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.
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:
- Breaches of scientific integrity
- Communication and dissemination of research and scientific information
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):
- facilitating domestic and international research or scientific collaborations and partnerships between AAFC researchers and scientists and the external research and development community (s. 188.8.131.52);
- resourcing participation in relevant scientific and professional societies, working committees, conferences, workshops and symposia (s. 184.108.40.206);
- ensuring engagement or participation of researchers and scientists in international science and research-based fora of which Canada is a formal member (s. 220.127.116.11); and
- encouraging activities related to collaboration with the extramural research and development communities, including the appointment of AAFC researchers and scientists to adjunct professorships. (s. 7.6.2).
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:
- adopting a cost/benefit approach to decision making about employee participation in extramural research or scientific activities;
- ensuring that opportunities for participation or engagement in international science and research-based fora of which Canada is a formal member are communicated to qualified employees;
- encouraging employees to include activities related to extramural research or scientific activities in their annual workplans; and
- allocating an appropriate level of financial and infrastructural resources to facilitate employee engagement with or participation in extramural research and scientific activities.
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. 18.104.22.168 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:
- identify appropriate opportunities for international research or scientific collaborations that have potential to advance AAFC’s interest and ensure that employees are aware of such opportunities; and
- encourage and facilitate appropriate employee participation in such opportunities through (i) supporting applications from employees to domestic or international research or scientific institutions or organizations that sponsor such opportunities; and (ii) inviting and considering requests from employees for institutional in-kind or financial support for opportunities which require committed support from host institutions.
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. 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 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:
- identifying international science and research-based fora of which (a) Canada is a formal member; and (b) for which the implicated research or scientific domains are those for which AAFC has considerable relevant expertise, knowledge and/or regulatory or fiduciary responsibility;
- in consultation with researchers, scientists and union representatives, develop criteria by which the value to Canada and/or the global community of formal participation in a given forum might be evaluated, and applying these criteria in an annual basis to reduce/increase resource allocation to research or scientific fora from which Canada and the global research or scientific community derives comparatively little/large value respectively;
- for fora that provide substantial value to Canada and/or the global research or scientific community, determining an annual budget for AAFC participation in such fora, ensuring that all associated approval processes conform with the Directive on Travel, Hospitality, Conferences and Event Expenditures and with AAFC’s Directive on Third Party Funded Travel; and
- soliciting applications from AAFC researchers and scientists to participate in those fora which have been determined as providing substantial value to Canada and/or the global research or scientific community.
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:
- increase access to external research funding;
- participate in graduate highly qualified personnel (HQP) training as supervisors, co-supervisors, or as members of student advisory committees;
- increase their access to external research equipment and infrastructure at the host institution;
- increase their contribution to knowledge communities through research or scientific collaborations with colleagues in host institutions;
- build internal research or scientific capacity through recruitment of host institution trainees into the federal research and scientific workforce; and
- build AAFC research/scientific capacity by engaging host institution researchers, scientists or students in projects of substantial benefit to home institutions.
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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