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January 12th, 2008
Just a decade ago Canadians watched what seemed like a relentless poaching of the country's top minds. Now the trend is being reversed thanks to the Canada Research Chairs program. Even so, the lauded program is not without its critics.
Started in 2000, the chairs program has led to $2 billion being pumped into universities by the federal government. This comes in the form mainly of $100,000 annual grants for promising young researchers who hold junior chairs and $200,000 for established researchers in senior chairs.
But the Canada Research Chairs are now at a crossroads.
Although federal funding of $300 million a year is pledged until 2011, that's only enough to keep the program ticking along, offering little hope for junior researchers to move up and providing for only a minimal amount of new blood.
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