Summary Report of the Evaluation of the Genomics Research and Development Initiative – Shared Priority Projects

Status: Active
Effective date: December 23, 2020
Prepared for: National Research Council (NRC)
Prepared by: Goss Gilroy Inc.
Cat. No.: NR16-342/2021E-1-PDF
ISBN: 978-0-660-37975-3
Alternate format: Summary Report - Evaluation of GRDI Shared Priorities Projects (PDF, 206 KB)

The full evaluation report, including the management response and action plan, is available on the NRC's website: Evaluation of GRDI Shared Priority Projects.

The Genomics Research and Development Initiative (GRDI) supports genomics research across federal government laboratories. It focuses on mandates and priorities of participating departments and covers areas such as health, food safety, natural resources, agriculture, and environmental protection, while collaborating with academia and the private sector. GRDI includes interdepartmental Shared Priority Projects (SPPs) aiming to deliver solutions to enduring and emerging issues for economic, social and environmental benefits for Canadians.

Budget Partners Four SPPs

Total investment of $3.98 million per year in SPPs

Eight federal departments and agencies

  • Food and Water Safety (FWS)
  • Quarantine and Invasive Species (QIS)
  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
  • EcoBiomics

About the Evaluation

The evaluation focuses on the period of 2015-16 to 2019-20, and specifically on shared priority projects. GRDI as a whole was last evaluated in 2016-17. The evaluation covered both current and past SPPs (Phases V and VI). The Phase V SPPs (FWS and QIS) ran from 2011-12 to 2015-16 and the Phase VI SPPs (AMR and EcoBiomics) are still underway, running from 2016-17 to 2020-21. The evaluation methods included a bibliometric analysis, data and document review, and key informant interviews.

Results and areas for improvement

Development and Management of SPPs
  • Approach to developing SPP themes and selecting project activities is working well.
  • SPPs are aligned with federal priorities and mandates.
  • Selection process reflects agreement to invest in new areas of research rather than building on past projects.
  • Opportunities for improvement relate to greater engagement with end-users, and transparency regarding selection of project activities within SPPs.
Interdepartmental Collaboration
  • Interdepartmental collaboration demonstrated by SPPs is unique within the federal government and serves as a model for other science programs.
  • SPPs foster collaboration across departments, increasing interdependencies in workflows and trust among scientists.
  • Greater collaboration rate for GRDI SPP publications compared to other publications in similar subjects areas.
  • Removing barriers related to IT, policy and data management could further improve collaboration.
Scientific Achievements and Increased Capabilities
  • Contribution to important scientific developments in the field of genomics, and a positive impact on application of genomics in the federal government.
  • SPP breakthroughs have created new and strengthened existing genomic research capabilities with concrete applications in research, policy-making and regulations.
  • Five-year lifecycle of SPPs is too short to demonstrate socioeconomic outcomes of the scientific research.
Knowledge Transfer
  • Increased knowledge transfer between participating departments and agencies is occurring.
  • Knowledge transfer activities allow SPP researchers to share knowledge with end-users and the broader scientific community.
  • Knowledge transfer to external end-users could be further strengthened.