Canada Research Chairs

The Canada Research Chairs Program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world’s top countries in research and development.

Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in engineering and the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences. They 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.

Tier 1 Chairs, tenable for seven years and renewable, are for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. For each Tier 1 Chair, the university receives $200,000 annually for seven years.

Tier 2 Chairs, tenable for five years and renewable once, are for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. For each Tier 2 Chair, the university receives $100,000 annually for five years, with an additional $20,000 annual research stipend for first-term Tier 2 Chairs. 

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Canada Research Chairs Equity Mission Statement

The University of Ottawa is committed to ensuring equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the scholarly and leadership environments of our students, staff, and faculty. To support this commitment, uOttawa created in 2023 the position of Vice-Provost, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusive Excellence. They are responsible for the strategic direction of the University with regards to EDI, including institutional leadership and engagement, all within a broader mandate centred on environmental, social, and governance principles.

Specifically, the University of Ottawa strongly supports a workplace environment that removes disparities experienced by the designated groups in Canada: women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, gender minorities and members of visible minorities, as defined in the Employment Equity Act. To this end, we have implemented the Requirements for Recruiting and Nominating Canada Research Chairs and integrated these requirements within our CRC recruitment practices at the University of Ottawa. These requirements are based on the Canadian Human Rights Settlement Agreement and its 2019 Addendum between the Canada Research Chairs Program and eight faculty members who filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in 2003. Measures to encourage the full participation of people from the four designated groups at uOttawa include, for example:

  • Underlining the importance of identifying and attracting excellent candidates from the designated groups to the Chairs of selection committees and to research administrators;  
  • Ensuring the diversity of members within selection committees and requiring that they provide a clear rationale when candidates from the designated groups are not selected;
  • Promoting awareness and encouraging self-identification of candidates from the designated groups in order to provide the necessary measures to accommodate special needs during the selection process;
  • Providing training to the administrative staff who support the recruitment process.

The University of Ottawa is required to report regularly to the Federal Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) on its progress in reaching the equity targets established by the program. As a complementary best practice, the University also provide regular updates to foster further awareness and engagement within the uOttawa research community.


The original CRC Institutional Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan was approved by the University’s Senior Administrative Committee in September 2017 and submitted to the Canada Research Chairs Program in December 2017. It has now been updated to include additional details on the evidence that informed the development of the plan, to clarify processes, and to incorporate new requirements of the program. Progress towards meeting objectives will be reviewed regularly; a progress report will be tabled annually with our Senior Administration Committee; and the plan will be modified as required. We wish to recognize all those in the uOttawa academic and research community who contributed to the development of the original plan and its revision. This includes:

  • uOttawa Diversity and Inclusion Employment Equity Sub-Committee, a sub-committee of the President’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (2017);
  • Diversity and Inclusion Specialist (C. Bourque), uOttawa Human Rights Office (2017 and 2018);
  • Individual Research Chairs and Researchers from FDGs; Senior Administrators, Research and Academic (2017 and 2018);
  • Dr. Steffany Bennett, President’s Special Advisor, Diversity and Inclusion (2018);
  • Vice-President Research Committee on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Excellence (IDEE) (2018)
  • Members of the EDI Advisory Committee for Research (2020-ongoing)

Strategy for raising awareness

As demonstrated in the revised CRC EDI Action Plan, many actions were undertaken by the University in the past few years to identify challenges with regard to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, with the aim of raising awareness and further engaging different sectors in implementing concrete actions.

It is within this context that in the fall of 2018 the Vice-President of Research struck an Ad-Hoc Committee on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Excellence (IDEE) to better inform the University’s research enterprise. Working in synergy with other working groups, the IDEE committee advised on new requirements for equity action plans for federal research programs and on strategies to foster a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity and excellence within uOttawa’s research portfolio. The committee worked with Professor Steffany Bennett, Special Advisor to President in matters of Diversity and Inclusion.

Specifically, actions such as incorporating EDI in the strategic planning of research; developing indicators to measure EDI success within the research context (e.g. meeting and/or exceeding EDI targets, number of preferential hiring for CRCs, number of CRC or prizes nominations submitted by members of the FDGs and success rates); taking a leadership role by raising awareness and promoting EDI activities within and across university services; integrating EDI related tasks and/or training within employee objective setting and performance evaluation review are a few examples. For more information, please refer to Objective #4 in the Revised CRC Institutional EDI Action Plan.

Since 2020, a new Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee was created to make recommendations on the development and implementation of the uOttawa Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan for Research, including the creation of a full-time position dedicated to support EDI initiatives and training for the research community. The University of Ottawa also participated in the Dimensions pilot program and was awarded the Foundation level recognition in early 2023.

uOttawa equity targets and results for the designated groups

As a complementary best practice and in the spirit of openness and transparency, the University of Ottawa is making public the results and findings of its target-setting exercise, while respecting the Privacy Act.

Designated groupsTargets 2029 and number of chairsNumber as of July 1, 2023
Tier 1 - Tier 2
Women and Gender MinoritiesTarget in chairs13 - 19
Women and Gender MinoritiesNumber of chairs10 - 21
Visible minoritiesTarget in chairs6 - 8
Visible minoritiesNumber of chairs10 - 11
People with disabilitiesTarget in chairs2 - 3
People with disabilitiesNumber of chairsLower than 5 - Lower than 5
Indigenous peoplesTarget in chairs1 - 2
Indigenous peoplesNumber of chairsLower than 5 - Lower than 5

In keeping with the Privacy Act, numbers lower than five were removed to protect the privacy of chairholders.

Note: The information in the table above reflects the number of individuals who self-declared as members of the designated groups to the Canada Research Chairs Program.

The Canada Research Chairs Program is also committed to making available to the public statistics related to the use and distribution of CRCs across Canada. For instance, information related to equity in Program, Equity targets and results of participating institutions are also available on their website (see the program’s population-based Institutional Equity Targets 2021-2029).

Additional information

Equity concerns or complaints

Alison Hosey
Assistant Vice-President, Research Services
Tel: 613-562-5800 ext. 1240
[email protected]

Equity concerns or complaints are treated as confidential and can be addressed to the Assistant Vice-President, Research Services. The Assistant Vice-President or his/her representative will listen to the complaint, answer questions and/or provide contextual information, and will offer solutions, if warranted. If necessary, a formal meeting with the University’s Vice-President of Research and Innovation (VPRI) can also be scheduled to resolve the situation. As for the monitoring of complaints, Research Management Services will submit an annual report to the VPRI (if any received) and subsequently, review/modify internal processes if warranted.

General complaints related to harassement and/or discrimination