Canada Research Chair
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Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) are prestigious Canadian university research professorships created through the Canada Research Chairs Program. The CRC positions are created to attract the world's best scholars in various disciplines to be part of the Canadian university system.
The program, established in 2000, is an integral part of a Government of Canada plan to drive Canadian research and development excellence, to create world-class centres of research and to enhance Canada's competitiveness in the global knowledge-based economy. Through the CRC program, $300 million is spent annually to attract and retain outstanding scholars and scientists.
Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in natural sciences, engineering, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences. They improve Canadas’ depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen the country’s international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of the highly skilled through student supervision, teaching, and the coordination of other researchers’ work.
Types of chairs
There are two types of Canada Research Chair:
- Tier 1 Chairs – tenable for seven years and renewable indefinitely, are for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. Nominees for Tier 1 positions are full professors or associate professors who are expected to be promoted to the full professor level within one or two years of the nomination (or, if coming from outside the academic sector, nominees must possess the necessary qualifications to be appointed at these levels by the nominating university). 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. Nominees for Tier 2 positions are assistant or associate professors (or they possess the necessary qualifications to be appointed at these levels by the nominating university). For each Tier 2 Chair, the university receives $100,000 annually for five years.
The number of CRCs allocated to a university is proportional to the amount of research grant funding that university has received in the three years prior to the year of the allocation. Grant funding must originate from the three federal granting agencies (NSERC, CIHR, and SSHRC).
Of the total 2000 Chairs, 1880 are regular allocations, distributed as follows:
- 846 Chairs (45 per cent) for research in natural sciences and engineering;
- 658 Chairs (35 per cent) for research in health sciences;
- 376 Chairs (20 per cent) for research in social sciences and humanities.
The program sets aside a special allocation of 120 Chairs for universities that have received one per cent or less of the total funding paid out by the three federal granting agencies over the preceding three years.
Roughly 66% of Chairs are allocated to member institutions of the U15, a group of the top research-intensive universities in Canada.
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List of Canada Research Chairs
The Canada Research Chairs Program maintains an online database of profiles of each chairholder, which include detailed descriptions of each of their research projects.
The Canada Research Chairs Insignia
On March 27, 2008, the Government of Canada's Ministry of Industry, as well as the presidents of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research presented each chairholder with a Canada Research Chair insignia at a national celebration of the program held at the Université du Québec en Outaouais in Gatineau, Quebec. The lapel pin, made of sterling silver, symbolizes the pursuit of knowledge and research excellence and is available exclusively to chairholders. As of November 2007, there are 1,851 Canada Research Chairs. Seventy Canadian universities are participating in the program.