Reconnect 2017 Attendees Notes and Comments


@austinc speaking about IRiDiuM
Objective - to help people communicate
Creating a glossary of research data
Collaboration between RDC, Codata, and CASRAI
Glossary needs to be stable but relevant
Still a pilot - completing first cycle this year



Partners roundtable 1: Robbin Tourangeau (Executive Director) - Leadership Council on Digital Infrastructure (LCDI)
Now LCDRI (including research now)
Now have a secretariat thanks to Minister Duncan
Asked to provide information and policy paper -what are the needs
Present/propose a model for governance of the ecosystem moving forward
Key functional areas:
- Advanced research computing
- Data management
- Storage
- Intelligent software applications
- Networks
Two working groups of advanced research computing and data management established
New website being launched very soon

Upcoming challenges:
Nobody has been funded well to do strategic planning
Ecosystem priority setting follows from that
Coordination is difficult to achieve
Uneven maturity of components
Access is coming up as an issue
Funding structures not aligned
New user groups

Drew Gyorke (University of Toronto) - Canadian Association of Research Administrators
Cara very interested because of new data management plans requirement
Research offices are becoming much more engaged with libraries to address DMP
Cara very interested in Orcid
If CCV integrates Orcid, should funding agencies incorporate Orcid in the review process?
There is a challenge to the structures in place by addressing Truth and Reconciliation to be more inclusive

Matthew Nowakowski (University of Montreal) - Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO)
Caubo best known for annual report
Working on operational benchmarking standards - administrative performance
Advocacy work with respect to administrative burden, specifically as it relates to financial accountability

Chuck Humphrey (University of Alberta) - Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL)
Also the director of Portage - research data management initiative of CARL
Funding envelope is vertical, but it is a horizontal problem
Worked with Canadian Association of CIOs to develop a proposal which was withdrawn
Now working on how to share the burden/investments across libraries
Portage was an investment by Carl and then by member subscription
Portage is developing a community of practice around research data management
Working to provide support for the front line librarian working with a researcher
There are then other relationships that fall from that - IT, RS, ethics, finances
6 expert groups providing support
6 working groups (shorter span commitment)
Engaged 80 librarians across Canada
Portage is reaching a point where in-kind sustainability has reached a ceiling - working with LCRDI to bring in outside financing

Geoff Harder (University of Alberta Libraries) ORCID-CA Consortium
Benefits of consortium
- Lower institutional membership fees
- Access to better API
- Develop a community around Orcid
- Bilingual support
- National voice at tables like Orcid to ask for functionalities and to take advantage of opportunities
- Three orcid workshops in 2016 (Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver), led to a biweekly working group
- Joint Statement of Principle
○ Talks about why this matters

David Baker, Moderator (Co-Chair, Standards and Interoperability Cttee) - Research Data Canada (RDC)
Focus on challenges surrounding research data, but also metadata (essentially research admin data)
How to link up various datasets e.g. cvs, articles, data


@macrini Diego Macrini (Proximify Inc.) on data synchronization between institutional systems.
Data should not be ‘submitted’ it should be shared
Data sync keeps data constantly updated
Need a standard across vendors so clients can switch vendors
Protecting privacy/security
When should data exchanges be triggered?
How to exchange user preferences
What should be sent? Modifications? Full dta?

- An additional standard to agree on
- Merge conflicts
- Responsible for secure exchange

- Data kept same across systems
- Time savings
- Users and reviews see same information
- Fewer errors


Partners Roundtable 2

Kirill Popov, Executive Director, Canadian Common CV
Working on stabilizing the system - application, structure
Working on redesigning the CCV
Offiically been approved, heading to consultation phase
Simplifying user interface
Simplifying the data set

Patricia Sauvé-McCuan, VP/CFO Common Administrative Services, NSERC/SSHRC
Not a shared service, not a common service
- Award administration burden
○ Balance risk and public accountability
§ Last gov was more risk averse than risk management, trying to make a change
○ Coordinating and harmonizing award agreement across tri agencies
- Agencies are silos, and even within the agencies the verticals are very strong
○ This gov is very big on horizontal coordination - big culture change
○ Hope from the Naylor report, encouraging harmonization, standardization
- Two different ministers, especially on NSERC side
○ Duncan and Bains
- Push to do grant contribution management on enterprise level - so responding to both gov standards and research community standards
- Huge fence between business and IT, especially in gov
- Constantly needing to change in response to gov
- Gov is very focussed on deliverology
- Opportunity to think about different users
- What gets measured gets done - horizontallity is being written in
- Engaging with CAUBO on reducing admin burden
- Engaged in working across silos
- Opportunities with orcid integration

Allison Barr, Office of the Chief Science Officer, Ministry of Economic Development and Growth, Ontario
New initiative for Ontario
People are very excited to bring science into decision making
Opportunity for Ontario gov to work smarter
Interlocuter between science world and policy making world
1/5 of Ontario public servants are in the science field
Interested in better tracking and recording of how the research is happening
In terms of reducing admin burden, modernizing grants ontario - converting to something post-award system
Re Naylor report : proliferation of programs is like a house that additions keep getting built on but there was no spring cleaning - Naylor is a great opportunity

Anthony P. Sheehan, Deputy Chief Information Officer, NSERC/SSHRC
Joined NSERC/SSHRC 4 weeks ago
Discussions today sounds like there needs to be Enterprise Architecture - bringing the 4 domains together:
1. Business
2. Data
3. Application
4. Technology
Fun needs to iterated, not predicted
Focus on development needs to be on the target market, not on the developers - user centered design
Will be working towards applying this thinking to current role


DAY TWO BEGINS SHORTLY! Keynote speaker Martha Crago coming up.


