Nominate a Chair




Overview

The Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) offers eligible Canadian degree-granting institutions the opportunity to nominate a diverse cadre of outstanding researchers for professorships in areas that will further the institution’s strategic research plan and enable them to maximize their contributions as centres of research and research training.

Eligible postsecondary institutions receive a set number of chair allocations based on the funding received by their researchers from the three federal research granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR); the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC); and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) (the agencies). See Method of Allocating Chairs for more information.

Institutions subsequently submit Chair nominations to one of the program’s deadlines for peer review in order to fill their allocations. Note that individuals cannot apply to the program directly.

Chair positions are awarded to individual researchers who take up the chair on a full-time basis. Chairs cannot be shared, nor can they be occupied on a part-time basis.




Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The Government of Canada and the CRCP are committed to excellence in research and research training for the benefit of Canadians. Achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is also essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to seize opportunities and for responding to global challenges. As such, the program is committed to the federal government’s policies on non-discrimination and employment equity.

Participating institutions administer funds in partnership with the agencies and the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS). Therefore, all institutions that accept agency funding are expected to  make concerted efforts to meet their equity and diversity targets, and provide a supportive and inclusive workplace. This supports the goals of equity, diversity and inclusion within the CRCP and the broader Canadian research enterprise.

Visit the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Requirements and Practices page for more information.

Considering Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Managing Chair Allocations

When managing their allocation of chairs, all institutions must consider their equity and diversity targets. They must put safeguards in place (such as training) to minimize potential negative impacts of unconscious bias in their decision-making processes.

Unconscious bias is a positive or negative bias that all individuals have that they are unaware of, which happens outside of their control and affects decision-making. These unconscious biases are influenced by an individual’s background, environment and personal experiences.




Value and Duration

There are two types of Canada Research Chairs positions:

Tier 1 Chairs, tenable for seven years and renewable once, are for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. For each Tier 1 Chair, the institution receives $200,000 annually for seven years.

Tier 2 Chairs, tenable for five years and renewable once, are for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. For each Tier 2 Chair, the institution receives $100,000 annually for five years, with an additional $20,000 annual research stipend for first-term Tier 2 Chairs.

Notes:

  • Once a Tier 1 Chair has held the a position for two terms, he or she cannot be nominated as a new Tier 1 Chair at the same or another institution, regardless of the number of years completed in the second term.
  • In the same way, a Tier 2 Chair who has held a position for two terms cannot be nominated as a new Tier 2 Chair at the same or another institution, regardless of the number of years completed in the second term.
  • If a researcher resigns from a chair position during his or her first term at one institution and accepts a chair position at another, this is considered his or her second term and not a new first term.
  • Tier 2 Chairs are not meant to be a feeder group for Tier 1 Chairs. The intent of funding Tier 2 Chairs is to provide emerging researchers with support that will kick-start their careers. As part of their strategic considerations in managing their chair allocations, institutions should develop a succession plan for their Tier 2 Chairs.



Eligibility of Nominees: Tier 1 and Tier 2 Chairs

Tier 1 Chairs

Nominees for Tier 1 Chair positions must be full professors or associate professors who are expected to be promoted to the full professor level within one or two years of the nomination. Alternatively, if they come from outside the academic sector, nominees must possess the necessary qualifications to be appointed at these levels.

Tier 2 Chairs

Nominees for Tier 2 Chair positions must be emerging scholars. They should, at a minimum, be assistant or associate professors, or possess the necessary qualifications to be appointed to these levels. See Tier 2 Justifications below for more information.




Tier 2 Justifications

Nominees for Tier 2 Chair positions must be emerging scholars; nominating institutions may nominate a professor or a researcher who is more than 10 years from their highest degree at the time of nomination and has experienced legitimate career interruptions (see acceptable justifications below). In such cases, institutions must submit to TIPS a formal justification (using the Tier 2 Justification Assessment form), explaining why the nominee is still considered to be an emerging scholar.


