Canada Excellence Research Chairs

ProgramHow To ApplyAbout

Queen’s University invites applications from world-leading researchers for the prestigious Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) competition. The CERC awards are among the most prestigious and generous available globally, and the overall CERC program targets research areas of strategic importance to Canada  and each institution.

Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program 

The CERC program offers universities award values of either $8 million or $4 million over eight years to support world‑leading researchers and their teams to establish ambitious research programs at a Canadian university. The program aims to continue growth at the leading edge of breakthroughs in science, technology and innovation priority areas that are expected to generate social and economic benefits for Canadians and others around the world. The program’s future is as much about recruiting the best global talent to Canada as it is about supporting the next generation of leaders, making them integral parts of these ambitious core research teams, so they can chart their own paths forward. The social and economic benefits of this chairholder program will, in addition, have global impact through the commercialization, knowledge translation and mobilization generated by the research.

The University invites nominee applications from all qualified individuals. Selected nominees work in partnership with Queen’s to submit an application package for the Canada Excellence Research Chairs competition. Interested applicants are invited to review full program details .

About Queen’s


Queen's University campus

A member of the U15 Group  within and beyond their local communities.

Our international team of Research Chairs , and enterprising minds work together towards novel solutions, because changing the world for the better calls for bold ideas and a willingness to go down paths not taken. Through our work with national and international collaborators, governments, communities, and industry partners, we facilitate knowledge translation from fundamental science to tangible impact. From basic science through to commercialization, purpose drives us. We are proud of our 180-year legacy of transformative research, but we don’t rest on it. In a constantly changing world we understand that only together can we be what the world needs now, and next.

Queen’s continues to invest in our research infrastructure, including a New Frontiers in Research Fund-Transformation research program targeting carbon-on-metal coatings , a cluster of computer systems and storage resources shared by five universities and three colleges that provides access to world-class, high-performance, and highly-secure computing.  

Our campus


Queen's University campus looking south

The main campus of Queen’s University is situated in the City of Kingston, on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory  and along the shore of beautiful Lake Ontario.

Research leadership, excellence, and expertise are recognized through a variety of internal and external programs at Queen’s, including named research chairs:

Over the past decade, research at Queen’s has advanced innovation, entrepreneurship and skills development via the creation of over 120 small-to-medium sized enterprises (SME) and startups, and support for more than 600 additional startups and regional SMEs. With more than 220 international exchange partners, and as a member of the Matariki Network of Universities  supports researchers, entrepreneurs and industry to grow strategic partnerships, to protect intellectual property and, when applicable, to commercialize discoveries. Queen’s has, for example, transformed more than 1,200 invention disclosures into 200+ technologies each covered by at least one patent.

More about Queen's & Kingston 

City of Kingston


Queen's University campus looking south

Adjusted for population size, the City of Kingston  plans to welcome more than 2000 new full-time graduate students in 2023, and our graduate-degree completion rates are among the highest in Canada. Our campus is home to >6700 continuing graduate students, the majority of whom are full-time (>83%), and Queen’s has $28 Million in merit-based funding available to graduate students each year. Our competitive graduate programs continue to grow together with our research successes, and applications to our graduate programs outnumber our intake by an overall ratio of 5:1. 

Over 132,000 people call Kingston home, and our city has been recognized as a Top City for raising a family (Today's Parent), and Best Canadian Hotspot for young, talented workers (Next Cities) as well as one of the best places to be a woman in Canada (PDF 2.75 MB) (2019 Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives). Kingston is conveniently connected to the major cities of Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal by car, rail and commuter coach and our airport was recently expanded and upgraded with the expectation of handling 116,000 passengers annually.

Kingston is situated at the western end of the grand St Lawrence River .

The landscape surrounding Kingston produces some of Canada's finest produce, meats, maple syrup, honey, milk, cheeses and other artisan-made goods sold locally at our farmers' markets. The oldest and longest-running Public Market  built in 2008, an event facility that hosts sport, live music, and conference events and which recently hosted international figure skating, and national curling, championships.

More about Kingston 

About Canada


sail boats on Lake Ontario

Canada is a location of choice for world-leading research, science and technology development.

The Government of Canada is expanding expertise in Science, Technology and Innovation priority areas  through investments that include the Canada Excellence Research Chairs competition. Canada is a world leader in higher education research and development performance, and has spent the greatest proportion on higher education R&D among G7 member countries by a considerable margin. Canada has consistently ranked in the top six among Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries in higher education R&D expenditures since 2002.

Community Resources

Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate in Astroparticle Physics

Dr. Gilles Gerbier

Elucidating the presence of dark matter, which makes up 80% of our universe: research into the mysteries of “dark matter” will deepen our understanding of the universe’s vast complexities.

More about Dr. Gilles Gerbier