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Queen's University

University Secretariat and Legal Counsel

Queen's Research Chairs Program

Approved by Senate November 17, 2005

In the year 2000, the Federal Government created the Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program to help Canadian universities “attract the global research stars of today and the research stars of tomorrow.” To maximize the impact of this program, a companion program was needed to help retain research leaders at our university. Queen’s had already implemented a program, the Chancellor’s Research Awards, to recognize and assist promising early-stage researchers. The “Queen’s Research Chairs” (QRC) Program, approved by Senate on 31 January 2002, will enable the University to recognise individuals with highly distinguished accomplishments, who are maintaining an exceptional level of activity in their research and scholarly work and have achieved international pre-eminence in their field. The criteria for selecting awardees are the same as those adopted for Tier I CRCs in order to ensure that this program carries with it the same honour and prestige. Unlike the CRCs, the distribution of Queen’s Research Chairs is not tied to the granting council funding received by the University.

Eligibility and Number of Appointments

Any individual appointed to a full-time academic position at the University, normally at the rank of Professor, may be nominated for a Queen’s Research Chair. An individual may not hold a CRC or any other Chair or named Professorship during his/her tenure of a Queen’s Research Chair. Normally, no more than five Queen’s Research Chairs will be awarded in a given year, although in the first year up to 10 Research Chairs may be awarded. Normally, the maximum total number of Research Chairs at any given time will not exceed twenty-five.

Terms of Research Chairs

A Queen’s Research Chair will be tenable for a period of five years. The chair holder may apply for renewal in five-year cycles. There is no limit on the number of renewals until retirement. However, since these are intended to recognize sustained exceptional work, applications for renewal will be carefully evaluated in terms of the research achievements over the previous five years.

Queen’s Research Chair holders are expected to be involved in research, research training, teaching, and service to the community. The Research Chair holders will retain their normal academic salary. An amount not exceeding $20,000 per annum will be allocated to each Research Chair holder for direct and indirect support of their research program (including release time) for the term of the Research Chair. None of this sum may be used as a salary stipend. The Research Chair holder’s proposed use of these funds will be subject to approval by the Dean.


Any member or members of the academic staff of the University may nominate a candidate for a Queen’s Research Chair, with the candidate’s permission. Nominations should be submitted through the Department Head to the Dean of the Faculty. Formal nomination, including all supporting documents, will be made by the Dean to a selection committee through the Office of the Vice-Principal (Research). The nomination file should include the following relevant information on the nominee:

  • a curriculum vitae,
  • a description of past research, research training, and scholarly accomplishments,
  • an outline of the scholarly and research activities to be undertaken during the term of the Research Chair,
  • three confidential letters of reference from internationally recognised leaders in the nominee’s area of research (who must be at arm’s length from the nominee and external to Queen’s), and
  • supporting letters from the nominee’s home Department and Dean.

Selection Committee and Appointment of Research Chairs

A standing selection committee composed of the Vice-Principal (Research) (Chair), the Vice-Principal (Academic), and the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research will review nominations and make recommendations to the Principal.

The QRC Selection Committee will meet in the spring of every year to review nominations and/or renewals and make recommendations to the Principal for awards to commence July 1 of the same year for new appointments, or July 1 of the following year for renewals. The criteria in terms of excellence in research and scholarship for a Queen’s Research Chair will be the same as those employed by the Committee in recommending candidates for Tier I CRCs.

On the recommendation of a Dean, and with the approval of the Vice-Principal (Research), the Committee may be convened at other times in the year to review selected nominations.

Renewal of Queen's Research Chairs

The Queen’s Research Chair renewal process will emulate the CRC renewal process, thus, renewal candidates will not be adjudicated in competition with new candidates. Renewal candidates may exercise the option to not apply for Chair renewal, leaving the Chair open for new candidates. Consistent with CRC Program, applications for renewal will be assessed on the renewal candidate’s record of sustained exceptional research, research training, and scholarly accomplishments over the past five years.

A candidate who is not renewed will cease to receive funding, but may elect to retain the title of Queen’s Research Chair.

When a Queen’s Research Chair is to be considered for renewal, the incumbent will be invited to submit a proposal for renewal to the Selection Committee approximately 13 months prior to the renewal date. The renewal package information will be limited to the candidates’ previous 5 years of research and scholarly activity and should contain the following:

  • a description of the past five years of research, research training, and scholarly accomplishments (maximum of six pages):
    • demonstrate that the incumbent continues to distinguish himself/herself as an outstanding, world-class researcher by describing his/her major research accomplishments over the past five years,
    • describe the dissemination of research results and its impact in his/her field of research, e.g., peer-reviewed journal, monograph and book publications; keynote/plenary presentations at international conferences; patents, copyrights, products, services and technology transfer; and changes to, or development of, policies/regulations, and
    • describe the training of highly qualified research personnel, e.g., graduate students and post-doctoral fellows;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • an outline of scholarly and research activities to be undertaken during the next five-year term of the Queen’s Research Chair (maximum of three pages);
  • three confidential letters of reference from internationally recognised leaders in the Research Chair’s area of research (who must be at arm’s length from the Research Chair and external to Queen’s), focussing on research achievements over the past 5 years; and
  • supporting letters from the Research Chair’s home Department and Dean.

Upon approval, the Queen’s Research Chair will be automatically renewed for the next five-year period. Should a Queen’s Research Chair not be renewed, new candidates may be considered in the following year.


$200,000 will be allocated in the first year (to allow up to 10 awards of $20,000), normally increasing in increments of $100,000 per year for the following three years for a total cash-flow commitment of $500K per year at steady state.

Review of Program

The Program will be reviewed after 3 years and every three years thereafter.

Nominations and Renewal Deadlines

The deadline for Deans to submit new nominations and/or renewal candidates to the Selection Committee will be communicated to the Deans and renewal candidates by the Office of the Vice Principal (Research). All nominations and renewal proposals should be submitted through the Office of the Vice Principal (Research).

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000