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2021 Call for Applications - NSERC Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs

The Office of the Vice Rector of Research, Creation, and Innovation (VRRCI) at Université Laval is launching a competition to fill 6 Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs in natural sciences and engineering (NSERC).

Diffusion of the call: June 3, 2021

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 in the event that the criteria of excellence or our EDI commitments cannot be met.

September 13, 2021 update:

Read the full call for applications (updates are underlined in yellow) (PDF)

CRC Program

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 2 or 3 years and is based on research funding received by researchers from the 3 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 7 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.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement

In keeping with its recruitment policies (including the “Equal Employment Opportunity Program,” which was adopted in 2008), Université Laval is committed to promoting excellence in research and research training and guaranteeing equal opportunity for all qualified candidates. Université Laval upholds the principle that excellence and equity go hand in hand and recognizes that best practices with regard to employment equity will result in the broadest possible pool of competent candidates.

Université Laval has published in 2020 a revised version of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (PDF, 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. 

In order to meet these commitments, only candidates with the required skills and who have self-identified as members of at least 1 of these 4 designated groups will be selected at the end of this competition. ULaval cannot submit other types of application profiles until its representation targets are met, in accordance with the requirements of the CRC Program.

For further explanations on the justifications for these EDI commitments as well as to find out the representation gaps that the University must fill by 2029, we invite you to consult the web pages dedicated to EDI as well as those of the CRC Program. 

Eligibility and Competition Process

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

Eligibility

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, who self-identify with 1 of the 4 designated groups 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 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, Evaluation Criteria, and Excellence

Competition Stages and Submission Deadlines

  • Competition launch: June 3, 2021
  • Full application deadline at VRRCI: December 1, 2021 (no delays or additions accepted)
  • Announcement of the results of the evaluation 1: Mid-February 2022
  • Letter of support deadline at VRRCI: April 25, 2022
  • Final results announcement: June 2022
  • Full application deadline at TIPS (federal): As soon as possible (maximum December 15, 2022)

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:

  1. quality of the nominee
  2. quality of the proposed research program.

For more information, see the Evaluation Grid – Step 1, (PDF, in French only)

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 Advisor 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 to 2 or 3 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.

Applications whose excellence level is deemed sufficient to hold a CRC are retained to continue the process at the next stage. Applicants will receive a summary report of the evaluation of their application. Faculties will be informed of successful applications and will be invited to submit a letter of 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. Each Faculty may return a limited number of applications for the evaluation 2 (see Appendix 1 of the Call for Applications in PDF format) 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.

Application Package

Application Package for Evaluation 1

The full application package must be sent to jean-philippe.marquis@vrr.ulaval.ca and includes:

  • A curriculum vitæ in PDF format similar to the CRC CV. Please follow detailed instructions as described in the document Instructions for Applicants (PDF).
  • A description of the proposed research program (maximum 4 pages) in PDF format. Please follow detailed instructions as described in the document Instructions for Applicants (PDF).
  • For external applicants only, the ULaval Self-Identification Form (PDF, 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., department, 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.

Contacts

Application call process

Jean-Philippe Marquis
Research Development Advisor 
Vice-Rectorate Research, Creation, and Innovation (VRRCI)
jean-philippe.marquis@vrr.ulaval.ca 

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)
marie-jose.naud@vrr.ulaval.ca 

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)
jean.lemay@vrrh.ulaval.ca