Update on NSERC Gender Equity Initiatives




NSERC has recently updated its report on Women in Science and Engineering in Canada which tracks data on women in science and engineering in Canada from 2004 to 2013. Although some progress has been made in advancing the participation of women in STEM, much still needs to be done to address enduring gaps. This report will be made available publicly in the coming weeks. Building a diverse research base is a crucial goal of NSERC's vision for 2020. NSERC's recent actions addressing equity and diversity include:

NSERC Framework on Gender Equity

In the coming weeks, NSERC will formally launch its Framework on Gender Equity and Diversity, an action plan designed to ensure that our program criteria consider gender equity and diversity as key components of research excellence. The Framework builds on the premise that excellence in research is achieved through inclusiveness and gender diversity. 

The launch of the Framework will include an opportunity for the community to provide feedback and will serve as a key discussion point at the Gender Summit in November 2017 (see below). 

Strategic Partnership Grants for Networks

In the next round of funding for the Strategic Partnership Grants for Networks, applicants must strive for diversity and increased gender equity when developing their group of co-applicants, collaborators and trainees.  Applicants must outline the measures that will be implemented to advance gender equity within the structure of the proposed network and its activities.

This initiative is an action item under the Framework on Gender Equity and Diversity and follows on similar updates to the CREATE program and Canada Graduate Scholarships program.

For more information about the updates to this application process, please visit the program page.

Canada Excellence Research Chairs

The Canada Excellence Research Chairs program is committed to equity and diversity by promoting access for all qualified candidates. Moving forward, equity and diversity will be strongly emphasized in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the competition, consistent with the government's expectations for a more gender-balanced and diverse set of CERC awardees.

For more information about the application and nomination processes, please visit the website.

NSERC Prizes

Each year, NSERC recognizes top university and college prize winners at Rideau Hall at our Top Researchers Awards ceremony. We are strongly encouraging nominators of all NSERC prizes to consider gender equity in their nomination processes.  Of note, in the 2016 competition, there were no women nominees for the Gerhard Herzberg or the John C. Polanyi Awards, and only two of the nine nominated teams for the Brockhouse Prize were led by women.

Learn more about how to nominate researchers for NSERC prizes here.

Gender Summit North America 2017

NSERC and its partners are gearing up to host the Gender Summit for the first time in Canada in Montreal from November 6 to 8, 2017. The Gender Summits® are a series of international action-based conferences, which aim to make gender equality the norm in STEM and to embed gender as a primary dimension of research and innovation quality.  Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in fruitful discussions under the overarching theme of Pluralism, Ethnicity & Inclusion – Canadian Values in a Global Context. They will also have the unique opportunity to participate in Canada’s 150th and the city of Montréal’s 375th anniversary celebrations.

More information on the Summit’s agenda and how to register will be available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, learn more about the Summit here.

For Questions, please contact

For more information, or to ask questions or provide input on NSERC's equity initiatives, please contact gendersummit@nserc-crsng.gc.ca.

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