Renew a Chair

Universities can request to renew a Canada Research Chair or to advance a Tier 2 chairholder to a Tier 1 Chair.

A Tier 1 Chair, which can be renewed indefinitely, is eligible for renewal in its sixth year.

A Tier 2 Chair, which can be renewed only once, is eligible for renewal in its fourth year.

Once a university becomes eligible to renew a Chair, it has two consecutive nomination cycles to do so. If a university misses both cycle deadlines, it may no longer submit a renewal nomination, but may, if the nominee is eligible, submit a new nomination. Responsibility for any break in funding incurred by a failure to meet these deadlines shall be assumed by the university.

The value and duration of the awards remain as they were for the original appointments. As well, applications to renew a Chair undergo the same rigorous peer-review process used to evaluate the initial nominations.

Universities must ensure that renewal nominations are submitted under the appropriate agency chair allocation (NSERC: engineering and the natural sciences; CIHR: health sciences; SSHRC: social sciences and humanities).  Complete guidelines on selecting the appropriate agency allocation for Canada Research Chairs nominations are available at

Universities will be asked to change the agency 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 if necessary.

Tier 2 Chairs are not meant to be a feeder group to Tier 1 Chairs. The intent of 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 allocations, universities should develop a succession plan for their Tier 2 Chairs.

Schedule of Final Renewal Submission Dates
Eligibility of chairholders for renewal
Selection criteria for renewals
Request for infrastructure support from CFI
Process to request the renewal of a Chair
Emerging negative decision


Chair end date Final renewal submission date Anticipated decision date
September 30, 2013 April 29, 2013 October 2013
October 31, 2013
November 30, 2013
December 31, 2013
January 31, 2014
February 28, 2014
March 31, 2014 October 21, 2013 April 2014
April 30, 2014
May 31, 2014
June 30,  2014
July 31, 2014
August 31, 2014
September 30, 2014 April 28, 2014 October 2014
October 31, 2014
November 30, 2014
December 31, 2014
January 31, 2015
February 28, 2015
March 31, 2015 October 10, 2014 April 2015
April 30, 2015
May 31, 2015
June 30,  2015
July 31, 2015
August 31, 2015
September 30, 2015 April 27, 2015 October 2015
October 31, 2015
November 30, 2015
December 31, 2015
January 31, 2016
February 29, 2016
March 31, 2016 October 9, 2015 April 2016
April 30, 2016
May 31, 2016
June 30,  2016
July 31, 2016
August 31, 2016

The dates above indicate the last possible submission date for renewal nominations. If a university misses the last possible cycle deadline to submit a renewal, it may no longer submit a renewal nomination, but may, if the nominee is eligible, submit a new nomination. Responsibility for any break in funding incurred by a failure to meet these deadlines shall be assumed by the university.

Presentation specifications and page limits are indicated in the nomination form and curriculum vitae 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. Failure to respect these specifications may render a nomination ineligible.

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Eligibility of chairholders for renewal

For the purposes of this program, "renewal of a Chair" refers to a university nominating a current Canada Research Chair to continue for an additional term in the same position at the same institution.

Please note that the following are not considered renewals, but rather new nominations:

  • nominating a Tier 2 chairholder to a Tier 1 Chair;
  • nominating an individual to replace a current or former chairholder;
  • nominating a chairholder at one institution to a Chair at another institution.

Also note that:

  • To be renewed, chairholders must still be full-time faculty members at the nominating institution.
  • Universities cannot renew the Chair of an individual who has retired.
  • If a researcher resigns from a Tier 2 Chair position at one university and accepts a Tier 2 Chair at another university, he or she cannot be nominated for a third term, regardless of the number of years in the initial term.
  • The program does not allow resubmissions of unsuccessful applications for renewals.
  • A Tier 2 justification is not required for Tier 2 renewal nominations.

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Selection criteria for renewals

The Chairs program is founded upon an uncompromising commitment to excellence in research and research training. This applies as much to applications for renewals as it does to initial nominations.

Accordingly, as for the original nominations, reviewers will assess all requests for renewal against the following two criteria:

  1. quality of the chairholder and of his or her proposed program of research;
  2. quality of the institutional environment, institutional commitment and fit of the proposed Chair with the university's strategic research plan.

In addition, the renewal nomination form includes a performance report that clearly demonstrates how the chairholder has achieved the objectives set out in the original nomination, that they have upheld the standards of excellence of the program, and what the added value has been of holding a Canada Research Chair. This report forms part of the documentation that reviewers will assess in order to arrive at a recommendation for the Steering Committee.