Note: Potential Tier 2 candidates who are more than 10 years from their highest degree must contact the research grants office (or equivalent) at the host institution directly for questions related to the institution’s Tier 2 allocations and their potential eligibility for a Tier 2 Chair.


Multiple Degrees

Where the potential candidate has obtained more than one PhD, or has obtained a professional degree (MD, DVM, DDS, DC, etc.) in addition to a PhD, and the first of these degrees is obtained more than 10 years previous, a Tier 2 justification is required.

In cases where a habilitation qualification (or equivalent) is being pursued or has been attained, the candidate’s PhD or professional degree is deemed to be the highest degree. In addition, time spent completing the habilitation qualification (or equivalent) is not considered a break in career, and therefore, cannot be used as a justification.

Acceptable Justifications

Acceptable justifications are generally limited to breaks in the candidate’s research career due to maternity or parental leave, extended sick leave, clinical training, and family care.

The quality or excellence of the individual is not an acceptable justification for nominating an individual who does not meet the eligibility requirements of a Tier 2 position.

Justification Submission Process

The institution must submit the Tier 2 Justification Assessment form (PDF) and the nominee’s Chairs CV by email to information@chairs-chaires.gc.ca. These documents may be submitted at any time throughout the year.

The Chairs CV that accompanies the Tier 2 justification must list all research contributions and sources of research support over the candidate’s entire career.

Full Nomination in Conjunction with a Justification

Institutions may submit a full nomination package for a candidate to one of the program’s deadline dates while a decision is pending on that candidate’s Tier 2 justification.


Note: The full nomination package should include a version of the candidate’s CV listing research contributions and sources of research support over the last five years, but may be extended to accommodate career interruptions. Please see the “CV Length Extension Provision” section on page 7 of the CV Preview form (PDF) for further details.


This is unlike the CV required for the decision regarding a Tier 2 justification, which requires a CV listing research contributions and sources of research support over the candidate’s entire career.

Justification Evaluation Process

All Tier 2 justifications submitted following the required process and using the required form will be considered by TIPS. Institutions may expect a turnaround time of approximately four weeks from receipt of the justification package by TIPS to the notification of the decision. TIPS will not provide an update to institutions on the status of the review during the review period.

Note that only the completed justification form and the candidate’s CV will be examined as part of this review process, even in cases where a full nomination has been submitted concurrently.

In cases where a full nomination has been submitted while a decision on the justification is pending and where the candidate is deemed eligible to apply for a Tier 2 Chair, the nomination will be evaluated following the program’s peer review process. If the justification is not accepted, the nomination will be withdrawn from the cycle.

In cases where only the justification is submitted and is accepted, the institution must then submit a full nomination package to one of the program’s regular nomination deadlines within the timeframe provided by TIPS; or, in the case of foreign researchers, within the timeframe provided by TIPS. Peer review of the nomination will then be carried out according to the program’s full evaluation criteria. If the Tier 2 justification is not accepted, the institution may not put the candidate forward as a Tier 2 Chair nominee.

Please note that if a nomination linked to an accepted Tier 2 justification is not recommended for funding through the program’s peer review process, the institution will be required to resubmit a Tier 2 justification prior to any subsequent resubmission of that candidate.




Advance a Tier 2 Chairholder to a Tier 1 Chair

After an open and transparent recruitment process, institutions can advance a current Tier 2 chairholder to a Tier 1 Chair during the term of the Chair. Institutions must use the same nomination process as for new nominees. The advancement nomination must be submitted by a nomination deadline early enough to ensure that the funding decision on the advancement nomination may be made prior to the end of the term of the Tier 2 Chair.

In order to advance a Tier 2 chairholder to a Tier 1 Chair, the Chair must be continuing at the same institution. If the Tier 1 Chair will be held at a different institution, the advancement nomination will be considered a new Tier 1 nomination.

If a nomination for advancement is not successful, it is possible to submit either a Tier 2 renewal nomination for the chairholder (if applicable) or to resubmit an advancement nomination (in cases where the term of the Tier 2 Chair has not yet ended).




