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You are here: Research @ McMaster > Canada 150 Research Chairs (NOMINATIONS NOW CLOSED) > Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The information below was compiled from Question & Answer sessions held June 16, 2017 , July 4, 2017 and a webinar July 6, 2017.

 Canada 150 Research Chairs





Published June 16, 2017

What are the objectives of the program?

The Canada 150 Research Chairs Program will invest $117.6 million over eight years to provide one-time funding in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.

The program is designed to attract approximately 15 to 35 internationally based researchers and scholars, including Canadian expatriates who wish to relocate to Canada. These individuals will help further knowledge in the sciences, technology, health, engineering and the social sciences and humanities, and will build on the country’s reputation as a global centre of science, research and innovation excellence. Refer to Program Details for more information.

How will the grants be awarded?

The program will use a single-phase “rapid response” process that is both competitive and rigorous for awarding the chairs. All applications submitted to the competition, regardless of award value and/or the candidate’s career stage, will be evaluated using the program’s evaluation criteria. Candidates will have up to 12 months after decisions are made to take up their positions. This will allow flexibility for individuals with families or other obligations.

How is this program different from the Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) Program?

The Canada 150 Research Chairs program is a one-time funding opportunity in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary. The program will use a “rapid response” process to quickly facilitate the recruitment of esteemed researchers and scholars who wish to relocate to Canada over a period of several months. In addition, the program will accept applications for individuals of all career stages.

Individuals nominated to the program must hold a full time academic appointment at the nominating institution as of the start date of the chair award. An institution may choose to recruit within an existing area of strength in the sciences, technology, health, engineering, and the social sciences and humanities or it may use the research chair to build critical mass in a new area.

How will equity and diversity be considered within the program?

Achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to seize opportunities and for responding to global challenges. As such, the program is committed to the Government of Canada’s policies on non-discrimination and employment equity.

All institutions’ practices for recruiting chairs are expected to be open, transparent and equitable. Equity and diversity will be given strong consideration in the competition, consistent with the Government of Canada's expectations for a diverse set of awardees. Institutions must demonstrate a strong commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in their recruitment and outreach strategies, and ensure equitable access to opportunities available within the research teams that the program will establish.

In addition, measures will be taken as part of the review process to limit unconscious bias. Equity and diversity will be considered when identifying external reviewers and potential committee members for the multidisciplinary review panel. External reviewers will be provided with guidelines on limiting unconscious bias, and committee members will receive training on limiting unconscious bias. Measures will also be taken to ensure that individuals with career interruptions (e.g., parental leave) are not disadvantaged during the evaluation process.

Are the research chairs awards renewable?

The awards are tenable for seven years and are non-renewable. As part of the application process, institutions will need to provide a plan for ensuring the sustainability and retention of the chairholder beyond the period of the award.

What will happen in the event that a successful candidate does not accept the award?

If a successful candidate does not accept the award, it will be offered to the next institution and candidate on the reversion list.

Application Process

How do I determine if my institution is eligible to apply?

Degree-granting institutions are eligible to apply if they have received an average of $1,000,000 or more per year from the three federal granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

What candidates are eligible to be submitted to the program?

Only researchers who are internationally based at the time of the application (both working and residing outside of Canada), including Canadian expatriates, are eligible to the program. Researchers who are already at a Canadian institution are not eligible. Nominated individuals must hold a full-time academic appointment at the Canadian nominating institution as of the start date of the chair award. Refer to Eligibility of Nominees for more information.

Can a current CERC or Canada Research Chairholder (CRC) be a candidate?

No, current CERCs and CRCs are not eligible to the program.

Can a potential CERC candidate be submitted to the program?

A potential CERC candidate who is internationally based at the time of the application is eligible.

Can a candidate nominated for a Canada 150 Research Chair be nominated for a CERC in Phase 2 of the current competition?

Yes, but a candidate cannot hold a Canada 150 Research Chair and a CERC at the same time.

Can a researcher who is already in Canada be submitted as a candidate?

No.  Researchers who are already employed at a Canadian institution are not eligible. Only researchers who are internationally based at the time of the application (both working and residing outside of Canada), including Canadian expatriates, are eligible to the program.

How many applications can be submitted by institutions?

Eligible institutions may only submit up to a limited number of applications to the competition, equal to no more than the maximum dollar value per year as indicated on the Eligible Institutions and Application Limits page.

Why are there two different award values?

The two award values acknowledge the varying costs of research objectives and the exceptional caliber of the candidates. The program also wishes to consider candidates from the largest available pool of top-tier researchers and scholars, which is consistent with the Government of Canada's expectations for a diverse set of awardees.

When will the registration and application forms be available?

The forms will be available on the program’s online portal in the near future.

How do I access the online portal?

The Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat will email instructions to all eligible institutions. Institutions will need to identify a key contact who will be given access to the portal.

What are the application deadlines?

Please see Forms and Application Instructions.

When will the results of the competition be available?

Results are expected to be announced prior to December 31, 2017.

Published July 4, 2017

Is the maximum dollar value per institution an annual amount or a 7-year total?

The maximum dollar value listed on the program website represents the annual maximum dollar value per institution.

