Collaborative Research Groups



A Collaborative Research Group (CRG) typically consists of researchers with overlapping research interests and with a common desire to collaboratively develop some aspects of their research programs. A CRG will organize joint seminars and workshops, make joint PDF appointments, and perhaps develop joint graduate training programs, but will have the potential to do much more, given the resources and organizational structure of PIMS.

Every year, the PIMS Scientific Review Panel (SRP) will select, on a competitive basis, from the proposals, several areas of research. CRGs are generally developed with the advice of PIMS starting with a letter of intent accepted by the SRP. More details are available at Proposals can vary greatly according to the needs of the particular group and may combine a number of existing PIMS activities.

During a period of approximately two-three years a CRG can expect to receive priority for:

  • Running Focused Periods of varying lengths
  • PIMS postdoctoral fellowships
  • Pacific Northwest mini-conference series
  • Workshops at host universities
  • Intensive two week graduate courses
  • Distinguished chairs and long term visitors
  • Graduate Student Exchange
  • Industrial Training Camps
  • International collaborations


Some Objectives

With this support, a CRG can plan to gather a significant portion of the world's experts in its research topic for periods of intense collaboration. The fruits of such intensity should persist for many years, perhaps bringing about a permanent change in the form of increased profile and better communication with related science around the world.The CRGs will create critical mass that will substantially enhance training programs at all levels. The pooling of PIMS support with other sources and the joint planning of resource allocation will allow the CRGs to support a larger number of PDFs and graduate students and will create new research opportunities for these young scientists, including exchanges, joint supervision, and summer schools.

The CRGs can also address the problems of retention and recruitment of faculty. They are a venue for new faculty to get plugged into a larger community, they give young faculty an effective network to build their research program, and they enhance the attractiveness of the universities.

The CRGs effectively integrate the mathematical sciences community at the various PIMS universities into the scientific infrastructure of PIMS. They will build on already existing joint efforts and links between the researchers of Western Canada and the US Pacific Northwest, thereby opening up a new era of scientific collaborations between the two countries.


Expected Impact

The CRGs will:

  • Create new research opportunities and enhance training
  • Generate new ways of having its scientific programs driven by its member scientists.
  • The program will help elicit proposals for Focused Periods during the summers, miniprograms, BIRS events, and distinguished scholars as part of the application process.
  • Foster local interest, grass-roots generation and long-term planning of activities with a much more inclusive and flexible format than standard thematic programs.
  • Facilitate multi-site interactions and collaborations, including advanced graduate courses, bridging geography.
  • Create a context through which researchers can collectively profit from the opportunities created by PIMS, the Banff station and the MITACS network.
  • Foster a vigorous student exchange program through the Western Dean's Protocol, which allows Graduate students at any Western Canadian university to take courses for credit at any Canadian PIMS university.
  • Strengthen research by centralizing isolated and smaller collaborations together for long-range planning.
  • Facilitate Canada-US collaborations
  • Provide researchers with the means to play a leadership role on the national and international level.
  • Attract additional support for research
  • Facilitate cutting academic and scientific cross-pollination by granting teaching and administrative releases to the scientists involved.


Some Recent CRGs

CRGs 2008–2014: Executive Summaries


How to Apply

More information about the application process can be found here