Requirements for the Recruitment and Nomination Process


Note: The revised requirements are now available and are in effect for recruitment processes that start after September 10, 2018.


All institutions must ensure that their recruitment and nomination processes abide by the program’s Requirements for Recruiting and Nominating Canada Research Chairs. These apply to all new nominations (including foreign candidates) , whether the position is used for internal recruitment (only open to existing faculty) or external recruitment (to attract new faculty), and when an active Tier 2 chairholder is nominated as a Tier 1 Chair at the same institution.

Chair Position Postings for Tier 2 Chairs

Institutions must ensure that the language relating to eligibility for Tier 2 Chairs in their Canada Research Chair postings is neither misleading nor exclusionary.

Chair position postings must:

  • Encourage applications from all eligible candidates, and not imply that Tier 2 Chairs are exclusive to candidates who are, at the time of nomination, no more than 10 years from having earned their highest degree. Where breaks in the candidate’s research career exist due to maternity or parental leave, extended sick leave, clinical training, family care, etc., the Tier 2 justification process may be used to review a candidate’s eligibility. Job postings must acknowledge the option available to potential applicants who are more than 10 years from having earned their highest degree and/or where applicable exceptional circumstances are present, to have their eligibility reviewed through the Tier 2 justification process.
  • Separate the specific eligibility criteria required by the institution from that required by the Canada Research Chairs Program (as outlined on the Canada Research Chairs website). For example, while universities may require that applicants hold a PhD for a given position, this is not a program requirement (i.e., some chairs may hold other terminal degrees, or a combinations of degrees, that render them eligible for the program). Statements such as “In accordance with the regulations set out for Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs, the candidate will hold a PhD (obtained within the last 10 years)” must not be used.

TIPS suggests including the following points in postings:

  • Tier 2 Chairs are intended for exceptional emerging scholars (i.e., candidates must have been an active researcher in their field for fewer than 10 years at the time of nomination).
  • Applicants who are more than 10 years from having earned their highest degree (and where career breaks exist, such as maternity, parental or extended sick leave, clinical training, etc.) may have their eligibility for a Tier 2 Chair assessed through the program’s Tier 2 justification process. Please contact the research grants office for more information.

TIPS monitors institutions’ adherence to CRCP’s recruitment and nomination requirements and public accountability and transparency requirements. It reserves the right to ask institutions to provide, at any time within the 48 months following the submission of a nomination, evidence that the process used followed these requirements. See examples of requested documentation.




Peer Review Process

The CRCP is founded upon an uncompromising commitment to excellence in research and research training. It follows a peer review process governed by the College of Reviewers and the Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee.

All nominations, whether for a new Chair, the renewal of a current Chair, the advancement of a Tier 2 chairholder to a Tier 1 Chair at the same institution, or a resubmission, are assessed by the College of Reviewers.

Deferred Recommendation Process

Nominations that the Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee does not recommend for support are automatically entered into the Deferred Recommendations Process.

Interdisciplinary Adjudication

All nominations are peer reviewed by a minimum of three experts in the field of research of the proposed program of research. Nominations may also be peer reviewed by an interdisciplinary committee composed of researchers with expertise in various disciplines within the health sciences, natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities. Because of the potential for adjudication by an interdisciplinary committee, institutions should ensure that their nominations are written in a way that will convincingly demonstrate to an interdisciplinary panel how the nomination meets the CRCP’s evaluation criteria. In particular, institutions are advised to avoid the use of jargon, acronyms and highly technical terms, where possible, and to describe the proposed program of research in a way that allows informed assessment by committee members who may not have direct expertise in the area.

For complete details about the CRCP’s peer review process, see Peer Review.




Selection Criteria

Reviewers and the Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee assess all nominations against the following criteria:

  1. quality of the nominee and the proposed research program; and
  2. quality of the institutional environment, institutional commitment, and fit of the proposed chair with the institution’s strategic research plan.

