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Canada and Queen's seeking international scholars

The federal government has launched the Canada 150 Research Chairs program to recruit top-tier researchers to Canada in celebration of our country's 150th anniversary. Queen’s University is participating in hopes of attracting internationally-based scholars and researchers to Kingston. 

"Canada 150 Research Chairs logo"This program aims to enhance Canada's reputation as a global centre for science, research, and innovation excellence by recruiting up to 35 top-tier academics to Canada. To help attract these prominent academics, the federal government will provide Canadian institutions with a one-time investment for non-renewable chair positions, tenable for seven years at either $350,000 per year or $1 million per year.  

“The Canada 150 Research Chairs program provides a significant opportunity for Queen’s to bolster its research capacity and reputation,” says John Fisher, Interim Vice-Principal (Research). “Additional research chairs would contribute to our prominence in the knowledge economy and be a fitting commemoration of both the sesquicentennial and our 175th anniversary. On behalf of Queen’s, I want to thank the federal government for this important investment in fundamental science and Canadian research excellence.” 

The university will begin reviewing applicants on July 24 and, per the government’s deadlines, candidates must be registered with the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development by mid-August. Full applications are to be submitted a month later, and successful candidates should be announced before year’s end. Cynthia Fekken, Associate Vice-Principal (Research), says Queen’s has launched a comprehensive campaign to identify potential chair nominees. 

“Every Canadian university is competing for these spots, and there is a huge amount of interest in the program,” says Dr. Fekken. "If we are successful, we hope to make a lasting and significant contribution to the diversity, equity and inclusion goals of both the Government of Canada and Queen's. As part of the process, Queen’s is leaving itself open to the recruitment opportunities which present themselves, rather than prescribing a specific field for the search." 

According to the Canada 150 Research Chairs program criteria, successful candidates will be outstanding scholars with a world class reputation and can be appointed to a tenure stream or a tenured position at the rank of assistant professor, associate professor or full professor. Candidates can be recruited to Queen's from any discipline that is affiliated with an academic department in the Faculties of Arts and Science, Health Sciences, or Engineering and Applied Science. Candidates must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent final degree) and demonstrate a track record of excellence in maintaining an outstanding externally-funded research program, and in teaching and training of highly-qualified personnel as evidenced in an exceptional curriculum vitae and exceptional letters of reference.  

Queen’s has a strong track record in applying for similar federal funding opportunities. For example, the university successfully applied for a Canada Excellence Research Chair in Particle Astrophysics and recruited Gilles Gerbier in 2014. He's one of 47 research chairs now at Queen’s. 

If the university is successful in securing Canada 150 Research Chairs, it will be addition to the Principal’s faculty renewal plan. It was announced earlier this year and will see Queen’s hiring up to 41 new tenure track faculty in 2017-18, and up to 200 new faculty over five years. When faculty turnover is taken into account, the net result is expected to be the addition of about 10 new faculty per year to Queen’s.

The Principal identified faculty renewal as a high priority for reinvestment by the university and it will support Queen’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and enable the hiring of promising early- and mid-career faculty.

To learn more about Queen’s recruitment efforts related to the Canada 150 Research Chair program, visit the faculty recruitment website. You may also learn more about the Canada 150 Research Chair program on the Canadian government’s website.