The Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program is a tri-agency initiative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. It is administered by the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS), which is housed within SSHRC.
Reminder: To be eligible to apply, institutions must submit their registration using the Convergence Portal by 9 p.m. (eastern), September 15, 2022.
All registrations must be submitted electronically using the Convergence Portal by the deadline. Registrations that are incomplete or submitted after the deadline will be withdrawn from the competition. No extensions to the deadlines will be provided. Instructions on how to access and use the Convergence Portal are provided below.
Applicants may choose either of the official languages (English or French) to submit documents and information related to this competition. Any accompanying documents should also be submitted in the same language, to assist with the peer review process.
These instructions are to be used in conjunction with the information in the 2022 Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) funding opportunity.
The requirements for recruiting and nominating Canada Excellence Research Chairs must be used to create the job posting for CERC candidates. These requirements were developed using the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) requirements, with elements that were only applicable to the CRC program removed.
Using the Convergence Portal to create and submit your registration
You must have a Convergence Portal account to create and submit your registration.
You must complete the registration using the Convergence Portal. The portal is supported only on the latest versions of Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox. The portal may appear to function in other browsers, but technical problems can occur, such as information being improperly captured in the system without the user being aware. Use of an unsupported browser is strongly discouraged.
Follow the instructions provided in the Convergence Portal to complete and submit your registration. You must complete one registration per nomination. When you are ready to submit, review your registration to ensure it is complete. From the “Finalize Registration” section in the Convergence Portal, follow the prompts to submit the registration. After you accept the terms and conditions, the status of your submission will change to “Received by Agency”. No changes can be made at that point. Repeat the process for subsequent nominations.
Roles and invitations
Various people may take part in preparing the application in Convergence. The Senior Official (SO) is the designated representative who has the authority to create and to sign off on the application (e.g., the provost or the vice-president, Research, depending on the institution). Only one SO can be named. The SO has both read and write privileges in the Convergence Portal. See the table below for a summary of such privileges by role.
The Delegate(s) are designated employees at the institution who have a role in the CERC application process. The institution can name as many delegates as needed. Delegates have both read and write privileges in the Convergence Portal.
TIPS will communicate with institutions to identify the SO and delegates for this program. Once identified, the proposed SO and delegates will receive an email with instructions to access the portal.
Once the SO has their access credentials, they must also invite the Nominee (the person nominated for a Canada Excellence Research Chair), who will then have, with some restrictions, read and write privileges in the portal. Please see the “Invite Nominee” section for information on the steps the nominee will need to take to complete their profile.
The following table describes the read and write privileges in the Convergence Portal: “yes” indicates that the role has read and write privileges; “no” indicates that the role has neither read nor write privileges; “view only” indicates that the role has read privileges.
Summary of privileges by role
The Convergence Portal will automatically create a dashboard of all the nominations at your institution. This can only be viewed by the SO and delegates (not by nominees). Once a chair registration is created through the dashboard, it will appear under the “Institutional Applications” tab.
Proposed title of the CERC (i.e., Canada Excellence Research Chair in …)
The CERC title should be descriptive and should not include symbols or abbreviations. For example, use “and” instead of “&”. The title should also be short and in language plain enough for a lay audience and members of the media to understand and use it.
Language of the application
Indicate which official language will be used for the CERC application.
Expected date of the appointment
Alignment with federal research funding agency
Based on the mandates of the three federal research funding agencies and the research area(s) of the CERC, select the agency with which this CERC primarily aligns. This selection is used by TIPS only for financial and reporting purposes, and should not be viewed as directing interdisciplinary research programs to shift their focus or align primarily a particular agency’s mandate.
If your application involves Indigenous research, it will be reviewed in the context of SSHRC’s Indigenous Research Statement of Principles and the Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research. In this module, you are asked to indicate whether your proposal involves Indigenous research as defined by SSHRC.
For nominees to access and complete the registration, the institution must invite the nominee. The Convergence Portal platform will then send an email to the nominee, who can accept or decline the invitation.
Upon accepting the invitation, the nominee will be led through a series of steps to complete their enrolment and update their profile. In this series of steps, the nominee will be asked to confirm that they are the nominee for only one CERC application in this competition. The nominee will also be asked to complete the self-identification form.
Senior officials and delegates do not have to be invited as participants in the application, as their roles have already been assigned.
