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SSHRC-NSERC Leaders 2020 Joint Annual Meeting—Executive Summary

The first joint SSHRC-NSERC Leaders meeting was held virtually December 2 to 4, 2020. The meeting included separate days for SSHRC Leaders (December 2) and NSERC Leaders (December 3), accompanied by one day (December 4) of joint sessions related to tri-agency programs and issues of critical importance across the Canadian research landscape. The meeting was attended by 71 members of the network, representing a 90% participation rate. The objective of the meeting was to engage SSHRC and NSERC Leaders on key developments regarding policy, programs and research-related activities.

This report summarizes the main points discussed at the meeting. The SSHRC- and NSERC-specific sessions both featured remarks from the respective agency president, updates from agency executives, and a conversation with Leaders on COVID-19’s impacts on research and methodologies. The joint session featured a conversation with the SSHRC and NSERC presidents, “Ask us Anything” sessions on tri-agency institutional programs and research training programs, and a discussion on anti-Black racism and discrimination in research systems.

Overall, Leaders provided very positive feedback on the meeting. Of respondents, 85% reported being very satisfied or satisfied with the meeting. Respondents also expressed a very high level of interest in holding future joint SSHRC-NSERC meetings, with 95% of respondents indicating they would be highly or moderately interested in future joint meetings. The SSHRC Leaders and NSERC Leaders secretariats are currently reviewing feedback and suggested topics for future joint meetings.

SSHRC and NSERC are committed to following up on items discussed at this meeting, such as advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in research, and providing the supports required to alleviate COVID-19’s impacts on the research community.

The executives would like to take this opportunity to thank all SSHRC and NSERC staff who made the event possible, as well as the SSHRC and NSERC Leaders and guests panelists for their participation and thoughtful contributions.

The next joint Leaders meeting will be held December 1 to 3, 2021.

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