Call for Proposals for Canada Research Chair Theme Areas

The Office of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation is inviting Faculties, Departments, Schools and Research Centres/Institutes to submit proposals for new Canada Research Chair theme areas.  The University is planning to fill:  one NSERC Tier 2 chair and one SSHRC Tier 2 chair to commence January 1, 2025.  In order to meet the equity targets as set by the CRC Secretariat in accordance with Lakehead’s CRC Equity Target Plan, both available CRC positions will be given to individuals who self-identify as women. This initiative is a special program under the Ontario Human Rights Code. 


In developing CRC Theme Area Proposals, applicants are asked to consider the following:

  • All CRCs must be  aligned with the University’s research priorities as set out in the University’s CRC Research Plan which can be found here.  

  • Lakehead University is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) as essential to research excellence within the research enterprise, and is committed to using the CRC program to advance this commitment; proposals must be strongly aligned with Lakehead University’s EDI Action Plan, and CRC EDI Action Plan.  

  • Lakehead University is committed to using its CRC positions to recruit exceptional scholars.  Proposals for Tier 2 CRCs will only be considered in areas of established research strength at Lakehead University, with established graduate programs, and recognized excellence regionally, nationally and internationally. 

  • CRC theme areas must enhance interdisciplinary and collaborative research and build upon already successful research initiatives. 

  • CRCs are investments by Faculties, Departments, Schools and Research Centres/Institutes; proposals must demonstrate a commitment to supporting the recruitment and retention of the CRC and resourcing the CRC’s research program in collaboration with the University.

  • All CRC positions will be advertised openly and internationally.  In order to ensure a fair and transparent recruitment process, theme areas must be broad enough to attract a large candidate pool.  Proposals must not be specifically written with an internal candidate in mind.  


Faculty Deans/Chairs/Directors and Research Centre/Institute Directors (hereinafter referred to as the “Unit”) are asked to distribute the call for CRC Tier 2 proposals widely to all faculty members, and Research Centre/Institute members.   Units are encouraged to work collegially within their Units to identify new theme areas.  Proposals must follow the format outlined in Appendix A. 

If there are multiple submissions within a Faculty from Departments and Centres/Institutes, Deans are asked to review and rank all proposals indicating in a cover letter the rationale for the ranking and confirming that they agree to follow CRC’s September 2018 Requirements for Recruiting and Nominating Canada Research Chairs and the CRC Program EDI Requirements.

In order for a proposal to be considered, both the Dean and the Chair/Director(s) must agree to complete the checklist for recruitment and nomination of CRC chairs (Appendix B). In addition to following recruitment procedures outlined in the LUFA Collective Agreement, by signing this checklist, both the Dean and the Unit agree to follow all CRC guidelines for 1) recruitment and retention of CRCs, and 2) the EDI requirements and practices laid out by the CRC program. 

Proposals may be submitted to Anne Klymenko, Director, Research Services ( no later than December 16, 2022.   The proposals will be reviewed by the Lakehead University CRC Advisory Committee.  The Committee will include: the Vice-President, Research and Innovation; Provost and Vice-President Academic; Associate Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies; Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies; Chair of the Senate Research Committee; one current Canada Research Chair; Director, Research Services (non-voting); and EDI Research Facilitator (non-voting).  A recommendation will be provided to the President for final selection and approval by January 2023. 

The Office of Research Services will work with successful Faculties and Research Centres/Institutes to complete the recruitment process by the end of July 2023  with the goal of submitting the CRC nominations by the October 2023 nomination deadline.

Should you have any questions about the CRC program or recruitment process at Lakehead, please contact Anne Klymenko (Ext. 8223 or by email:  



Appendix A: Call for CRC Theme Areas - Proposal Requirements

Proposals for CRC theme areas should be brief - using 12-point font, please address the following topics/criteria 

(1 page maximum per topic/criteria) 

  1. Title and brief description of the proposed theme area.

  • Theme area proposal should be innovative, compelling and focus on an area of strategic importance and research strength with one or more Units. 

  • The proposal should describe how the theme area is at the cutting edge of research and will address the following key CRC goals: 1) improve our depth of knowledge and quality of life; 2) strengthen Canada's international competitiveness; and 3) help train the next generation of highly skilled people. 

  • How is the proposed CRC research theme aligned with the University’s research priorities as set out in the University’s CRC Strategic Research Plan?


  1. Description of how a CRC in this area would enhance and accelerate the Unit’s scholarly performance through collaborative and synergistic activity. 

  • What existing infrastructure, research centres/institutes, and/or other faculty members will the proposed Chair work with (please be specific)? What graduate programs exist to support the proposed CRC theme area?

  • What will be the value add of this chairholder to the University’s research profile?

  • What infrastructure is available or required to support the potential research theme area, (including any space requirements).  Please specify the Unit’s commitment and strategies for supporting CRC candidates from equity-deserving groups with onboarding, mentoring, start-up funds, Graduate Assistantships, office space and research/laboratory space.


  1. Description of how a CRC in this area would nurture cross-unit research or scholarly activity. 

  • How was the theme area chosen? Which other Units and their researchers (be specific about individuals and/or clusters) will benefit from this CRC? 

  • Please indicate the Unit’s external partners that this chairholder may work with. How will this chairholder add value in building collaborations and partnerships (both within and outside the university)?


  1. Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. 

  • Lakehead University is committed to EDI as an essential component for research excellence.  The CRC program is also similarly committed to inclusive excellence and has set institutional targets related to representation of the four equity deserving groups (women, racialized minorities, Indigenous peoples, and persons with a disability) among chairholders. By 2029, the University needs to meet the EDI targets as required by the CRC Program (50.9% women; 22% visible minorities; 7.5% persons with disabilities; and 4.9% Indigenous people). Please justify how the selected research theme will encourage the recruitment of individuals who self-identify as women. 