As part of this process, the nominee is asked to fill out a self-identification form. The self-identification form is a mandatory component for a complete CERC nomination package. The option exists for nominees to indicate “prefer not to say” in response to the questions. The nominee’s self-identification will be viewable only by themself and TIPS staff, and can be updated any time before the application is submitted. Applications for which the self-identification form is not submitted by the deadline will not proceed to the multidisciplinary review committee.
TIPS will use the information only for administrative and statistical purposes.
None of the information collected in the self-identification form is made available to the SO, delegates or reviewers.
The name of the nominee invited in the preceding module will appear in the “Nominee” module. This information is required by TIPS to ensure potential reviewers are not in a conflict of interest with the nominee.
The Canadian Research and Development Classification (CRDC) was jointly developed by the three federal research funding agencies, along with the Canada Foundation for Innovation and Statistics Canada. The Convergence Portal contains Socioeconomic Objective (SEO) - CRDC 2020 Version 1.0. If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback, email R&D-Classification@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca.
You must provide at least one primary socioeconomic objective. You may add up to a maximum of three socioeconomic objectives.
Science, technology and innovation research priority areas
Chairs will be awarded in alignment with the Government of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Priorities for the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program and the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. Applications are invited from a broad range of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering, and health and related sciences.
In this module, using the Government of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Priorities for the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program and the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, select the challenge(s) and area(s) of focus that are relevant to the application. You must select at least one challenge. There is no limit to the number of challenges or areas of focus you can select.
Fields of research
Select the fields of research from the Canadian Research and Development Classification (CRDC) codes that relate to the proposed research. You must provide at least two primary fields of research from different groups (disciplines). You may add up to a maximum of three secondary fields of research directly related to the project (for a maximum total of five fields of research).
List between five and 10 keywords to describe the proposed research program.
Summary of proposed program
Provide a summary (maximum 2500 characters), written in lay language, describing the importance and appropriateness of the proposed CERC.
The summary of proposal must:
- state the objectives of the proposed research program;
- summarize the research approach; and
- highlight the novelty and expected significance of the work.
This summary will be used in the application adjudication process, and, in the event of an award, for promotional and communications purposes. This summary may be modified at the full application stage.
Canada Foundation for Innovation
In this module, select “yes” or “no” in answer to the question, “Is a request for infrastructure support from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation included with this Chair nomination?”.
Provide a list of 10 suggested reviewers who may be contacted to review the proposal at the full application stage. Applicants are encouraged to suggest a diverse list of potential reviewers with appropriate expertise to review and comment on the proposal. Suggested reviewers should be a mix of Canadian and international experts from academic and research institutions, not-for-profit and philanthropic organizations, private sector enterprises, and the public sector; and should include individuals from the four designated groups (women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples and members of visible minorities). These individuals should have the required expertise to review and comment on the proposal, and should not be in a conflict of interest with any member of the team as defined by the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations. At least five must be from outside Canada. At least two must be from the private sector.
You must include reviewers who:
- are not from your own or the nominee’s current institutions;
- are not in a conflict of interest with the core personnel from your institution;
- can provide an independent assessment of your application; and
- are capable of reviewing your application in the language in which it is written.
TIPS reserves the right to make the final selection of reviewers.
Note: You must not contact suggested external reviewers in advance.
You may provide the names of individuals whom you think cannot provide an objective review of your application along with comments specifying the reason for their exclusion. TIPS reserves the right to make the final selection of reviewers. The Reviewer Exclusions section for each stage of the application is accessible under the Privacy Act.
Only the SO has access to this module. The SO must answer a set of questions related to the recruitment of the nominee in order to attest that the institution has followed the requirements for recruiting and nominating Canada Excellence Research Chairs. They will then validate the information and submit the nomination.
In particular, the SO must attest that they discussed the unique nature of this nomination with the nominee, and that the nominee is not being nominated by another institution in the current CERC competition. Multiple nominations of the same nominee will result in the rejection of all nominations associated to this nominee.
As part of its monitoring activities, the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat reserves the right to review the supporting documents at any time within 48 months of submission, to confirm that the recruitment and nomination process used for this nomination followed the program’s requirements.
Where results of a monitoring exercise find that the program’s requirements have not been followed for the nomination, the program reserves the right to withdraw the nomination, suspend future payments or terminate the award of an already active Chair.
The nomination must also align with the program's commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), and with the institution's EDI action plan.
If the answer is “yes” to the question “Does the nominee hold a full-time academic appointment at a Canadian institution?”, the institution will be required to submit a supporting document at the application stage to demonstrate the net benefit to the country in moving the researcher from one Canadian institution to another.
If you have questions: