Strategic Research Plan (5-10 pages)
The Strategic Research Plan (SRP) is the only planning document a university will require in working with the Canada Research Chairs program, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and any federal granting agency program that requires an SRP, e.g. the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program. The president, rector or principal of an eligible university or affiliated research institute is accountable for the SRP, which must be supported by the university's most senior planning body.
Once a university has filed the SRP and SRP Summary, it may submit nominations for the Chair positions identified in the plan.
The SRP must explain:
- how the university will deploy its allocated Chairs to attract and retain researchers who are recognized internationally as leaders in their field; and
- if the university chooses to do so at this stage, how the university will use CFI infrastructure funds.
The first section of the SRP could:
- describe the major objectives of the plan;
- identify the research areas in which the university intends to develop or maintain excellence;
- include a table showing the number of Tier 1 and Tier 2 Chairs planned for each research area, the time period covered in the SRP, and the council pool to which these chairs are assigned;
- identify how the university proposes to address the issue of gender representation in Canada Research Chair nominations and to monitor its progress in addressing this issue;
- estimate the number of Chairs the university will offer to its current faculty in order to enhance their opportunities and keep them at the institution;
- estimate the number of Chairs the university will offer to researchers in Canada and, as applicable, to researchers outside Canada;
- explain, if applicable, why the proposed allocation deviates in its proportion of Tier 1 and Tier 2 Chairs and discipline groups, from the granting agencies' initial allocations;
- describe how the university will assess its progress in meeting the objectives set out in the SRP; and
- describe the planning and approval process at the University and the involvement of affiliated institutions.
Priority Areas of Research
Some universities may focus on developing or maintaining excellence in only one area of research; others may pursue several. Universities
may wish to address the following questions:
- What are the objectives in cultivating a particular area or areas of research?
- What are the university's current research strengths? In areas where the university is already very strong, what difference will a Canada Research Chair make? What measures will the university take to develop strengths in areas of research it has designated as priorities for its strategic research plan?
- To what extent will the university collaborate, partner and network with other institutions to help develop or maintain excellence in its priority areas of research? Is it already involved in collaboration, partnership or networking in one or more areas of special importance (e.g., in a Network of Centres of Excellence)?
- To accomplish its objectives and funds from other sources: how does the university propose to use its own resources, the Chairs program, other granting agency programs, CFI, and other outside sources?
- What are the expected observable outcomes of achieving the objectives? What will demonstrate that the university has met its goals and is achieving international status in given areas of research? To aid in evaluating the Chairs program in general and appointments for renewal in particular, what results or milestones does the university expect to be able to point to four to six years after it has made its Canada Research Chair appointments?
Strategic Research Plan Summary (2-5 pages)
The SRP provides an overview of the main research directions of each university. Members of the College of Reviewers consult the summaries when assessing how the Chair nomination proposals fit with the universities' strategic plans for the future. For their part, universities can use the knowledge the summaries afford of other institutions' research plans to transform potential duplication into complementary activities.
Researchers, in Canada and abroad, who are interested in being nominated as Chairs, may also search these summaries to identify which universities are active within their specific areas of research interest.
The SRP Summary must:
- outline the major objectives of the SRP;
- outline priority areas for research and research training;
- identify how the university proposes to address the issue of gender representation in Canada Research Chairs nominations and to monitor its progress in addressing this issue;
- highlight those areas of research in which the university intends to deploy Chairs and/or CFI support (a table should indicate the number of Tier 1 and Tier 2 Chairs planned for each area of research);
- describe what the university has done to develop research and research training in these areas and its plans for any new areas of research it intends to develop;
- mention planned inter-institutional and inter-sectoral collaborations;
- describe how the university will assess its success in meeting its objectives;
- describe the university's planning and approval process and indicate the involvement of affiliated institutions.