The Fields Institute Turns Twenty-Five 170725 Final book with covers - Page 98

76 Walter Craig very detail-oriented on budgetary issues. While this puts demands on the Director and the staff, it is also absolutely prudent and a survival skill during times of tight funding. I became Director in 2013, on secondment from McMaster University and just in time for the NSERC competition for the Canadian institutes’ operating grants. It was at the end of a period of uncertainty in the Institute funding; Ed Bierstone and Matheus Grasselli had just succeeded in stabilizing the Ontario component of our budget, and had submitted an application to the NSF to support participation in Fields events for scientists based in the United States. This NSF proposal was successful, and is one of only four NSF mathematical science grants to institutions outside the U.S.—the Mathematisches Forschungsinstitut Oberwolfach, the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, outside Paris, and the Banff Institute for Research Station are the other three. With a writing team of ten, we developed and submitted a very successful NSERC proposal, which was awarded top funding. In parallel, and as a second note to inter-institute cooperation, the three Canadian institutes applied for and were awarded a second, smaller, joint NSERC grant under a special Institute Innovation Platform program. This allowed Fields to add an Industry Liaison component of our staff—Tom Salisbury is our Associate Director for Industry Liaison and Pawel Pralat is Assistant Director. Programs Programming was a second focus issue during this time. The tension in planning programs arises from considerations over how far ahead program activities should be secured. While it takes significant lead time to organize a major thematic program, fixing a program too far ahead of time runs the risk of producing a stale product. The major