COVID related costs and loss for scientific laboratories

Short summary of the results of the

CAN-ACN survey on impact of COVID-19 on researchers and laboratories in Canada (click for full results)

A survey held in July 2020 shows that research laboratories have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of the physical distancing measures that were taken to combat the pandemic.

Research laboratories were completely closed for 3 months or more, and most are still not functioning at full capacity. Our survey showed that most researchers reported loss in at least one of the categories in the graph below.

Loss of highly qualified personnel

Students, Staff members, Post-Doctoral fellows, Clinical fellows or visiting scientists were lost during the COVID pandemic (Relocation, leave of absence, loss of funding, etc.)

  • 29% of PIs reported loss of 1 or more Paid Staff (Research Associates/Scientists, Research Technicians/Assistants)
  • 24% reported loss of 1 or more Post-Doctoral Fellows
  • 49% reported loss of 1 or more Students

 Loss of productivity

How many more studies (publications) do you expect your lab would have completed (i.e. paper submitted or resubmitted) if the pandemic had not occurred?

89% of PIs (302) reported the inability to complete and submit findings for publication (On average, this was 2.4 more studies.)

Loss of funding

Was any of the funding you expected to receive/applied for during 2020-21 cancelled or delayed?

42% of PIs (143) reported loss or delay in funding for 2020-21 because of the pandemic.

Estimated percent of budget required only for COVID recovery

To the question what percentage of your lab’s annual budget will you need to spend solely to compensate for losses, restart and recovery of your operations? The average response was 27%


New advocacy opportunities

CAN is proud to launch two new advocacy initiatives today:

  1. The CAN federal election engagement toolkit
  2. The Canadian Science Discoveries Video contest

The CAN federal election engagement toolkit

The Canadian Association for Neuroscience (CAN) has several priorities this Federal Election, including:

  • A commitment to provide a one-time 25% increase in investment in the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for research restart and recovery from the setback of the COVID-19 pandemic to research laboratories in Canada.
  • A commitment to provide robust and predictable funding for basic discovery research to sustain and grow Canada’s scientific community. Funding to the CIHR, the NSERC and the SSHRC should be increased by at least 10% yearly.
  • A commitment to reinstate a dedicated Minister of Science, so that the unique needs of the scientific community may have a devoted seat at the Cabinet table.

As such, we have prepared an “Election Toolkit” for CAN Members looking to get engaged throughout the election which is available in the CAN Election Readiness Google Drive here: shorturl.at/dowzC . If you have any questions, or if you need further assistance, please feel free to contact Kristina Proulx from TSA at kproulx@tsa.ca.

The Canadian Science Discoveries Video contest

The goal of this contest, which is open to everyone, is to raise awareness of the importance of fundamental science by sharing Canadian science success stories

View all the details of the contest here: https://can-acn.org/canadian-science-discoveries-video-contest/


Read CAN’s submission to the pre-budget consultations of the House of Commons standing committee on Finances

Read CAN’s submission here: Increased investment in scientific research: An investment in the health and prosperity of Canadians today and tomorrow (PDF)

You can submit a brief also! The Standing Committee on Finance is accepting submission to its Pre-Budget Consultations in advance of the 2022 budget. Written submissions of no more than 2,000 words, can be submitted to the Committee until Friday, August 6, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. More information is available in the news release.

We also invite all our members to share our brief with their member of Parliament and election candidates.


Read our July 2021 Advocacy report

https://can-acn.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/CAN_advocacy_report_July2021-1.pdf


Recording available: CSPC panel 128 – Roles & Responsibilities of Academic Science Societies in informing Policy: Lessons & Observations from Around the World

The recording of the CSPC panel from November 17 2020 is now available from the CSPC. Learn more on their website: https://sciencepolicy.ca/conference/cspc-2020/improving-linkages-between-science-policy/

CAN President Charles Bourque’s intervention begins at 1:08. (more…)


Read the latest CAN advocacy report

Click here to view the March 2021 CAN Advocacy report (more…)


CAN submission to Department of Finance pre-budget consultations

On January 25, 2021the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, the Honourable Mona Fortier, launched pre-budget consultations. These discussions allow the government to hear the best ideas from Canadians and experts across the country about how Budget 2021 can support Canadians through the pandemic and help us build back better.

When COVID-19 is under control and Canada’s economy is ready to rebound, the government has a plan to make smart, targeted investments to jumpstart the country’s economic recovery and begin to repair the damage done by the pandemic. These pre-budget consultations are an opportunity for Canadians from across the country to share their ideas and priorities for how the government can best invest to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and build a greener, more competitive, more inclusive, and more resilient economy.

Read the full press release here:

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2021/01/government-launches-budget-consultations-to-hear-from-canadians.html

and visit the consultation website here: https://letstalkbudget2021.ca/

https://letstalkbudget2021.ca/pre_budget_consultations

Read the Canadian Association for Neuroscience’s submission here

pre-budget-CAN-ACN.pdf


CAN President Charles Bourque participation in the Canadian Science Policy Conference as panelist

Professor Charles Bourque will participate in the session: Roles & Responsibilities of Academic Science Societies in informing Policy: Lessons & Observations from Around the World – November 17th at 8:30 via zoom, as part of the Canadian Science Policy Conference which takes place virtually this year.

Take a look at the whole program here: https://sciencepolicyconference.ca/program-2020-2/

Panel description and participants

(more…)


CAN Hill week is taking place November 2-6, 2020, virtually

We are very excited to be organizing the first ever CAN Hill week, which will take place November 2 -6 2020, virtually.  Our objective is to advocate for more funding for fundamental research in Canada through CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.

We have over 25 meetings organized in which over 50 CAN neuroadvocates will participate.

Follow us on social media to learn more!

#CANHillWeek #neuroadvocate

Read our CAN Hill week one-pager to learn more

 


CAN publishes an article in MacLean’s and Chatelaine magazine

The article was published in MacLean’s in October 2020, in a special section on “Understanding Neurological Conditions”, and re-published in the December 2020 edition of Chatelaine, in a special section on “Managing Chronic Conditions”.

It was also published online on the healthinsight.ca website.


CAN Submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finances

We have made the following recommendations

Recommendation 1: That the government of Canada provide a one-time 25% increase in investment in the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for research restart and recovery from the setback of the COVID-19 pandemic to research laboratories in Canada.

Recommendation 2: The government should commit to providing robust and reliable funding for basic discovery research to sustain and grow Canada’s scientific community. Funding to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) should be increased by at least 10% yearly, until commensurate with other G7 countries. This recommendation is in accordance with the Fundamental Science Review and will ensure Canada’s research ecosystem is healthy and resilient to face any future challenge. (more…)