Government of Canada announces over 200 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs

Significant investments in scientific research will deepen knowledge, enhance quality of life and grow the middle class

December 2, 2016, Toronto, ON—Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat

The Government of Canada values the role that scientists play in contributing the discoveries and innovations that lead to a strong economy, sustainable environment and vibrant middle class. That’s why the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, announced more than $173 million in funding to support a total of 203 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at 48 postsecondary institutions across the country.

The announcement, made today at the University of Toronto, will help support cutting-edge research across the country to advance, for example, research on addictions and mental health, as well as on the environment and climate change. These researchers improve our depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen Canada's international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of highly skilled people through student supervision, teaching, and the coordination of other researchers' work—one breakthrough and discovery at a time.

The University of Toronto will receive $19.7 million for 25 Canada Research Chairs, such as Dr. Barbara Fallon, the new Canada Research Chair in Child Welfare. Her evaluation of child welfare data helps policy-makers determine what works best to help children and their families leaving abusive situations not just survive, but thrive. Dr. Shelley Craig, also at the University of Toronto, is receiving a Canada Research Chair in Sexual and Gender Minority Youth to develop new ways to build resilience in sexual and gender minority youth, a population at greater risk of suicide, social exclusion, and low academic achievement.


“I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the new and renewed Canada Research Chairs. The Government of Canada is proud to support talented researchers whose hard work will improve our scientific understanding and strengthen Canada's reputation for research excellence. The Chairs’ efforts will also provide us with the evidence needed to inform decisions that help us build a vibrant society and a strong middle class.”

- The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

“I am proud to be celebrating the incredible work being done by our talented researchers at the universities in this city, where we can attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds, including at the University of Toronto. The outcome of their research offers unique and essential insights that will contribute to new technologies and services that will benefit our city, province, Canada and the world.”

- The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade

“It has been over 16 years since the Canada Research Chairs Program was developed and it remains a cornerstone of our efforts to attract and retain the best and brightest minds in Canada. This investment by the Government of Canada will advance research and innovation, both to the benefit of Canadians and towards stimulating the global competitiveness of Canadian postsecondary institutions.”

- Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

“World-class research requires state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. With support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation, chairholders have the tools they need to think big and push the boundaries of knowledge in their respective areas of expertise.”

- Gilles Patry, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

“The Canada Research Chairs Program is a crucial asset in our country’s ability to attract and retain the world’s best and most promising researchers. I would like to thank Minister Duncan and the Government of Canada for their magnificent support for globally competitive Canadian research, and for the brilliant work being done by the University of Toronto’s Canada Research Chairs award recipients.”

- Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto

“I am profoundly grateful and honoured to be a Canada Research Chair in Child Welfare. I hope my research will help provide insight and direction to a system whose mandate is to serve the most vulnerable in our society.”

- Barbara Fallon, Canada Research Chair in Child Welfare, University of Toronto

“Canada’s sexual and gender minority youth face significant risks such as suicide, bullying, familial rejection and low academic achievement. That’s why it’s incredibly important to have the support of the Government of Canada to pursue my research to develop new ways to understand and promote their inspirational resilience.”

- Shelley Craig, Canada Research Chair in Sexual and Gender Minority Youth, University of Toronto

Quick facts

  • Today’s announcement represents a $164.5 million investment in the Canada Research Chairs Program with an additional $8.6 million in infrastructure support for the program through the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
  • With today’s announcement, over 1,600 Canada Research Chair holders are working at over 70 postsecondary institutions across the country in a wide range of fields. More than 632 of these chairs are in Ontario.
  • Of the chairholders being announced today, 38 per cent are women. This is a significant increase from 27 per cent female chairholders in the last announcement. 
  • The Canada Foundation for Innovation gives researchers the tools they need to innovate by investing in state-of-the-art facilities and equipment in Canada’s universities, colleges, research hospitals and not-for-profit research institutions.
  • Created in 2000, the Canada Research Chairs Program has helped attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds. Canada Research Chairs deepen our knowledge, enhance our quality of life and grow our economy.

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Contacts (media inquiries only)

Véronique Perron
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science
Tel: 343-291-2600

Anne-Marie Cenaiko
Communications Advisor
Canada Research Chairs Program
Tel: 613-996-8373
Cell: 613-668-9865

Malorie Bertrand
Media Relations and Communications Officer
Canada Foundation for Innovation
Tel: 613-943-2580
Cell: 613-447-1723