Statement on the 2024 Federal Budget

Published: April 24, 2024

Science & Policy Exchange welcomes the path taken by the federal government through its 2024 budget to better support the next generation of researchers and the Canadian research system.

We are thrilled to see the value of federal graduate and postdoctoral awards finally increase after more than 20 years of stagnation. We hope that the new award values will drive other research funders across Canada to increase their support of the next generation of researchers. We also appreciate the increased funding for the budgets of the Tri-Agency over the next five years, which will hopefully increase the values of research grants and allow for professors to better support their graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. We would like to thank all stakeholders who have been strongly advocating for budget increases in these fields, especially Support Our Science, which has spearheaded these advocacy efforts at the federal level in recent years.

While we believe these announcements are going in the right direction, we are disappointed that the value of the announced funds remain below what the Advisory Committee on the Federal Research Support System, Support Our Science, SPE, and other organizations have recommended. We note that a large proportion of the new investments are earmarked for later years, notably after the next federal elections. We hope that the government will maintain its commitment to support the next generation of researchers in the years to come. We are also concerned that international students and postdocs will see their — already limited — access to federal awards reduced by the streamlining of all award programs into one. As they bring valuable skills, knowledge, and networks to the Canadian research community, and actively contribute to Canadian research, they should be better supported.

We look forward to further details on the implementation of the changes and funding announced, which we will be following closely. We will continue to advocate for better support for the next generation of researchers in Canada.