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2 half-days

How Ottawa Works, for Scientists

This webinar acts as a “user guide” for scientists and researchers working with or in the federal government. Learn the foundations of how the federal government works, and your unique role as a science-based public servant.

19 November 2024 - 21 November 2024

3 days, 01:00 PM - 04:00 PM


  • $600.00 incl.
Session information
Session 1 Nov 19 2024, 01:00 PM EST - 16:00 EST
3 hours - Online

    Session 2 Nov 21 2024, 01:00 PM EST - 16:00 EST
    3 hours - Online

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      Course Description

      • Scientists play a special role in the federal government. Among other duties, they produce research evidence used to inform federal decision-making. If you have ever wondered how Canada’s government works and how science fits in, this special three-part webinar is for you.
      • In the first part of How Ottawa Works, for Scientists, our facilitators will review how government works: an overview of the structures, processes and players of the Canadian government, how the government is organized and why, and what that means for you.
      • The remainder of this webinar acts as a “user guide” for scientists and researchers working with or in the federal government. We will examine the unique roles that science-based departments and agencies play in the federal government, the science-policy interface, the process by which scientific knowledge is translated into policies, programs, services, regulations and diplomatic affairs, and the value of plain language communication.
      • You will have plenty of time to interact with your peers in How Ottawa Works, for Scientists. You will engage in a discussion about the two cultures of science and policy, and explore how to work effectively across those two cultures, which we call the science-policy interface.
      • How Ottawa Works, for Scientists is delivered in three, two-hour segments, delivered over three days for a total of 6 hours of learning. You should attend if you work as a researcher or scientist in the federal public service, if you are new to the federal government, or if you are in a new role that requires a greater understanding of the science-policy interface.

      Learning Objectives:

      • You will learn the foundational knowledge covered in How Government Works: the Westminster model of government in Canada, including the roles and responsibilities of Parliament, Cabinet and ministers and how these elements work; the roles of the Prime Minister including as chair of Cabinet; the planning cycles and decision-making processes surrounding Cabinet and its committees, including the Treasury Board; the role of central agencies; and more. 
      • You will explore the role of the scientist within the public service. 
      • You will gain an understanding of the science-policy interface. 
      • You will leave with an appreciation of the realities of scientists and policy analysts in the federal public service. 
      • You will gain practical tools for improving plain language communication.