UCalgary Research Excellence Chairs

UCalgary Research Excellence Chairs

Announcing the new UCalgary Research Excellence Chairs program  

UCalgary is excited to announce a new internal chairs program, designed to recognize our scholars with highly distinguished accomplishments and research leadership, and who display exceptional promise in their research and creative work. The UCalgary Research Excellence program will build capacity and provide leadership for strategic and transdisciplinary research initiatives. 

The UCalgary Research Excellence Chairs share many of the features of the federal Canada Research Chairs program. Faculty members who hold internal or external named awards, such as endowed chairs and professorships, Canada Research Chairs, or major salary awards from external agencies are not eligible to be nominated for a UCalgary Research Excellence Chair. A faculty member who holds a UCalgary Research Excellence Chair must relinquish it if they receive such an award.


  • Program lead: Dr. Penny Pexman, Associate Vice-President (Research)

  • vprawards@ucalgary.ca 

  • Scholars should contact their Dean’s office with specific inquiries, as the VPR Awards team will only be able to respond to general questions.  


Research allowance:

  • $20,000 or $30,000 per year

Annual supplement:

  • $5,000 per year


5 years


Nomination Deadline

Monday May 1, 2023

12:00 p.m. MT (noon)

Chair Details

  • UCalgary Research Excellence Chairs who are appointed within 10 years of PhD taking into account any leaves of absence (as outlined in the Canada Research Chairs Program) will receive $20,000 in annual research allowance during the term of the Chair.  

  • UCalgary Research Excellence Chairs who are appointed more than 10 years post-PhD will receive $30,000 in annual research allowance.  

  • All chairs will receive a $5,000 annual supplement in the form of a research prize. Chairs may opt to shift $5,000 of research allowance to the prize, increasing it to $10,000 annually.  

  • Chairs will have 75% of their workload allocated to research-related activities. In many cases, nominees brought forward by faculties will already have such time allocation. In exceptional cases where workload adjustment involves a change to teaching, host faculties may request support to offset the cost of sessional teaching replacement. 

Nomination and evaluation

The nomination process is to be strategically led by faculty Deans, in partnership with the Provost and Vice-President Academic (VPA) and Vice-President Research (VPR). 

Nominations should include: 

  1. Nominee’s CV and a short, non-technical max 2-page description of the nominee's research contributions and impact 
  2. Research Proposal – A 3-page proposal outlining the priorities, objectives, approach, and expected outcomes for the research activities proposed for the tenure of the Research Excellence Chair. This will include clearly stating how the activities will build capacity in transdisciplinary scholarship and/or other strategic initiatives at the University of Calgary. 
  3. Statement on EDIA – A 1-page statement from the nominee outlining their commitment to excellence in research and research training through advancement of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility. 
  4. Statement from Faculty Dean - should describe 1) the Faculty’s assessment of the nominee’s research program and record of (and potential for) research leadership, and 2) how the faculty member will be supported for successful engagement in transdisciplinary and other strategic initiatives. This will include description of how the faculty member’s workload will be adjusted for the term of the Chair so that at least 75% of their time is dedicated to scholarship and creative activity.  
  5. Letter of appraisal – from an external expert providing a written evaluation of the quality, feasibility, and likely impact of the proposed research and of the capability of the nominee to achieve the stated goals of that research. The external expert shall have an arm’s length perspective, per the conflict of interest guidelines of the Canada Research Chairs program. 

The University of Calgary is committed to promoting equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and indigenous engagement with the Research Excellence Chairs program, and will follow relevant practices outlined in the EDI in Research and Teaching Awards Pilot Plan.  

Please compile each nomination package into a single PDF. 

Nominations must be submitted by Faculty Deans 12:00 pm MT (noon) on May 1, 2023 to vprawards@ucalgary.ca.  

Nominations will be assessed by a selection committee advisory to the Program Lead and against the criteria used to consider Canada Research Chair nominations at the Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels.  

Subsequently the VPR and Provost will meet with the Program Lead and will make the final allocation decisions based on external appraisals and selection committee recommendations. 

  • Nominations must be submitted by a Faculty Dean; self- or peer-nominations are not eligible. 
  • Notice of award expected in June 2023.
  • Program may repeat in ~18-24 months.


Submit a nomination

Nominations must be submitted by Faculty Deans by noon on Monday, May 1, 2023 to vprawards@ucalgary.ca.