Phase 2 Nomination Instructions

The Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) Phase 2 nomination consists of the following mandatory parts:

  1. Program Form
  2. Budget Justification
  3. Letters of Support
  4. High-Level Research Plan and Link to Phase 1 Application
  5. List of References
  6. Curriculum Vitae Form
  7. Curriculum Vitae
  8. Institutional Recruitment Process
  9. Administrative Form

The following are also mandatory parts of the nomination but must be submitted directly to the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS):

  1. Letters of Reference (must be sent by the referees)
  2. Self-Identification Form (completed online by the nominee)
  3. Suggested Reviewers Form (in addition to those provided during registration) 

These instructions provide details on preparing and submitting the above nomination components. If you have questions regarding the nomination process, please send an email to

Nomination packages must be uploaded to the CERC application portal by 9 p.m. (eastern) by one of the application deadlines.

Presentation Guidelines

  • Combine Parts 1-8 listed above, and submit as one integrated, searchable PDF (not a scanned image). Part 9 should be submitted as a stand-alone form.
  • Any extra pages or material other than what is requested will be removed. Either single or double column presentation of text, graphs or illustrations is acceptable.
  • You are encouraged to include tables, charts, graphs, illustrations and references to help summarize information, but these will count as part of the page limits.
  • The institution’s name and the CERC title must appear at the top of each page and all pages should be numbered.
  • Information should be presented under the headings suggested to facilitate the review of each section.
  • Use 12-point Times New Roman font or larger.
  • Paper must be 8 ½” x 11” (22 cm x 28 cm) and margins must be at least ¾” (1.9 cm) around.

Section I: The Research Program

Part 1: Program Form

Follow the instructions in the Program Form to complete it. Refer to the CERC Program Discipline Codes when filling out the section on research disciplines and keywords.

Part 2: Budget Justification

Explain and justify each item in the “Funding from the CERC program,” “Funding from the host institution” and “Funding from other sources” tables in the Program Form. Provide a rationale/explanation for any deviation from the budget submitted in the Phase 1 application.

A maximum of 10 pages is permitted for this section.

Part 3: Letters of Support

From the host institution:

  • The executive head of the institution must provide a letter confirming the institution’s support and its agreement of the information contained in the nomination.
  • The chair(s) of the department(s) or dean of the faculty where the CERC will be appointed must provide a letter confirming the department’s support of the CERC, and explaining the faculty’s proposed interaction with the CERC.

From other funding sources:

  • Each organization providing a cash or in-kind contribution must provide a letter confirming its support for the CERC.
  • The case for the nomination would be strengthened if the letter described how the organization would benefit from the anticipated outcomes, the expected nature and extent of the interaction of the CERC with the organization’s personnel, as well as the potential benefit to Canada.

There is no limit to the number of support letters that can be attached to the application; however, each letter should be no more than two pages.

Part 4: High-Level Research Plan and Link to Phase 1 Application

Provide a high-level description of the proposed chair’s research program, the research niche to which the chair will contribute at the institution, the value-added of the CERC research program to the research niche, and the expected outcomes of the research program (6 pages maximum).

Briefly describe the following:

Overview of the proposed chair’s research program

  • The broad goal(s) and aim(s) of the proposed chair’s research program for both the seven-year period and beyond the term of the chair, with clear linkages to the Phase 1 proposal.
  • A brief overview of the research strategies and key activities, including methodological approaches and procedures for data collection and analysis.
  • The intellectual significance (excellence, originality, and innovation) of the proposed research.

Value-added of the proposed chair:

  • The focus of the nominees’ expertise and the fit of the nominee with the Phase 1 proposal.
  • The leadership role of the chair at the institution (e.g., heading an institute or centre).
  • How the chair’s research expertise will complement or augment the capacity of the existing research team.

Outcomes of the proposed chair:

  • How the chairs’ research activities are expected to influence the overall direction, strength and competitiveness of the existing research team.
  • The expected social, economic or environmental benefits of the research program in the proposed research area(s).
  • How the chair will contribute to Canada’s strengths and competitive advantage (e.g. partnerships, collaborations) and/or improve Canada’s research capacity.
  • Details on the sustainability of the chair research program beyond the seven years and the leverage of funds for the chair.

Integration with the Phase 1 application:

  • Any deviations from the Phase 1 application.
  • How any weaknesses raised during the Phase 1 evaluation process will be addressed (if applicable).

Note: A detailed research proposal is not required at Phase 2; however, it, a governance plan, and a data management plan will be required as a condition of funding within six months of the award start date.

Part 5: List of References

Attach a list of all references cited for the CERC research program (no page limit).

