Minority professor denied grants because he hires on merit: ‘People are afraid to think’

An award-winning Canadian scientist said he has been refused two federal government grants for his research on the grounds of “lack of diversity” — even though he is originally from India and has repeatedly suffered racism. […] Kambhampati’s work explores the cutting edge of super-fast laser science, a field that spans everything from telecom to medicine. He believes Canada can become a world leader in the field. If I want to focus on merit, fairness and equality, then you get called out as a racist or sexist. But his application for a $450,000 grant this month from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) was turned down because, the council said, “the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion considerations in the application were deemed insufficient.” His grant application a year ago to the federally funded National Frontiers in Research Fund — whose object is “to support world-leading interdisciplinary, international, high-risk/high-reward, transformative and rapid-response Canadian research” — was also turned down on similar grounds.

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