Research Leadership Chairs


The intent of the Research Leadership Chairs is to provide an additional tool by which to attract and/or retain faculty members who have already achieved significant research recognition both nationally and internationally. These faculty may already be recipients of external honours, and the Research Leadership Chair recognizes their contribution to both university reputation and advances within their discipline. 


Research Leadership Chairs recognize research excellence of mid- to late-career-stage faculty who have proven records of distinguished and sustained scholarly work. Research excellence is recognized as scholarly output that is demonstrably internationally impactful within the nominee’s discipline. This may include published works, but may also comprise other forms of scholarly output, research-related knowledge mobilization, research-derived innovation, and training of highly qualified personnel. The candidate should be someone who has already received significant recognition on both a national and international level.


Recipients of Research Leadership Chairs hold the title for 3 years, with a potential extension to 5 years (reviewed at year 3). Each college will hold up to two Research Leadership Chairs, with 14 in total held across the university at any given time. Research Leadership Chairs are not renewable, and can only be held once during employment at U of G. During tenure of the Chair, Research Leadership Chairs receive $15,000 in research funds from the University annually, deposited in the chairholder's general purpose research account. Colleges may wish to augment this award (e.g., additional research funds, course release, etc.). Recipients of Research Leadership Chairs will be recognized (feted) at an annual research recognition event.


To be eligible, a faculty member must minimally hold the title of Associate Professor. It is anticipated that many Research Leadership Chairs will be Full Professors. Faculty can only receive a Research Leadership Chair once during their employment, but, if they have not been awarded a Research Leadership Chair previously, they can be nominated as many times as a College wishes to nominate.


Each college runs their own selection process for nominees, receiving nominations from departments and schools within the college. For example, colleges can decide how many nominations they wish to receive from their departments and schools for review, and how nominations are evaluated prior to submission for approval by the Provost and VPR. It is expected and highly-suggested that colleges give special attention and consideration to Tri-Agency equity, diversity, and inclusion guidelines, and be prepared to indicate what plans were put in place to ensure that these guidelines have been observed. This said, nominations should minimally comprise the nominee’s CV, plus a detailed nomination letter from department chairs / school directors that makes the case for research excellence as defined above. Colleges review the departmental / school nominees, and nominate individuals to fill up to a total of two Research Leadership Chairs available to their college. The nomination package submitted to the Provost and VPR for approval should comprise the nominee’s CV, the nomination case letter from the department chair / school director, as well as a covering letter providing any additional information from the College Dean. The Provost and VPR will review the nominations for approval, considering the quality of the nomination prior to approval.

Conditions of the Award

Recipients will participate in the research recognition event at the time of receipt of their award. Each recipient will also provide two public lectures, organized by the Office of Research, for a general audience, based on their research - one of these will be at time of receipt of the award, and the other will be at the conclusion of the award. Each recipient will participate in a Guelph Talks Research event. Finally, each Research Leadership Chair will be expected to submit a one page annual report indicating how the research funds were used in support of their research.