The scientific milieu launches an SOS for the bonus of research grants

Les étudiants aux cycles supérieurs de toutes les disciplines, en sciences humaines comme en génie, disent être condamné à vivre sous le seuil de la pauvrete. Hundreds of Canadian and Quebec researchers are mobilizing to increase federal master’s and doctorate scholarships, which have been frozen for nearly 20 years.

The scientific community of Quebec is also pressing for an increase in the funds allocated by the three subsidizing organisms of the State of Quebec. The expectations are immense, a week after the unveiling of the Quebec strategy of research and innovation.

“C’est un gros cri du cœur.” des étudiants aux cycles supérieurs vivent sous le seuil de la poverty. The increase in the cost of life amplifies the crisis,” sums up Louis Bernatchez, director of the Institut de biology integrative et des systèmes, à l’Université Laval. Il est aussi titulaire de la Chaire de recherche du Canada en génomique et conservation des ressources aquatices.

This renowned researcher is one of the instigators of the mobilization of the scientific milieu of the country, who is calling on the federal government in the hope of unfreezing the scholarships of the Council of Natural Sciences and Engineering of Canada (CRSNG). Les étudiants à la maîtrise dans ces domaines are entitled to 17,500 $, tandis que ceux au doctorat obtenienten 21,000 $; ces sommes sont les mêmes depuis 2003.

Our sources confirm that the federal research grants in health and human sciences have also remained at the level of 20 years ago. Le milieu de la recherche estime subir encore les contrecoups des coupes budgetaires de l’ancien gouvernement Harper. When they came to power in 2015, Justin Trudeau’s liberals invested massively in research and innovation, without, however, bonifying all stock markets.

Le milieu s’active

At the moment d’écrire ces lignes, judi, 1880 chercheurs, including two Nobel Prizes, as well as the representatives of the great scientific societies of the country, signed a petition demanding a bonus for the support of students and chercheurs en sciences et en génie. More than 1600 signatures were added between the morning and the end of the afternoon.

These students in the upper cycles “resolve the challenges of today and tomorrow related to climate change, to pollution by plastics, to the sustainable use of natural resources, to the development of clean technologies, to the prevention of future pandemics.” et au traitement des maladies, pour n’en nommer que quelques-uns “, fait valoir la pétition.

Even après l’obtention d’un doctorat, les chercheurs pull le diable par la queue. The signatories also claim that the number and level of financing of the postdoctoral fellowships of the CRSNG should be increased. These bourses were set at $45,000 in 2015. They were $40,000 since 2003, which is equivalent to $57,121 in current dollars, the petition said.

Women are particularly vulnerable, because they are still so often those who sacrifice their career when giving birth to a child. Les chercheurs ou chercheuses qui subsistent à l’aide d’une bourse postdoctorale n’ont aucun avantage social ni assurance-emploi.

La tentation de l’exode

The universitaire milieu has been putting pressure on the Trudeau government for several months to make the higher education scholarships indexable. The permanent committee of science and research of the House of Commons conducts consultations on ways to prevent the exodus of Canadian talents.

The scientific world was disappointed to find that its appeals were ignored in the federal budget deposited last March, affirms Louis Bernatchez. “La tentation est grande pour les chercheurs d’aller dans d’autres countries où les travail conditions sont beaucoup plus attractivenes”, he recalls.

In Ottawa, the Federal Minister of Innovation, Sciences and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, defends the abandonment of advanced researchers.

“Notre gouvernement a toujours soutenu de manière inébranlable tous les scientifiques et les chercheurs. This is why the 2022 budget proposes 38.3 million dollars over four years for the federal subsidization councils to add new chairs of excellence in research in Canada, at the international level, in the fields of sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. We will continue to support a scientific ecosystem and dynamic research that reflects Canada’s strengths and Canadian interests,” said Alexander Wellstead, director of communications for the Minister of Champagne.

Le nombre de chairs de recherche a beau augmenter, les bourses remises aux chercheurs n’ont pas bougé depuis 2003, underlines-t-on dans le milieu scientifique. Les étudiants must multiply the demands for funding from multiple organizations by crossing their fingers for these sommes ainsi grappillées leur permettent de gainner leur vie.

Au Québec aussi

“I must really give a coup de barre pour le recrutement et la rétention des talents. “Ces bourses-là ne permettent même plus aux étudiants et aux chercheurs de suvenir à leurs besoins”, said Jonathan Desroches, president of the Union étudiante du Québec (UEQ).

The financing of the research is one of the dossiers that he has followed assiduously in three years of student militancy, and the progress is being attended. Il dit nevertheless avoir trouvé une oreille attentive lors de sa comparution devant le comité permanent de la science et de la recherche, à Ottawa, en avril.

In Quebec, the three research funds (in nature and technologies, in health, and in society and culture) need a new impetus. selon l’UEQ, un étudiant sur quatre (24 %) qui fait une demande de bourse obtains une aide financier, comparatively à 35 % il ya cinq ans. “The number of stock exchanges has exploded, which is a good thing, but the number of stock exchanges has not increased. »

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