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2024 Call for applications – NSERC Tier 1

The Office of the Vice Rector of Research, Creation, and Innovation (VRRCI) at Université Laval is launching a competition to fill four Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs in natural sciences and engineering (NSERC).

Diffusion of the call: May 8th 2024

This competition could be used to select more chairs in the event that new chairs at the same level become available in the same domain. In addition, the VRRCI reserves the right of not to fill all the chairs if the criteria of excellence or our EDI commitments cannot be met.

Calls for Applications (PDF)

The CRC program aims to attract and retain in Canada accomplished and promising researchers. The allocation of the 2000 Canada Research Chairs (CRC) to Canadian universities by the Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) is conducted every two or three years and is based on research funding received by researchers from the three federal granting agencies. Each university receives a CRC allocation that it can use according to a set of rules. The decision to name Canada Research Chairholders is made by the university. 

Tier 1 chairs are for outstanding researchers recognized by their peers as world leaders in their fields. These chairs, which last seven years and are renewable once, are worth $200,000 per year and help finance the salary of the incumbent. For more information about the program, consult the CRC website .

Valuing equity, diversity and excellence, Université Laval is strongly committed to provide an inclusive work and living environment for all its employees. For Université Laval, diversity is a source of wealth, and we encourage qualified individuals of all origins, sexes, sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, as well as persons with disabilities, to apply.

Université Laval also subscribes to an equal access to employment program for women, members of visible or ethnic minorities, Aboriginal persons and persons with disabilities. Adaptation of the selection tools can be offered to persons with disabilities according to their needs and in complete confidentiality.

By choosing Université Laval, you will benefit from the following integration measures:

  • welcome days for new professors;
  • peer mentoring;
  • free French courses for you and your spouse;
  • support for settling in Quebec City and job search assistance for your spouse;
  • for professors from abroad, a tax exemption (under certain conditions).

Université Laval has published in 2020 a revised version of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (PDF, available in French only) with a view to increasing the representation of women, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities as well as Indigenous peoples among Canada Research Chairholders at our institution. 

Université Laval has made significant progress in closing the representation gap among its CRC holders. Additional efforts are still required to meet the representation targets for the 2025, 2027 and 2029 deadlines. For further explanations on the justifications for these EDI commitments, we invite you to consult the web pages dedicated to EDI as well as those of the CRC Program. 

To respect these commitments, a number of chairs must be awarded to researchers meeting the excellence criteria and self-identifying to at least one of the designated groups where representation gaps remain to be filled, namely women and visible minorities. Consequently, at the end of the 3 internal Tier 1 CRC competitions currently open (CIHR-1, NSERC-1, SSHRC-1), including this competition, the University wishes to award at least 4 chairs to individuals self-identifying as women or gender minorities AND at least 1 chair to a person self-identifying as a member of a visible minority.

This competition is open to internal (retention) and external (recruitment) applications in accordance with the conditions described below.


Applicants for Tier 1 chairs must be full professors or associate professors who are close to obtaining tenure.

Career Interruption, Special Circumstances and Accommodations

Université Laval acknowledges that career interruption (e.g., maternity or parental leave, leave for prolonged illness or clinical training) as well as a disability may have an effect on productivity and contributions in research. Applicants are invited to explain, as appropriate, these effects so that they are taken into account in the assessment of their applications. In addition, accommodation can be offered to people with disabilities according to their needs in this competition, including accessibility. If you need accommodation, we invite you to contact the EDI advisor using contact information below.

Internal Application

Professors who have the status of regular professor at Université Laval and who meet the eligibility requirements for a Tier 1 Chair are invited to submit their complete application directly to the VRRCI and to their faculty to inform it of their participation. The content of the application is detailed below.

Note that there is no limit to the number of internal applications that can be submitted by faculties and departments.

External Application

Departments and faculties (units) of Université Laval that wish to recruit a new tenure track faculty member may submit one or more applications which will confirm their intention to hire the applicant. To do this, units must:

  • Conduct a competition and a job posting advertisement, conditional or not on obtaining the CRC, on the research theme chosen by the unit;
  • Set up a nomination committee and obtain the approval of the unit for the successful applicant;
  • Submit the candidate's application (details in the next section) to the VRRCI as well as a report explaining the selection process

In addition to respecting the processes set out in Université Laval's collective agreements for hiring new regular professors, faculties and departments are reminded that the recruitment process for all external candidates must adequately follow the EDI Requirements of the CRC Program in order to be considered for the CRC competition. If you have any questions about this topic and the report of the selection process to be submitted, you can contact the EDI Faculty Representative or the EDI Advisor at the VRRCI.

Interested candidates who do not hold a regular professorship at Université Laval are asked to contact the research managers at the faculty or department corresponding to their expertise to find out the modalities surrounding the external recruitment process.

