country's scientists, scholars and students. We ask that the committee deliver on this ambitious goal through greater harmonization, collaboration and coordination among the granting councils—the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)—and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

It is our expectation that the committee will act quickly to review a wide range of programs and policies and deliver results that support our shared goal. In addition, we ask that the committee submit a work plan within the next two months designed to address the following priorities:

We must strengthen Canada's capacity to engage in a rapidly evolving global research landscape. To this end, the CRCC will work to improve agency policies and programs in support of international, multidisciplinary, risky and rapid-response research.

In addition, we look to the CRCC to provide advice and advance efforts in key emerging research areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, regenerative medicine and Arctic research.

As part of our ongoing commitment to strengthen equity and diversity in research, the CRCC will review the barriers facing under-represented groups and enhance data collection and reporting. This will include a comprehensive review of the structural, institutional and attitudinal barriers that impact the ability of under-represented researchers to fully access and benefit from agency programs and policies.

Our government is committed to a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation, and partnership. The CRCC will support SSHRC's leadership, working in collaboration with the other granting agencies, the CFI and Indigenous communities, in responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's call for the establishment of a national research program that will advance understanding of reconciliation. This should include supporting research by and with Indigenous communities and increasing the capacity of Indigenous communities to conduct research and partner with the broader research community.

It will also be important that the CRCC identify means to improve support for the next generation of scholars. This includes advancing harmonization efforts for scholarship programs across the granting councils and addressing issues affecting early-career researchers.

In order to fulfill this bold mandate, the CRCC will be composed of the presidents of SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR; the Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; and the Deputy Minister of Health Canada. The chair of the CRCC will rotate on an annual basis between the presidents of the three granting councils, with the President of SSHRC serving as the inaugural chair. The chair and the committee may strike ad-hoc subcommittees or working groups on specific issues as appropriate.

The President of the CFI will also participate in committee work, given the importance of aligning federal funding for the infrastructure and the equipment that support research. In addition, the President of the National Research Council of Canada and Canada's Chief Science Advisor will participate in CRCC meetings.

We are grateful for your continued contributions to strengthening Canada's science enterprise and providing Canada's scientists with the tools they need to advance the well-being of all Canadians.

Yours sincerely,

Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science
Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health

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