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Research funding agencies agree on expanding the common CV program

Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Quebec’s three research funding agencies (Fonds de la recherche en sant du Qubec, Fonds qubcois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies, et Fonds qubcois de la recherche sur la socit et la culture – referred to as “CANTOR”) say they have renewed their vision for the Canadian Common CV and have reached an agreement to implement a new, long-term business plan designed to leverage advances in information and communication technology for the benefit of researchers across Canada.

“Clearly, the funding of research in Canada must be based on international standards of excellence and this includes having the best processes in place within our funding agencies,” said Dr David Naylor, president of the University of Toronto. “The collaborative agreement reached by CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC and CANTOR is significant as it will allow researchers to spend time on what they do best, research, rather than on filling out the myriad of forms used by funders that require a core of common data. With NSERC and SSHRC now coming on board, the Canadian Common CV will extend its reach over time across the spectrum of research including the natural, social and health sciences, engineering and the humanities. This agreement is a critically important step for the Canadian research community.”

The Canadian Common CV is a collaborative effort designed to reduce the administrative burden on researchers when they apply for funding allowing them to spend more time on their research. Responding to the federal government’s Science and Technology Strategy, the Canadian Common CV is a web-based system which allows researchers to enter a standard common CV data set into a repository. Researchers can make changes and update the data at any time, maintaining a current record of their CV. The data can be re-used, reducing the time and effort spent preparing CVs for future grant applications.

“I am very pleased that we were able to reach this milestone agreement. This collaborative initiative will have long-range benefits for the entire research community by providing the foundation for other services and applications designed to enhance service delivery to researchers,” said Christine Fitzgerald, chair of the Canadian Common CV board and executive vice-president of CIHR.

As part of the recent agreement, CANTOR, CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC committed to implementing a business plan that supports simplicity, efficiency and cost-effectiveness in the operation, management and governance of the Canadian Common CV for the benefit of researchers. The plan calls for a new governance model that incorporates input from users and subscribers, a transparent process for evolving its standards over time to ensure that they continue to be relevant and useful, and the implementation of new service standards for subscribers.

“The new governance model will provide an increased role for current subscribers and users to the Canadian Common CV,” said Jacques Babin, president and executive director of Fonds qubcois de la recherche sur la socit et la culture. “The Canadian Common CV is an example of how research funding agencies from across Canada can work together to improve services to researchers for the benefit of researchers.”

NSERC and SSHRC have begun implementation of the Canadian Common CV by piloting two of their programs starting this month. “We will use the Canadian Common CV for these programs as a proof of concept for our new Enterprise Award Management System (EAMS) that we are currently implementing. Now that we’ve selected the EAMS, we thought it would be timely to test the interoperability with the Canadian Common CV. Our intent is to eventually migrate all of our programs over to the Canadian Common CV. This would provide the long-awaited CV single window entry point for researchers,” said Michel Cavallin, vice-president, common administrative services for both NSERC and SSHRC.

The Canadian Common CV was first established in 2002 by CANTOR and CIHR in response to the needs expressed by researchers to reduce the administrative burden when applying for funding. The Canadian Common CV has 20 subscriber organizations including federal and provincial research agencies, health charities and others. With the increased number of research funding agencies and programs in the last few years, there has been growing interest from the research community for a Canadian Common CV based on a standard common data-set.