1. Quality of the nominee and the proposed research program
Tier 1 Chair Tier 2 Chair

To meet the criteria of the program, nominees must:

  • be outstanding and innovative world-class researchers whose accomplishments have made a major impact in their fields;
  • be recognized internationally as leaders in their fields;
  • have superior records of attracting and supervising graduate students and postdoctoral fellows (taking into account different practices in the relevant field or discipline) and, as chairholders, be expected to attract, develop and retain excellent trainees, students and future researchers; and
  • be proposing an original, innovative research program of the highest quality.

To meet the criteria of the program, nominees must:

  • be excellent emerging world-class researchers who have demonstrated particular research creativity;
  • have demonstrated the potential to achieve international recognition in their fields in the next five to ten years;
  • as chairholders, have the potential to attract, develop and retain excellent trainees, students and future researchers; and
  • be proposing an original, innovative research program of high quality.

2. Quality of the institutional environment; institutional commitment; and fit of the proposed chair with the institution’s strategic research plan

a. Institutional environment

The institution must describe the quality of the existing or planned institutional environment in which it will establish the proposed chair, including opportunities for collaboration with other researchers working in the same or related areas at the nominating institution, in the same region, within Canada and abroad.

b. Institutional commitment

The institution must demonstrate that it and, as applicable, any affiliated institutions, hospitals, institutes, etc., will provide chairholders with the support they need to ensure the success of their work, such as protected time for research (e.g., release from certain teaching or administrative duties), mentoring (if applicable), additional funds, office space, administrative support, and hiring of other faculty members.

c. Fit of the proposed chair with the strategic research plan

The institution is required to demonstrate the fit of the proposed chair with the institution’s strategic research plan and the importance of the proposed chair to the attainment of the institution’s objectives.




Nomination Deadlines and Related Dates

All nominations must be submitted electronically through the CRCP’s institutional portal (extranet) by the relevant nomination deadline. Nominations received after the deadline will be withdrawn from the cycle. The paper copy (which follows the specifications outlined in the summary of nomination process table) of the nomination must be postmarked by midnight of the deadline.

Nomination deadlines Final deadlines to submit letters of reference * CV update deadlines ** Anticipated decision dates Anticipated public announcements of chairs awarded (subject to change)
April 25, 2017 May 9, 2017 September 12, 2017 October 2017 Spring 2018
October 23, 2017 *** November 6, 2017 March 14, 2018 April 2018 Fall 2018
April 23, 2018 May 7, 2018 September 12, 2018 October 2018 Spring 2019
October 22, 2018 November 5, 2018 March 13, 2019 April 2019 Fall 2019
April 24, 2019 May 8, 2019 September 16, 2019 October 2019 Spring 2020
October 21, 2019 November 4, 2019 March 13, 2020 April 2020 Fall 2020
April 20, 2020 May 4, 2020 September 11, 2020 October 2020 Spring 2021
October 19, 2020 November 2, 2020 March 12, 2021 April 2021 Fall 2021
April 19, 2021 May 3, 2021 September 10, 2021 October 2021 Spring 2022

*** As of October 2017, institutions must provide a copy of the open job advertisement with the paper copy of all nominations.




Foreign Nominations

A foreign nominee (whether a foreign national or Canadian citizen) may be either:

  • a foreign researcher who has been employed at the nominating institution on a full-time basis for less than one year prior to the date of the submission of the nomination.
    • These foreign nominations must be submitted to one of the program’s nomination deadlines and the peer review process is not expedited; or
  • a foreign researcher who is employed outside of Canada at the time of the submission of the nomination (note that the extension to submit reference letters does not apply).
    • TIPS has an “open” submission process for the nomination of foreign researchers who are employed outside of Canada at the time of submission, meaning that these foreign nominations are not subject to the set nomination deadlines and are accepted at any time during the year. In cases where peer review is unanimously favourable, the executive director of the CRCP has the delegated authority to approve the funding recommendation made by the College of Reviewers.

The CRCP imposes no restrictions on nominees with regard to nationality or country of residence. Procedures to allow non-Canadian chairholders to work in Canada have been established by Employment and Social Development Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Other procedures have been established by the provincial government of Quebec for foreign researchers taking up a Chair in that province.