Why is there a $350K per year award, rather than $500K, since the institutional maximums are rounded to a nearest million?

The program was designed to recruit talent quickly and flexibly and takes into account existing programs such as the CRC and CERC.  Award values reflect the desire to recruit a range of talent with varying costs of research from across disciplines.

How will application forms be made available?

The forms will be made available through the C-150 Research Chairs program portal. Designated contacts at each eligible institution will be provided their account login information. It is expected that the registration forms will be made available in early July and that application forms will be made available as soon as they can be finalized (by the end of July).

Under the program objectives, what is meant by retention of top-tier internationally-based scholars and researchers?

Retention refers to the chairholders remaining in Canada beyond the period of the award.

What is the expectation of institutional commitment beyond the period of the award?

On a case by case basis, it is expected that institutions will offer additional financial support (i.e., over and above the award amount) to increase the level of institutional support being provided. Beyond the award period, it is hoped that institutions will maintain the faculty position in the specific area of research and develop plans to ensure the sustainability, including retention in Canada, of the chairholder.

Is the name of the nominee required for the registration form that is due August 18? 

Yes, the identity of the candidates is required at the time of registration. This information is necessary to manage potential conflicts of interest in the recruitment of reviewers.

In order to fulfill the expectations of a transparent, fair and equitable recruitment process, can we build on processes already underway, even if these did not mention "Canada 150 Research Chairs" when they were initially advertised?


If an institution’s combination of chairs adds up to, for example, $50,000 over its maximum annual dollar value limit, can it still be submitted if the institution commits to contributing the amount that exceeds its maximum annual dollar value limit?

No, a university’s combined nominations/applications cannot exceed the institution’s maximum annual dollar grant value, by any amount.

Will the ultimate distribution of chairs across eligible universities be competitive, or is each university’s maximum dollar value per year secure, as long as its proposed candidates are approved in the peer review process? In other words, are universities competing with each other?

The ultimate distribution of chairs across universities will be the result of a competitive process. When taken collectively, the maximum dollar value per year for applications, allocated to each eligible university, represents an oversubscription relative to available funding. Based on the funding available, it is anticipated that between 15 to 35 chairs may be awarded in total.  All applications will be evaluated using the program’s selection criteria and ranked accordingly.

Why is there a threshold of $1M per year in funding from the granting agencies in order for an institution to be eligible to apply?

The program will support between 15 to 35 chairs.  In order to recruit these chairs rapidly and take advantage of the unique opportunity in the current global context for Canadian universities to attract top-tier talent, a limited number of institutions will be eligible to submit applications, on the basis of the institutions’ research intensity. The $1M in annual funding from the granting agencies is calculated on the basis of a three-year average. Fifty-three (53) institutions are eligible to participate in the competition.  


Eligible Costs

Is the chairholder salary an eligible grant expense?


Are Canada 150 Research Chair awards eligible to count toward the credit calculations for the Research Support Fund (RSF) or allocations of Canada Research Chairs?

No, the indirect cost component of Canada 150 Research Chairs will be included within the grant (at a maximum of 25% of the direct costs of research). The maximum dollar value per year for an institution includes the indirect cost component of the chair(s). The Canada 150 Research Chairs funding is thus excluded from the calculation of RSF grants, and the calculation of CRC allocations.

Published July 11 (From Webinar)

Est-ce que le SPIIE (TIPS) pourra sélectionner un candidat, mais réduire le budget demandé de 1M$ pour un budget de 350K$?

A : Cela reste à déterminer. Il ne s’agirait pas d’une décision administrative de la part du SPIIE. Il reste à savoir si cela pourra être un résultat de l’évaluation par les pairs, à titre de recommandation au Comité directeur, et si celui-ci acceptera ce genre de recommandation. En général les catégories de concours sont la décision de l’établissement demandeur.  

Est-ce possible de changer le candidat, dans un même domaine de recherche, entre l’inscription et le dépôt de la demande? / It is possible to change candidate, within the same research field, between registration and application?

A : Non / No

What can change between the August registration and the September application?

Adjustments can be made to the title of the Chair position, the 100 word public summary, and the keywords.

TIPS will confirm in a future FAQ whether the award value category can be changed by a university between registration and application. The number of nominees, however, cannot change.

Can any CFI request change between registration and application, in terms of adding one or removing one, changing the amount or the duration of funding requested?

We will confirm intentions with the CFI and include their response in a future FAQ.

Quand aurons-nous le détail des exigences et de ce qui sera évalué dans le cadre du processus de sélection?

A : Le formulaire de demande sera disponible vers la fin juillet.

Est-ce qu'il y a un temps minimum pour la durée de l’affichage d’une annonce de recrutement d’une chaire Canada 150?

A : Non, au-delà des lignes directrices générales, cela reste dans les mains des universités.

If we put forward a candidate who is in an equity category does that in and of itself satisfy the requirement?

A: No, refer to the criteria (best practices in the process, steps, objectives, not strictly the outcome, etc).

With respect to diversity, are there specific quotas for the four designated under-represented groups, in terms of distribution of awards?

