Featured Awards

Highlighting upcoming prestigious awards open for nominations

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Robbins-Ollivier Award for Excellence in Equity: 2023 Competition

The Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Office of the Vice-President (Research) invite Internal Letters of Intent for the Robbins-Ollivier Award for Excellence in Equity. As the University of Calgary may only submit one application to this competition, there will be an internal selection process. (See "Institutional Process" section below.) Self nominations are encouraged. 

This award is open to all academic staff who hold a full-time academic appointment at the institution both at the time of nomination and for the duration of the award. Applications are invited from both individuals and teams. Faculty members must be in good standing with CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC and be eligible to receive grant funding from these agencies. The award is open to academics from any discipline who are doing work that supports the objectives of the award. 

The objectives of the annual Robbins-Ollivier equity award are to:

  • fund bold and potentially game-changing projects that will challenge the status quo, spark change and take action to address persistent systemic barriers in the research ecosystem and academia;
  • recognize faculty members who contribute their time, expertise and lived experience to help address inequities in their institution, the research ecosystem and academia; and
  • provide opportunities for students and trainees to contribute to this important work.

Nominations are limited to initiatives that help identify and/or address systemic barriers within the nominating institution and, by extension, the research ecosystem. Research projects  that do not directly address systemic barriers in research will not be accepted.

Awarded through the tri-agency Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP), the award recognizes the significant and impactful contributions that Marjorie Griffin Cohen, Louise Forsyth, Glenis Joyce, Audrey Kobayashi, Shree Mulay, Susan Prentice, Michèle Ollivier and Wendy Robbins have made to increase the level of equity in the CRCP and Canada’s research ecosystem more broadly, by way of their 2003 Canadian Human Rights complaints and their concerted efforts in the mediation processes, which led to both the 2006 Settlement Agreement and its addendum in 2019.

The award recognizes the contributions of the entire group, while being named after the late Michèle Ollivier and Wendy Robbins, who passed away in 2010 and 2017, respectively, prior to the signing of the 2019 Addendum.

The award provides a total of $100,000 over one year to a faculty member or a team of faculty members nominated by an eligible institution, to fund the implementation of bold and potentially game-changing projects led by the nominated individual or team.

Institutional Process 

Equitable and Inclusive Pathways to Nomination:

  1. Faculty leaders and colleagues are strongly encouraged to share this opportunity with potential nominees. 
  2. Self nominations are strongly encouraged. 
  3. Potential nominees who are unsure whether their project is suitable for this program are encouraged to contact vpedi@ucalgary.ca

We aim to have a diverse pool of nominees that is reflective of our institutional culture of engagement, excellence, innovation, and accountability in advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. To this end, members of equity-deserving groups are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Nominations are limited to initiatives that help identify and/or address systemic barriers within the nominating institution and, by extension, the research ecosystem. Research projects  that do not directly address systemic barriers in research will not be accepted.

This link contains additional resources about EDIA in the research ecosystem at UCalgary. 


The diversely constituted internal selection committee will consist of senior leaders from the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, the Office of the Vice-President (Research), and scholars and research staff with expertise in equity, diversity and inclusion in the university’s research ecosystem. As Letters of Intent will be assessed against the ‘Project’ and ‘Leadership and commitment to equity’ selection criteria, submitted materials should clearly address these selection criteria.

Submit the following materials to the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Research Services Office via (researchawards@ucalgary.ca) by September 25, 2023:

  • 3 page project description (align with 'project' selection criteria)
  • 1-2 page summary of the nominees’ overall contributions to and leadership in addressing inequities in their institution and/or the research ecosystem and academia more broadly (align with 'leadership and commitment to equity' selection criteria)
  • Simplified budget (½ - 1 page) 

The selection committee will endeavour to notify all applicants of the results of the internal competition by mid-October. The Research Services Office and the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion will work with the selected individual or team to prepare the full application in advance of the November 7, 2023 agency deadline. 

UCalgary is committed to Indigenous engagement and equity, diversity and inclusion. We seek a culture of recognition that is equitable and inclusive of all members of our community. We encourage nominations of members of equity-deserving groups, including but not limited to women, visible/racialized minorities, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ2S+, and scholars from diverse scholarly disciplines. 


Contact us

For more information on this award, please contact:

Erin O'Toole

Specialist, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research

erin.otoole@ucalgary.ca or


PDF of pilot plan

Research and Teaching Awards EDI Pilot Plan

The Research and Teaching Awards Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Pilot Plan was developed to embed a foundational commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in the identification and nomination of candidates for external research and teaching excellence awards. 

Learn more