Canada's Science Vision

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Canada supports science and research. Including proposed measures in Budget 2019, the Government has provided more than $10 billion since 2016 for science, research and the people who power it. This includes the single largest investment in fundamental research in Canadian history.

Why science and research matter

Scientific research expands our basic understanding of the world, generates new ideas, leads to new jobs for our children and grandchildren and helps to build a workforce that is better able to respond to challenges with creativity and confidence. This doesn't just have economic benefits—it also makes Canada a safer, healthier, better place to live.

Budget 2018 funding included the single largest investment in fundamental research in Canadian history. It is part of our vision for Canada's labs and institutions that will strengthen science, support evidence-based decision making and nurture a culture of curiosity and creativity in Canada.

To deliver cutting-edge, world-class science, Canada's federal researchers and scientists need to work in an environment that encourages collaboration and be supported by state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure. That's why, in addition to the new funding, $2.8 billion has been allocated to renew federal laboratories and to provide needed infrastructure.

These investments are needed to keep Canada's science ecosystem strong and competitive. They also support the following outcomes:

Expected outcomes of Canada's Science Vision

1. Making Canadian science more collaborative

How? By investing in Canadian researchers through the granting councils; supporting universities, colleges and polytechnics; and helping businesses, academia and government to work together.

Increased support for research through the granting councils

Together, the granting councils have received nearly $1.7 billion in new funding from Budget 2018 to increase support and training opportunities for researchers, students and other high-qualified personnel. This includes:

  • 157 early career researchers received grants from the New Frontiers in Research Fund for exploratory research that crosses disciplinary boundaries.
  • 7 national research facilities received a major funding boost to help position Canada as a top destination for world-class researchers.
  • 90 projects at colleges, cégeps and polytechnics received funding to allow those institutions to partner directly with local employers to help them develop local solutions to pressing issues in their regions.
  • $925 million over five years starting in 2018–19, with $235 million ongoing, for fundamental research through Canada's three granting councils.
  • $275 million tri-council fund to support research that is international, interdisciplinary, fast-breaking and higher-risk.
  • $231.3 million over five years to increase the Research Support Fund, which provides post-secondary institutions with resources to cover the indirect costs of research.
  • $210 million over five years to the Canada Research Chairs program to support early career researchers and increase diversity among chairholders.
Text version of graph: Increased support for research through the granting councils
Increased support for research through the granting councils
Year Total (billions)
2012-2013 $2.77
2013-2014 $2.76
2014-2015 $2.82
2015-2016 $2.92
2016-2017 $3.11
2017-2018 $3.16
2018-2019 $3.56
2019-2020 $3.69
2020-2021 $3.79
2021-2022 $3.92
2022-2023 $3.92

Other support for research and research infrastructure

  • $763 million over five years (starting in 2018–19) through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) to support state-of-the-art research infrastructure at higher-education institutions, including $160 million for the Foundation's Major Science Initiatives Fund to provide additional support to nationally important major science facilities.
  • $462 million per year, ongoing as of 2023–24, to establish permanent, stable funding for tools and infrastructure supported through the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
  • $540 million over five years to the National Research Council to transform how it does research. $108 million annually will reinforce the Council's research strengths and role as a trusted partner committed to exploring disruptive technologies and cutting-edge innovation.
  • $15 million in renewed funding to the Institute for Quantum Computing to continue to undertake high-calibre quantum research.
  • $48 million over three years to the Centre for Drug Research and Development to support efforts to translate promising discoveries into commercialized health innovations and therapeutic health products.
  • $23.6 million over four years to the Rick Hansen Institute to support creating more accessible and inclusive communities.
  • $10 million to the Institute for Research on Public Policy to endow a Centre of Excellence on the Canadian Federation to promote a greater understanding of the impact of emerging trends on federal relationships.

Facilitate collaboration

  • $2.8 billion to Public Services and Procurement Canada to renew federal laboratories and promote greater collaboration between federal scientists and academic and private sector researchers.
  • The Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC), created in fall 2017, will strengthen harmonization and coordination of the policies and programs of the research granting councils and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
  • CRCC members will work together to strengthen Canada's ability to grow in the rapidly evolving global research landscape while focusing on key priority areas such as strengthening equity and diversity in research, increasing the capacity of Indigenous communities to conduct research and partner with the broader research community, and improving support for the next generation of scientists and scholars.
  • $140 million investment over five years in the College and Community Innovation Program to increase support for collaborative innovation projects involving businesses, colleges and polytechnics.
  • Budget 2018 proposes to consolidate the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research and the Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence programs. Responsibility for these programs and associated funding will be transferred to the Strategic Innovation Fund to strengthen industry collaboration with academia.
  • $572.5 million toward the implementation of a Digital Research Infrastructure Strategy. It will deliver to researchers across Canada more open and equitable access to essential digital research tools and services that will strengthen their ability to harness big data and conduct world-class research.

