(This post was originally published in March, but was taken down as -- unknown to me at the time -- the results of the Discovery competition were under embargo. Now that the results are public, I'm republishing the post.)
NSERC Discovery results came out yesterday. This is the program that supports almost all of the curiosity-driven, non-industrial, basic science and engineering research in the country. It's generally not a huge amount of money -- enough to pay 1-2 graduate students is typical. But most Canadian professors hold one, and it probably pays the salary of the majority of Canada's science and engineering graduate students.
Just now, a summary of the competition landed in my inbox. By now, the "new regime" of Discovery funding is well known: applications are assigned a quality score, and a pot of money is assigned to each score value, divided among the applications with that value; below some score the amount is zero. Applications are now "memoryless", meaning that the status and funding level of your last application have no bearing on your current application (I would argue this is bad for all kinds of reasons, but that's another discussion. See Ghoussoub's excellent blog for detailed summaries and a discussion of what's going on with NSERC.)
But the following details were interesting: