National Research Institutions

Ron at Ron at
Fri Feb 4 17:10:21 EST 1994

Dear Newsgroup member,

I wish to compare the administrative structure and operating philosophies of
my own institution, the National Research Council of Canada, to other research
 and engineering institutions supported by national governments.  The NRC of
Canada is currently awaiting the appointment of a new president by the cabinet
 of our newly elected federal government.  The Professional Institute of the
Public Service of Canada, bargaining agent for the professional staff employed
 by the NRC, intends to advise the government of our views on the future of

If you are familiar with the operation of a national research institution, I
would appreciate your responses to as many of the following questions, as

1/    What is the name and nationality of the institution to be discussed?

2/    How many professional staff are employed?

3/    As a fraction of your national government's annual budget, how much
financial support does this institution receive?

4/    What is the executive structure of this institution and its formal
relationship to the executive branch of the national government and/or the
responsible government department, secretary, or minister?

5/    What fraction of the work done at this institution is basic research,
what fraction applied?

6/    With regard to the applied science and engineering, to what extent does
this institution direct its work of this kind to the direct assistance of, or
collaboration with, industrial interests?  Does support for work of this kind
depend upon financial contributions from the other party?

7/    How are research and engineering professional staff incorporated into
the decision-making processes of individual establishments and the whole

8/    Does the national government and the executive of the institution
recognize the curiousity and creativity of the professional staff to be the
source of productive work at this institution?  Or, to what extent are
directions at the institutions set by decisions taken by non-scientists or

9/    What processes are used to select and support newly proposed research
and engineering projects?

10/    What role do interests from outside the institution (e.g., commercial,
academic) have to play in the decision-making processes?

Since I am not a member of a Newsgroup, please address your responses to my
personal address, RON at IMB.LAN.NRC.CA.

Yours truly,

Ron M. MacKay
Chair, NRC Research Officers and Research Council Officers Group Excecutive

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