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2014 GRC Meeting in Beijing


Hosted jointly by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Global Research Council (GRC) was held in Beijing from May 26th to 28th, 2014. Mr. Li Keqiang, Premier of People’s Republic of China, attended the meeting and delivered speech. More than 110 delegates of about 70 funding agencies and scientific organizations from over 40 countries attended the event.

Established in 2012, GRC is an important international organization dedicated to promoting the sharing of scientific information, the improvement of research quality and research collaboration. Two successful Annual Global Meetings of GRC have previously been held in the United States and Germany respectively and released statements of principles on scientific merit review and research integrity as well as an action plan towards open access. GRC has become a major platform for international communication and discussion on science and technology, takes an important role in promoting international cooperation and bridging people from science communities around the world.

The 2014 Beijing Global Summit is the 3rd Annual Global Meeting of GRC and also the first meeting held in developing country, with themes of “Open Access for Publications” and “Shaping the Future: Supporting the Next Generation of Researchers”.

“Open Access for Publications” is a continuation of the topic of 2013 Annual Global Meeting that endorsed an Action Plan towards Open Access for Publications, encouraged and called for open access to all results from publicly funded researches and pledged to take measures to promote and support the publication of publicly funded research outputs on open access journals and the deposit of publications in open access repositories. The Beijing Meeting this time evaluated the implementation of the Action Plan towards Open Access for Publications in different countries and proposed recommendations on follow-up actions. Before this meeting, CAS and NSFC issued the Chinese Academy of Sciences Policy Statement on Open Access to Articles from Publicly Funded Scientific Research Projects and the National Natural Science Foundation of China Policy Statement on Open Access to Research Publications from its Funded Projects respectively. It was to respond to the GRC’s call for open access , demonstrate China’s support to and concrete actions toward the sharing of research outputs worldwide, further raise Chinese research organizations’ awareness of the significance and necessity of open access, and promote the progress of open access to scientific knowledge in China.

It’s well known that the talented is the most critical factor in scientific innovation. Training of young scientists concerns the future of science and requires joint efforts of the global scientific community. GRC participants should be actively thinking about the types of skills and training that will be needed over the coming decades, ways to promote socially responsible research, and how research will contribute to and be transformed by a shifting social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental global context. China has implemented a series of talent training programs. Both CAS and NSFC have accumulated a wealth of experience in talent training. The 2014 Annual Global Meeting thoroughly discussed the training of young scientists with the aim of facilitating exchange of experience, mutual learning and improvement of the supporting mechanism. As an important outcome of the meeting, GRC released the Statement of Principles and Actions for Shaping the Future: Supporting the Next Generation of Researchers. It is widely acknowledged among participating organizations that the cultivation of young professionals plays a key role in shaping the future of science and technology. On this issue, GRC is committed to “promoting the attractiveness of research careers for new talents”, exploring their potentials and providing career development opportunities and high-quality research environments for them.

The GRC Beijing Meeting was chaired by Mr. Bai Chunli, President of CAS, Mr. Yang Wei, President of NSFC, and Dr. Janet Walden, Chief Operating Officer of NSERC. Mr. Bai Chunli was elected as Chair of the GRC Governing Board during the meeting.

Background Information of GRC

The Global Research Council (GRC) was initiated by eleven organizations including the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). It was established in 2012 as an informal scientific organization. The mission of GRC is to find mutually acceptable scientific development strategies and promote greater and better international research collaboration. As research funding keeps growing all over the world, more and more researchers participate in knowledge creation and cross-border research collaborations are being carried out by various countries in diverse forms. International collaboration can effectively increase the quality of scientific research, avoid redundant work, achieve rather scaled economies and solve a lot of global challenges that require global joint efforts. As the representatives of the scientific community, national funding agencies and research organizations have the responsibility and obligation to facilitate a sound development of science and promote extensive, substantial and high-quality international collaboration, including promoting the conduct of science according to standard principles and methods.

The goals of GRC are to improve communication and cooperation among funding agencies, to promote the sharing of data and best practices for high-quality researches, to provide a forum for regular discussion and meetings of the heads of research councils, to address challenges of common concern in the support of research and education, to explore mechanisms that support the global science enterprise and the worldwide research community and to pool all efforts to promote the principle of making decisions based on research quality. GRC keeps adhering to the identity of a voluntary and virtual organization with no permanent secretariat. It charges no membership fee or any other fee and its documents have no binding force.

GRC has a Governing Board composed of heads of research councils that actively participate in GRC’s work. Each session of the Governing Board has no more than eleven members and is helped by an International Steering Committee (ISC) with the organization of the Annual Global Meeting and GRC activities throughout the year, including the coordination of regional meetings. The Governing Board selects hosts of the Annual Global Meeting of GRC. According to rules, potential hosts should put forward bids to host the Annual Global Meeting of GRC and the hosts should be composed of at least one research council from a developing country and one from a developed country. Participants of the Annual Global Meeting should play an active role in GRC regional meetings or other GRC activities.

According to statistics, the research funding of GRC member organizations accounts for 75% of global public funding for scientific researches. Since its establishment in 2012, GRC has issued 3 guiding documents: the Statement of Principles on Scientific Merit Review, the Statement of Principles on Research Integrity and the Action Plan towards Open Access.

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