Government of Canada makes largest investment in Canada Research Chairs Program and celebrates 20th anniversary

News release

Latest investment of $195 million for 259 new and renewed Chairs attracts global talent and increases diversity 

December 16, 2020, Ottawa, Ontario – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat

Research is a critical tool during times of crises and disruption as it can help society navigate toward a more promising future for Canadians. Through research and innovation, our nation can better address complex social, economic, medical and political challenges by providing clear and diverse insights that inform policy-making.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, today announced that the Government of Canada is investing approximately $195 million to support 259 new and renewed  Canada Research Chairs at 47 institutions across Canada. This investment is complemented by close to $14 million in new funding for research infrastructure to support 57 Chairs at 27 institutions through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Together with the chairs announced earlier this year, the total investment marks the program’s largest in a single calendar year. This important milestone underscores the program’s continued relevance and far-reaching impact as we celebrate the Canada Research Chairs’ 20th anniversary.

Canada Research Chairs make important research contributions in areas of critical importance such as infectious disease prevention, cyber security, cancer therapeutics, queer and diversity education, data and artificial intelligence, Indigenous maternal and child wellness, and climate change impacts in the North.

The program recognizes that diversity is indispensable to research excellence and is committed to working alongside Canadian institutions to achieve its equity targets and reflect the diversity of Canada’s population by 2029. Among the 259 Canada Research Chair recipients announced today, 26% self-identified as racialized minorities, 5% as Indigenous Peoples, 10% as persons with disabilities and 51% as women.


“Our government is taking action to attract and retain the world’s brightest and most distinguished researchers. For over 20 years, the Canada Research Chairs Program has been mobilizing Canada’s most esteemed academics to train and mentor the next generation of researchers and pursue groundbreaking research that responds to society’s economic, social and health needs. Congratulations to the new and renewed Canada Research Chairs! I look forward to seeing where your research and innovation leads us.”

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“The Canada Research Chairs Program is committed to excellence in research and research training.  Such excellence can only be achieved in an environment that fully respects and promotes the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion, and by advancing knowledge across a variety of research disciplines—from developing new technologies to help clean and protect our oceans, to creating better and more inclusive education systems for our youth, and to applying machine learning to the field of biomedicine.  In this way, the program provides an outstanding platform for creating the conditions necessary for Canada to respond to global challenges, now and in future.”

- Ted Hewitt, Chair, Canada Research Chair Program Steering Committee and President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

“The Canada Foundation for Innovation was created to attract and retain excellent researchers in Canada. Supporting these Chairs coincides precisely with one of our foundational goals. We are very pleased to contribute to enhancing the research environment and to enable new talent to join the vital research underway in universities across the country.”

- Roseanne O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

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John Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Media Relations
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

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