A: No

When will external reviewers who will provide written reports on nominations be contacted? We have individuals who want to be considered but are concerned of flagging that they are considering leaving their institutions.

A: We will start contacting them as of August 18 to confirm their availability to review in September.

Est-ce que le programme est seulement pour cette année? Pourrait –on déposer dans le même programme l'an prochain?

A : Oui, le programme est pour cette année seulement avec une seule date limite du 15 septembre.

Can you please explain more what you expect to see in the application by ‘bibliometric evidence’… is it at the individual level or institutional level?

A: Could be both, as appropriate, for the relevant criteria. Bibliometrics are but one of the categories of indicators that can be presented and considered.

Are CVs required at the registration stage?

A: No, only the information requested in the Excel file – Registration Form is required, there are no annexes.

Is it the intention to spread the chairs across disciplines?

A: there are no pre-established distributive considerations (disciplines, region, etc). The competition is open to all disciplines, it is not targeted to government priorities and institutions are not required to demonstrate alignment with their Strategic Research Plans (SRP).

What are the expectations re: teaching for C150 Chairs

A: This is up to the institution.

Why announce names of selected chairholders in December? They COULD refuse the ultimate offer.

A: The GOC wants to announce the C150 selected Chairs before the end of the year 2017, for Canada`s anniversary year.

Will there be a public announcement of all participants in competition or just successful ones?

A: Just the successful candidates

Is the relative weight of the 4 selection criteria (listed on slide 7) equal?

A: There is no predetermined weighting between the 4 criteria, all 4 criteria are important.

Since applicants from all career stages are being considered for the chairs, what do you suggest would make a competitive early career researcher?

A: It is up to institutions to find ways to submit a competitive application.

Are the $1m and $350k amounts flexible or fixed (for example, can we ask $330k)?

A: They are fixed.

Could you please say a bit more about whether immigration considerations apply to this program?

A: There is a page on the IRCC website that explains the standard exceptions to immigration rules.

The C-150 website provides the link to the Immigration department website. On that website you will find information about hiring processes that can be exempt of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Where an LMIA is not required for Express Entry, there should be no need to advertise positions in Canada for at least four weeks in order to ensure that Canadians have a fair opportunity to access and apply for faculty positions.

The Canada 150 program is not open to candidates already based in Canada, as per the intent of the Minister.

Please note that it is beyond TIPS’ mandate to provide advice on the immigration requirements of any hiring process.

Est-ce que des mesures ont été prises avec le service de l'immigration pour s'assurer que les titulaires puissent travailler au Canada dès leur arrivée au pays et pour la durée du mandat?

A : Non. Des dispositions sont déjà en place. Voir la question ci-dessus.

Selected candidates will have one year to transition to Canada and take-up their position; will there be a shorter deadline to accept/decline the chair position, in order to make use of the reversion list?

A: This has yet to be determined but is a strong possibility.


Can the same person be nominated by more than one institution?

A: No, only one application per candidate. It is the responsibility of institutions to inform their nominees that, while they you may approach more than one eligible university, only one institution may submit a nomination in their name.

Can current hires (July 1 start date) be considered?

A: No

If a nominee is employed overseas but is currently a VISITING faculty member and receiving a stipend (e.g., on sabbatical from their home institution), are they eligible?

A: Yes, because the individual does not have a permanent position in Canada.

Scenario: A potential candidate lives and works outside of Canada, but is paid by a Canadian entity. Is this person eligible? If not, why not.

A: Will address offline, more detail is necessary relative to the circumstances and specific employer.

Scenario: A potential candidate is on leave from a Canadian institution and is residing abroad at the deadline date, are they eligible?

A: No


Is it the case that Chairholders whose salary is, even in part, covered by the award funds are NOT eligible to hold tri-agency research funding?

A: No, that provision does not apply to chairholders funded through federal chair programs (CRC, CERC, C150).

Can we use the chair funding to hire one or more professors, in addition to the Chairholder, as part of the Chair`s team?

A: Will provide answer in next FAQs, this is not the program intent. The additional faculty, funded through a chair award, who are not chairholders, would NOT be eligible to hold tri-agency research.

In the CERC program, up to $300K of funds awarded could be used for small equipment (low dollar value, non CFI) - will this also apply for the C150 program?

A: We will have to look at threshold in the context of C150 and of its distinct award values; we will follow up in the next FAQ.

For the 25% indirect costs allowance that can be claimed, will eligible expenses align with those of the Research Support Fund?

A: Yes, they do for other programs as well.

Regarding eligible expenses under the indirect costs component, will C150 follow CERC eligible expenses?

A: Same guidelines as other TIPS programs. Where CRC and CERC differ in the guide, we will provide guidance in due course.

Please clarify: what is the earliest date an individual can move to Canada (after the registration deadline, after the application deadline or after the announcement of results)?

A: A candidate can move to Canada permanently / officially become an employee of the university (start date) after September 15, 2017. Canada 150 funds can be applied to the chair position as early as the first of the month following the announcement of competition results, with some provisions for retro-active expenses.

Can the funds allocated with the chair be used for capital expenses such as structural renovations or infrastructure?

A: No