NEW WORKING GROUPS
We are pleased to announce that three new Working Groups have been selected for funding by CIEE in 2016, including:
i. Canadian protected areas in a changing climate: A cross-ecosystem approach to designing effective networks of protected areas, presented by Dr. Cassidy C. D’Aloia (University of Toronto), Dr. Ilona R. Naujokaitis-Lewis (Environment Canada, National Wildlife Research Centre, Carleton University) and Prof. Marie-Josée Fortin (University of Toronto). This working group is bringing together 11 professionals from 8 Canadian Institutions including U. of Toronto, UBC, McGill Univ., Memorial Univ., Université du Québec, Environment Canada, Fisheries & Oceans Canada, and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
ii. Genomic data in ecology, evolution and conservation: the impacts of missing data in genotyping-by-sequencing datasets, presented by Jean-Sébastien Moore (Université Laval) , Anne-Laure Ferchaud (Université Laval) and others. This working group will meet 20 participants from 14 Institutions including Université Laval (QC), McGill Univ. (QC), UBC (BC), University of Calgary (AB), Univ. of Regina (SK), Univ. of Manitoba (MB), Queen’s Univ. (ON), Univ. of New Brunswick (NB), Dalhousie Univ. (NS), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (St-John’s, NF), Aarhus University (Denmark), University of Washington (Seattle, US), NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center (Seattle, US), and the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center (Santa Cruz, US).
iii. Diversity and structure of coastal eelgrass communities along environmental and human disturbance gradients, presented by Dr. Julia K. Baum and Dr. Josephine C. Iacarella (University of Victoria). This working group is bringing together 19 researches from 11 Canadian Institutions including Univ. of Victoria, UBC, Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Hakai Institute, Seagrass Conservation Working Group, Precision Identification Biological Consultants, Project Watershed Society, Skeena Fisheries Commission, Gwaii Haanas National Park, Gulf Islands National Park, and Pacific Rim National Park.
We had a remarkable response to this Call for Proposals and received 17 competitive applications from across the entire country. The quality of most applications was exceptional, but unfortunately requests for funding exceeded available resources, so several well-regarded proposals could not be supported. By joining CIEE, your institution helps support this exceptional work!
The selection process:
Over the past three years, CIEE has improved the grant selection process. The evaluation of applications was carried out by the members of CIEE’s Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) including: Steve Perlman (U. of Victoria), Michael Russello (UBC), Edward Bork (U. of Alberta), Sean Rogers (U of Calgary), Mark Brigham (U of Regina), Eric Lamb (U. of Saskatchewan), Micheline Manseau (U. of Manitoba), Andrew MacDougall (Guelph Univ.), Marc Cadotte (U. of Toronto), Dennis Murray (Trent Univ.), Ira Tanya Handa (UQAM), and Amy Hurford (Memorial Univ.). We take this opportunity to again thank our reviewers for their outstanding work in the evaluation process.
In general, scientific excellence and likelihood of success were the main criteria for evaluation, although consideration will be also made for the degree to which proposals helped CIEE demonstrate broader benefits to Canada, fiscal responsibility, and benefits to sustaining member organizations. Specific criteria for evaluations included: i. Project rationale - scientific significance of the questions, evidence of novel synthesis, evidence of benefit to Canadian environmental and economic well being; ii. Project description - clarity of objectives, outcomes, work plan, meeting schedule; iii. Expertise of applicants and participants; iv. Potential for defined scientific products, including refereed publications, and v. Budget adequacy and feasibility (complete estimates and coherent justification).
Each proposal received six independent reviews. The reviewers ranked all proposals to each criterion on the same absolute scale of 1 (weak) to 5 (strong), and then relative rankings were synthesized to achieve a final recommendation for funding. We provided to all the applicants with a written summary of the relative merits of their proposals. Finally, the three awarded applicants provided satisfactory written responses to reviewers’ comments and the CIEE Director requests.
To conclude, “Funding Agreements” between parts (CIEE and grantees) for each project were developed. These formal agreements describe rights and responsibilities of the parties, allowing a clear, organized and justified use of funding.
A summary of the the working groups at: http://www.ciee-icee.ca/CIEE-ICEE-Research-Programs-and-Events
The CIEE will grow as it adds partners from coast to coast. CIEE achieves its mission principally through funding from, and co-operation among, a consortium of Canadian institutions. Each member university pays annual membership fees assessed on a sliding scale according to their NSERC Discovery Grant program funding in ecology and evolution. No overhead is charged, so all of the funding obtained from member organizations is used for direct support of CIEE scientific programs, whereas in-kind contributions help maintain staff and synthesis facilities. As a result, the more members we have, the more activities we can support.
To increase our membership, we are seeking CIEE members’ at all Canadian universities to act as representatives and liaisons to their local administration. Through its membership, your institution will: 1) facilitate access to CIEE’s scientific programs for your faculty and highly qualified personnel, 2) gain a seat on the management board that sets the mandate and direction of the CIEE, and 3) play a pivotal role in shaping the future of ecology and evolution in Canada. We are always looking for new representatives, so please, do not hesitate to contact us for additional information.