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Science Integrity Policy guidelines: Research and Scientific Contributions to Knowledge Communities

1. Effective date

These guidelines take effect on March 11, 2020. This is an evergreen document.

2. Context

These guidelines are issued pursuant to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Science Integrity Policy (subsequently referred to as the AAFC SIP), adopted on January 1, 2019. These guidelines are to be read in conjunction with the following AAFC guidelines:

3. Purpose

These guidelines are intended to assist AAFC in implementing the research and scientific contributions to knowledge communities provisions of the AAFC SIP. Specifically, this document provides guidance on s. 7.6 of the AAFC SIP (Contributions to the scientific community):

4. Facilitating employee contributions to knowledge communities

AAFC formally recognizes the importance of extramural research and scientific undertakingsEndnote 1 to the credibility and reputation of both AAFC scientists and researchers and the Department and that such undertakings provide important opportunities for researchers and scientists to leverage their expertise, knowledge and infrastructure in developing research and scientific knowledge to the benefit of Canadians. The AAFC SIP therefore includes a number of provisions devoted to employee contribution to knowledge communities. AAFC facilitates participation and engagement in extramural research or scientific activities by:

5. Balancing intramural and extramural research or scientific activities

AAFC researchers and scientists must uphold the values—and conform to the expected behaviours—of the Values and Ethics Code for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Although time and resources allocated to extramural research and scientific activities is time not allocated to intramural activities, extramural activities may nonetheless contribute substantially to these values and be completely consistent with expected behaviours. For example, the knowledge acquired and shared as part of such extramural research activities, and the resulting potential improvement in professional service delivery and/or impact on teamwork and innovation, may represent tangible and significant contribution to several of the values outlined in the Code.

6. Facilitating domestic and international research or scientific collaborations and partnerships (s. 7.6.1.1 of the AAFC SIP, under Contributions to the scientific community)

Recognizing that science is a collaborative enterprise, involving networks of researchers at national and international scales that allow federal researchers and scientists to leverage their expertise and knowledge, attract research and scientific talent, exchange highly qualified personnel and students, and provide opportunities for leveraging and use of international scientific and research infrastructure, AAFC management will:

7. Resourcing participation in scientific and professional societies, working committees, conferences, workshops and symposia and in international science and research-based fora of which Canada is a formal member (ss. 7.6.1.2 and 7.6.1.3 of the AAFC SIP, under Contributions to the scientific community)

Participation in such activities requires departmental defrayment/underwriting of associated expenses, which in turn requires supervisors, managers or other relevant personnel to evaluate requests for participation in a fair and equitable manner which nonetheless respects fiscal and budgetary constraints.

AAFC’s Science and Technology Branch (STB) conducts an annual solicitation of requests to attend conferences, including foreign travel. Off-cycle requests are also considered. All submitted requests are treated equitably and responses provided in a timely matter. Requests that are turned down are communicated to the requestor in writing.

AAFC management can enhance Canada’s participation and influence in international scientific and research-based fora, especially those of which Canada is a formal member, by:

8. Appointment of researchers and scientists to adjunct professorships (s. 7.6.2 of the AAFC SIP, under Contributions to the scientific community)

Adjunct appointments to external academic host institutions provide valuable opportunities for federal researchers and scientists to:

For academic institutions, the expectation is that adjunct appointees will contribute in a substantive manner to the research training mission of the host institution. In practice, this expectation translates into, minimally, substantive contribution to the training of HQP (graduate students, post-doctoral fellows or research associates) through supervision or co-supervision arrangements or appointment to graduate advisory committees, and/or access to research equipment at the home institution.

AAFC will evaluate the costs and benefits of researcher or scientist participation in adjunct professorships. In cases where the estimated benefits exceed the costs, AAFC will support applications from employees to domestic or international research or scientific institutions or organizations that sponsor such opportunities.

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