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The objective of the CRC program is to attain research excellence in engineering, the natural sciences, health sciences, humanities, and the social sciences by attracting and retaining some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds. Chairholders improve our depth of knowledge and quality of life, strengthen Canada’s international competitiveness, and help train the next generation of highly skilled people through student supervision, teaching, and the coordination of other researchers’ work.

Application Process

CRC competitions are held in April and October of each year. Each eligible institution receives an allocation of Chairs. For each Chair, the institution nominates a researcher whose work complements its strategic research plan and who meets the program’s high standards. At McMaster, CRC applications require Faculty endorsement and interested researchers must consult with their Department Chair and Faculty Dean.

At the Faculty’s discretion, CRCs may also apply for infrastructure support through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s John Evans Leaders Fund (JELF), as part of a joint CRC/CFI application.

Once ROADS has received approval from the Faculty Dean, a Senior Advisor will be assigned to provide you with guidance documents and assist you with development of your proposal.


The CRC program has two streams:

Tier I nominees:

  • are outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields; and
  • must be full professors or associate professors who are expected to be promoted to the full professor level within one or two years of the nomination. Alternatively, if they come from outside the academic sector, nominees must possess the necessary qualifications to be appointed at these levels.

Tier II nominees:

  • are exceptional emerging researchers, acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to lead in their field; and
  • should be assistant or associate professors, or possess the necessary qualifications to be appointed at these levels.


Tier I:

  • tenable for seven years and renewable once
  • the university receives $200,000 annually for seven years for each Tier 1 CRC

Tier II:

  • tenable for five years and renewable once
  • the university receives $100,000 annually for five years for each Tier II CRC

More Information

Additional information about the CRC program may be found on the CRC website, or by contacting Grace Kim (ROADS).

Find a summary of McMaster’s Strategic Research Plan (2018-2023) here.