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NSF and the Global Research Council

Meeting structure
Past and future meetings
Governing Board members

About the Global Research Council (GRC)

The GRC is approaching five years in existence. In that time, it has developed from an NSF-launched and led activity to one in which leading research funding organizations around the world have taken a vested interest. The GRC provides a forum for publicly funded research councils worldwide to engage with one another, and to build the relationships necessary to foster increased international cooperation. The goals of the organization are twofold: to identify best practices for funding agencies that can foster international collaborations among the research community; and to support the establishment of world-class funding agencies in countries with an emerging research investment.

GRC Structure

The GRC is a voluntary, virtual organization with no permanent secretariat, and focuses its activities on topics of broad interest to national funding agencies. To this end, the Global Research Council identifies one or two topics for action annually, and then coordinates working-level Regional Meetings to develop a consensus document for consideration at an Annual Meeting of Heads of Research Councils.

An international Governing Board coordinates the activities of the GRC. The members of this Governing Board are Heads of leading Research Councils from all regions of the world, and the composition reflects the continued growth of publicly funded research worldwide. While the composition of the Governing Board is fixed in the initial years of the GRC (to facilitate continuity in the startup phase), it will morph into a rotating body beginning in 2016. The current Governing Board members are listed below.

GRC Impacts

The Statements of Principles have had an important role in research support and management worldwide. Two examples from the press conference following the 2015 Annual Meeting may be taken as illustrative. In response to a question from Science magazine asking about the value of the GRC given that there is no enforcement mechanism to the Statements, the Presidents of the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) took turns answering. Bai Chunli (CAS) noted that the GRC work on Open Access for Publications was instrumental in CAS developing its Open Access policy (released just prior to the 2014 GRC Annual Meeting in Beijing). Yuichiro Anzai (JSPS) noted that Japan has had several high-profile incidents of research misconduct in recent years, and said that a 2015 Japanese policy of Research Integrity was based on the GRC Statement of Principles on this topic.

The Global Research Council website is online at globalresearchcouncil.org. The website describes the ongoing priorities of the GRC, provides links to background documents, and announces upcoming Regional and Annual Meetings.

GRC Meeting Structure

Each year, the Global Research Council holds an Annual Meeting. The participants in the Annual Meeting are typically Heads of Research Councils whose mission is to support basic science and engineering research across a broad range of disciplines. At the Annual Meeting, the Heads of Research Councils endorse a consensus, high-level Statement of Principles (or other document) on the topics selected for that year, and plan activities for the following year. Approximately 60 Heads of Research Councils attend each Annual Meeting.

The GRC realizes the value in engaging a broad range of stakeholders in the activities and discussions between research supporting organizations worldwide. To this end, five Regional Meetings are held each year – in the Americas, in Africa, in the Asia-Pacific region, in Europe, and in the Middle East/North Africa – to develop the consensus documents to be endorsed by the Heads of Research Councils at the Annual Meeting. The Regional Meetings also provide a forum to discuss region-specific concerns. Typically, over 100 research supporting organizations participate in the Regional Meetings each year.

Past and Future Meetings

The Global Summit on Merit Review was hosted by NSF from May 13-15, 2012. Almost 50 Heads of Research Councils, primarily representing the G-20 and OECD countries, attended the event. The participants endorsed a high-level Statement of Principles for Scientific Merit Review, and launched the Global Research Council. The Statement of Principles for Scientific Merit Review is designed to provide a framework for increased international research cooperation, and to convey accepted international standards for science funding agencies.

The 2013 Annual Meeting of the GRC was held in Berlin. The participants endorsed a Statement of Principles on Research Integrity and discussed an Action Plan on Open Access for Publications. In addition, they endorsed the By-Laws of the Global Research Council.

The 2014 Annual Meeting of the GRC was held in Beijing. The participants endorsed a Statement of Principles and Actions for Shaping the Future: Supporting the Next Generation of Researchers, and continued discussions on implementation of Open Access for Publications.

The 2015 Annual Meeting of the GRC was held in Tokyo. The participants endorsed two documents: a Statement of Principles for Funding Scientific Breakthroughs, and a Statement of Approaches for Building Research and Education Capacity. In conjunction with the meeting, there were two symposia open to the public held on the day preceding the Annual Meeting.

The 2016 Annual Meeting will be held in New Delhi in May 2016. The two topics identified for the 2015-2016 activities of the GRC are Equality and Status of Women in Research and Interdisciplinarity.

Global Research Council Governing Board Members

Yuichiro Anzai Yuichiro Anzai, Chair
Romain Murenzi Romain Murenzi
Executive Director
Bai Chunli Bai Chunli, Vice-Chair
Vladislav Panchenko Vladislav Panchenko
T K Chandrashekar T.K. Chandrashekar, Vice- Chair
Mario Pinto Mario Pinto
Abdulaziz Alswailem Abdulaziz Alswailem
Saudi Arabia
Miguel Seabra Miguel Seabra
President, Science Europe
Former President, FCT
Hernan Chaimovich Hernan Chaimovich
Rick Rylance Rick Rylance (ex officio)
Chief Executive
United Kingdom
France Cordova France Córdova
United States
Peter Strohschneider Peter Strohschneider, Vice-Chair



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