Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)

Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)
Office of the Vice-Principal (Research)

MEMORANDUM

PDF — Memo for Incoming Tier I Canada Research Chairs at Queen's (260 KB)

To: Incoming Tier I Canada Research Chairs at Queen's
From: Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research)
Date: October 6, 2016
Subject: Canada Research Chairs, two-term limit for Tier 1

Summary:  After careful consideration, Queen’s University has decided to adopt a two-term maximum for its CRC Tier 1 Chairholders. This change will apply to all new Tier 1 Chairholders, effective immediately.  Current Tier 1 Chairholders at Queen’s will continue to follow the open renewal approach previously in place, which will take into account appointment commitments, conditions specified in appointment letters, as well as eligibility criteria outlined by the CRC program, research excellence, and institutional priority.


The Canada Research Chairs program, established in 2001, is intended to support institutional strategic areas and priorities and to advance the institution's research prominence. While the program is seen to provide great value to the Chairholders, it is equally clear that our Chairholders confer tremendous value to Queen’s in terms of research reputation and capacity – Tier 1 Chairholders are nominated based on established research excellence, they help train the next generation of highly skilled people and provide leadership through mentorship, teaching and collaboration. We greatly appreciate the contributions of our CRCs and the prestige they have brought to us.

Queen’s has historically entertained all requests to renew CRCs, whether for a second (and final) term for Tier 2s or for a second or third term for Tier 1s. With a finite number of available Canada Research Chairs and increasingly limited enticements for attracting new faculty, there is a need to reconsider how CRCs are allocated to improve institutional flexibility – for example, for fuelling recruitment of new faculty members who will either enhance a critical mass of expertise in established strategic research areas or help build new areas of priority.

Regrettably, the number of CRCs available are not able to adequately address the demand nor all priorities on campus. Since the CRC program was established, and initial Chairholders appointed, the strategic areas have evolved and needs have changed. Our overall allocation has decreased and there is significant pressure to make a greater number of CRCs available to support recruitment and retention in key areas. Additionally, there is a strong focus on the existing priority of increasing diversity and promoting greater inclusion of underrepresented groups in the Chairs program.

To provide more opportunities to meet our evolving needs and priorities the university has decided, after careful consideration, to limit the number of terms for CRC Tier 1 Chairholders to two. This will apply to all new Tier 1 Chairholders. With respect to all current Tier 1 Chairholders, all renewals, as has always been the case, will take into account appointment commitments, conditions specified in appointment letters, as well as eligibility criteria outlined by the CRC program, research excellence, and institutional priority.