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Canadian investigators lose major perq

Salary supplement for senior researchers dropped from CIHR budget

Ed Ungar(edungar@tht.net)

Senior Canadian biomedical researchers can no longer hope to top off their salaries with a 5-year, $70,000 annual investigator award. The award program, considered an important incentive to keep Canada's best midcareer and senior investigators from being lured by institutions in the United States, has been cut from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) budget just 2 months before the next round's application deadline.

The CIHR, a rough analog of the US National Institutes of Health, was created in 2000 and inherited the decades-old investigator award program from its predecessor, the Medical Research Council of Canada. But the program has always been shoehorned into the CIHR budget because the awards were multiyear grants, while CIHR budgets are approved on an annual basis.

"I don't write the budget speeches, I'm not the minister of finance," said CIHR President Alan Bernstein. "In fact, I don't know who the next minister of...

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