Section II: The Proposed Chair

Part 6: Curriculum Vitae Form

The nominee should complete each of the required fields (grey boxes) in the Curriculum Vitae Form.

Part 7: Curriculum Vitae

Provide the following information about the nominee:

1) Nominee’s vision statement (maximum two pages)

Provide a vision statement for the role of the chair at the institution that:

  • explains the nominee’s contribution to achieving the vision outlined by the host institution in the Phase 1 application;
  • describes potential and foreseeable challenges and accompanying mitigation strategies; and
  • outlines the  nominee’s philosophy on equity, diversity and inclusion, and how this aligns with the institutions’ equity plan (submitted as part of Phase 1).

2) Research contributions (no page limit)

List the nominee’s research contributions over the last five years, starting with the most recent. Contributions may include: articles; monographs; books and book chapters; licenses; patents; copyrights; products; services; technology transfer; input into new standards, policies, regulations and codes of practice; as well as improvements in professional practice and dissemination of best practices.

For multi-authored publications, identify any trainees that the nominee supervised by underlining their names. Briefly explain the citation conventions for their discipline (e.g., senior author first in multi-authored publications).

3) Most significant contributions (no page limit)

List the five most significant research contributions the nominee has made during their career, and:

  • explain their significance / how they have made groundbreaking impacts in the nominee’s field;
  • discuss how the outcomes have been incorporated into the thinking of other researchers and/or how they have been used to advance public policy and/or how they have been commercialized; and
  • outline any benefits (social, economic, cultural or other).

4) Awards and recognitions (no page limit)

Starting with the most recent, list the awards and special recognition that the nominee and/or their research have received, over the course of their career, and outline their significance. Provide evidence of international recognition in their field.

5) Other contributions (no page limit)

Describe other activities that show the impact of the nominee’s work, such as consulting; contributions to professional practice; memberships on committees, boards, or policy-making bodies; work with government or the private sector; work within or with community or not-for-profit organizations; or work in non-academic positions.

6) Leadership (no page limit)

Provide evidence of leadership, in particular internationally, such as stewardship of initiatives at the national or international level; setting up programs, centres and institutes; stewardship, management and leveraging of resources (including financial and non-financial resources), etc.

7) Career interruptions and other circumstances (no page limit)

TIPS entrusts its reviewers with the responsibility of reaching an assessment of research productivity that takes into account the impact of career interruptions and/or other circumstances.

Career interruptions occur when, for health, administrative, family or other reasons, a nominee is taken away from his or her research work for an extended period of time.

Other circumstances involve slowdowns in research productivity created by health, administrative, family or other reasons (i.e., the nominee was not taken completely away from his or her work).

In these cases, the nominee should provide a brief explanation of the absence(s), describe the impact of these absences on their research program, and include the start and end dates of the absence(s).

Section III: Institutional Recruitment Process

Part 8: Institutional Recruitment Process

Institutions are strongly encouraged to refer to the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Best Practices for Recruitment, Hiring and Retention document and/or the CERC Recruitment Best Practices when developing their recruitment processes.

Note: If successful, institutions should strongly encourage non-Canadian chairholders to live in the same province in which they work. This is to avoid undue hardship related to the process of becoming a permanent resident of Canada.

In this section, please provide the following information (maximum 8 pages):

  • Job Posting(s)
    • Provide the job posting(s) as an appendix (not included in the 8-page maximum).
    • Describe how your institution’s commitments to equity and diversity were effectively incorporated into the job posting.
  • Search for Candidates
    • Describe how your search ensured that a broad range of candidates were identified. Be sure to include, at a minimum:
      • in which venues the advertisement appeared, and for what period; and
      • the measures that were taken to actively recruit a diversified pool of qualified candidates, including any actions to specifically target candidates that are members of one or more of the four designated groups (women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, and/or visible minorities).
    • Describe your approach for using personal networks and professional search firms, if applicable, in identifying and contacting potential candidates.
    • Indicate what CV-related material was requested of the candidates as part of the recruitment process.
  • Hiring Committee
    • Describe the membership of the search committee, including titles, ranks, professional affiliations, and the rationale for the inclusion of each member on the committee.
    • Outline the committee’s commitment to equity and diversity, and how this was integrated in hiring decisions. Include the information given to the committee regarding the institution’s equity and diversity targets and gaps.
    • Describe the training provided related to avoiding unconscious biases (e.g., training content, duration, training provider, resources allocated, etc.), and other support provided to the search committee to support equitable decision-making.
  • Interview
    • Provide a description of the interview process, including the evaluation matrix that was used, and the expectations that were agreed to by the hiring committee prior to the interviews.
    • Describe the interview schedules of the candidates, including who they met with and why; the type of activities that were conducted (e.g., presentation, teaching, public talks); whether there were differences in schedules between candidates (and why); etc.  
    • Explain the steps the hiring committee took to ensure that the interview was as objective as possible.
  • Hiring Decisions
    • Provide a brief justification for the choice of the nominee based on the review criteria set out by the hiring committee.
    • Describe the representation of the designated groups within the candidate pool at each stage in the process. Provide numbers and percentages. Describe how diversity was monitored and continually reviewed in the pool of candidates at each stage.
    • If the nominee is not a member of one (or more) of the four designated groups, describe why it was not possible to recruit representation from these groups.
    • Describe the negotiation process, including how the institution handled dual-career issues (i.e., what measures were taken to help potential candidates’ partners find employment) and/or the proactive measures that the institution put in place to ensure that the candidate’s personal or family-related accommodations were taken into account at the offer stage (if applicable).
  • Retention / Institutional Environment
    • Describe how equity is incorporated in institutional guidelines for hiring, evaluation and promotion.
    • Describe how equity has been (or will be) visibly integrated across the institution, and provide specific examples of actions taken to ensure that a culture of equity and diversity is supported across the institution.
    • Describe whether/how the institution collects data on representation from the four designated groups, and whether/how this data is used for hiring or other purposes.