“The only citizen who sees the inside of a research lab is the janitor who cleans it at night”


I had a hard time seeing this diagram, so here it is from the Naylor report







Martha Crago
- This is a point of inflection
- Nobody knows about anyone else’s research council - this says something in itself
- (slides available after)
- There is a big case for fundamental science
- Complex situation
- Fundamental science, prioritization, targeted science are not linear, more like a Mobius strip
- How to describe to the lay public what esoteric fundamental science does to improve their lives - this is key
- This report focussed on fundamental science -there needs to be the same analysis of the other end - partnership programs - are we getting the best bang for our buck
- HERD (higher education expenditures on R&D) not as high as it looks, because it includes year round salaries and other items that other countries don’t include
- Other countries are improving faster
- Myth in Canada - too many grad students
○ 15 years ago, everyone was worried there was going to be a gap, due to estimated growth
○ 2008 changed growth tragectory, and people are working much later, so less need
○ Only 20% of PhDs work in universities, and serve economy and society in broader ways
- Accomplishments are a source of pride, some ins and outs
○ Not a lot of industry
Intramural is the research that goes on in gov, extramural is outside of gov
Intramural wants more support
Need to partner more, get rid of the wall between
- Very siloed, very specific. Need to stop talking about programs, and more about partnerships
- Quebec has a powerful example of a unified structure that has particularities
- There are examples internationally of different funding agencies collaborating, sometimes in 24 hours
- Agencies need to coordinate to cover the disconnect that exists e.g. one pays for equipment, one pays for research
- Need better coordination between agencies, provincial, federal
- There is an expectation that this needs to be cleaned up before there is more investment

Suggested a NACRI, some like, some don’t. Federal gov has not yet landed, a memo going in on May 30th so

It has been 40 years since the last major review in canada, and that one set up NSERC and SSHRC

Early on asked for success rate of early career, mid career, senior researchers and discovered that different councils count it differently.

Comparative figures very difficult to access

Where to get more money?
- Full support research, not 40% is a key piece
- Demographic example - people not leaving at 65, and it is continuing changing
○ These senior researchers draw large portions of the research budget

CFI has no way to predict their funding budget. There seems to be traction with the gov.

Indirect costs (research services) has levelled off. This is why universities constantly move undergrad money over.
UK planning to cap RS at 25%. This is going be to a challenge.

Major facilities like light source, ONC, have a systematically problematic budget - can’t get the match. Were born out of a different program that didn’t require a match, and are now only being funding at 40% from gov. Not sustainable.

Unofficial - gov has said it can’t do it all, asking community to prioritize and spread it to a 6 year plan, rather than over 4 years. Get some better coordination there might be more in the investigator led direct project funding

Calling on the university communities to rally support and help - tell your stories so people get them
- Don’t have long to do that - next budget will be fully baked by Nov. Story needs to happen powerfully

The getting there is something we are all going to have to share


Now the closing round table of senior leaders at universities.


“That which gets measured gets done. Yes, but that which gets measured also gets highly scrutinized by faculty


“There is a positive correlation between doing research and having a successful society.”


Partnership panel #3
Sandra Crocker, Assistant Vice-President (Research Planning and Operations), Carleton University
6 years ago centrally supported research computing was non existent, other than access to CC
Coordinated site licenses for software
Tried to do the same with hardware, much more challenging
Partnered with CIO to put together a business plan - waiting to hear
Researchers don’t necessarily want to hand over servers
Will cost operating budget, but reduce research budget - not a trade used to making

Impact: difficult to capture ‘unfunded’ interactions e.g. interactions with the community
Qualitative data does not get used
Boom and bust budgets are particularly bad for the research environment
CECRs are perhaps acting as another barrier to partnership, rather than enabling
Similarly MSI/NCEs now having to incorporate clutters the research landscape
The overhead involved in SNGs and SHHRC partnership grants makes them almost not worth the investment

John E. Thompson, Associate Vice President, University Research, University of Waterloo
There is a decline in the proportion of international research awards coming to Canada
GG has started a program "Enhancing Global Recognition for Canadian Research Excellence"
Need to nominate Canadians for these awards.
Need to be on the international stage, through conferences (easy) better through partnerships (hard)
Can’t access Horizon2020 and there is no match in Canada
Discovery awards are way too low, causing need to look for other projects, forcing loss of focus on a single research topic
Pendulum has swung too far to applied research
Interdisciplinary needs buildings where different disciplines work together, rather and an engineering building etc. - resistance from faculties, threat to budgets
How to fund interdisciplinary research - granting councils not addressing this


John Livernois, Associate Vice-President (Research Services), University of Guelph
Research Impact - three reasons to measure: measure faculty internally to allocate resources, external political purposes, to measure the university sector as a whole to answer how much the nation should invest in research
Impact of research economically can’t be measured directly - but perhaps can be measured indirectly
In comparison with other countries, Canada is underinvesting

Open Access - who pays? How does this affect who gets published? Open access data creates better allocation.

Canada’s innovation policy - superclusters increase productivity, drive innovation, reduce overhead (paraphrased from Michael Porter) e.g.

Location still matters.


And then I had to head to the airport. A great couple of days, looking forward to future interactions with the CASRAI community.


Many thanks, Kes!