The 2022 Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) competition will use the following requirements, which are based on the principles of openness, transparency and accountability, for the recruitment and nomination of Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERCs). These outline the minimum requirements institutions must meet when nominating a CERC. Institutions are encouraged to incorporate the additional best practices developed for the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) within their CERC recruitment processes.
1) Institutional accountability
- These requirements apply to all nominations.
- Before beginning the recruitment process, the institution must identify a senior official, who will be responsible for ensuring the requirements have been followed and will attest to this by completing the Registration stage in the Convergence Portal.
- The program will not accept nominations where the job posting and/or recruitment and nomination process do not follow the requirements.
- The Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat reserves the right to ask institutions to provide, at any time within 48 months of submission, documentation that demonstrates the requirements were followed. See examples of documentation in Section 8) Monitoring of recruitment and nomination processes below.
- In cases where the results of a monitoring exercise find the recruitment process did not follow the requirements, the program reserves the right to withdraw a nomination, suspend future payments or terminate the award of an already active chair.
- The recruitment process used to nominate a CERC could be used to nominate individuals for the CRCP also, providing the job posting clearly indicates that the process is for both programs and that the requirements for recruiting and nominating Canada Research Chairs (CRCs) are fully met. In these cases, the job postings must be sent by email, on the day they are posted, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The institution must:
- ensure that nominees meet the eligibility requirements of the CERC program; and
- consider the potential of drawing a diverse pool of candidates when defining the targeted fields of research, and whether outlining broader fields of research might be more likely to attract a more diverse pool of candidates.
3) Advertisements / job postings
The institution must:
- publicly advertise all CERC positions on its public accountability web page for a minimum of 30 days prior to the registration deadline of the competition (this applies to all nominations). All postings must be archived and publicly available for a minimum of three years; and
- email email@example.com with all the links to all job postings that advertise chair positions on the exact day they are posted online. The program will actively monitor all job postings to ensure they meet the requirements outlined below.
A job posting must:
- clearly state the date on which it has been posted online;
- clearly state the position is for a Canada Excellence Research Chair, and identify the field(s) of research and award values;
- include a statement that recognizes the legitimate impact that leaves (e.g., parental leaves, slowdowns due to illness or disability, COVID-19 impacts) can have on a nominee’s record of research achievement, and that these leaves will be taken into careful consideration during the assessment process;
- encourage applications from individuals from all underrepresented groups, including members of racialized minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, women, and individuals from the LGBTQ2+ community;
- include the institution’s commitment statement to equity, diversity and inclusion;
- include a statement on the institution’s accommodation policies, and provide the contact information of someone who can address requests for accommodations (e.g., to accommodate candidates with hearing impairments, mobility restrictions, etc.); and
- use inclusive, unbiased and ungendered language focused only on the qualifications and skills necessary for the job.
4) Search for candidates
It is expected that:
- proactive efforts are made to identify a diverse pool of potential applicants, which may include:
- ensuring the targeted field of research is sufficiently broadly defined;
- advertising in targeted venues (professional societies and associations of designated groups); or
- using recruitment firms/agencies.
Institutions must ensure:
- the selection criteria and assessment process are finalized prior to the process being undertaken, and are applied consistently and fairly to all candidates;
- the search and hiring committees’ evaluation processes and decisions are carefully documented at each stage of the process;
- conflict of interest and/or perceived conflict of interest within the process is managed accordingly (i.e., that any member of the search and hiring committees who has a potential conflict of interest with any of the candidates recuse themself from participating in the entire process);
- the institution’s equity officer (or a committee member / institutional official identified as the equity, diversity and inclusion champion) is involved and consulted at all stages of the process (from proposal development to the final selection of the candidate); and
- self-identification data is collected from all applicants using best practices to help the institution assess the diversity of its pool.
5) Nomination committee
A group of individuals (a committee and not a sole individual) must use a fair and objective recruitment and nomination process when making all decisions.
The recruitment and nomination committee must:
- have some representation from underrepresented populations, including a minimum of one individual from an underrepresented group;
- include an equity and diversity officer (or a committee member / institutional official identified as the equity, diversity and inclusion champion);
- have received training regarding the negative impacts unconscious bias can have on assessment and decision-making processes, and on the career paths of individuals from underrepresented groups;
- be aware of the institution’s commitment and strategy for meeting (or sustaining) its organizational equity targets and any gaps that need to be addressed;
- use best practices to protect the privacy and personal information of all applicants (e.g., self-identification data, information related to leaves and life circumstances) and in managing conflicts of interest.
6) Nomination decision
The recruitment and nomination committee must:
- fairly consider the impact of leaves on a potential candidate’s record when assessing research outputs;
- consider that leaves can contribute to a career slowdown as individuals transition to being on leave and transition back to work (e.g., pregnancy can, in some cases where there may be complications, impact a woman’s productivity prior to being on official maternity leave);
- ensure the assessment process does not undervalue scholarship or research that is non-traditional or unconventional, based in Indigenous ways of knowing, outside the mainstream of the discipline, or focused on issues of gender, race or minority status;
- ensure the need for workplace accommodations does not negatively impact a candidate’s assessment;
- review the final hiring decision (and challenge it, if necessary) to ensure unconscious bias or potential conflicts of interest did not negatively impact the decision-making process, and it is aligned with the institution’s equity, diversity and inclusion action plan; and
- provide a written nomination committee report, signed by all committee members, to the senior official attesting to how the recruitment and nomination requirements of the program have been met.
Prior to submitting a nomination to the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat, the designated senior official must review the recruitment and nomination process, the corresponding documentation and the nomination package to ensure:
- the requirements have been followed;
- the nomination is aligned with the program’s commitment to equity and diversity; and
- the level of institutional support (e.g., level of protected time for research, research stipend, mentoring, etc.) being provided to the individual is fair and comparable to that provided to other CERCs at the institution (where applicable).
The senior official must complete the Institutional Attestation—Recruitment and Nomination Process on Convergence when submitting the nomination.
8) Monitoring of recruitment and nomination processes
Institutions may be asked to provide, at any time within the 48 months following the submission of a nomination, evidence that the process met the requirements. In cases where the results of a monitoring exercise find that the requirements have not been followed, the program reserves the right to withdraw the nomination, or suspend future payments or terminate the award of an active CERC.
The following outlines examples of documentation the institution may be asked to provide:
- membership details of the recruitment and nomination committee;
- the names of senior officials responsible for ensuring the recruitment process was in line with the program’s requirements for an open and transparent recruitment process;
- a description of the equity, diversity and inclusion training provided to individuals who participated in the process (including training on unconscious bias);
- a description of the role of the equity and diversity officer or designated equity, diversity and inclusion champion;
- a description of the strategy and proactive efforts made to identify a diverse pool of potential applicants;
- a description of the measures used to ensure individuals who required accommodation or who experienced career interruptions were not disadvantaged during the nomination process;
- evaluation criteria and assessment grids;
- copies of relevant internal policies and guidelines (e.g., equity policies, tenure-track hiring practices/policies, collective agreement or equivalent); and
- a description of the best practices used to collect data on the participation of individuals from underrepresented groups, including a copy of the self-identification form.
If you have enquiries related to these requirements or the program’s equity, diversity and inclusion practices, contact: