The Canadian Science Policy Centre (CSPC) and the Office of the Chief Science Advisor (OCSA)  are pleased to announce the second round of Science Meets Parliament! This program is scheduled to take place in Ottawa in the spring of 2021, subject to Parliament being in session and in person.
cspc tree

The COVID-19 global pandemic has highlighted more than ever the importance of science, science literacy, science advice, and effective communication between multidisciplinary experts and parliamentarians.

CSPC and OCSA are pleased to offer this program in 2021 to help strengthen the connection between the science and policy communities. The program provides an excellent opportunity for researchers to learn about the inclusion of scientific evidence in policy making in Parliament.

The inaugural Science Meets Parliament program took place November 5-6, 2018, and brought 29 emerging leaders of the scientific community from across Canada to the Hill. The program was a great success, receiving positive feedback from both Science Meets Parliament delegates and participating parliamentarians. Here is what delegates had to say:

“This is a valuable eye-opening experience for scientists to learn about current issues, the legislative process, and most importantly, to get to know the MPs.” – delegate

“My ability to connect with parliamentarians and policy-makers and move my research into policy channels has never before felt so possible.” – delegate

  • group photo
  • presentation from a podium
  • boardroom meeting with lunch

The application deadline is January 4th, 2021

ABOUT SCIENCE MEETS PARLIAMENT

The objective of this initiative is to strengthen the connections between Canada’s scientific and political communities, enable a two-way dialogue, and promote mutual understanding. This initiative aims to help scientists become familiar with policy making at the political level, and for parliamentarians to explore using scientific evidence in policy making.  This initiative is not meant to be an advocacy exercise, and will not include any discussion of science funding or other forms of advocacy.

The Science Meets Parliament model is adapted from the successful Australian program held annually since 1999. Similar initiatives exist in the EU, the UK and Spain.

CSPC’s program aims to benefit the parliamentarians, the scientific community and, indirectly, the Canadian public.

Benefits to Canadians

  • Bring together and encourage mutual understanding between scientists and parliamentarians
  • Foster a conversation about locally relevant issues using scientific evidence
  • Educate the scientific community on how to better engage with parliamentarians, thereby enhancing the use of science for the public good

Benefits to Parliamentarians

  • Engage with emerging leaders in the science community that drive science and innovation
  • Learn from scientists about resources in Canadian research institutions available to parliamentarians
  • Receive direct answers to questions they may have on scientific matters or background issues
  • Discuss how training highly qualified personnel (HQP) in their research laboratories contributes to the local and national economies
  • Build lasting connections with scientists from diverse regions and specialties

Benefits to Scientists

  • Build lasting connections with parliamentarians and their staff
  • Learn about the legislative and political processes and the reality of being a parliamentarian
  • Understand how their research can be useful to parliamentarians to maximize its impact
  • Gain insights about how to effectively communicate research to parliamentarians
  • Communicate lessons learned from Science Meets Parliament to colleagues and students at their home research institutions

The program is still in its early phase and will be available to two streams:

  • Researchers who currently hold a Tier II Canada Research Chair position and are affiliated with a Canadian post-secondary institution (Tier II Canada Research Chair status must be announced by January 4th, 2021).
  • Indigenous researchers (priority will be given to researchers who are independent investigators affiliated with academic research institutions).

Former delegates (from Science Meets Parliament 2018) are excluded from application.

About 30 researchers from a diverse range of disciplines will be invited to participate in Science Meets Parliament 2021. In future iterations of this program, we hope to expand the application process to include researchers from all career stages.

A multi-disciplinary committee will oversee the application and selection process, during which the diversity of disciplines, geography, and identities will be considered.

The application deadline is January 4th, 2021.

At present, Science Meets Parliament 2021 is scheduled for May 2021 (precise dates to be confirmed) either in-person or virtually if the former is not possible. Please note that due to the continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program may change and the spring 2021 cohort may have their participation deferred. To participate in the program, you must attend all scheduled events.

The Science Meets Parliament 2021 program will include:

  • A mandatory orientation session that includes information about the business of Parliament and exercises that prepare delegates to speak with politicians
  • Virtual workshops on evidence-based decision making, science communication and media, equity and diversity, policy making in Parliament, and policy making in bureaucracy
  • Meetings with members of Parliament, senators, and the Chief Science Advisor of Canada
  • Observation of House and/or Senate committee meetings
  • Attending Question Period in Parliament
  • Networking reception with MPs, senators, and staff (including a poster session)
  • Meetings with bureaucrats and public servants, to better understand policy making at the non-political level of government
  1. Registration fee in the case of an in-person event: Accepted delegates will be required to pay $450, which includes admission to the program, breakfast, lunch and an evening networking reception. All delegates will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs. Please note that the registration fee will be reduced in the case of a virtual program.
  2. Scientists who attend this session are required to share their experience and insights from the SMP program through a lectureat their host institution and/or an editorial in a CSPC featured editorial series or the OCSA website.

Delegates are highly encouraged to publish about their experience in academic or news publications. Participants are also encouraged to publish pieces in other media on their research to engage the general public.

For more information, please contact sciencemeetsparliament@sciencepolicy.ca

To apply for this program please in English click here, for French click here.