Congratulations to the new and renewed Canada Research Chairs and inaugural Robbins-Ollivier award for excellence in equity recipients

Today, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced an investment of close to $134 million to support 157 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs at 35 Canadian research institutions. The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), a program partner, will invest close to $5 million to support 22 of the projects, at 12 institutions, through its John R. Evans Leaders Fund.

The Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) directly supports emerging and established researchers across health, engineering, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities disciplines, and enhances research excellence in Canada. CFI funding helps cover infrastructure costs associated with chairs’ research activities.

Today’s investment will make more discoveries and research contributions possible in areas important to Canadians, such as aging and migration; the impact of plastics on the environment; youth and mental health; epidemiology and global public health; deep learning and AI alignment; Indigenous children’s well-being; and technology and social change.

An additional $300,000 will be distributed among the three recipients of the inaugural Robbins-Ollivier Award for Excellence in Equity. The award recognizes the contributions made by professors Marjorie Griffin Cohen, Louise Forsyth, Glenis Joyce, Audrey Kobayashi, Shree Mulay, Susan Prentice, and the late professors Michèle Ollivier and Wendy Robbins toward increasing equity within the CRCP and Canada’s research ecosystem more broadly. The award supports bold and transformative initiatives to make institutions more equitable, diverse and inclusive.

This year’s awardees include teams of faculty and students led by:

  • Nora Casson at the University of Winnipeg, Pathways to Science (P2S1) program
  • Tina Chen at the University of Manitoba, Dismantling Ableism and Promoting Equity for Persons with Disabilities: Institutional Action and Accountability
  • Godwin Arku at Western University, Diversity Western: Enhancing the Black Experience

A diverse research ecosystem that is reflective of the Canadian population is integral to research excellence. It is vital that Canada continues to attract and retain top researchers, including those who face systemic barriers, such as women, gender-equity-seeking groups, persons with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples, and racialized individuals. The Robbins-Ollivier Award for Excellence in Equity is a commitment to the research community to continue to ensure all excellent researchers can participate in the Canadian research ecosystem.

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