New investments in research talent in Alberta reflective of diversity

News release

Minister Duncan highlights new equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives and 12 Canada Research Chairs

February 13, 2019 – Calgary, Alberta

When our labs and classrooms look more like the Canada we see today, everyone benefits. Diverse perspectives bring new ideas and drive creativity in science and research, which lead to innovations that help grow the economy. Our government understands that equity and research excellence go hand in hand, and we can’t afford to leave any talent on the sidelines.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, was at the University of Calgary to highlight new initiatives and investments to help boost equity, diversity and inclusion in research in Alberta.

Minister Duncan announced that more than $12 million is being invested in 12 new and renewed Canada Research Chairs across Alberta. Five of them will be based at the University of Calgary. Minister Duncan was joined by some of the university’s new chairs, including Dr. Brandy Callahan, Canada Research Chair in Adult Clinical Neuropsychology. Dr. Callahan’s involvement with the Healthy Brain Aging Program is helping improve the diagnosis of diseases that impact mental functioning, such as dementia, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and infections.

The Canada Research Chairs (CRC) Program, which attracts some of the world’s most diverse and promising minds, is getting clear results. More than 40% of the nominees in the most recent CRC competition were women—a positive step toward equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

Other positive steps include recently announced initiatives like the draft Made-in-Canada Athena SWAN Charter and a new $10-million fund to help post-secondary institutions across Canada embrace and increase diversity. Institutions may request up to $200,000 per year for up to two years for projects to develop and implement EDI policies, plans and training. Initiatives like these will help ensure that the entire research ecosystem is more reflective of the diversity of our country. 


“Canada Research Chairs are an example of how we all benefit when we promote equity, diversity and inclusion in research. Our government is returning science and research to their rightful place while embracing equity, diversity and inclusion in the lab, the classroom and the field. Efforts to promote science are important for a forward-looking and welcoming research community that leaves no one on the sidelines.”
– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“We have come a long way in the last year to create opportunities for researchers through the Canada Research Chairs Program. A strong action plan to address equity, diversity and inclusion and a focus on early-career researchers will continue to strengthen the Canadian research enterprise and contribute to the social and economic well-being of Canadians.”
– Ted Hewitt, President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and Chair of the Canada Research Chairs Program Steering Committee 

“The Canada Research Chairs Program has enabled us to attract top early-career researchers to our campus. Our CRCs are addressing truly exciting research questions and building impressive research programs that will have a positive impact on our communities.”

– Dr. André Buret, Interim Vice-President (Research), University of Calgary

Quick facts

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Daniele Medlej
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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