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Research Chairs and Professorships

Submitted by rfee on Wed, 01/15/2014 - 2:35pm

Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC)

The Government of Canada created the Canada Excellence Research Chairs program in 2008 with the focus on establishing 20 prestigious research chairs in universities across the country. The CERC program invests $28 million a year to attract and retain the world's best in priority research areas such as environmental sciences and technologies, natural resources and energy, health and related life sciences and technologies, and information and communication technologies.

Canada Excellence Research Chairs are identified through a highly competitive two-stage process. In Phase 1, Canadian universities compete for the opportunity to establish chairs at their institution. In Phase 2, a short list of successful universities will nominate world leaders to a limited number of CERC positions. The selection will be based on the highest standards of research excellence. Canadian universities will administer the funds.

Canada Excellence Research Chairs are tenable for seven years and are not renewable. They are targeted at the world's top researchers to develop ambitious research programs in the four priority research areas in the Government of Canada's science and technology (S&T) strategy. For each chair, the university receives up to $1.4 million annually for seven years.

In 2014, Dr. Steven Bryant was named Canada Excellence Research Chair in Materials Engineering for Unconventional Oil Reservoirs.

Canada Research Chairs

Submitted by rfee on Wed, 01/15/2014 - 2:30pm

The Canada Research Chairs Program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world's top countries for research and development.

In 2000, the Government of Canada created a new permanent program to establish 2000 research professorships—Canada Research Chairs—in universities across the country. The Canada Research Chairs Program invests $300 million a year to attract and retain some of the world's most accomplished and promising minds.

Chairholders aim to achieve research excellence in natural sciences, engineering, health sciences, humanities, and social sciences. They improve Canadians’ depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen the country’s international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of highly skilled people through student supervision, teaching, and the coordination of other researchers’ work.

The Program is committed to ensuring access and opportunities to all qualified candidates, while maintaining standards of excellence. The goals of equity and excellence are not mutually exclusive. Equity ensures that the largest pool of qualified candidates is accessed without affecting the integrity of the selection process.

Detailed information for the Canada Research Chairs program is available on their website.

For more information on Canada Research Chairs, please contact Rhian Gunn.

NSERC Industrial Research Chairs

NSERC Industrial Research Chairs

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Industrial Research Chairs (IRC) programs aims to:

  • Assist universities in building on existing strengths to achieve the critical mass required for a major research endeavour in science and engineering of interest to industry; and/or
  • Assist in the development of research efforts in fields that have not yet been developed in Canadian universities but for which there is an important industrial need.

NSERC offers three types of Industrial Research Chairs:

  • Senior Industrial Research Chairs for distinguished senior researchers (five-year appointment, renewable);
  • Associate Industrial Research Chairs for early stage researchers demonstrating exceptional promise (five-year appointment, renewable once); and
  • Executive Industrial Research Chairs for outstanding R&D professionals (five-year appointment, non-renewable).

An IRC grant provides funding for the salary of the Chairholder, infrastructure, research tools and instruments, and general expenses related to the Chair's program of research.

For information on NSERC Industrial Research Chairs, please contact Tiago Lier.

Alberta Innovates Technology Futures

Alberta Innovates Technology Futures

In January 2010 iCORE was amalgamated with a handful of other Alberta government initiatives to form Alberta Innovates Technology Futures.  iCORE was established in October 1999 by the Government of Alberta to foster an expanding community of exceptional researchers in the field of informatics, that is, areas of computer science, electrical and computer engineering, physics, mathematics and other disciplines related to information and communications technology (ICT). iCORE operates several grant programs to develop iCORE Chairs at Alberta universities, around which world-class research teams are developed. Since its inception, more than 24 research chairs have been established to focus on emerging areas such as wireless communications, artificial intelligence, and quantum and nanocomputing.


2016/2017 AITF Strategic Research Projects Initiative

The following Strategic Research Priorities and Outcomes are based on draft information from AITF and subject to change.