Institutions in the National Capital Region (Ottawa-Gatineau) should strongly encourage non-Canadian chairholders to live in the same province in which they work. This is to avoid undue hardship related to the process of becoming a permanent resident.




Letters of Reference

* All nominations must include three letters of reference that meet the CRCP’s conflict of interest requirements. Institutions are provided an additional two weeks after the final deadlines to submit letters to meet this requirement. Institutions should consult the institutional portal to monitor the receipt of letters and ensure that all three letters are received for each of their nominations before the extended deadline.


Note: A nomination that is missing letters of reference after the two-week extended deadline will be withdrawn from the cycle. This extension does not apply to foreign nominations submitted through the “open” submission process.


Please consult the complete guidelines for letters of reference for further information.




CV Updates

** TIPS will accept, by the relevant CV update deadlines indicated above, supplemental information strictly limited to updates regarding newly accepted publications and research support recently secured. This supplemental information must be sent to TIPS as an email attachment (PDF) by the institution’s research office. TIPS will forward the information to members of the Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee as necessary. The information will not be seen by members of the College of Reviewers. Note that only nominations that have received one or more unfavourable assessments from members of the College of Reviewers will be reviewed by the Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee.

Institutions are encouraged to submit all CV updates by the relevant CV update deadline to ensure that committee members have adequate time to consider the supplemental information prior to the committee meeting. Should institutions need to, in extenuating circumstances, submit supplemental information after the relevant CV update deadline, they should contact their institution’s designated program officer with their request.




CV Presentation Specifications

Presentation specifications and page limits are indicated in the nomination form and CV instructions. These requirements ensure that all institutions and nominees have exactly the same amount of space to present their information. This in turn facilitates the work of peer reviewers who must review multiple nominations.


Important note: Institutions are responsible for ensuring that all submissions meet the presentation requirements. Pages or information beyond the limits outlined in the specifications provided will be removed before the nomination is peer reviewed.





Agency Allocation

Each postsecondary institution nominates researchers to fill its allocation of Canada Research Chairs. Institutions must ensure that nominations are submitted under the appropriate agency allocation: CIHR for chairs in health sciences; NSERC for chairs in engineering and natural sciences; and SSHRC for chairs in social sciences and humanities. Complete guidelines on selecting the appropriate federal granting agency for nominations are available at www.science.gc.ca.

Institutions will be asked to change the allocation of a nomination in cases where the proposed research is deemed to be within the mandate of a different agency, and may be required to use the corridor of flexibility to change the allocation.




Agency Requirements for Certain Kinds of Research

All research activities must comply with the Tri-Agency Framework for the Responsible Conduct of Research, including but not limited to section 2.4 Agency Requirements for Certain Types of Research. Institutions and nominees  should reassure peer reviewers in the “proposed research program” section of their nomination that these requirements will be implemented within the research activities where appropriate (e.g., research involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada, research involving human pluripotent stem cells, and integration of gender and sex into health research).




Environmental Impact

Institutions and nominees must review the Environmental Information form (PDF, Appendix A) and determine if any of the situations listed in Part II apply to the proposed research. If the answer is “yes” to at least one of the four questions in Part II, they must complete Appendix A and submit it along with the paper copy of the nomination form. If none of the situations apply to the proposed research activities, no Appendix A is required.




Nomination Resubmissions

If a nomination is not recommended for funding, the institution may nominate the same candidate two more times, for a maximum of three nominations, should its Chair allocation permit.

Please note that if a nomination linked to an accepted Tier 2 justification is not recommended for funding through the program’s peer review process, the institution will be required to resubmit a Tier 2 justification prior to any subsequent resubmission of that candidate.




Requests for Infrastructure Support

Institutions may include a request for infrastructure support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) with their chair nomination.

