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Sunnybrook Research Institute Canada Research Chairs Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, 2017­–2019

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In accordance with the Canada Research Chairs Program’s (CRCP’s) Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (EDIAP), Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) is committed to collaborating with the University of Toronto to adapt institutional practices to align with EDIAP best practices. Sunnybrook Research Institute’s Action Plan encompasses four objectives and a series of initiatives aimed at improving openness and transparency as it applies to Canada Research Chairs (CRCs), and at removing barriers to increase representation from among the federally designated groups (FDGs): women; Aboriginal peoples; persons with disabilities; and members of visible minorities. These objectives will be progressively implemented by December 2019 and will be revised and improved as needed going forward. Progress will be monitored by the office of the vice-president, research.

Objective 1: Create CRC opportunities for emerging researchers among SRI’s existing faculty who demonstrate strong potential to become leaders in their field.

  • Increase CRCP accessibility and representation of the FDGs by reallocating one of SRI’s Tier 1 CRCs into two Tier 2 CRCs, thereby opening up opportunities in 2018/19 for exceptional emerging researchers.
  • Identify and track promising emerging researchers and members of the FDGs, in particular as they progress through their careers; encourage individuals to pursue opportunities, and encourage the research platforms of SRI to help mentor FDG members toward potential nomination.
  • Increase awareness within SRI that members of the FDGs may be in the earlier stages of their careers, and thus are more likely to face career interruptions and systemic barriers that could affect their productivity and career advancement.

Objective 2: Adapt existing SRI practices on recruitment and retention of CRCs to align with CRCP’s guidelines and expectations.

  • Ensure fairness and transparency in the recruitment and nomination process by developing detailed guidelines that follow the EDIAP recommendations and expectations. Adapt and standardize existing practices to ensure an equitable and transparent process.
  • Include explicit reference to CRC opportunities in job advertisements. Include equity statements that specifically encourage applications from the FDGs, and that encourage applicants to self-identify.
  • Ensure representation of the FDGs on search committees, and identify and provide equity training to all faculty and staff involved in the process.
  • Develop clear, flexible criteria for excellence that includes non-traditional research outputs, professional services, outreach, mentoring / training of highly qualified personnel and other contributions appropriate to each specific CRC vacancy.

Objective 3: Strengthen and promote institutional commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

  • Promote awareness of SRI’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion within the CRCP and across the broader institutional research enterprise.
  • Publicly post all information related to CRCs at SRI, including internal allocation, selection and recruitment processes; as well archived information on previous CRC postings at SRI and profiles of current SRI Chairholders.
  • Identify and promote institutional resources that could contribute to the attraction and retention of CRCs from the FDGs.
  • Ensure the SRI community takes the CRCP’s unconscious bias training, and monitor mandatory training for search committees, faculty and staff involved in recruitment and nomination.
  • Identify an equity officer / advisor (or equivalent) who will be involved at all stages of a CRC recruitment or selection process.

Objective 4: Build on SRI’s existing communication channels to promote equity, diversity and inclusion.

  • Ensure inclusion and promotion of equity, diversity and inclusion in the all SRI communications channels, including the SRI magazine, newsletter and website. Celebrate and recognize equity, diversity and inclusion achievements across SRI’s research community.
  • Reflect SRI’s diversity in stories so that readers see themselves in the science lives they read about and, in particular, include stories targeted to trainees who might be seeking role models in science.
  • Identify opportunities specifically to highlight the roles of FDGs in science at SRI, for example, through events or special publications.

Office of the Vice-President, Research
December 2017