Scientific Affairs Committee / Comité des affaires scientifiques

2020 – 2021 Committee / Comité

Chair / Président

Jean Saint-Aubin

Members / Membres

Ken Craig
Sean Kidd
JoAnne Lefevre
Randall Jamieson
Debra Pepler
Sophie Bergeron
Cheryl Harasymchuk
Lindie Liang
Andrea Howard
Elise Reiter
Michel Dugas
Sandra Byers
Audrey Brassard
Shahnaz Winer
Lisa Votta-Bleeker (ex-officio)

Contact the Committee / Contactez le comité

The Scientific Affairs Committee’s mandate is to advance psychological science by working on matters of importance to the psychological research community, CPA members and groups of researchers.


  1. To promote scientific values and to advocate for and protect academic freedom.
  2. To work to increase research funding in general and to increase research funding in post-secondary institutions.
  3. Promote a synergy between research, education/training and practice and between different areas of psychological research.

Terms of Reference

  1. To work to improve the understanding of scientific values and academic freedom by university administrations and others in positions of power with respect to research.
  2. To work to improve the understanding of scientific values and academic freedom by the general public.
  3. To advocate to and work with agencies who develop, disseminate and/or impose ethical principles on research, to help them understand psychology and its modes of investigation. We would hope to work co-operatively with the Committee on Ethics.
  4. To lend support in specific cases where academic values and academic freedom, particularly with regard to psychologists, are under threat. We would hope, if such occasions arise, to co-ordinate our efforts with other interested parties such as the Canadian Association of University Teachers.
  5. To advocate to government on behalf of researchers, emphasizing the need for increased funding and equitable distribution of funds to the research community.
  6. To advocate to increase funding for SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR.
  7. To strengthen research in smaller post-secondary institutions. This involves reversing shrinking government support for smaller universities and encouraging those universities to give more weight to research as opposed to heavy teaching loads in faculty positions.
  8. To emphasize the value of the scientist-practitioner model, in which practice has an empirical base. It is important to work closely with Education and Training on this objective.
  9. To emphasize interdisciplinary connections within psychology and between psychology and other research communities.


The Scientific Affairs Committee is a Standing Committee of the Board of Directors and reports to the Board through the Director Responsible for Scientific Affairs, who is the Committee Chair.


The Scientific Affairs Committee is composed of the Director Responsible for Scientific Affairs (Committee Chair) and those CPA members who volunteer or who are invited to sit on the Committee by the Chair.

Committee Size and Activity

CPA committees are important membership recruitment and retention vehicles. The goal of each committee chair is to recruit a minimum of 10 committee members from a diverse cross section of CPA members. The committee shall be comprised of at least 3 members whose research falls within the mandate of NSERC, 3 members within the SSHRC mandate and 3 members within the mandate of CIHR. The Committee needs to be active, with communications occurring at a frequency of once a month at a minimum. Committee membership is a good training and recruitment tool for senior positions within the Association and Committee members are excellent informed ambassadors for CPA and about CPA’s activities.

Responsibilities of Committee Members

Committee members are responsible for pursuing the vision and terms of reference of the Committee. To this effect, members participate in all discussions pertaining to Scientific Affairs addressed by the Committee, and work on projects or issues brought forward by the Committee, the Board of Directors, the sections and/or the members as appropriate.

Membership Term

Committee members are appointed by the Board of Directors through the Board member responsible for the Committee for one year with the intention that members will serve for a three (3) year term. Membership recruitment and retirement is staggered to ensure continuity and Committee institutional memory.

Meetings and Reporting

Throughout the year communication will take place primarily through e-mail. Conference calls will be arranged as needed by the Chair. Meetings are minuted. Regular communication of the plans and activities of the Committee will be provided to the membership through the Committee’s Annual Report to the Annual General Meeting, articles in Psynopsis and information on the web site and to the Board of Directors through reports to each Board meeting by the Committee Chair/Co-Chair.