Through its John R. Evans Leaders Fund, the CFI contributes up to 40 per cent of the total cost of the infrastructure project. The institution and its partners are responsible for securing the remaining funding. Small institutions (those that receive less than one per cent of total granting agency funding) may request up to 100 per cent of the eligible costs of the Canada Research Chairs infrastructure project if the total cost of the project does not exceed $75,000. As well, institutions may also request funding from the CFI for infrastructure that will be shared by two or more chairs.

The CFI’s board of directors is responsible for the review of requests for infrastructure support for successful chair nominations, including foreign nominations. Following the review process, the CFI will communicate the decisions directly to the host institutions.

To apply for CFI infrastructure funding, institutions must use the CFI’s Awards Management System (CAMS), following these steps:

  1. Using the candidate’s account username and password, log in CAMS at: https://www2.innovation.ca/sso/signIn.iface?camsLanguage=en.
  2. Choose Create a new proposal.
  3. Choose John R. Evans Leaders Fund - Funding for research infrastructure associated with an application for research support funding from another program.
  4. Under “Joint funding with,” select CRC.

Note that all CFI requests submitted in conjunction with a chairs nomination must be submitted through CAMS by the program’s application deadlines.




Summary of Nomination Process

Institutions are responsible for ensuring that all submissions meet the program’s specification requirements, as outlined both on the program’s website and in the nomination form instructions. Pages or information beyond the limits outlined in the specifications will be removed before the nomination is peer reviewed.

1

Institution submits strategic research plan and summary (and/or ensures that these are up to date)

2

Institution ensures all individuals involved in nomination and recruitment processes received training on equity, diversity and inclusion, and unconscious bias

3

Institution leads an open, transparent and equitable recruitment and nomination process

Institutional representative fills out and signs Institutional Attestation form, and the original copy is submitted with the nomination package

4

Institution submits a Tier 2 Justification (if applicable)

5

Nominee completes CV form and forwards PIN to institution, and submits self-identification information prior to nomination deadline

6

Institution completes nomination form and CFI request form (if applicable) and secures three letters of reference

7

Institution submits the full nomination package (nomination form, Chairs CV, CFI infrastructure support request, if applicable, and three letters of reference) in two formats:

  1. electronically, through the institutional portal; and
  2. the paper copy (with original signatures) by courier, ensuring the package is postmarked by midnight of the deadline (the paper copy must be an identical version of the electronic version).

Note: Presentation specifications and page limits are indicated in the nomination form and CV form instructions.


The institution must ensure that the nominee has submitted their self-identification to the program by the nomination deadline.

See frequently asked questons for further details on self-identification.

The paper copy must:

8

Institution must email by the deadline (one email) individual PDFs of all job postings and attestation forms for each nomination it submits to the cycle. The program will not accept nominations that do not include evidence of an openly advertised process.

  • Indicate in the email which nominee is associated with each job posting.
  • For foreign nominations submitted off-cycle, email a PDF of the job posting and attestation form at the time of submission.
  • For nominations where the emergency retention mechanism has been used, email a PDF of the transparency statements.

9

Institution submits CV update (if applicable)

  • Supplemental information strictly limited to updates regarding publications and research support must be sent to TIPS as an email attachment (PDF) by the institution’s research office.

10

Institution submits chairholder profile




More Information


General Inquiries

Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat
350 Albert Street, P.O. Box 1610
Ottawa, ON  K1P 6G4
Tel.: 613-996-0239
Fax: 613-943-3282
Email: information@chairs-chaires.gc.ca



Program Officer

Institutions, chairholders or potential nominees should contact their designated program officer for additional information about the nomination process. Browse by province for the program officer assigned to your institution.



Administration

Chris Kelly
Manager, Canada Research Chairs Program
Tel.: 613-943-1438
Email: chris.kelly@chairs-chaires.gc.ca



Inquiries on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Sally Booth
Senior Policy Advisor, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Tel.: 613-947-9203
Email: sally.booth@chairs-chaires.gc.ca

Marie-Lynne Boudreau
Deputy Director, Policy, Performance, Diversity and Inclusion
Tel.: 613-943-7989
Email: marie-lynne.boudreau@chairs-chaires.gc.ca