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Philosophy for Developing the Five-Year Plan 2010-2015

The Five-Year Plan (5YP) is composed of two parts: the VISION for what TRIUMF will accomplish in the next 5-year period, and the REPORT which motivates, explains, and details it. The best plan will develop its vision through an open, transparent process that engages all stakeholders; it will be communicated through a layered, tightly written report that is inspiring, honest, and clear. Our goal is to do that but even better.

The TRIUMF director appointed a Five-Year Plan Steering Committee (5YPSC) to oversee the process of preparing the VISION and writing the REPORT. The 5YPSC includes experts in many different scientific fields, and individuals both inside and outside of TRIUMF: Nigel Lockyer, Jean-Michel Poutissou, Yuri Bylinski, Barry Davids, Jens Dilling, Ann Fong, Gerald Gwinner, Garth Huber, Byron Jennings, Shane Koscielniak, W. David Kulp, Andrew Macfarlane, Rob McPherson, Timothy Meyer (chair), Tom Ruth, Paul Schmor, Achim Schwenk, William Trischuk, and Vijay Verma.

The 5YPSC had an internal WIKI site for coordinating its work.


A Twelve-Step Plan

The first step in preparing the vision was to identify the principal activities in the 2010-2015 time period that would involve TRIUMF. Undoubtedly, there are more possibilities than resources. The 5YP planning process was not only about what science to pursue but also about where to allocate resources. To achieve openness and transparency, the 5YPSC envisioned the following steps in preparing the five-year vision for TRIUMF's future. Several of the larger-scale initiatives passed through additional targeted reviews; the information from those activities was folded in, as available, to this process. A sketch of the process from STEP ONE through STEP SIX has been prepared.

STEP ONE: Community consultation to develop a complete list of proposed future activities for TRIUMF in the timeframe 2010-2015. Using materials prepared by the TRIUMF Users Group (TUG) at their Annual General Meetings, the 5YPSC prepared a preliminary list. With the gracious assistance of IPP, divisions of CAP, and the TRIUMF Users Executive Committee (TUEC), this list was distributed broadly to the community for comment. Feedback was received through Monday, February 4, 2008. Please see the related TRIUMF Headline News article.

STEP TWO: Preparation of ~1-page descriptions of each proposed activity. Working with the proponents, the 5YPSC will prepare ~1-page descriptions of each activity. A draft of the template of the ~1-page description has been prepared. Along with a preliminary vision statement from the Director and a proposed description of the role that TRIUMF plays in the Canadian university-research program, these 1-page descriptions will be made public on March 1, 2008. Please see the related TRIUMF Headline News article.

STEP THREE: Community review and prioritization. The TRIUMF Policy and Planning Advisory Committee (PPAC) has been tasked to review this portfolio of materials and perform an initial assessment and prioritization at its inaugural meeting on March 14-15, 2008. PPAC will read out its report at a public session on that Saturday. A formal written report will be made public less than a week later.

STEP FOUR: Comments from the TRIUMF community. The TRIUMF director is advised on policy-implementation issues by an on-site committee (a.k.a. Kitchen Cabinet). This committee will be publicly tasked to provide a reality-check on the PPAC findings and recommendations. The committee will prepare a brief public report with its guidance by Thursday, March 20, 2008.

STEP FIVE: Comments from the TRIUMF Users Executive Committee (TUEC) and other expert panels. As the originators of the process, TUEC will be consulted to provide any further comments on the series of reports. The TRIUMF User's Executive Committee has directed various people working on major parts of the 5YP to seek input from the user community. Ultimately, the feedback, which would ideally comprise comments from any user of TRIUMF who has something relevant to say about the 5YP, will be collected by TUEC and a summary given back to the 5YPSC to inform the development of the final version of the 5YP. Specifically the request has been to organize a reading group of stakeholders in each major specialty to provide expert user feedback. The following individuals have volunteered to serve as coordinators. Please direct your comments to them before April 1, 2008, so that TUEC will be able to formulate its written report to the 5YP Steering Committee by April 8, 2008. The TUEC final report is available here.