Competition Stages and Submission Deadlines

  • Competition launch: 8 May 2024
  • Notice of intent form at VRRCI: 24 October 2024
  • Full application deadline at VRRCI: 11 November 2024, 4:00 PM (no delays or additions accepted)
  • Announcement of the results of the evaluation #1: Week of 3 February 2025
  • Letter of support deadline at VRRCI: 7 April 2025
  • Final results announcement: Early May 2025
  • Full application deadline at TIPS (federal): 21 October 2025

Evaluation #1 at VRRCI

A College of reviewers, at the institutional level, evaluates the excellence of the applications submitted to the VRRCI according to the following criteria and sub-criteria (also see the PDF Evaluation Grid – Step 1, available in French only):

  1. Quality of the nominee
  2. Quality of the proposed research program.
  3. Capacity-building impact

The College of reviewers is composed of retired professors from a wide variety of disciplines and recognized in their field of expertise. In addition, the EDI Advisor of the VRRCI, the Director of the Office of Chairs and Structuring Entities and the Advisors responsible for the CRC program will take part in the committee meetings to ensure the conformity of the evaluation process.Each application will be submitted for evaluation by at least two reviewers. All members of the College of reviewers receive clear instructions on their role and mandate, as well as on the expected definition of excellence and the impact of career interruptions in the evaluation of applications. Members must also complete unconscious bias training in peer review.

Successful candidates at the end of thisfirst stage of evaluation (over 3 stages)will receive a summary report of the evaluation of their application. Faculties will be notified ofsuccessful applications and willbe invitedto submita letterof support(see Evaluation#2).

Excellence of the Applicant

The CRC Program is based on an unwavering commitment to excellence in research and training. Applicants must demonstrate a significantly greater contribution compared to other researchers working in the same field in Canada (Tier 2) or internationally (Tier 1). This contribution is defined by:

  • A publication record that is superior to the reference group average
  • Supervision of graduate students; diversity and inclusion of students and research staff will be considered an asset
  • Higher levels of funding than the reference group average
  • International collaborations (publications, research funding, and knowledge transfer activities)
  • A larger number of knowledge transfer activities than the reference group average: e.g., attendance at scientific conferences, radio interviews, publication of results in scientific journals and major newspapers, and knowledge transfer to a community of practice
  • Leadership, as evidenced by significant contributions to the development and transfer of knowledge in the applicant’s field of expertise and contributions to the university’s flagship multidisciplinary research platforms.

Evaluation and Ranking at the Faculty Level and Evaluation #2 at VRRCI

Among the applications that meet the criteria of excellence of the CRC Program, each Faculty must evaluate and rank the applications on the basis of its strategic vision and the quality of the nominee. Each Faculty may return a limited number of applications for the evaluation #2 (see Appendix 1) depending on the number of chairs to be filled. For evaluation #2, the Faculties will have to produce a letter of support for each application sent back at VRRCI as well as their ranking of applications.

On the basis of the letters of support provided by the Faculties for each application, an institutional committee composed of the Vice-Rector for Research, Creation and Innovation as well as administrators evaluate the applications. The decision to award a CRC will be made by the Vice-Rector based on the following criteria:

  • Capacity-building impact
  • Community commitments and support
  • Gaps to be filled with representation targets.

Important note: In order to demonstrate the capacity-building impact of the Tier 1 CRCs, it is mandatory that they contribute to faculty recruitment, either the CRC nominee themself, or a new professor within the same Faculty.

At the end of this last evaluation, the VRRCI will notify, in writing, each candidate as well as their Faculty. No report will be sent at this stage.

Notice of Intent

Any internal or external applicant must send a notice of intent form (available in French only) by email no later than October 24th, 2024 to and to their faculty to inform it of their participation. 

This form will not be used to evaluate you, but only to identify the people who will evaluate your application.

Application Package for Evaluation #1

The full application package must be sent to and to their faculty and includes:

  • A description of the proposed research program (maximum 6 pages) in PDF format. Please follow detailed instructions as described in the document Instructions for Applicants (PDF).

  • Self-identification form
    • For external applicants onlythe Université Laval self-identification form (available in French only).
    • For internal application, official information provided in your employee file (PeopleSoft RH) will be used. 

The information provided is treated confidentially and only those who need access to this information will be able to access it.

  • For external applications only, a written report from the Faculty or Departmental Selection Committee, signed by all members of the Committee, indicating how the EDI requirements for recruiting and nominating Canada Research Chairs have been met. 

Application Package to Send Back at VRRCI by Faculties for Evaluation #2 

For each application, a letter of support from the Dean containing a maximum of 4 pages and describing:

  • the chair’s contribution in terms of capacity building and added value for the research unit. Reflecting the applicant’s vision for the research chair, the letter must explain how the chair will help build capacity in an emerging field or strengthen capacity in a developed field; how the chair will serve as a lever taking research to a higher level; how the chair will help disseminate research; what steps will be taken to help establish Université Laval as a leader in the field in question.

  • the commitments (financial or in-kind) and support from the Faculty and researcher community (e.g., research center, institute, etc.).

Jointly for all applications, a letter from the Dean presenting the ranking of applications for which a letter of support is submitted as well as a description of the process for selection and ranking applications. 

Application call process
Alexandra Godbout
Research Development Advisor 
Vice-Rectorate Research, Creation, and Innovation (VRRCI)

Jean-Philippe Marquis
Research Development Advisor 
Vice-Rectorate Research, Creation, and Innovation (VRRCI)

Questions related to EDI principles and the EDI Action Plan for CRC
Marie-José Naud
Advisor, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion 
Vice-Rectorate, Research, Creation, and Innovation (VRRCI)

Questions related to the recruitment process of new faculty members
Jean Lemay
Deputy Vice-Rector for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Human Resources
Vice-Rectorate, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Human Resources (VREDIHR)