Scientific Activities of Provincial Research Organizations, Activities in Natural Sciences and Engineering (PRO)

Detailed information for 2015





Record number:


This survey collects detailed expenditure and full-time equivalent personnel data on the scientific activities of provincial research organizations.

Data release - January 30, 2018


This survey collects the financial and operating data which are essential to assure the availability of pertinent statistical information to monitor science and technology related activities in Canada and to support the development of science and technology policy. The data collected are used by federal and provincial science policy analysts, and are also part of the gross domestic expenditures on research and development (GERD). The information may also be used by Statistics Canada for other statistical and research purposes.

Statistical activity

Research and experimental development includes systematic creative work to increase the body of knowledge, including knowledge of people, cultures and societies, and the use of this body of knowledge to create new applications.

Science and technology (S&T) and the information society are changing the way we live, learn and work. The concepts are closely intertwined: science generates new understanding of the way the world works, technology applies it to develop innovative products and services, and the information society is one of the results of the innovations.

People are looking to Statistics Canada to measure and explain the social and economic impacts of these changes.

The purpose of this program is to develop useful indicators of S&T activity in Canada and to present them coherently.

Reference period: Fiscal year

Collection period: December to January


  • Government
  • Human resources in science and technology
  • Research and development
  • Science and technology

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population consists of the seven provincial and territorial science and technology research organizations.

Instrument design

In 2010, questionnaire design specialists tested the questionnaire with a variety of respondents.

The Questionnaire Development Resource Centre (QDRC) tested the paper questionnaire in 2010 which resulted in a redesign.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore, no sampling is done.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2016-12-05 to 2017-01-13

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

A paper questionnaire is mailed out to respondents with a postage paid return envelope. The data are manually captured in an Excel spreadsheet. Frame respondents are initially contacted in both official languages by telephone and email. Follow-ups are also conducted by telephone and email. Average time to complete the survey is 7 hours.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Data are edited to ensure internal and historical logic and consistency and analysed for trends and validity.

Each survey response is manually edited at the micro level.

The edit procedures usually consist of:

- checking each field of every record to ascertain whether it contains a valid code or entry and;
- checking codes or entries in certain predetermined combinations of fields to ascertain whether codes or entries are consistent with one another. Although there are a number of edits, all cases of failed edit checks are corrected after consideration by editors.


Missing data are imputed manually using internal ratios or previous returns.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

Data validation procedures are performed during the survey process at a micro level. For example, science and technology (S&T) expenditure allocations need to equal across questions (i.e. by science type, source of funds, etc.). Similarly, personnel data should align with the reported expenditures (ratios are used to derive acceptable value ranges). At the macro level, combined results are analyzed for comparability over time. Any significant shifts in variable values result in the review of individual responses which may lead to respondent follow-up.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Respondents are also asked authorization to disclose any or all portions of the data supplied on this questionnaire. In the cases where authorization is declined, Statistics Canada will not publish any data that can identify the respondents.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Revisions are rare and typically only occur if a data capture error is uncovered or if a respondent freely provides a revised estimate.

Data accuracy

This methodology does not apply.

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