Report of the CAAA Research Committee 2004-2005
The CAAA Research Committee has been very active so far this year. Committee members Craig Emby (Simon Fraser), Raymond Morisette (HEC), Jeff Pittman (Memorial) and I have reviewed and evaluated a record number of proposals submitted under the CMA-CAAA and the CICA-CAAA research grant programs (results are reported below). In addition, the new SAP-CAAA research subcommittee made up of David Bateman (St. Mary’s), Chair, and committee members Carla Carnaghan (Waterloo) and Paul-Victor Paré (Laval) have received four letters of intent relating to projects of relevance to IT research and practice. Two of those projects have progressed to the proposal stage. Our last research call for this year is under the Deloitte and Touche – CAAA Research Grant Program. Fifteen letters of intent were submitted by the January 28 deadline with full proposals due March 31, 2005.
On behalf of the research committee, I want to thank our sponsors for their continued support of the research carried out by CAAA members. In addition, I thank my committee members for all of their hard work this year as well as all CAAA members for submitting such high quality proposals.
Details of projects funded so far this year
CMA-CAAA Research Grant Program
A total of 19 letters of intent were received and 11 were selected by CMA Canada to go forward to the full proposal stage. A total of $41,000 was available for distribution. The committee selected five proposals for funding using up all available funds as follows:
CICA-CAAA Research Grant Program
A total of 17 letters of intent and 17 proposals were received and evaluated. A total of $33,500 was available for distribution. The committee selected the following projects for funding:
Progress in 2004 on active research grants
In November, 2004, I sent requests for progress reports to the submitting authors on 40 research projects funded between 1995 and 2003 that were defined as active as of the end of 2003. After reviewing the terms of our agreements with our sponsors and consulting the CAAA executive and members of the research committee, we defined a completed research project as one in which all data had been collected and the related working paper had been accepted and presented at a peer-reviewed conference (previous definition was a project resulting in a paper published in a journal during the year). I received replies from all researchers contacted. Based on the information they reported, 26 of the 40 projects were complete while 14 projects were still active at the end of 2004.
Restructuring of the CAAA Research Committee
Under the current Research Committee structure, the Chair is responsible to form a research committee made up of three other CAAA members. Under the previous funding model, sponsors’ research funds were all deposited in one pool and researchers submitted proposals once per year for funding. Therefore, the research committee was required to review and select proposals for funding once yearly out of this pool.
Recently, our funding model has changed requiring the committee to review and select proposals submitted under four different research programs having differing goals and funding criteria at four different times of the year. In addition, we have noticed an increasing number of submissions under all four programs this year (i.e., at least twice as many full proposals as have been received by the committee in one year since the new funding structure was put into place). While such high levels of interest indicate members hold these research programs in high regard, the careful review and evaluation of such a large number of proposals at three different times of the year requires a huge time commitment on the part of committee members. It is my fear that it will become more and more difficult over time to find willing research committee members. I would hate to see this happen given the importance of the research programs to the CAAA.
In response, I submitted a proposal to the CAAA Board to restructure the CAAA Research Committee. The objective of such restructuring is to operate the research committee in a manner similar to the Editor/Associate Editor structure used by CAR. Under this new structure, the Research Committee Chair would appoint sub-committee chairs for each of the four research programs. Sub-committee chairs would then appoint committee members with appropriate qualifications to evaluate proposals for one research program only. The recommendations of the sub-committees would come forward to the Chair with appropriate supporting arguments and the Chair would make the final funding decisions.
In my view, this structure would spread the work over a larger number of qualified and interested committee members while ensuring the continued high quality review and evaluation of research proposals. In terms of timeline, my objective would be to structure the next research committee (2005/2006) along these new lines. Note that we have instituted this structure on a trial basis with the new SAP-CAAA research call and it seems to be working well so far. This new committee structure was reviewed and approved in principal by the CAAA Board in January 2005. More on this issue will come forward in my report to the Annual General Meeting in June.
Once again, thank you to CAAA members and our sponsors for your continued interest in and support of the research programs of the CAAA. Thanks also to my committee members whose work has really been beyond the call of duty this year. I will be available to answer questions about the Research Committee and its activities at this year’s CAAA Conference in Quebec City. In addition, please feel free to contact me before then if necessary by telephone or email at the address below.