Canadian Subatomic Physics Long Range Plan

Planning Process

Terms of Reference


The Canadian subatomic physics community establishes its scientific, and thus funding, priorities through five-year Long-Range Plans (LRP). These plans advise the Canadian subatomic physics research community and relevant stakeholders on priorities for both current and future endeavours. The most recent Long-Range Plan covered the period 2017–2021, in addition to providing an assumption-based forecast for into 2026. A new LRP exercise is to be conducted. The new plan will be in effect from 2022 through 2026, with its scope extending through 2036. A renewal of this 2022–2026 plan will occur before 2026. The Canadian Subatomic Physics Long-Range 2022–2026 is jointly supported by the Institute of Particle Physics (IPP), the Canadian Institute of Nuclear Physics (CINP) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). The additional stakeholders, TRIUMF, SNOLAB, the Perimeter Institute and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), are supportive of this process.


The LRP process will be driven by the Canadian subatomic physics community. A Committee will be asked to review this community’s input and to formulate the Long-Range Plan. The LRP Committee will be composed of an appropriate number of experts who will cover the main sub-disciplines of subatomic physics in Canada, including both experimental and theoretical aspects: nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, physics of elementary particles and fields, and particle astrophysics. The Committee will be co-chaired by senior members of the research community with an extensive knowledge of the Canadian and international subatomic physics research environments. The membership may have some overlap with that of the previous LRP Committee to ensure continuity.

The following representatives from the LRP commissioning bodies will be non-voting members on the LRP Committee.

  • Director of the Institute of Particle Physics
  • Executive Director of the Canadian Institute of Nuclear Physics
  • NSERC Team Leader working with subatomic physics
  • Co-Chairs of the NSERC Subatomic Physics Evaluation Section for 2020–2021

In addition, the LRP Committee will invite ex officio members who will be non-voting observers and resources for the other members:

  • TRIUMF Director
  • SNOLAB Director
  • Perimeter Institute representative
  • CFI Director of Programs working with subatomic physics

The LRP Committee may choose to hold certain closed sessions without the presence of ex officio members.


Taking into account (i) the ever increasing internationalization of projects and collaborations in addressing the fundamental questions of subatomic physics, (ii) the concurrent requirement to maintain and further develop world-class domestic research programs and infrastructure, (iii) the established expertise and strengths of the Canadian community and (iv) the recognition of the fact that the Canadian subatomic physics community cannot be involved in all research endeavours, the Committee is asked to identify subatomic physics scientific ventures and priorities that should be pursued by the community on a five to fifteen year horizon and that would ensure continuous Canadian global scientific leadership. Budgetary estimates, both for new capital investments as well as for operations, must be provided as well, including funding ranges for prioritized endeavours. These ranges should include funding levels that would allow for a restrained, yet efficient, contribution to the ventures, as well as levels that would enable a more extensive contribution.

The Committee’s assessment will be based on a broad consultation with the Canadian subatomic physics community. The Committee will have to assess the feasibility, technical readiness and risks associated with particular endeavours. It is crucial that such an assessment be made through a fair and rigorous process.

The Committee is also asked to consider and discuss factors that affect the subatomic physics community and to make recommendations on how to possibly lessen any negative impacts they may have, or enhance any positive ones. Examples of such factors include, but are not limited to, various funding opportunities, the relationship between funding agencies and other organizations, the activities of national research organizations, and the international context.

The report should address Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as well as supporting early career researchers within the context of the subatomic physics research community.

Process and Timeline

The LRP Committee membership recruitment will be completed by Spring 2020, and a kickoff meeting will be held immediately after. NSERC staff will coordinate membership recruitment in consultation with the Committee Co-Chairs as well as CINP and IPP.

CINP and IPP will be tasked to prepare briefs for the LRP Committee. These briefs must summarize the scientific vision and priorities put forward by the sub-communities they represent and serve, including both experimental and theoretical facets. Overall recommendations may also be included in the briefs. It is expected that each institute will broadly consult with the sub-communities through various formats and ensure a fair and rigorous process. The briefs are to be submitted to the LRP Committee and to NSERC no later than December 1, 2020.

The Institutes must ensure that the briefs are available to the entire community through their public Web sites. Eventual responses to the briefs by individuals or organizations would be accepted. Throughout the process, the LRP Committee may also solicit additional input from various sources, as it sees fit.

The LRP Committee will hold public consultations (town hall meetings) in early 2021, after receiving the briefs. Face-to-face or phone meetings of the Committee will then be held up to the Summer of 2021.


The LRP Committee will submit its final report to NSERC, CINP and IPP no later than September 30th, 2021. The report will be publicly released, thereafter, in both official languages.

and Conflicts of Interest

All members must strictly comply with the Code of Ethics and Business Conduct for Members of NSERC Standing and Advisory Committees. Moreover, for the purpose of this exercise, a member will be considered to be in a situation of conflict of interest during a discussion on prioritization of a specific endeavour that would directly benefit the member or the member’s organization.

