Call for nominations

Status: Open

In the Fall 2021, the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (OVPRI) redesigned the University Research Chairs Program to foster a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity and excellence within the uOttawa research portfolio while removing barriers for participation.

The Office of Vice-President, Research is currently seeking applications for:

  • Five (5) University Research Chairs (URC):
    • Two (2) URC linked to the mandate of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR);
    • Two (2) URC linked to the mandate of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC);
    • One (1) URC linked to the mandate of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

In addition to undertaking a research program and overseeing organization of research activities linked to the Chair objectives, the chairholder must demonstrate ability and commitment to actively foster a culture of inclusion, diversity, equity and excellence within uOttawa research environment.

The Chairs’ scope will be determined by the chairholders’ areas of research and must be consistent with the mandate of the selected Canadian federal agency (CIHR, NSERC, or SSHRC) and the identified University’s Strategic areas of research.

Nomination applications are to be submitted by regular University of Ottawa professors. All applications will be sent to Faculties for an internal preselection of 3 dossiers by faculty. For this initial call for applications, at least two of the three dossiers must be from members of groups under-represented in research (Women, Indigenous people, members of visible minorities/racialized groups, people living with disabilities and LGBTQI2S+ people). These dossiers will then be adjudicated by OVPRI selection committees with expertise related to each federal granting agency, and finally by the University of Ottawa’s Research Chairs Evaluation Committee (RCEC).

Eligibility criteria and terms

All applications from regular University of Ottawa professors are eligible.

Applications from members of groups underrepresented in research (Women, Indigenous people, members of visible minorities/racialized groups, people living with disabilities and LGBTQI2S+ people) are encouraged as well as applications in both official languages.

University Research Chairs (URC) have a five-year term, which can be renewed only once, subject to the recommendation from their faculty dean and the University of Ottawa’s RCEC.

Chairholders will receive an annual allocation of $25,000 in research funds for the duration of their mandate. Up to $5K of the total budget may be used as a salary supplement to the nominee.

Note that researchers who have held any other research chair funded by the University of Ottawa - for example: Chaire de recherche sur le Monde Francophone, University Research Chair or Distinguished Research Chair - are not eligible for a new URC.

Nomination process

Preparation of the nomination application

A nomination application must include the following documents:

  • Statement of nomination from the Dean, providing the basis and justification for the nomination (2 to 3 pages) – This letter will be requested only if the dossier is preselected by the Faculty for a nomination;
  • Chair title (e.g., University Research Chair in…), the selected Federal granting agency (CIHR, NSERC or SSHRC), and research project summary: Provide a 100-word summary, written in lay language, describing the uniqueness and importance of the proposed research program. This summary may be used for advertising purposes;
  • Proposed research program written by the nominee (3 to 5 pages) – See section “Eligibility criteria”  and the document with detailed instructions below for the presentation;
  • A statement on equity, diversity, and inclusion philosophy and practice as a basis of the EDI plan to implement during the length of the URC (maximum 1 page);
  • Budget plan and justification: The total budget is $25K per year for five years and may be used to support the core costs of research (e.g., research assistants/associates, graduate students, consumable supplies, and user fees) and actions towards EDI (adapted infrastructure and software, travel accommodation for researchers or trainees with special needs, inclusive dissemination, and other admissible fees to make research more inclusive). Up to $5K of the total budget may be used as a salary supplement to the nominee. In this section, please explain and justify how the budget will be used and the proportion of the budget to be allocated to costs of research versus a salary supplement. Note that the funding allocated for the core costs of research is provided in addition to and not as a substitute for a nominee’s concurrent sources of external funding;
  • Current Curriculum Vitae (OCGS format; last 8 years; CV section – please include any personal circumstances and/or career interruptions such as parental or sick leaves that may have impacted your research trajectory. These will be taken into consideration in the selection process);
  • List of the nominee’s five most significant research contributions made during them career, explaining their significance and impact;
  • Names and email addresses of four (4) independent reviewers with no conflict of interest, including at least one from abroad – Three external letters of evaluation will be requested if the dossier is selected in the short-list of one of the OVPRI selection committees;
  • All candidates should participate in the institutional EDI efforts and complete the self-identification questionnaire: Count-me in Survey (accessible via VirtuO). This information may be used for adjudication purposes by the selection committees.

Detailed instructions

Submission of Nomination Application and Deadline

Please send the nomination application to the following email: rcca-coord@uottawa.ca.

Deadline: Monday, January 31st, 2022

External Review by Three Experts in the Field

When an application is selected in the short-list of one of the OVPRI selection committee, the Research Office of the corresponding faculty is responsible for sending the application to three external reviewers in the field. The letters of evaluation will accompany the nomination package when it is presented to the Research Chairs Evaluation Committee.

Conflict of Interest Policy

In order to avoid any conflict of interest, please ensure that the potential reviewers:

  • are not affiliated in any way with the University of Ottawa (including hospitals and research institutes);
  • have no personal relationship with the nominee (including close friend, relative, former PhD or postdoctoral supervisor, mentor, a student previously under the nominee's supervision);
  • have not collaborated, published or shared funding with the nominee in the last six years, or have no plans to do so in the immediate future;
  • are not involved in the proposed program of research; and
  • are not in a position to gain or lose financially/materially from the outcome of the nomination.
Evaluation process

Three selection committees in the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (NSERC; SSHRC; and CIHR, as needed) will evaluate the applications sent by the faculties (maximum 3 dossiers by Faculty). Candidates will prepare their dossiers, referring them to the relevant committee. The OVPRI selection committee(s) will review the applications, and request external letters of evaluation from a short-list of candidates. The committees will then recommend a file for each available chair. 

The full dossier, including the selection committee report, three external letters of evaluation and the letter of support from the Dean, will then be sent to the Research Chairs Evaluation Committee for final recommendation.

The nomination application, including external evaluations, is adjudicated based on the following evaluation criteria:

  • The level of research excellence and productivity of the nominee, and/or demonstration of the research leading to significant achievements;
  • The potential to achieve international recognition in the field;
  • The potential to attract and retain excellent students, trainees and future researchers;
  • The quality and feasibility of concrete actions to create more diversified, inclusive and equitable research environment;
  • The relevance of the proposed research program in relation to the Strategic Areas of Research; and
  • The originality and quality of the proposed research program.
Notice of Decision

Following the RCEC’s final recommendation, a notice of decision is sent to the nominee and the Dean of the Faculty. There is no appeal.

Teaching Release

URC chairholders may be eligible for teaching release of a one-semester course (2 to 3 credits/year) as negotiated with the Dean of the Faculty.

End of Chair Mandate

The University provides two additional years from the end date of the chair to expend any residual funds remaining in the research account. No extension will be granted beyond this period.

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