  • Molecular and Materials Science, Andrew Macfarlane
  • E-linac, Barry Davids
  • Particle Physics, Isabel Trigger
  • Life Sciences, Mike Adam
  • Fundamental Symmetries, Gerald Gwinner
  • Ultracold Neutron, Jeff Martin
  • Detector Development, Fabrice Retiere

In addition to TUEC, key elements of the TRIUMF Five-Year plan were reviewed by the Special Subatomic Physics Experimental Evaluation Committee (SEEC), the Accelerator Advisory Committe (AAC), the Life Sciences Project Evaluation Committee (LSPEC), and the HALO workshop.

STEP SIX: Preparation of a complete draft of the TRIUMF five-year vision. Using the output from Steps 1-5, The 5YPSC will prepare a complete draft of the five-year vision for TRIUMF. The Director's 5-Year Vision for the future of the laboratory will be revised to reflect the priorities and emphases proposed by PPAC, Kitchen Cabinet, and TUEC; it will include a resource-needs analysis. A working draft of the vision will be discussed at the TRIUMF Board of Management meeting on April 11, 2008. The vision will be publicly presented to the Advisory Committee on TRIUMF (ACOT) on May 1, 2008, in advance of its meeting on May 9-10, 2008. The draft report will be publicly circulated for review & comment; the PPAC committee will be invited to comment in writing.

STEP SEVEN: Writing of the full Five-Year Plan report. Incorporating the guidance of ACOT, the Steering Committee will combine the forward-looking vision with the analysis and review of the accomplishment of the past 5 years prepare the written report that will be submitted to the NRC International Peer Review Committee. The 850-page full manuscript has been written and published as a stand-alone volume (available in PDF form); the first chapter (including an English and French version of the Executive Summary) has been published in excerpt form. Printed copies of the Executive Summary and/or CD-ROMs of the full report are available through communications@triumf.

STEP EIGHT: Presentation to and Review of the TRIUMF Five-Year Plan by the (NRC) International Peer Review Committee. The International Peer Review Committee will meet on September 24-26, 2008, to evaluate the 5YP. Much of the meeting will take place in open session and the community is invited to observe the presentations.

STEP NINE: Presentation of the 5YP to NRC Council. In February-March 2009, the TRIUMF Director and the Chair of the International Peer Review Committee will present the 5YP and the review committee's assessment to the Council of the NRC. The Council will evaluate the proposal and pass the request forward to Industry Canada with a confidential recommendation.

STEP TEN: Analysis with Industry Canada and the Cabinet. The recommendations from NRC Council will be used to generate a Memorandum to Cabinet (MC) which originates from the office of the Minister of Industry. The MC contains a summary of the proposed 5YP and a recommendation for funding as well as a plan for public communications.

STEP ELEVEN: Insertion into the federal budget. Once the MC has worked its way through Cabinet committees on scheduling, Cabinet considers the TRIUMF 5YP request and makes a budget recommendation to the Ministry of Finance. Finance Canada assembles the final budget for the entire nation in close consultation with the key political stakeholders.

STEP TWELVE: Announcement by the Finance Minister in Budget 2010. In Budget 2010, the Finance Minister will announce the final decision regarding the future direction and level of resources made available for TRIUMF.  For the Five-Year Plan 2010-2015, the announcement will be made March 4, 2010, as part of federal Budget 2010.  The budget will need to be passed by Parliament before it is fully in place and funding begins to flow.


Key Dates


TRIUMF with its user community leads Canada in addressing a wide range of important science and technology questions that transcend the capabilities of individual institutions. Initially launched by three universities as a local facility for intermediate energy nuclear physics, TRIUMF has now grown to be a truly nationwide effort, covering Canada from coast to coast, with fifteen member institutions. It has also expanded from nuclear physics to particle physics, materials and molecular science, and life sciences.

The bulk of TRIUMF's operations are funded by the Government of Canada via a Contribution Agreement with National Research Council Canada (NRC).  Core operating funds are awarded in five-year increments to the laboratory which dictates the schedule for preparing the Five-Year Plan (5YP). The current five-year funding period ends March 31, 2010. As a member of the Canadian scientific community, and as a partner in many of its endeavors, TRIUMF worked closely with the community, stakeholders, and patrons in in this process.


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