Requirements for recruiting and nominating Canada Research Chairs


Update September 2018: These new institutional requirements are an update to the program’s Guidelines for ensuring a fair and transparent recruitment and nomination process (implemented in 2011) and are being implemented as part of its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.


Before reading the requirements below, please note the following:

  • These requirements are in effect for new recruitment processes that start after September 10, 2018.
  • If a recruitment process took place prior to these requirements taking effect, an institution must submit a formal letter with its nomination outlining exactly how the process followed the previous guidelines.
  • The program will not accept a nomination if the recruitment process starts after September 10, 2018, and does not meet the requirements.
  • The program will actively monitor to ensure that these requirements are followed. In cases where the results of a monitoring exercise find a recruitment process did not follow the requirements, the program reserves the right to withdraw a nomination, suspend future payments or terminate the award of an already active chair.

All Canada Research Chair positions must be filled using the following requirements for recruitment and nomination, which are based on the principles of openness, transparency and accountability. These outline the minimum requirements that institutions must meet when filling a chair allocation. Institutions are encouraged to incorporate additional best practices within their processes.




1) Institutional accountability

  • When filling a chair allocation, institutions must consider the need to meet and sustain their current equity and diversity targets to address the underrepresentation of individuals from the four designated groups (women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples and members of visible minorities) within their allocation of chairs.
  • These requirements apply to all nominations (other than renewals), whether the chair is used for internal recruitment (only open to existing faculty) or external recruitment (to attract new faculty), and in cases where an active Tier 2 chairholder is nominated to a Tier 1 Chair at the same institution. 
  • Before beginning the recruitment process, the institution must identify a senior level university official, who will be responsible for ensuring that the requirements have been followed and will attest to this by signing the program’s Institutional Attestation - Recruitment and Nomination Process Form.
  • The program will not accept nominations where the job posting and/or recruitment and nomination process do not follow the requirements.
  • The Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) reserves the right to ask institutions to provide, at any time within 48 months following a nomination submission, documentation that demonstrates that the requirements were followed. See examples of documentation.
  • The program will actively monitor to ensure that these requirements are followed. In cases where the results of a monitoring exercise find a recruitment process did not follow the requirements, the program reserves the right to withdraw a nomination, suspend future payments or terminate the award of an already active chair.



2) Allocating Chair positions

The institution must:

  • take into account its equity and diversity targets and gaps when allocating a Chair position to a department or faculty, when deciding which field to support with a Chair and whether to limit the pool to internal candidates; and
  • consider the potential of drawing a diverse pool of candidates when defining the targeted field of research, outlining a broader field of research is more likely to attract a more diverse pool of candidates.



3) Advertisements / job postings

The institution must:

  • publicly advertise all Chair positions on its public accountability web page for a minimum of 30 days prior to the closing of the competition (this applies to all new nominations, even those only open to existing faculty). Note that all postings must be archived and publicly available for a minimum of three years;
  • email to edi-edi@chairs-chaires.gc.ca the links to all job postings that advertise chair positions on the exact day they are posted online. The program will actively monitor all job postings to ensure that they meet the requirements outlined below;
  • in keeping with transparency, a job posting may be advertised no more than two years prior to the nomination being put forward to TIPS.

A job posting must:

  • clearly state the date on which it has been posted online;
  • clearly state that the position is for a Canada Research Chair and identify the field of research and tier level (Tier 1 or Tier 2);
  • if for a Tier 2 Chair, specifically refer to the program’s Tier 2 justification process, and not use language that is misleading nor exclusionary regarding eligibility of a Tier 2 Chair (see more information on Chair Position Postings for Tier 2 Chairs);
  • include a statement that recognizes the legitimate impact that leaves (e.g., maternity leave, leave due to illness) can have on a candidate’s record of research achievement and that these leaves will be taken into careful consideration during the assessment process;
  • encourage individuals from all four designated groups to apply;
  • include the institution’s commitment statement to equity, diversity and inclusion;
  • include a statement on the institution’s accommodation policies and provide the contact information of someone who can address requests for accommodations (e.g., to accommodate candidates with hearing impairments, mobility restrictions, etc.); and
  • use inclusive, unbiased and ungendered language focused only on the qualifications and skills necessary for the job.



4) Search for candidates

Institutions must ensure:

  • proactive efforts are made to identify a diverse pool of potential applicants, which may include:
    • ensuring that the targeted field of research is sufficiently broadly defined;
    • advertising in targeted venues (professional societies and associations of designated groups); or
    • using recruitment firms/agencies;
  • the selection criteria and assessment process are finalized prior to the process being undertaken, and are applied consistently and fairly to all candidates;
  • the search and hiring committees’ evaluation processes and decisions are carefully documented at each stage of the process;
  • that potential conflict of interest within the process is managed accordingly;
  • the institution’s equity officer (or a committee member / institutional official identified as the equity, diversity and inclusion champion) is involved and consulted at all stages of the process (from proposal development to the final selection of the candidate); and
  • self-identification data is collected from all applicants using best practices.



5) Nomination committee

A group of individuals (a committee and not a sole individual) must use a fair and objective recruitment and nomination process when making all decisions.