Tier 1 renewals

In applying to renew a Tier 1 Chair, the university must clearly demonstrate that the Chair:

  • continues to distinguish him/herself as an outstanding, and world-class researcher;
  • has successfully attracted, developed and retained and continues to attract, develop and retain excellent trainees, students to the university or affiliated institute;
  • is proposing an original and innovative program of research of the highest quality; and
  • is carrying out a program of research that is producing leading-edge results which are making a significant impact at the international level.

Tier 2 renewals

In applying to renew a Tier 2 Chair, the university must clearly demonstrate that the Chair:

  • is developing into an outstanding researcher of world-class calibre and is poised to become a leader in his or her field;
  • has successfully attracted, developed and retained and will continue to attract, develop and retain excellent trainees and students to the university or affiliated institute;
  • is carrying out a program of research that is producing important results which are making a significant impact in the field; and
  • is proposing an original and innovative program of research of high quality.

Note: Canada Research Chairholders’ involvement in intellectual leadership activities such as the stewardship of large initiatives (e.g., leading a national network, national facility or smaller network) is important, and may allow them to have influence and impact beyond their own institution at national and international levels. Such involvement may, however, in some cases, negatively affect their research outputs, as measured by traditional peer review metrics such as the publication record. External reviewers and committee members are asked to take into consideration nominees’ legitimate intellectual leadership activities when assessing their potential productivity as a chairholder with regard to their proposed program of research.

As well, both career interruptions (when for health or family reasons, a nominee is taken away from their research work for an extended period of time) and personal circumstances (when for health, family or other reasons a nominee has a slow-down in research productivity) may affect the record of research achievement of nominees. External reviewers and committee members take these into account and carefully consider their impact when assessing nominees’ research productivity.

Institutional environment

The university must describe the quality of the institutional environment in which the Chair will continue to function in, and contribute to, 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.

Institutional commitment

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

Strategic research plan

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

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Request for infrastructure support from CFI

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 Chair infrastructure project if the total cost of the project does not exceed $75,000. As well, universities 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 universities.

To apply for CFI infrastructure funding, institutions must log onto the CFI's Awards Management System (CAMS), choose ‘‘Create a new proposal’, then ‘John R. Evans Leaders Fund – Funding for research infrastructure associated with an application for research support funding from another program’ and select ‘CRC’ under ‘Joint funding with’.

Note that the CFI request must be submitted in CAMS by the Chairs program’s deadline dates.

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Process to request the renewal of a Chair

1 If applicable, submit updated strategic research plan and summary
2 Submit updated curriculum vitae for chairholder
3 Submit renewal form (including updated curriculum vitae and CFI request)

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Emerging negative decision

Renewal nominations that are not recommended for support by the Interdisciplinary Adjudication Committee are automatically entered into the Emerging Negative Decision (END) process. For these nominations, the university is sent a synopsis of IAC’s concerns and the College of Reviewers’ reports. The university must address the concerns outlined by the peer reviewers in a two-page maximum report (appendices are not permitted) by the deadline provided by the Secretariat.

At its subsequent meeting, IAC reviews the original renewal nomination and the supplementary information provided by the university, and makes a final funding recommendation to the Steering Committee. If the university fails to provide a report by the deadline provided, the nomination is automatically sent to the Steering Committee with a recommendation to not fund the nomination.

Break in funding

If the chairholder’s term ends before the final decision on the renewal nomination is made, a conditional award is placed on the nomination; should the final decision be to approve the renewal of the Chair, the start date of the award will be the first day of the month following the chairholder’s end date. However, the university is temporarily responsible for the costs of salary and research for the period between the chairholder’s end date and the notification of decision.

Should the final funding decision be unfavourable, the university will not be reimbursed for the payments made to the chairholder after his or her end date. However, in accordance with the program’s allowed six-month phase-out period, the payment of outstanding commitments from the funds remaining in the Chair's account may continue.

Please note that during the period between the chairholder’s end date and the notification of decision, the chairholder may continue to use his or her Canada Research Chair title.

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More information

General inquiries:
Canada Research Chairs Secretariat
350 Albert Street, P.O. Box 1610
Ottawa, ON K1P 6G4
Tel: 613-943-3087
Fax: 613-943-3282

Inquiries about equity:
Louise-Michelle Verrier
Manager, Policies, Planning and Performance
Tel: 613-995-3236