CIEE accelerates scientific progress through programs that synthesize current knowledge and develop our future leaders

Treefrog

The Canadian Institute of Ecology and Evolution / Institut canadien d’écologie et d’évolution (CIEE / ICEE) is a consortium of Canadian universities with the mission of expanding and accelerating scientific discovery on the natural environment and its contributions to our national well being.

The CIEE/ICEE extracts significant added value from Canada’s research investment through projects that mine new insights from the wealth of existing data. Its training programs aim to prepare the generation of scientists who will be called upon to address our most vexing environmental problems.

 

NEW CALL FOR PROPOSALS! (deadline: 1 November, 2014)

The CIEE seeks proposals for Thematic Programs (Working Groups) to be staged over the 12 month period from January to December 2015. Thematic Program proposals should outline a plan to address significant questions in ecology and evolution through synthesis and integration of existing data (e.g., quantitative research synthesis, compilation and meta-analysis of existing data sets). Applicants must define the project scope, meeting agenda, inclusive budget, and plan for publication. CIEE/ICEE provides logistic support and travel expenses. In the past, working groups were awarded grants valued from $ 6,000 to $17,000. Programs can be also co-sponsored with other organizations. Working group involve 10 to 20 participants, including graduate students. Meetings can be held at any location in Canada; however preference will be given to meetings hosted at member organizations.  In addition, the CIEE offers facilities and logistic support in the Synthesis Centre at the University of Regina. Please click here for further details in the application.

 

MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

The CIEE will grow as it adds partners from coast to coast. CIEE achieves its mission principally through funding from, and co-operation among, a consortium of Canadian institutions. Each member university pays annual membership fees assessed on a sliding scale according to their NSERC Discovery Grant program funding in ecology and evolution.  No overhead is charged, so all of the funding obtained from member organizations is used for direct support of CIEE scientific programs, whereas in-kind contributions help maintain staff and synthesis facilities.  As a result, the more members we have, the more activities we can support.
To increase our membership, we are seeking CIEE members’ at all Canadian universities to act as representatives and liaisons to their local administration. Through its membership, your institution will: 1) facilitate access to CIEE’s scientific programs for your faculty and highly qualified personnel, 2) gain a seat on the management board that sets the mandate and direction of the CIEE, and 3) play a pivotal role in shaping the future of ecology and evolution in Canada.  We are always looking for new representatives, so please, do not hesitate to contact us for additional information.

 

RECENT ACTIVITIES

1. The CIEE had an active participation at the “Genomes to Biomes" Meeting, held in Montreal on 25-29 May, 2014.

R workshop: CIEE supported a day workshop in R statistics, in conjunction with the G2B Meeting and organized by Etienne Low-Decarie and the Montreal R User Group. Fifty-two graduate students and academics from 23 Universities and Institutions across Canada participated in this successful training workshop hold in Montreal on May 25th.

CIEE Social meeting: Twenty six members of the CIEE Board, the Scientific Advisory Committee, and CIEE representatives met last May 27th at the Redpath museum in Montreal. That was a great opportunity to share views and ideas on programming, member services and fundraising.

The CIEE presence at the meeting: a permanent CIEE stand on the main venue allows us to respond many consultations and receive valuable opinions on CIEE activities and functioning. In addition, CIEE was one of the two sponsors at the general Meeting Reception. Finally, CIEE’ Director Dr. Peter Leavitt opened the Young Investigator Symposium with a general presentation that addressed the CIEE goals, programing, and upcoming activities.

 

2. Working Group Meeting: The Thematic Working Group “Canada’s phylogenetic diversity in a changing world”, leaded by Dr. Jana Vamosi and Dr. Jeromy Kerr, met in the CIEE Synthesis Centre located at the University of Regina, on 23-26 June 2014.

During the meeting, the working group assessed predictive species modeling and phylogenetic community ecology with the common goal of understanding how phylogenetic diversity is changing across Canada, while testing how evolutionary processes shape species’ range responses to climate change.

Participants of the meeting included academics from seven Canadian Universities (SFU, UBC, U. Alberta, U. Calgary, U Ottawa, McGill and UQAM).

CIEE provided complete funding and logistic support (flight and taxi transportations, meeting facilities, accommodations, meals).

 

HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR: NEW THEMATIC PROGRAMS!

Three new Thematic Working group proposals had been selected for funding by CIEE in 2014, including:


1. “Canada’s phylogenetic diversity in a changing world”. Main applicants:  Dr. Jana Vamosi and Dr. Jeremy Kerr. Awarded Grant $12,200 CAD;

2. “The terra incognita of community ecology: understanding continental-scale variation of ecological networks”. Main applicants: Dr. Timothée Poisot, Pr. Dominique Gravel and Dr. Daniel Stouffer. Awarded Grant: $14,400 CAD, and;

3. “Forecasting groundfish biodiversity change in the Newfoundland shelf”. Main applicants:  Dr. Andrew Gonzalez, Dr. Fred Guichard, MSc. Patrick Thompson, and MSc. Eric Pedersen. Awarded Grant: $6,120 CAD.

Please see our Attached Newsletter for further details on each proposal.

We had a remarkable response to our Call for Proposals and received ten competitive applications ranging from across the entire country.  Despite the timing of the Call in mid-summer, the quality of applications was exceptional!

The selection process was careful and comprehensive with each proposal receiving 5-6 independent reviews.  We take this opportunity to extend especial thanks the members of CIEE’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), including Marc Cadotte (U. Toronto), Jeffrey Hutchings (Dalhousie Univ), Sue Bertram (Carleton Univ.), Dennis Murray (Trent Univ.), Denis Réale (UQAM) and Bradley Anholt (U. Victoria) for their outstanding work in the review process.

In general, scientific excellence and likelihood of success were the main general criteria for evaluation, although consideration was also made for the degree to which proposals helped CIEE demonstrate broader benefits to Canada, fiscal responsibility, and benefits to sustaining member organizations. Specifically the criteria for evaluations were:
1. Project rationale: scientific significance of the questions (novel insights?), likelihood to advance understanding in Ecology, Evolution or Environmental issues, evidence of novel synthesis, evidence of benefit to Canadian environmental and economic well being
2. Project description: clarity of objectives, outcomes, work plan, meeting schedule.
3. Expertise of applicants and participants (from CVs/NSERC forms). This evaluation also evaluated evidence of participant diversity (institution, career stage, gender).
4. Potential for defined scientific products, including refereed publications.
5. Budget adequacy and feasibility (complete estimates and coherent justification).

Each reviewer provided written summaries of the relative merits of each proposal, and were asked to rank all proposals to each criterion on the same absolute scale (1-10). Relative rankings were synthesized to achieve a final recommendation for funding.  After awarded applicants effectively responded to reviewers’ feedbacks and addressed critical comments from the CIEE Director and Assistant Director, Funding Agreements between parts (CIEE and grantees) were developed.  These formal agreements extensively describe rights and responsibilities by the parts, allowing a clear and organized use and control of funding.

We encourage you to participate in future CIEE programs.