Part 9: Administrative Form

Complete each of the required fields in the Administrative Form. Submit this form as a stand-alone document through the CERC application portal.

The information provided in this form is for internal use only and will not be made available to reviewers.

Part 10: Letters of Reference

Each nomination must include three letters of reference. List the names and institutional affiliations of three people who will be writing letters of reference for this nomination. Nominating institutions should solicit letters from different sources, including researchers from more than one country, to provide evidence of international leadership.

All letters must be from international authorities in the field who are not in a conflict of interest with the nominee. The letters should emphasize the international stature of the nominee, the impact of his or her research, and the value of his or her contributions.

For further guidance, please consult the following:

Referees are in a conflict of interest if they:

  • are currently being nominated for a Canada Excellence Research Chair;
  • are affiliated with the nominating institution (including hospitals and research institutes) or with an organization receiving financial support from the nominating institution;
  • have held a position at the nominating institution in the last five years;
  • are involved in the program of research;
  • have a personal relationship with the nominee (including close friend, relative, former thesis supervisor or mentor, a student previously under the nominee's supervision);
  • have collaborated (i.e., have published, have been a co-researcher) with the nominee in the last five years; or
  • will benefit from the outcome.

Reference letters must be dated and include:

  • the referee's name, position, department, institution, email address and telephone number;
  • the name of the nominee; and
  • the period of time and capacity in which the referee has known the nominee.

Letters must be postmarked or sent by email or fax by the day the nomination is submitted. If sent by email or fax, the original copy must follow by mail.

Letters must be sent directly by the referees to TIPS:

Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat
350 Albert Street, 16th Floor
P.O. Box 1610
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1P 6G4
Fax: 613-943-3282

Please note:

  • The Canadian Privacy Act stipulates that the text of the letters of reference are accessible to the nominee (upon request), with the exception of the identity of the individuals who wrote the letters.
  • A nomination that is missing letters of reference or that does not meet the conditions outlined above in terms of conflict of interest will not be processed.
  • Letters that are not sent directly to TIPS will not be accepted.

Part 11: Self-Identification Form

The information in the Self-Identification Form is requested for internal use only and will not be made available to reviewers. TIPS will only use the information for administrative and statistical purposes. TIPS will provide a link to you for the nominee to complete and submit the form online.

Part 12: Suggested Reviewers

The institution must suggest at least five potential reviewers for this nomination by completing the Suggested Reviewers Form. Reviewers should be able to evaluate the nomination in the language in which it is written.

The reviewers cannot:

  • currently be a nominee or potential nominee for a Canada Excellence Research Chair;
  • be affiliated with the nominating institution (including hospitals and research institutes) or with an organization receiving financial support from the institution;
  • have held a position at the nominating institution in the last five years;
  • be involved in the program of research;
  • have a personal relationship with the nominee (including close friend, relative, former thesis supervisor or mentor, a student previously under the nominee's supervision);
  • have collaborated (i.e., have published, have been a co-researcher) with the nominee in the last five years; or
  • benefit from the outcome.

TIPS reserves the right to make the final selection of reviewers for any nomination and may opt not to use any of the suggested reviewers.

To request that TIPS not invite an individual/ individuals to review a nomination, send an email to with a clear subject line referencing the nomination.

This information is for internal use only and will not be made available to reviewers.