We will host online training workshops and may arrange some online meetings with Parliamentarians but our intent is that all Delegates will be invited to in-person events in Ottawa either in Spring 2021 or deferred until safe and authorized by all jurisdictions involved.
Regarding virtual interactions, there will be group discussions with experts and practitioners during the online training workshops, and we may arrange one-on-one or group video conferences with policymakers in addition to in-person meetings, when available. If we are unable to facilitate in-person meetings in Ottawa in 2021, this year’s cohort will be invited to when it is safe and authorized
Given the federal government’s strong focus on COVID-19 policies, how will Parliamentarians be attracted to this program?
While COVID-19 is a high priority, it is not the only ongoing work of Parliament. A glance at today’s committee calendar reveals consultation on zero emission vehicles, aircraft certification, Mi’Kmaq fishing rights, access to telecommunications, medical assistance in dying. Policymakers value the non-partisan, trustworthy input provided by researchers in Canada – especially those who are knowledgeable about Parliamentary processes.
COVID-19 demonstrated that pre-established trusted relationships are critical to mounting a timely and effective response to complex crises. What is true for COVID-19 will be true for the next emergent event, whatever that may be, and the research-policy connection must be ready.
No, researchers in all fields of the natural and social sciences and engineering are encouraged to apply. Strong connections across diverse specialties and sectors in Canada are as vital as ever.
The previous Day on The Hill for researchers coincided with a vote, which limited the availability of Parliamentarians to spend time with researchers. Will the date for this year’s program be flexible? When will these dates be set?
Votes are scheduled 1-2 days in advance and can be called at any time. Unexpected interruptions are part of the reality of meeting with Parliamentarians during a legislative session. The impact on individual researchers varied from MP to MP; some cancelled or delayed the meeting while others had the researcher running with them into the House. We set several meetings for each Delegate throughout the day in order to reduce the risk of disappointment but no measure can eliminate it entirely.
Dates will be set after the Parliamentary calendar is announced and must remain contingent on COVID-19 restrictions.
There is no set number of delegates from each institution, but one of the program goals is to have good geographical representation in the final cohort, which will be reflected in the selection of delegates.
The program is geared toward early career researchers via Tier II CRCs. The parallel stream available to Indigenous researchers is inclusive of a broader range of career stages in order to maximize opportunities. While there is no CRC requirement for Indigenous researchers, faculty members with an active research program in the natural or social sciences or engineering will have priority.