Government of Canada welcomes world-renowned researchers that will push the boundaries of innovation
Investment of $248 million will support international and Canadian researchers pursuing ambitious projects
November 16, 2023 – Burnaby, British Columbia – Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat
Attracting and retaining global talent is key to the success and sustainability of Canada’s postsecondary institutions. When world-renowned scholars and scientists choose Canada to pursue their research, they play a pivotal role in diversifying the academic community, bolstering innovation, advancing our society and economy, and creating a better and healthier world for Canadians.
Today, the Honourable Terry Beech, Minister of Citizens’ Services, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced $248 million in support of 34 new Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERCs) at 18 Canadian postsecondary institutions. This investment includes funding for new research chairs, as announced in Budget 2022. It represents the largest number of CERCs awarded in a single competition in the history of the program. The funding will allow the new Chairs to establish research facilities in Canada and contribute to their institutions’ pursuit of excellence in research, train young scholars and scientists, and develop a new generation of world-class talent.
Over the next eight years, the recipients will establish and leverage domestic and international partnerships across academic, public, private, not-for-profit and community sectors to increase knowledge mobilization, develop lab-to-market innovations and support economic and social advances to benefit countless Canadians.
This new cohort of Canada Excellence Research Chairs will revolutionize fields such as crystal engineering for green chemistry and energy utilization; regenerative lung medicine using unique three-dimensional bioprinting; Indigenous leadership in coastal tenure and land agreements; mitigating the impacts of climate change on the tundra and boreal forests; health equity for marginalized populations ahead of future health emergencies; advancements in precision education; and more.
“Science and research are the driving forces of innovation. Today’s investments in elite researchers and their innovations will have lasting impacts across our academic sector, economy and society, all while building the foundation for a more sustainable and competitive Canada. These new Canada Excellence Research Chairs will work with our postsecondary institutions to tackle some of the world’s most complex challenges and make Canada a leader on the global stage.”
-The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“We continue to strengthen our country’s research capacity by attracting the world’s best minds to Canada. This facilitates the mentoring of emerging talent while expanding the frontiers of science and inquiry. Investments like these make Canada a destination of choice for world-leading researchers and scholars, which strengthens our own research ecosystem. This leads to more innovation, more discoveries, and more solutions to various problems that we face."
-The Honourable Terry Beech, Member of Parliament for Burnaby North-Seymour and Minister of Citizens' Services
“Supported by Government of Canada investments in the CERC program, postsecondary institutions are solidifying Canada’s position as a global leader in research and innovation. This new cohort of CERCs will help our postsecondary institutions fulfill ambitious research objectives, address critical challenges facing our planet and better prepare us for the Canada of the future. We congratulate the new CERCs and look forward to seeing where their research takes us.”
-Ted Hewitt, Chair, CERC Steering Committee, and President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Budget 2022 allocated $38.3 million in additional funding over four years, starting in 2023-24, and $12.7 million annually, for federal research funding agencies to recruit international CERCs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A portion of this funding was applied to the current CERC competition to support new research chairs, reinforcing Canada’s competitive advantage as a destination of choice for world-class researchers. The remaining portion of this funding will be applied to the next competition in 2026.
Created in 2008, the CERC program supports Canadian postsecondary institutions in their efforts to attract and retain high calibre researchers and scholars and establish ambitious research programs in disciplines spanning health, natural sciences and engineering, and social sciences and humanities. It attracts world-renowned researchers, supports breakthrough discoveries and seizes emerging opportunities, which contribute to Canada’s global competitiveness and well-being.
The CERC program invests $248 million over eight years to support Canadian postsecondary institutions in advancing critical areas of research into world-leading capabilities.
Recipients are selected through an independent, multidisciplinary and international competitive peer-review process.
The CERC program is administered by the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS), which is housed within the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). TIPS manages the program on behalf of the three federal research funding agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and SSHRC.
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat
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