Research Leadership Chairs Program Guidelines


The intent of the Research Leadership Chairs is to provide an additional tool by which to recognize faculty members who have achieved significant research recognition both nationally and internationally, acknowledging the UG commitment to enhancing diversity in research leadership. These faculty may already be recipients of external honours, and the Research Leadership Chair further 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.

Research Leadership Chairs will reflect equity, diversity, and inclusion in Canadian society.

When selecting a candidate to nominate for an RLC, the College is expected to consider equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) best practices. This includes conducting an open and transparent nomination process that encourages a diverse applicant pool and does not disadvantage candidates from underrepresented groups, including, but not limited to, members of the four designated groups as defined by the Employment Equity Act (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and racialized minorities). Colleges are also expected to identify and develop methods to address known systemic barriers faced by individuals from groups underrepresented in the College’s research disciplines.

The College’s nomination will describe concrete measures taken to ensure fairness and transparency, and to address systemic barriers at each stage of nomination (i.e., at department and/or college levels), for example:

  • Promote the opportunity widely
  • Encourage self-nomination and nomination by colleague
  • Use a peer-review process for evaluation of research productivity and excellence (e.g. such as Tenure and Promotion process) and ensure peer reviewers have completed the SSHRC Bias in Peer Review module
  • Consider the value and impact of all research outputs (including datasets and software), in addition to research publications, and consider a broad range of impact measures including qualitative indicators of research impact, such as influence on policy and practice. (Source: San Francisco Declaration of Research Assessment)
  • Rank selection criteria prior to screening the applications, to ensure an unbiased, consistent and transparent selection process, e.g., use of an evaluation matrix (Source: Canada Research Chairs Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: A Best Practices Guide for Recruitment, Hiring and Retention)
  • Accept a full CV, ensuring that career interruptions due to parental leave, family care, extended illness, or community responsibilities do not negatively impact the assessment of a candidate’s research productivity. (CRC EDI Best Practices Guide)

NOTE: How an individual self-identifies is considered personal and confidential information. Colleges will not disclose self-identification data of nominee or pool of applicants without explicit consent.


Recipients of Research Leadership Chairs hold the title for three years. 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 the University.

During tenure of the Chair, Research Leadership Chairs receive $15,000 per annum in research funds from the University. Colleges may wish to augment this award (e.g., additional research funds, course release). Recipients of Research Leadership Chairs will be recognized (feted) at an annual research recognition event.

See list of eligible expenses.


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.

Nomination Process

Each college must place a premium on equity, diversity, and inclusion in their selection of Research Leadership Chairs. The pair of Research Leadership Chairs in any given college must include at least one person who selfidentifies with a gender-identity, equity-seeking group (including women and people who self-identify with a minority gender identity such as transgender or non-binary).

Each college runs their own selection process for nominees. Colleges can decide how many nominations they wish to receive for review, and how nominations are evaluated prior to submission for approval by the Provost and VPR.

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 pair of Research Leadership Chairs in any given college must include at least one person who self-identifies with a gender-identity equity-seeking group (including women and people who self-identify with a minority gender identity such as trans-gender or non-binary).

Conditions of the Award

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.

To Apply

Nominations for Research Leadership Chairs are submitted by colleges to the Vice-President (Research) and the Provost & Vice-President (Academic). It is expected that colleges give special attention and consideration to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and be prepared to indicate what plans were put in place to ensure that these guidelines have been observed.

Colleges can submit nomination packages to Nomination packages will comprise the following:

  • a covering letter from the College Dean in support of the nomination that will detail the nomination process, including measures taken to address systemic barriers;
  • the nomination case letter from the nominator (i.e., the nominee, colleague, or department chair/school director); and
  • the nominee’s CV (in any format).

Review and Selection Process

The Vice-President (Research) and the Provost & Vice-President (Academic) will review the nominations for approval.