2. Supporting evidence-based decision making

Canadians count on science to produce the evidence needed to keep their air clean, their food safe and their water fresh. That's why the Government of Canada is keeping science at the heart of federal decision making:

  • 12 science-based departments and agencies adopted scientific integrity policies to ensure that federal scientists feel they can speak freely about their work and engage with the public.
  • 5 departmental science advisor positions are now in place at the Canadian Space Agency, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada, the National Research Council of Canada and Natural Resources Canada.
  • The Government commissioned the first review of fundamental science in 40 years and defined a vision for science in Canada.
  • Since her appointment in September 2017, the Chief Science Advisor Dr. Mona Nemer has opened up federal researchers' ability to speak openly about their work, by developing a model science integrity policy. Tailored policies will now be implemented in federal science departments and agencies by the end of the calendar year. Dr. Nemer is also working with deputy ministers to build a network of departmental science advisors.
  • The University and College Academic Staff System (UCASS), which offers a snapshot of the composition of faculty and staff on university campuses across the country, has been reinstated.
  • $9 million over three years, starting in 2020–21, has been allocated for the Council of Canadian Academies, as well as $3 million in permanent funding to deliver expert assessments to inform science-related policy.

3. Fostering the next generation of scientists

Canada's next generation of researchers—including students, trainees and early career researchers—will be larger, more diverse and better supported than ever before.

Fellowships and Scholarships

  • $114 million over five years has been allocated in Budget 2019 to the federal granting agencies to create 500 master's-level scholarship awards annually and 500 more three-year doctoral scholarships to be awarded by 2021–22 through the Canada Graduate Scholarship program.
  • During 2018–19, over 36,000 researchers benefitted from tri-agency funding, while more than 53,000 research trainees were supported directly through scholarships and fellowships.

Paid Parental Leave

  • $37.4 million over five years, and $8.6 million per year ongoing, to extend the maximum duration of paid parental leave supplements from six to twelve months for students and post-doctoral fellows funded through the granting agencies. This expanded support will also help better balance work obligations with family responsibilities such as childcare.
  • 35,000 students and post-doctoral fellows across Canada are eligible for expanded paid parental leave so no one has to choose between conducting their research and starting a family.

Mentors and role models

  • $210 million has been allocated over five years to the Canada Research Chairs program to support early career researchers and increase diversity among nominated researchers. This includes increasing the number of women who are nominated for Canada Research Chairs.
  • 250 new Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs for emerging research leaders and a $20,000 annual research stipend for first-term Tier 2 Chairs were awarded to help them establish their research projects.  
  • 116 research grants were given to strengthen the capacity of Indigenous communities to conduct research and partner with the broader research community.  


  • The third phase of the Choose Science campaign, launched on February 11, 2019, encourages under-represented groups—including young women—to pursue a career in STEM fields. Visit the website to see inspiring videos and find helpful resources for students, parents and teachers.

4. Promoting equity and diversity in research

Diversity makes science strong. Canada is building on its scientific excellence to continue to attract and retain the world's very best researchers. Strong science generates new ideas, creates middle-class jobs and helps to build a country that is better able to respond to challenges with creativity and confidence.

Diversify funding recipients

  • Granting councils are being asked to develop new plans to achieve greater diversity among funding recipients, including more women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, members of visible minorities and those early in their careers.
  • Funding for the granting councils will be tied to clear objectives and conditions to achieve improved equity and diversity in the sciences.

Recruit global talent

Build partnerships with indigenous peoples

  • $3.8 million for work on a strategic plan to identify new ways of doing research with Indigenous communities to advance understanding of reconciliation. The Government is committed to building a new relationship together with Indigenous peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

Improve equity and equality for women in our labs and institutions

  • Funding of $6 million over five years has been allocated to conduct surveys to collect better data about researchers. Funding of $15 million over five years has been allocated to implement programs that support improved equality and diversity in academia. Of this amount, $11.1 million will be allocated to the new EDI Institutional Capacity-Building Grants program to support higher education institutions and $3.9 million will support a plan to tailor the internationally recognized Athena SWAN (Scientific Women's Academic Network) Charter to the Canadian context.
  • 17 institutions are participating in the Dimensions pilot program to help ensure that our labs, classrooms and boardrooms represent the Canada we see today.
  • As of July 2019, almost 90 institutions have endorsed the Dimensions charter and committed to embed the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion in their policies, practices, action plans and culture.
  • There is increased diversity in the latest round of Canada Research Chairs—50% women, 28% visible minorities, 5% persons with disabilities and 5% Indigenous peoples.

Message from the Minister

Read the Minister's full message

We have been making historic investments and big changes because we know great science is the first step in driving innovation. Research leads to discoveries. Discoveries lead to business ideas that create jobs, wealth and a stronger Canadian economy.

Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Dimensions charter

Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada

Learn more about Dimensions

Join the conversation