Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) has announced an investment of $17.4 million into the Canadian Research Data Centre Network.
This joint investment from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Health Canada’s Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the second investment in the CRDCN announced this year. The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Innovation, Science and Industry Minister made the announcement at the Canadian Science Policy Centre conference on November 16, 2022.
The first announcement in August 2022, awarded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), was also a substantial investment of $17.4 million, which brings the total renewed federal investment to $34.8 million over six years.
Leaders from both funding agencies (SSHRC, CIHR), the CRDCN, Statistics Canada, McMaster University, as the host university, and several partner universities, gathered earlier in the day to discuss the impact of this investment for researchers, policymakers, and communities across Canada.
Investment in future data access and training
This sizeable investment from two key funding agencies demonstrates both the important role that the CRDCN plays in facilitating unique access to Statistics Canada microdata at 33 Research Data Centres (RDCs) for more than 2200 researchers and students across Canada, thereby enabling forefront university research and training in a wide array of disciplines in the health and social sciences that inform key areas of public policy.
These investments also provide vital support for the CRDCN’s soon to be launched virtual Research Data Centre (vRDC). As a nation-wide data access platform, the vRDC will greatly increase the computational capacity of the Network and provide remote access to researchers working outside of the RDCs at the universities.
What access to microdata helps to achieve
Access to microdata: Statistics Canada microdata contain detailed information on the characteristics of individuals, households, or businesses, collected by survey, census or through an administrative database. These data are used by researchers in health and social sciences to investigate questions of importance to scientists and policy-makers to make evidence-based decisions that help improve the lives of Canadians.
National and International Leadership: CRDCN is positioned as a leader among comparable Networks internationally and the knowledge creation and policy impact of CRDCN researchers is raising the profile of Canadian social science and health researchers on the world stage. Our researchers continue to be at the forefront of innovative and advanced research, as evidenced by: CRDCN’s COVID-19 rapid-response research teams that informed pandemic policy decisions in health care, education and the labour market; the significant body of work on food insecurity and poverty that provided the research foundation for the replacement of the Canada Child Tax Benefit; a study on the impacts of treaties on outcomes for Indigenous Peoples (and the first in Canada), and the first to apply statistical methods to understand the determinants of treaty-making; and analysis leading to new evidence of the long-run positive effects of welfare-to-work programs, among many other examples.
For information about the vRDC, see our news post.
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