Chairs and professorships
Chair and Professorship programs are strategically important local, regional, national and international initiatives providing crucial support to the University of Calgary's research activities. The application and administration for these programs are initiated and championed by senior administration at the University.
Research Services works closely with the prestigious Canada Research Chairs program and manages high profile programs such as the NSERC Industrial Research Chairs and iCORE chairs programs.
Canada Excellence Research Chair
The Government of Canada created the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program in 2008 with the focus on establishing 20 prestigious research chairs in universities across the country. The CERC program invests $28 million a year to attract and retain the world's best in priority research areas such as environmental sciences and technologies, natural resources and energy, health and related life sciences and technologies, and information and communication technologies.
Canada Excellence Research Chairs are identified through a highly competitive two-stage process. In Phase 1, Canadian universities compete for the opportunity to establish chairs at their institution. In Phase 2, a short list of successful universities will nominate world leaders to a limited number of CERC positions. The selection will be based on the highest standards of research excellence. Canadian universities will administer the funds.
Canada Excellence Research Chairs are tenable for seven years and are not renewable. They are targeted at the world's top researchers to develop ambitious research programs in the four priority research areas in the Government of Canada's science and technology (S&T) strategy. For each chair, the university receives up to $1.4 million annually for seven years.
Canada Research Chairs
The Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world's top countries for research and development.
In 2000, the Government of Canada created a new permanent program to establish 2000 research professorships—Canada Research Chairs—in universities across the country. The Canada Research Chairs Program invests $300 million a year to attract and retain some of the world's most accomplished and promising minds.
Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in natural sciences, engineering, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences. They improve Canadians’ depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen the country’s international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of highly skilled people through student supervision, teaching, and the coordination of other researchers’ work.
The program is committed to ensuring access and opportunities to all qualified candidates, while maintaining standards of excellence. The goals of equity and excellence are not mutually exclusive. Equity ensures that the largest pool of qualified candidates is accessed without affecting the integrity of the selection process.
NSERC Industrial Chairs
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Industrial Research Chairs (IRC) programs aims to:
- Assist universities in building on existing strengths to achieve the critical mass required for a major research endeavour in science and engineering of interest to industry; and/or
- Assist in the development of research efforts in fields that have not yet been developed in Canadian universities but for which there is an important industrial need.
NSERC offers three types of Industrial Research Chairs:
- Senior Industrial Research Chairs for distinguished senior researchers (five-year appointment, renewable);
- Associate Industrial Research Chairs for early stage researchers demonstrating exceptional promise (five-year appointment, renewable once); and
- Executive Industrial Research Chairs for outstanding R&D professionals (five-year appointment, non-renewable).
An IRC grant provides funding for the salary of the Chairholder, infrastructure, research tools and instruments, and general expenses related to the Chair's program of research.