As most readers would know, research funding Canada is tough, and getting tougher. Our most significant funding agency is the Canadian Institute for Health Research or CIHR. The past decade has seen dropping success rates for Canadian researchers. Despite the fact that grants are getting better and better, success rates are getting lower and lower. For the last few years, these rates have hovered at around 17% nationally.
Fortunately for Queens’s, we have an extremely talented group of research scientists. This has become increasingly evident by CIHR grant capture rates that have exceeded national averages. And this trend of success at Queen’s continues. A few weeks ago we heard the results of the latest competition. With a capture rate of 33%, the success for Queen’s researchers was twice the national average. This success translated into the capture of approximately 10 million dollars in operating funds and brought smiles to our Vice Dean of Research Roger Deeley.
This past competition gives us lots to celebrate. Ralph Meyer, the Director of NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC-CTG) and Eisenhauer Chair, along with his colleagues at Queen’s brought in $2.2 million for their work on a randomized trial in clinical gynecological oncology.
And that wasn’t the only NCIC-CTG grant, as Chris O’Callaghan and co-workers received $1.6 million for their study on the role of radiotherapy in gastric cancer.
And how about Charles Graham, who along with his colleagues received two CIHR grants this round, for their work on research aspects of cancer progression and the biology of the human placenta.
Daren Heyland and colleagues received a grant for their work on decision making and goals of care for the critically ill.
Xiaolong Yang was the PI on a grant studying aspects of small cell lung cancer. Andrew Craig and colleagues received $700,000 for their work on lung cancer metastasis.
Kanji Nakatsu, who would be angry with me if I said for how long he has been receiving national funding, received yet another grant for his fundamental work in pharmacology.
Eric Dumont was funded for his work on the longterm effects addictive drugs.
Patti Groome, form our Division of Cancer Care Epidemiology, received funding for her work on understanding diagnostic episodes in cancer care.
Success in CIHR competitions is fundamental to a major element of our emerging strategic plan: to accelerate research in bold and focused areas. If this last competition is of measure of our ability to be competitive with the best from across Canada, we are in right on target.
If you have thoughts about CIHR, research in general, or any of our recent successful scientists, please comment on this blog, or better yet…stop by the Macklem House, my door is always open.