All Posts Tagged With: "CIHR"
Canada’s funding agencies define cheating, promise stats
Canada’s three federal research funding agencies have come up with a new plan to stamp out academic fraud. But does it go far enough?
The policy comes just months after the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) was heavily criticized for releasing redacted documents on academic fraudster Fawzi Alrazem, who was caught faking experiments and quit the University of Manitoba for a Palestinian university after his fake results were uncovered. In the documents released to Postmedia News, his name and university’s name had been blacked-out.
The Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research was released Monday, outlining new rules for researchers who get $2.4-billion annually from NSERC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
University scrambles to clean up its handling of federal research grants.
Sloppy management of federal research grant funding has seen the University of Calgary put on notice to clean up its practices by the end of March, or risk losing more than $80 million a year. In February, a report from the federal granting councils concluded that the way the university has administered research funding is “unsatisfactory,” and said that “immediate action” is needed.
The report was conducted by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. The councils were following up on a 2006 investigation, and found that many of the recommendations from that report had not been implemented. Any decision as to University of Calgary’s funding eligibility would also affect grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
Update: The report is in still in draft form, and is therefore confidential. However the University has a distributed a summary of the councils recommendations, available here.
The granting councils are concerned over a failure to ensure that expense claims such as for travel and graduate student salaries meet the requirements to be funded through federal research grants. There is also concern that costs not directly associated with research, like office supplies, are being expensed through the councils.
Although the granting councils have not actually threatened to pull funding, the university administration is warning faculty that loss of research money is a distinct possibility. “Unfortunately, the situation has become so serious we now run the immediate risk of having our eligibility for NSERC/SSHRC/CIHR funding suspended or withdrawn,” read a widely distributed memo from the administration.
Fed’s latest choice for CIHR governing council in conflict of interest
It was announced Oct. 5 that Dr. Bernard Prigent was appointed to the publicly funded CIHR, which sponsors medical research across the country. The rest of the governing council is primarily made of medical practitioners, scientists and health administrators.
“He’s the VP of the largest drug company in the world, and he says he’ll keep that separate,” NDP health critic Judy Wasylycia-Leis told CBC. “How effective will that be?”
Well, you or I can’t really answer that. The decision is up for review in the House of Commons. But in the meantime, seeing as we’re already playing, “Screwing up Government Integrity,” why not throw a few more social scenarios into the mix?
Take, for example:
- The Molson family running various nationwide AA chapters
- Robert Friedland, founder and chairman of Ivanhoe Mines Ltd., joining Canada’s consultation board on the Kyoto Protocol
- Jean Lafleur assisting Ontario Auditor General Jim McCarter in his investigation of the eHealth spending scandal
- Rick Smith, CEO of Taser International, serving as RCMP watchdog
Which one would you prefer? Something to think about while trying to ignore that nagging federal disdain.