The University of Ottawa has created University Research Chairs (URC) and Research Chairs in Canadian Francophonie (RCCF). The purpose of these Chairs is to:
- recognize researchers with outstanding and sustained accomplishments in research, or those who demonstrate initial, significant achievements with exceptional future promise, while maintaining a solid teaching record; and
- provide financial support for the Chairholder’s research program, which is in addition to, and not a substitute for, the researcher’s concurrent sources of external funding.
Furthermore, key objectives of such positions of excellence focus on:
- Supporting research and knowledge creation in keeping with the University's strategic areas of development in research;
- Supporting the strategic plans of the faculty hosting the Chair;
- Serving as recruitment and retention mechanisms; and
- Strengthening teaching and learning at the graduate level.
Thus, the University of Ottawa Chairs Program is competitive, with nominations submitted by the Dean of a Faculty to the Office of the Vice-President, Research, which asks the University’s Research Chairs Evaluation Committee to vet the nominations. All areas of research may be considered, but it is recommended to present the nomination in light of the university’s most recent Strategic Research Plan in which the university’s strategic areas of development in research are outlined. Additionally, faculty research priorities may be highlighted and considered.
Note: Some professors are able to perform their Chair-related research and student training at a high level while also carrying out responsibilities in senior-level administrative positions. Therefore, the University does not have a policy prohibiting chairholders from holding senior-level administrative positions (from the level of Vice-Dean and higher). Nevertheless, the University’s Research Chairs Evaluation Committee does expect, when adjudicating Chair nomination or renewal dossiers for such professors, that their level of research excellence and student training be commensurate with the normally expected outstanding and sustained accomplishments in research and student training of Canada Research Chairs and University Research Chairs who do not hold concurrent senior-level administrative positions.