Launch of the International Community–University Research Alliance Program

Social science and humanities expertise to be harnessed for international impact

(Ottawa, July 18, 2007) ─ Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) signed an agreement today to invest up to CA $6.27 million over the next six years to support international research alliances. This partnership will engage teams from Canada and developing countries in comparing and collaborating on their research, while working with people in communities that will directly benefit from the research.

"Our newly released science and technology strategy provides solutions to issues that matter to Canadians, such as protecting the quality of our environment and improving our health," said the Honourable Maxime Bernier, minister of Industry and minister responsible for SSHRC. "The new IDRC and SSHRC partnership will help us deliver on our commitment to support research in areas that will provide long-term benefits."

“Today’s global challenges will be addressed through international research collaboration,” said Chad Gaffield, president of SSHRC. “The successful model of community-university research alliances — which SSHRC adopted in 1999 — will have an even greater impact by bringing global perspectives to the analysis of strategic social, economic, environmental and technological issues.”

“This partnership is a practical expression of the idea that new knowledge, generated through research, is key for people to improve their futures,” said Maureen O’Neil, president of IDRC. “Together, engaged researchers from Canada and the developing world will tackle questions of mutual interest in areas of critical importance to communities worldwide.”

The joint program will encourage strategic research in four areas:

* Environment and natural resource management.
* Information and communication technologies for development.
* The impact of science, technology and innovation policies on development.
* Social and economic policy related to poverty reduction, growth, health and human rights.

University-based experts from Canada and from lower and middle income countries, or LMICs, will be invited to submit research proposals. Up to nine proposals will receive seed funding — as much as CA $30,000 each — to develop a research alliance that involves both Canadian and LMIC researchers and community partners. Three alliances will then be funded to a maximum of CA $2 million each over five years. All proposals will be selected through international peer review to ensure they meet the highest standards of excellence.

Canada’s International Development Research Centre is one of the world’s leading institutions in the generation and application of new knowledge to meet the challenges of international development. For more than 36 years, IDRC has worked in close collaboration with researchers from the developing world to build healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous societies.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada is an independent Government of Canada agency that funds university-based research and graduate training through national peer-reviewed competitions. SSHRC also partners with public and private sector organizations to focus research and aid the development of better policies and practices in key areas of Canada’s social, cultural and economic life.

For further information, please contact:
Eva Schacherl
Manager, Media and External Relations
Telephone: 613-992-7302
Cell: 613-222-6103
Email: [email protected]

Amélie Sirois
Senior Media Advisor
Telephone: 613-236-6163, ext. 2343
Email: [email protected]

Isabelle Fontaine
Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry
Telephone: 613-995-9001
E-mail: [email protected]

Published: 20 Jul 2007

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