Committee Personnel

Committee Members
Eckhard Elsen CERN, Switzerland
Chris Jillings SNOLAB, Canada
Rituparna Kanungo St. Mary’s University, Canada
Bob Laxdal TRIUMF, Canada
Augusto Macchiavelli LBNL, USA
Juliette Mammei University of Manitoba, Canada
Jeff Martin University of Winnipeg, Canada
Adam Ritz (co-chair) University of Victoria, Canada
Niki Saoulidou University of Athens, Greece
Kate Scholberg Duke University, USA
Brigitte Vachon (co-chair) McGill University, Canada
Alex Wright Queen’s University, Canada
Ex-officio Members & Observers
Cliff Burgess Faculty, Perimeter Institute (PI)
Emily Diepenveen Team Leader, NSERC (until Jan 1, 2021)
Jens Dilling Assoc Lab Director, Physical Sciences, TRIUMF
Olivier Gagnon Manager, John R. Evans Leaders Fund, CFI
Thomas Gregoire NSERC SAPES (co-chair)
Jeter Hall Research Director, SNOLAB (from April 8, 2021)
Garth Huber Executive Director, CINP
Kevin Lapointe Team Leader, NSERC (from Jan 1, 2021)
Alison Lister NSERC SAPES (co-chair)
Tony Noble Scientific Director, McDonald Institute (MI)
J. Michael Roney Director, IPP
Nigel Smith Executive Director, SNOLAB (until April 8, 2021)

As described in the Terms of Reference, all LRPC members were required to comply with the Code of Ethics and Business Conduct for Members of NSERC Standing and Advisory Committees. Moreover, for the purpose of this planning exercise, members were considered to be in a situation of conflict of interest during a discussion on prioritization of a specific endeavour that would directly benefit the member or the member’s organization.

To manage conflicts of interest, all members declared their interests in writing when joining the committee, or when those interests changed. These declared interests were circulated confidentially to all LRPC members for transparency. Members were requested to remain silent during specific discussions for which they had a declared conflict of interest.


The planning process conducted by the Subatomic Physics LRP Committee is outlined in this section. It is important to highlight that all stages of the process in 2020 and 2021 were conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and existing safety measures required that all meetings of the LRPC and all public townhall consultations with the community were online and conducted via videoconference.

The LRP planning process involved extensive community consultation and engagement. The nuclear and particle physics sub-communities presented input to the LRP Committee early in the process through comprehensive positions papers submitted by the Canadian Institute of Nuclear Physics (CINP) and the Institute of Particle Physics (IPP). The LRP committee also engaged regularly with the community through a survey, multiple online townhall meetings, and by soliciting feedback throughout the process on draft recommendations and initial drafts of the final report. The use of videoconferencing technology provided broad accessibility to members of the community Canada-wide, including graduate students, and allowed the LRPC to hold a number of thematic townhalls, to further expand the consultation and community engagement phase of the planning process.

The LRP Committee met every 2 to 3 weeks throughout the planning exercise via videoconference, and the main stages in the process are summarized on the following pages.

Launch of the SAP LRP process

June 11, 2020 — CINP-IPP joint session at the CAP Congress

June 22–23, 2020 — CINP Townhall meeting

July 15, 16, 21, 2020 — IPP Townhall meeting

Environmental Scan

September / Octember 2020

  • Analysis of historical funding data from NSERC and CFI
  • Analysis of national long-range plans:
    • Canadian SAP LRPs from 2006, 2011 and 2017
    • Canadian Astronomical Society LRP 2020
    • US P5 Report 2014, and the ongoing SNOWMASS process for 2020
    • US Nuclear Science LRP 2015
    • European NuPECC LRP 2017
    • European Particle Physics Strategy Update 2020

SAP LRP Community survey

  • November 2020 — 370 grant-holder and HQP respondents to survey questions on research activities, EDI and outreach

CINP and IPP position papers

  • December 1, 2020 — Position papers submitted to the LRP by the Canadian Institute of Nuclear Physics (CINP) and the Institute of Particle Physics (IPP). These comprehensive documents summarize the existing research activities and future plans and priorities of those Canadian subatomic physics sub-communities.
Community Consultation

Topical Townhall 1: Subatomic Physics Community

  • February 16, 2021 — Education, Training and Careers — moderated Q&A session with the community
  • February 17, 2021 — Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Early Career researchers, Community organization — moderated Q&A session with the community

Topical Townhall 2: Subatomic Physics Science Opportunities

  • March 8, 2021 — Science Planning and Opportunities — international panel discussion and moderated Q&A session with the community
  • March 10, 2021 — Subatomic Physics Connections: Interfacing to other fields and society — panel discussion and moderated Q&A session with the community

Emerging themes consultation document (released April 16, 2021)

LRP Community Townhall

  • April 20, 2021 — Canadian subatomic physics in 2021 — summary of funding data and community survey
  • April 21, 2021 — Feedback on emerging themes — moderated Q&A discussion of emerging themes document with the community
Report Preparation

June 11, 2021 — LRP draft recommendations presented for feedback (CAP Congress)

August 3, 2021 — draft report v1 released for community feedback

September 10, 2021 — draft report v2 released for community feedback

September 30, 2021 — LRP report text finalized

March 2022 — formatted report completed in English and French.

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