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Canada Research Chairs

The Canada Research Chairs program helps universities attract and retain the best talent from around the world. The program helps universities like UVic achieve research excellence and thrive as world-class research centres. The program invests approximately $295 million per year to attract and retain a diverse group of world-class researchers.

Chairholders advance the frontiers of knowledge in their fields. They do this through their own work, and by teaching and supervising students and coordinating the work of other researchers.

Current UVic Canada Research Chairs

Name Tier Chair title
Gautam Awatramani 2 Synaptic Physiology
Magdalena Bazalova 2 Medical Physics
Neilesh Bose 2 Global and Comparative History
Martin Boulanger 2 Molecular Interactions and Structural Biology
John Borrows 1 Indigenous Law
Hector Caruncho 1 Translational Neurosciences
Kristian Dubrawski 2 Water Sustainability for Indigenous and Rural Communities
Katherine Elvira 2 New Materials and Techniques for Health Applications
Roberta Hamme 2 Ocean Carbon Dynamics
Christina Hoicka 2 Canada Research Chair in Urban Planning for Climate Change
Sarah Hunt 2 Indigenous Political Ecology
Ben F. Koop 1 Genomics and Molecular Biology
Jaime Arredondo Sanchez Lira 2 Canada Research Chair in Substance Use and Health Policy Research
Loren McClenachan 2
Canada Research Chair in Ocean History and Sustainability
Farouk Nathoo 2 Biostatistics for Spatial and High-Dimensional Data
Aloysius Newenham-Kahindi 2 International Sustainable Development
Edwin Nissen 2 Geophysics
Ibrahim Numanagic 2 Computational Biology and Data Science
Ian F. Putnam 1 Operator Algebras and Dynamical Systems
Makhsud Saidaminov 2 Advanced Functional Materials
Margaret-Anne Storey  1 Visualization for Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering
Afzal Suleman 1 Computational and Experimental Mechanics
Nicole Templeman 2 Cell Biology
Marie-Eve Tremblay 2 Neurobiology of Aging and Cognition
Karen Urbanoski 2 Substance Use, Addictions, and Health Services Research
G. Cornelis "Case" Van Kooten 1 Environmental Studies and Climate
Stephanie Willerth 2 Biomedical Engineering
Jeremy Wulff 2 Bioactive Small Molecule Synthesis
Xuekui Zhang 2 Biostatistics and Bioinformatics

Tier 1 Chairs are for outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. They are tenable for seven years and renewable once.

Tier 2 Chairs are for exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field. They are tenable for five years and renewable once.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

UVic is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in all our practices. This is reflected in our recruitment of Canada Research Chairs.

In 2012 and 2015, UVic was recognized for its exemplary practices in recruiting CRCs and exceeding its equity targets for chairholder representation from women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities and Aboriginal peoples.

Annually since 2012, UVic has been named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers, one of 65 organizations leading the nation in creating inclusive workplace cultures. In 2015, the university strengthened its institutional commitment to equity through the release of the UVic Employment Equity Plan 2015-2020 (Note: The UVic Employment Equity Plan has been extended to September 2021.) This plan outlines three goals:

  1. to promote and implement employment practices advancing equity and access for all
  2. to ensure the principles of fairness and equity are incorporated into all aspects of employment, including recruitment and hiring, training and promotion and retention and accommodation in the workforce
  3. to improve the participation of members of designated groups in all jobs and at all levels where they are under-represented, and achieve and retain a workforce representative of the appropriate community

Awareness raising about equity, diversity and inclusion was identified as a key activity for action in the UVic’s Employment Equity Plan (EEP), 2015-2020 and its implementation continues through a campus-wide effort. (Note: The UVic Employment Equity Plan has been extended to September 2021.)

UVic’s Office of Equity & Human Rights in conjunction with UVic’s Executive Council, faculty relations, deans, department chairs, directors of units and the human resources team, are working to communicate UVic’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion as a strategic priority and critical performance result area. They are promoting a vision of equity which champions: equity as necessary for excellence, benefits of equity for all and responsibility for all to practice equity.

Annual progress reporting on the EEP’s implementation is provided to UVic’s Executive Council and progress is also regularly publicly reported to the BC Human Rights Tribunal. Information sharing concerning equity, diversity and inclusion occurred at faculty and departmental meetings and annual meetings with department chairs and deans/directors are held to discuss progress on equity goals and practices. Work has also been carried out in coordination with UVic Communications & Marketing to widely communicate the values underlying the UVic Employment Equity Plan.

The CRC EDI Action Plan has been shared, promoted and discussed with Deans’ Council, the Research Advisory Committee, and the Council of Centre Directors. The development and promotion of UVic’s 2020 version of the Guide to Faculty & Librarian Recruitment has been used by the university to promote again the CRC EDI Action Plan and CRC’s requirements for recruiting and nominating Canada Research Chairs. The CRC EDI Action Plan is presented at the AACED (Academic Advisory Committee on Equity and Diversity). The role of the Academic Advisory Committee on Equity and Diversity (AACED) is to help vision and shape the implementation of equity, diversity and inclusion at UVic by serving as a key consultation point for all major equity, diversity and human rights initiatives and programs that relate to faculty, librarians and the academic environment. Members represent departments and faculties from across campus.