The recruitment and nomination committee must:

  • have some representation from underrepresented populations, including a minimum of one individual from one of the four designated groups;
  • include an equity and diversity officer (or a committee member / institutional official identified as the equity, diversity and inclusion champion);
  • have received training regarding the potential negative impacts that unconscious bias can have on assessment and decision-making processes, and on the career paths of individuals from the four designated groups;
  • be aware of the institution’s commitment and strategy for meeting (or sustaining) its equity and diversity targets and any gaps; and
  • use best practices to protect the privacy and personal information of all applicants (e.g., self-identification data, information related to leaves).



6) Nomination decision

The recruitment and nomination committee must:

  • fairly consider the impact of leaves on a potential candidate’s record when assessing research outputs;
  • consider that leaves can contribute to a career slowdown as individuals transition to being on leave and transition back to work (e.g., pregnancy can, in some cases where there may be complications, impact a woman’s productivity prior to being on official maternity leave);
  • ensure that the assessment process does not undervalue scholarship or research that is non-traditional or unconventional, based in Indigenous ways of knowing, outside the mainstream of the discipline, or focused on issues of gender, race or minority status;
  • ensure that the need for workplace accommodations does not negatively impact a candidate’s assessment;
  • review the final hiring decision (and challenge it, if necessary) to ensure that unconscious bias did not negatively impact the decision-making progress and that it is aligned with the institution’s equity, diversity and inclusion action plan; and
  • provide a written nomination committee report, signed by all committee members, to the senior university official attesting to how these requirements have been met.



7) Nomination

Prior to submitting a nomination to TIPS, the designated senior university official must review the recruitment and nomination process, the corresponding documentation, and the nomination package to ensure that:

  • the requirements have been followed;
  • the nomination is aligned with both the program’s commitment to equity and diversity and the institution’s equity, diversity and inclusion action plan; and
  • the level of institutional support (e.g., level of protected time for research, research stipend, mentoring, etc.) being provided to the individual is fair and comparable to other chairholders at the institution.

The designated senior university official must duly sign the Institutional Attestation - Recruitment and Nomination Process form, which must be included in the nomination package submitted to the program.




8) Emergency retention mechanism

Institutions may only use Canada Research Chair positions for emergency retention (i.e., where a position is offered without a competitive process to an individual to retain them within the institution) in very exceptional circumstances. The emergency retention mechanism may only be used by institutions that are meeting their equity and diversity targets for all four designated groups or in cases where the nomination contributes to meeting these targets.

In keeping with the principles of openness and transparency, institutions must publicly demonstrate the exceptional nature of these types of nominations on their public accountability and transparency web pages by posting transparency statements that include:

  • their intention to nominate an individual using the emergency retention mechanism;
  • a detailed justification explaining why the emergency retention mechanism is being used (while being careful not to disclose the nominee’s personal information);
  • confirmation that their equity and diversity targets have been taken into consideration in the decision;
  • the name and contact information of the senior level university official who has approved the decision; and
  • the name and contact information of a university representative who can respond to questions or concerns regarding the nomination.

Institutions must:

  • keep their transparency statements public for at least 30 days prior to submitting their nominations, to provide enough time for discussion at the institutional level;
  • email to edi-edi@chairs-chaires.gc.ca links to and PDFs of the statements on the same day they are posted online;
  • submit copies of the statements with their nominations; and
  • archive all statements so that they are publicly available on the institution’s public accountability and transparency web pages for a minimum of three years.



9) Renewals

To ensure openness and transparency with their current chairholders, institutions must establish clear criteria to determine whether a Chair will be nominated for renewal, and communicate these criteria to chairholders at the beginning and during their terms, as needed.

Tier 1 third-term nominations

Tier 1 Chairs cannot be renewed for a third term except in very exceptional circumstances. See Eligibility for Renewal for more information and for what is required in a transparency statement, where applicable. Institutions must:

  • email to edi-edi@chairs-chaires.gc.ca links to and PDFs of their transparency statements the same day they are posted online;
  • submit copies of the statements with their nominations; and
  • archive all statements so that they are publicly available on the institution’s public accountability and transparency web pages for a minimum of three years.



10) Monitoring of recruitment and nomination processes

TIPS will conduct regular monitoring exercises to ensure that institutions are following these requirements. Institutions may be asked to provide, at any time within the 48 months following the submission of a nomination, evidence that the process met the requirements. In cases where the results of a monitoring exercise find that the requirements have not been followed, the program reserves the right to withdraw the nomination, or suspend future payments or terminate the award of an active Chair.

The following outlines examples of documentation that the institution may be asked to provide:

  • membership details of the recruitment and nomination committee;
  • the names of senior officials responsible for ensuring the recruitment process was in line with the institution’s equity and diversity targets and the program’s requirements for an open and transparent recruitment process;
  • a description of the equity, diversity and inclusion training provided to individuals who participated in the process (including training on unconscious bias);
  • a description of the role of the equity and diversity officer or designated equity, diversity and inclusion champion;
  • a description of the strategy and proactive efforts made to identify a diverse pool of potential applicants;
  • a description of the measures used to ensure that individuals who required accommodation or who experienced career interruptions were not disadvantaged during the nomination process;
  • evaluation criteria and assessment grids;
  • copies of relevant internal policies and guidelines (e.g., equity policies, tenure-track hiring practices/policies, collective agreement or equivalent); and
  • a description of the best practices used to collect data on the participation of individuals from the four designated groups, including a copy of the self-identification form.



Questions

If you have enquiries related to these requirements or the program’s equity, diversity and inclusion practices, please contact:

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

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