The government of Canada has moved forward with changes to the way federal granting councils target money through the Canada Research Chairs Program that are intended to lead to greater diversity among Canada’s leading scientists.

Kirsty Duncan, the Minister of Science, announced that the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) were informed by recommendations made in the Fundamental Science Review. The changes include:

  • Limiting Tier 1 Chairs to a single renewal, allowing chairholders to hold a maximum of two, seven-year terms;
  • Allowing universities additional flexibility to convert chairs between Tier 1 and Tier 2 and across disciplines until December 2019, to promote greater uptake of diverse researchers into these prestigious positions; and
  • Revising the distribution of regular chair allocations across the federal research granting councils to promote research excellence in the natural sciences and engineering, health sciences, and social sciences and humanities.

In addition to these changes, universities have been given a deadline of this December to submit Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plans that will map out how they will meet the diversity and equity targets. Universities that do not meet their targets risk having new CRCP funding withdrawn.

Among the 176 chairholders who received confirmation of their new or renewed status were:

  • Megan Bailey, Dalhousie University, the Canada Research Chair in Integrated Ocean and Coastal Governance
  • Julie Baird, Brock University, Tier 2 CRC in Human Dimensions of Water Resources and Water Resilience
  • Stefanie M. Colombo, Dalhousie University, Canada Research Chair in Aquaculture Nutrition
  • David L. VanderZwaag, Dalhousie University, Canada Research Chair in Ocean Law and Governance
  • John Gunn,  Laurentian University, Canada Research Chair in Stressed Aquatic Systems
  • James M. Waddington, McMaster University, Canada Research Chair in Ecohydrology
  • Baiyu Zhang, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada Research Chair in Coastal Environmental Engineering
  • Michele Koppes,  The University of British Columbia, Canada Research Chair in Landscapes of Climate Change
  • John Pomeroy, John, University of Saskatchewan, Canada Research Chair in Water Resources and Climate Change
  • Clare E. Robinson, Western University, Canada Research Chair in Water Quality
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