During my first 100 days as Scientific Director of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies (FRQNT), I have observed, listened and learned a great deal to ensure the Fund's ability to support diverse and inclusive science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research, which is a real driver of socio-economic progress.
To that end, we have embarked on a "Québec tour" during which we are visiting universities and colleges to meet with the scientific community. Members of the FRQNT team are accompanying me to enrich the discussions. These visits are showing us how researchers and administrators perceive the Fund's programming, service delivery, and its importance to the research ecosystem. These meetings also allow me to share my vision of the FRQNT and its issues.
Among the points raised during these exchanges, many members of the scientific community deplore the uncertainty associated with FRQNT funding. Together with my team and Québec's chief scientist, Rémi Quirion, I am working to increase the amount and sustainability of appropriations allocated to research funding.
In this regard, I am seeking the help of the STEM research community: the FRQNT needs to be much more visible and better known in order to demonstrate its value. Each person funded by the FRQNT should mention this support when disseminating their research. In particular, I am addressing strategic clusters, our internationally recognized centres of excellence. I ask that your members, including students, help showcase the FRQNT and show their pride. Use #communautéFRQ in your communications! Research clusters have a strong and influential voice that can be used to demonstrate the strategic role played by the FRQNT in training, knowledge creation and innovation in Québec.
One last word: the June 4th "Journée de la recherche" on collaboration between the municipal and research communities was a great success! I thank everyone who took part. The presentations - delivered by inspiring duos from both backgrounds - and discussions showed that research help solve some of the issues facing today's cities. Let's wish that future "Journée de la recherche" events be just as interactive and accessible! I invite you to send me your suggestions for the theme of the 2020 edition.
Have a great summer!