AITF Strategic Research Priorities

Applications should align with the following AITF priority areas:

  • Projects addressing Innovation Target Priorities in the areas of Emerging Technologies, Environment & Climate, Energy, Food and Agriculture, Fibre/Bioindustrial and Health;
  • Projects to develop enabling Platform Technologies: Nanotechnology, Information & Communications Technology, and Omics technologies; and

  • Projects addressing Industry challenges which fall within Innovation Target Priority Areas or Platform Technology Priority Areas.


Alberta Innovation Target Priority Areas
Broad areas of focus Select Focus Areas
(examples only)
Emerging Technologies
  • Grow Alberta’s Green Economy
  • Advanced Manufacturing and Materials
  • Digital Economy
  • Clean power/renewables
  • Advanced sensors and MEMS devices
  • Waste management
  • Robotics/3D printing
  • New material development
  • Data science/analytics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Virtual service delivery
Environment & Climate
  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Restoration of Alberta’s Landscapes
  • Sustainable Water Management
  • Cumulative effects management
  • Monitoring systems
  • Fine tailings reclamation
  • Aquatic ecosystem management
  • Water quality
  • Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction
  • Increase Value & Market Access
  • Improve Oil Sands Efficiency
  • Renewable Energy
  • Carbon reduction and re-use solutions for industry
  • Value add process innovation
  • Energy storage
  • Renewables
  • Access for remote communities/first nations
Food and Agriculture
  • Increase Sales
  • Increase Productivity
  • Improve Social License
  • Value add products and processing
  • Food safety
  • Precision farming
  • Genomic improvements
  • Animal welfare
  • Consumer preferences
Fibre and Bioindustrial
  • Increase Sales
  • Drive Investment
  • Reduce Waste
  • Value from waste (Ag/For and municipal)
  • Biorefining technologies
  • Advanced biomaterials and fibre innovation
  • Improve Robustness of Health Data
  • Improve Quality of Care
  • Reduce Burden of Disease
  • Health & Wellness Innovation
  • Electronic health record – access and expanded use
  • Personalized medicine
  • Care innovation across the spectrum of delivery
  • Novel diagnostics and therapeutics
  • Rapid market entry for health innovations

Alberta Platform Priority Areas

Common Enabling Outcomes Opportunity Areas
  • Infrastructure
  • People & Skills
  • Innovation Environment (Generate Value)
  • Science & Technology Literacy
  • Advanced Nano Engineered Materials
  • Sensors
  • Atomic & Molecular Systems
  • Data Science
  • Privacy and Cybersecurity
  • Virtual Service Delivery
  • Precision Health
  • Plant and Animal Productivity
  • Hydrocarbon Productivity and Remediation
  • Environmental Ecosystems

AITF Strategic Research Projects Initiative - Desired Outcomes:

  • Catalyze growth and diversification of Alberta’s economy;

  • Encourage the employment and retention of highly qualified personnel;

  • Establish new collaborations between Alberta Researchers and Industry partners, including Alberta technology-based SMEs; and

  • Enable the development and application of Platform technologies to Innovation Targets and Industry Challenges.



For information on Alberta Innovates Technology Futures Chairs and the Strategic Projects Initiative, please contact Tiago Lier.

Endowed Chairs and Professorships

There are numerous other Chair and Professorships from other sources – Endowed Chairs and Professorships are established by the philanthropic community and/or organizations to develop, promote, and recognize research excellence throughout the University. The income generated by the endowments enhances the recruitment and retention of internationally renowned candidates who will provide leadership and vision to specific research programs.

"Endowed Chairs" are endowment funded prestigious academic staff appointments established to recognize and/or attract to the University internationally recognized senior academics whose scholarly activity and accomplishments will enrich selected areas of research and teaching.

"Endowed Professorships" are endowment funded academic staff appointments made to facilitate cooperative research between the University and the contributing community, government, and/or industrial sponsors.