The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (OVPRI) is pleased to announce the 2024 Call for Nominations of the University Research Chairs (URC) Program.

Timelines at a glance

Launch of URC Competition: March 11, 2024
Faculty Open Call and Selection Process: March – July 2024
OVPRI Deadline for Faculty Submissions: August 12, 2024
Notification of Results: October 2024
Estimated Start Date of the new Chairs: November 1, 2024 


Status: Open

The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (OVPRI) is inviting internal applications from university researchers, submitted through their faculty, in all of the University’s Strategic Areas of Research. The 2024 URC Call for Nominations includes a joint call for two Chaires de recherche sur le monde francophone (see website for more details about this joint call). 

The purpose of the URC program is to:  

  • recognize researchers with outstanding and sustained accomplishments in research, or those who demonstrate initial, significant achievements with exceptional future promise, while maintaining a solid teaching record; and
  • provide financial support for the Chairholder’s research program, which is in addition to the researcher’s concurrent sources of external funding.

The priority foci of the 2024 Call for Nominations includes:

  1. Partnership, with the goal to enable knowledge transfer, mobilization and impact through a partnered chair stream;  
  2. Fostering a culture of excellence, inclusion and diversity with a commitment to increasing the diversity of our chairholders in the four designated groups;  
  3. The support of research clearly linked to the University’s Strategic Areas of Research.  

There are two streams in the 2024 University Research Chair (URC) Call for Nominations:  

  • Stream 1: Regular URC (25,000$ per year for 5 years);
  • Stream 2: Partnered URC (35,000$ per year for 5 years).

Up to nine (9) University Research Chairs (URC) are available in the 2024 competition, with a minimum of five (5) Stream 2 - Partnered URC. The intention is to fund a similar number of Chairs related to each Tri-Agency mandate. The number of Chairs available may be modified, subject to the availability of funds.  

The Chairs’ research activities will:  

  1. Align with the mandate of an identified Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC).  
  2. Align with one or more identified University Strategic Areas of Research.
  3. Include a commitment to a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity and excellence within the uOttawa research environment as outlined in the EDI Action Plan for Research.  

As part of their application, applicants will select the Tri-Agency and uOttawa Strategic Area of Research with which their work most closely aligns.  

A target of 50% of the awarded URCs will be from members of the four designated groups (as outlined by the Canada Research Chair program): racialized individuals, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, and women and gender equity-seeking groups.  

Faculty’s Research Office’s are required to launch an open call and a transparent selection process. Following the selection process, faculties can submit up to 3 applications to be adjudicated by OVPRI Selection Committees. The Stream (1 or 2), the Strategic Area of Research, and the Tri-Agency mandate linkage will be at the discretion of the applicants and the faculty. Faculties are encouraged to submit a range of applicants, including members of under-represented groups.  

Following adjudication by three OVPRI Selection Committees (expertise related to NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR mandates), final approval of the 2024 University Research Chairs is made by the University of Ottawa’s Research Chairs Evaluation Committee (RCEC). 

Eligibility criteria and terms

Eligibility Criteria  

For Applicants:  

  • Eligible applicants include regular full-time University of Ottawa professors, which includes APUO professors, affiliated Institute Scientists and Clinician Scientists with an academic appointment at uOttawa at the rank of Assistant, Associate and Full Professor.  
  • Note that former or current holders of a chair funded by the University of Ottawa are not eligible to apply for the 2024 URC Call for Nominations – for example: Canada Research Chair, Clinical Research Chair, Chaire de recherche sur le monde francophone, University Research Chair or Distinguished Research Chair. In addition, current holders of Endowed Research Chairs are not eligible to apply.  
  • Applications from individuals identifying in one or more of the four designated groups (racialized individuals, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, and women and gender equity-seeking groups) are encouraged.
  • Applications in both Official Languages are encouraged.

For Partners:  

  • Partners must be external to uOttawa (including external to faculties, departments, centres, institutes and affiliated hospital-based research institutes) and may include non-profit organisations, government organizations and private sector partners.  
  • The partner organization must be at arm’s length (independent) from uOttawa and the applicant.
  • Partnerships can be new or existing and will include the optimization of the use of resources and skills for both parties. For more information, see Evaluation Process section.  

Terms and funding

University Research Chairs (URC) have a five-year term, which can be renewed once, subject to the recommendation from the Faculty Dean and the University of Ottawa’s Research Chairs Evaluation Committee (RCEC). For Stream 2 Chairs, term renewal is subject to continuing partnership and availability of partner funds.

  • Funding - Stream 1:  Chairholders will receive an annual allocation of $25,000 in research funds for the duration of their mandate. Up to $5K of the total budget may be used as a salary supplement to the nominee.
  • Funding - Stream 2: Chairholders will receive an annual allocation of $35,000 in research funds for the duration of their mandate ($20,000 per year should be coming from the selected partner, and $15,000 per year will come from OVPRI and up to $5K of this budget may be used as a salary supplement to the nominee). 

Nomination process

Teaching Release

URC chairholders may be eligible for teaching release of a one-semester course (two to three credits/year) as negotiated with the Dean of the Faculty. 

End of Chair mandate

The University provides two additional years from the end date of the chair to expend any residual funds remaining in the research account. No extension will be granted beyond this period.