The UVic Management of Canada Research Chair Allocations guidelines ensure that UVic’s Canada Research Chairs (CRC) processes directly address the CRC program requirements for research excellence, equity, diversity and inclusion, in alignment with the UVic 2016-2021 Strategic Research Plan (SRP) and the UVic 2015-2020 Employment Equity Plan. The goal is to ensure that UVic makes the best strategic use of its CRC allocations to fulfil UVic’s research mission in pursuit of research excellence. Equity underlies and is a pre-condition for excellence, and excellence is furthered by a diversity of people, perspectives and experiences.

Decision on renewals, advancements and retentions will be based on performance assessment and on alignment with UVic’s strategy to address any potential representation gaps for the four designated groups (women, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal Peoples and visible minorities) that the university may have.

Tier 2 renewals and advancement
Tier 2 CRCs are eligible to only one renewal of their 5 year term. Although Tier 2 chairs are not considered a pathway to Tier 1 chairs, Tier 2 chairholders are welcome to apply and compete for a Tier 1 vacancy as an advancement.

Tier 1 renewals
Tier 1 CRCs are allowed to renew once their initial 7 year term, and only in exceptional cases will they be allowed to renew more than once.

Emergency retention
CRC positions will only be used to retain internal candidates in extraordinary circumstances, with justification to be provided to the VPR and VPAC.

UVic’s CRC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan was developed as a distillation of the relevant information and activities detailed in our institution-wide Employment Equity Plan (EEP), 2015-2020 (Note: The UVic Employment Equity Plan has been extended to September 2021). The CRC EDI Action Plan was developed under the direction of the Vice-President Research and will be implemented by the Institutional Programs Unit in the Office of Research Services in collaboration with the Equity & Human Rights office. The Action Plan was approved by UVic’s Executive Council.

UVic’s EEP was developed through wide-scale consultation that included members of the four designated groups and faculty members, as well as feedback from advisory groups on equity and human rights and officially approved by the university’s Executive Council. The EEP was also informed by three reviews: a review of the Central Accommodation Fund, a review of employment systems by external consultants, and a review of Indigenous staff support. UVic’s Equity & Human Rights office, in conjunction with the UVic Employment Equity Plan Implementation Steering Committee chaired by the University Secretary, continue to oversee the EEP’s implementation.

UVic was recognized in 2012 with the inaugural Canada Research Chair Equity Recognition for its exemplary practices in recruiting Canada Research Chairs and exceeding its equity targets for chairholder representation from among women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities and Aboriginal Peoples. In 2015, UVic was recognized again for its exemplary practices.

For more information about the University of Victoria’s equity targets please visit the CRC equity target data.

As an eligibility requirement, all institutions that participate in the Canada Research Chairs Program were required to develop and submit their 2021-2029 equity target plans to the program by June 2021. The plans required setting targets for each of the four designated groups for each of the target deadlines to lead incrementally over the period 2021-2029. See UVic's target plan.

UVic has a wide range of policies that support equity, diversity and inclusion, including:

View UVic’s CRCP Utilization Spreadsheet online. This spreadsheet, generated by the CRC Program, outlines:

  • how many chair allocations UVic has
  • how many are filled and by which chairholders (with their term end and start dates)
  • type of flex moves used
  • which allocations are available

UVic reports to CRC in relation to progress on the UVic Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, including on efforts made to maintain the CRCP equity targets and on university-wide initiatives to enhance equity and inclusion.

EDI progress report 2019/20

The UVic Equity & Human Rights (EQHR) office leads UVic in developing and coordinating plans, policies and procedures to promote equity, diversity and inclusion in employment and education. This includes:

  • education on equity, diversity, human rights and sexualized violence
  • assisting with dispute resolution
  • investigating human rights complaints
  • providing information and support in cases of sexualized violence
  • consulting on equity plans
  • advising the university on reaching its strategic goals in these areas

CRCP EQHR contact:
Natasha Goudar - manager, equity and diversity 
University of Victoria
Equity & Human Rights Office
3800 Finnerty Road (Ring Road)
Victoria, BC V8P 5C2
Phone: 250-472-4121

EQHR is UVic’s central office for managing equity, diversity and inclusion questions and concerns. All members of the campus with questions are encouraged to contact the office to arrange an appointment with the relevant person who can:

  • answer questions
  • identify the appropriate policy or process to support their concern
  • support them in either connecting with the correct person or in working through their concern

Some concerns will be managed through consultation with a chair, dean or VP research employee; some will be addressed through university policies such as Discrimination and harassment or Sexualized violence prevention and response.

A range of resolution processes are available, with those bringing the concern primarily responsible for selecting the avenue of resolution. Where the concern requires it, EQHR will raise the concern with the relevant chair or dean, who may also be engaged in resolving the concern.

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