Assessing research capacity
Canada's capacity for leading-edge research and technology development relies collectively on individual researchers, innovative ideas, creative networks and the necessary tools, facilities, and equipment. It is this capacity, supported by investment in research and research infrastructure that generates research outcomes that yield social and economic benefits for Canada.
Funding for research infrastructure enhances the ability of universities, colleges, research hospitals and non-profit research institutions to attract and retain world-class researchers. Research infrastructure has the potential to draw together diverse and multi-sectoral communities of users creating an opportunity for networking and collaboration – all elements of a world-class research environment. This environment is ideal to train the next generation of researchers and highly skilled technical personnel. It positions them to develop in-demand skills and expertise that allow them to compete globally.
FOCUSING on results
These reports provide evidence to demonstrate how the CFI is meeting its objectives. Each report includes information on one or more related outcomes in the CFI logic model which align to the expected results of the CFI, as defined in our funding agreement with the Government of Canada. These studies rely on data from various sources including project progress reports, interviews, focus groups, existing documents, surveys and data procured from external sources, such as bibliometric data.
Infrastructure funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation enhances the ability of Canadian academic institutions to attract and retain a diverse pool of national and international talent.
Infrastructure funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation enriches the training environment at research institutions in Canada and helps students and postdoctoral fellows acquire skills and expertise that give them a competitive advantage.
CFI-funded infrastructure contributes to the creation and consolidation of linkages among post-secondary institutions and between them and various actors of the private, public and non-profit sectors (intersectoral linkages).
A catalyst is “an event or person that causes great change.” The CFI catalyst study aims to assess the changes that result from multiple awards made to an institution in a related field over time. This approach allows us to examine and understand the interplay between various CFI awards.
Usage of CFI-funded infrastructure
This in-depth study examines the level of use of CFI-funded infrastructure and the factors that influence it. The project relied on Project progress reports and interviews with a sample of researchers and research administrators.
The key findings of the study were:
- Overall, CFI-funded infrastructure is being fully used;
- Researchers are conscientious stewards of the infrastructure; and,
- Levels of infrastructure use can vary from one year to the next, but this is generally not a cause for concern.