Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
October 15, 1999
Ottawa announces new 21st century chairs for research
The federal government has announced a new initiative, the 21st Century Chairs for Research Excellence, intended to keep the best and brightest researchers, scholars and scientists in Canada and to attract top researchers from around the world.
The government will fund the creation of 1,200 new research positions at Canadian universities over the next three years, at a cost of $180 million per year. An additional 800 chairs will be added as soon as possible, at an annual cost of $120 million.
"This is a wonderful commitment by the federal government and will contribute significantly to our ability to attract and retain the world's best scholars," said University of Guelph president Mordechai Rozanski. "I applaud the prime minister and his government for this important demonstration of support for research and scholars in our universities."
The program builds upon and expands the successful research chair programs sponsored over the past 15 years, in partnership with industry, by the three federal granting councils, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Medical Research Council (MRC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
"I would expect and advise that these Chairs be awarded across the humanities, social sciences and sciences, addressing the need to promote scholarship throughout our universities, because discovery and new knowledge in all fields are central to our quality of life, our social, cultural and economic well-being," said Rozanski.
Allocation will be driven principally by universities' success in competitions for granting council funds. "As we have traditionally done very well in the number of research awards per faculty member received from all three granting councils, I am optimistic that the University of Guelph will do very well in receiving funding for Chairs under this new initiative," said Vice-President (Research) Larry Milligan.
The 21st Century Chairs for Research Excellence will consist of two tiers, one for researchers with a proven track record of leading research endeavours, and a second aimed at attracting rising stars, those who will be the leaders of tomorrow.
Universities will submit proposals to a competitive peer review process administered by the three granting councils. Chairs will be funded for five to seven years and will be renewable through the competitive process.
For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3338