  • Indicate whether EDI was a consideration in the development of the proposed theme and how the theme is expected to attract female applicants.   

  • Description of the Faculty’s commitment and current efforts to promoting EDI in the research enterprise. This section must include the Faculty’s approach to reducing barriers for women and equity deserving groups or other strategies within the Faculty to ensure candidates from the designated equity-deserving groups are integrated into a supportive research environment for long-term success and retention.  

  • Provide an estimate of the size of the candidate pool and details on the planned recruitment strategy, including a potential list of advertising venues (professional societies and associations of designated groups) to reach a broad and diverse pool of candidates, specifically women. Please provide a list of advertising venues you will use to reach equity deserving groups.  

  • Please describe any anticipated challenges in the recruitment of female candidates.


  1. Faculty/Department/School and Research Centre/Institute Commitment to the CRC.

Final submissions must be submitted through the appropriate Faculty Dean.  The Faculty Dean must enclose a signed letter committing:

  • That all Departmental Search Committee members will actively participate in the CRC search process and agree to follow the CRC Recruitment requirements (attached as a checklist in Appendix B); and 

  • Resources to support the CRC as outlined in the proposal.


Please note that in order to receive a Canada Research Chair allocation, Department Search Committee must agree in writing to follow the September 2018 CRC Requirements for Recruiting and Nominating a Canada Research Chair prior to posting the job advertisement.   Additionally, Appendix B must be completed and signed by both the Dean and the Department Search Committee. 


Appendix B: CRC Recruitment and Retention Checklist

As per the requirements for recruiting and nominating CRCs, as described in the program’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Requirements and Practices, please find below information that the faculty/department must adhere to in order to demonstrate adherence to EDI throughout the recruitment and nomination process of a CRC. Documentation may be requested for any of the times listed.

By signing this checklist, you agree to complete and adhere to the following policies/requirements.

Committee Requirements

The committee agrees to:

  • List the membership details of the recruitment and nomination committee (including representation from underrepresented populations (at least one individual from one of the four designated groups) and the presence of an equity and diversity officer)

  • Participate in and have a description (including certifications) of the EDI training that all individuals who participated in the process completed (including training on unconscious bias and EDI training)

  • Describe the role of the equity and diversity officer or designated equity, diversity and inclusion champion


Posting Requirements

The job posting must:

  • Include a statement that recognizes the legitimate impact that leaves (e.g., maternity leave, leave due to illness) can have on a candidate’s record of research achievement and that these leaves will be taken into careful consideration during the assessment process

  • Encourage individuals from all four designated groups to apply

  • 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

  • Be transparent and use inclusive, unbiased and ungendered language focused only on the qualifications and skills necessary for the CRC to be successful in the faculty

    • Require, as part of the job criteria, a track record related to EDI

  • Use commitment-to-equity statements effectively

  • Use language that focuses on abilities over experience

  • Include information in the job posting about the department and provide web links. Showcase the diversity of the students and the city or town as well as highlight any connections/initiatives with or by local Indigenous communities if applicable


Process Requirements

To ensure a fair and equitable process, the committee must ensure that:

  • The recruitment process was in line with the institution’s equity and diversity targets and the program’s requirements for an open and transparent recruitment process are documented by senior officials

  • The institution’s equity office (or equivalent) was involved and consulted in all stages of the process

  • A description of the strategy and proactive efforts made to identify a diverse pool of potential applicants are documented

  • The measures used to ensure that individuals who required accommodation or who experienced career interruptions were not disadvantaged during the nomination process were documented

  • All copies of relevant internal policies and guidelines (e.g., equity policies, tenure-track hiring practices/policies, collective agreement or equivalent) are available

  • A description of the best practices used to collect data on the participation of individuals from the four designated groups, including a copy of the self-identification form are available

  • The assessment criteria were finalized prior to undertaking the review process/accessing application files

    • Clear evaluation criteria and assessment grids were used in the evaluation of the candidates

    • Assessing excellence was completed in a way that that fully recognizes and rewards the scholarship of teaching, professional service, community service, outreach, mentoring and research training, and accounts for non-traditional areas of research and/or research outputs

    • The assessment criteria were applied fairly and consistently to all applicants

  • All decisions are documented during the review and decision processes and readily available


In recruitment efforts

The committee confirms that they will:

  • Be aware of the institution’s equity and diversity targets

  • Protect the privacy and personal information of all applicants

  • Publicly advertised the Chair position on the Lakehead University website

  • Post a position description that contained all required information (as per CRC guidelines and those listed above)

  • Advertise in multiple venues both locally, nationally, and internationally to recruit a diverse pool of applicants

  • Discuss and manage potential conflicts of interest within the process

  • Finalize the assessment criteria prior to undertaking the review process/accessing application files

  • Apply all assessment criteria fairly and consistently

  • Collect self-identification data that were disaggregated from the application

    • Ensuring that the pool of applicants was sufficiently diverse and met equity targets

  • Document decisions at each stage of the review process

  • Involve the Director of the Office of Human Rights, Equity, and Diversity at all stages of the process (including development of assessment criteria, all meetings, attending public presentations and interviews)


In deliberations regarding the nomination

The committee confirms that they will:

  • Fairly consider the potential impact of leaves on productivity

  • Value non-traditional scholarship and research

  • Discuss the potential for bias in the final nomination decision

  • Recognize the value of research outputs that are different formats and platforms

  • Document all decisions at each stage of the review process




As the Dean of __________________________________ Faculty, agree to ensure all items listed in Appendix B are followed according to the CRC Guidelines and Lakehead’s CRC EDI Action Plan.

_______________________________                                      __________________________
Signature of the Dean                                                                 Date