Vice-president, Programs and Planning
As Vice-President of Programs and Planning, Dr. Claire Samson is responsible for managing all aspects of the CFI’s research infrastructure funding programs and providing leadership and advice for developing policies relevant to these programs. Additionally, she champions our commitment to accountability and organizational excellence through the rigorous assessment and analysis of the outcomes and impacts of CFI investments in research infrastructure.
Dr. Samson joined the CFI in March 2020, having brought more than 25 years of experience in industry and academia. She started her career in the private sector where she worked for 10 years as Exploration and Research Seismologist for Shell International in the Netherlands, and as Lead Engineering Analyst for Neptec Design Group in Ottawa, a subcontractor for NASA and the Canadian Space Agency. Dr. Samson joined Carleton University in 2003 where she held positions as Professor, Director of the Department of Earth Sciences and Vice-Dean of Planning at the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs and earned the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014 from the Faculty of Science and the Graduate Mentoring Award in 2012. She became Dean of Research at the École de technologie supérieure in Montréal in 2018.
Dr. Samson served as President of the Canadian Geophysical Union and the Canadian Exploration Geophysical Society. She received NASA’s Ames Honour Award in 2017 for excellence as a member of the Field Investigations to Enable Solar System Science Exploration (FINESSE) team.
Dr. Samson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from Université Laval, a Master’s degree in Geological Sciences from McGill University and a PhD in Physics from the University of Toronto. She also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Cambridge University in the UK.
Photo credit: Elizabeth Delage
Programs and planning
The programs and planning team oversees the delivery of funding competitions and works in close collaboration with the other business units to conceptualize and design funding mechanisms. The team also works with universities, research hospitals and colleges to apply CFI policies and guidelines, and provides the appropriate oversight to ensure funded projects are implemented as planned.
Programs and planning staff help to develop key corporate documents such as the strategic roadmap, annual corporate plans, briefs to the House of Commons and Senate committees and budget proposals to the Government of Canada. This process is informed by regular interaction and consultation with the research community, policy makers and other relevant stakeholders.
A key aspect of program delivery is the CFI’s structured merit-review process. The programs and planning team recruits experts from all around the world to review proposals submitted to the CFI. The review process varies according to the fund under which the proposal is submitted, the size of the requested investment and the complexity of the proposal.
Performance, analytics and evaluation
The performance, analytics and evaluation (PAE) team supports the CFI’s commitment to evidence-informed decision-making and public accountability by providing leadership, support and advice on matters related to corporate performance measurement, data mining, data management, outcome assessment and program evaluation.
By gathering, analyzing and reporting accurate, consistent and timely information related to CFI funding mechanisms and policies and national science and technology policy, the PAE team supports strategic and operational planning to help ensure that the CFI delivers programs that focus on Canada’s needs as it competes in the global, knowledge-based economy.
The team also conducts rigorous assessment and analyses of the outcomes and impacts of CFI investments in research infrastructure. This demonstrates the relevance, effectiveness and results of these investments to the CFI Board of Directors, the Government of Canada, other key stakeholders and the Canadian public.
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