Research  >  About SRI  >  Canada Research Chairs  >  Guidelines
Share:  
|
PAGE
MENU

PDF version

Guidelines for the Selection, Nomination and Administration of Canada Research Chairs at Sunnybrook Research Institute

This document replaces the Sunnybrook Research Institute’s Guidelines for the Internal Selection and Nomination of Canada Research Chairs (Jan 2018 and updated in Nov 2018) and the Guidelines for the Recruitment and Nomination of External Canada Research Chairs (Jan 2018).

Contents

Introduction

Background

Administration of CRCs by Affiliated Hospitals

Internal Allocation of CRCs

Corridor of Flexibility

The Selection Committee

The Role of the Equity and Diversity Officer

Preparing CRC Job Postings

Posting CRC Vacancies

Encouraging a Diverse Pool of Candidates

Collection of Equity Data and Encouragement to Self-Identify

Candidate Assessment

Review of Candidate CVs, Proposals and Other Materials

Candidate Interviews

Consideration of Career Leaves

Committee Recommendation

Acceptance

Nomination

Monitoring

Renewal

Supporting Materials and Equity and Diversity Training Resources

Introduction

This document was prepared by the Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) business development and analytics (BDA) office with the aim of providing a brief overview of the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) requirements for the internal and external selection and nomination of Canada Research Chairs (CRCs).

This guide is designed to assist search committees in selecting internal (open to existing SRI faculty only) and external (to attract new faculty) CRC candidates, and to ensure selection practices accord with the CRCP’s requirements for recruiting and nominating Canada Research Chairs and best practices for recruitment, hiring and retention of Chairs.

The business development and analytics office is responsible for the administration and oversight of the selection and nomination process of CRCs at SRI and has officers with expertise in EDI requirements related to the CRCP.

For more information about CRCs at SRI, contact Kevin Hamilton, director, business development and analytics office: kevin.hamilton@sri.utoronto.ca.

For more information about EDI topics related to research at SRI, contact Claudia Gordijo, projects officer, business development and analytics office: claudia.gordijo@sunnybrook.ca or visit SRI’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research web page.

Full information and details of the CRCP can be found at www.chairs-chaires.gc.ca.

Background

In 2017, the CRCP released its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan (EDIAP), which required institutions to meet certain milestones by December 2019 to ensure continued eligibility and funding. In September 2018, the CRCP published new requirements for recruiting and nominating Canada Research Chairs.

All CRC selection and nomination processes must be based on the principles of openness, transparency and accountability, thereby ensuring that all individuals have the opportunity to benefit from the program. Notably, the CRCP aims to eliminate barriers and increase access to the program for the federally designated groups (FDGs): women; members of visible minorities; persons with disabilities; and Indigenous peoples.

Sunnybrook Research Institute has developed shared standards, practices and resources with the University of Toronto and with partner hospitals in the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network to meet the CRCP Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Public Accountability and Transparency Requirements, and has put in place institutional guidelines and practices that align with the new requirements for the selection and nomination of CRCs.

Some of the new requirements demand specific actions by SRI and / or by individuals involved in the selection process. These are highlighted below.

Administration of CRCs by Affiliated Hospitals

The formal CRC allocation is made to the University of Toronto rather than to hospitals, and the university makes a sub-allocation to each affiliated hospital. The allocation to the University and sub-allocations to hospitals use a well-established formula, based largely on tri-council funding received.

Although the formal CRC allocation is made to the University of Toronto rather than to hospitals, each affiliated hospital is responsible for developing its own processes and documents and is responsible for managing and administering its own Chairs. There are, however, several key points on which the hospitals must work closely with the university regarding CRC allocations and nominations such that:

  • The university manages the allocation of Chairs to the hospitals.
  • The awards are sub-granted to the affiliated hospitals through inter-institutional agreements.
  • Hospitals must request university approval to adjust the balance of Tier 1 and Tier 2 CRCs in their allocation (‘flex move’).
  • Hospitals must inform the university when they have selected a nominee; the hospital provides the research services office with the executed Affiliated Hospital Nomination Form and signed Hospital Nomination Acceptance Letter. The university will then provide the nominee with access to the online CRC forms.
  • The university is responsible for submitting hospital-based nominations to the CRCP Secretariat.
  • Hospitals must notify the university if an award needs to be terminated early (the university will then inform the CRCP Secretariat).
  • All contact with the CRCP is mediated through the university office of research services; hospitals may not independently contact the CRCP.

Internal Allocation of CRCs

The recruitment and allocation of CRCs by affiliated hospitals is determined by each hospital’s strategic research priorities and requirements. At SRI, as appropriate, the Research Executive Committee (REC) provides advice to the vice-president, research on the alignment of SRI’s portfolio of CRCs with institutional strategic research priorities.

CRCs are allocated to SRI Research Platforms. A terminating chair is normally replaced by a new recruit or an existing scientist in the same Platform, taking into account the university’s CRC equity targets. The subject area of the new or replacement CRC is determined by the Platform director, in discussion with the vice-president, research, and with members of the Platform, and in the context of Sunnybrook’s strategic research priorities.

Once allocated to a Research Platform, if not already agreed upon by REC, the selection committee will advise the vice-president, research on whether the allocation should be filled through an internal or external search, and/or whether the post is best filled at Tier 1 or Tier 2 level (see also ‘corridor of flexibility’, below)

Corridor of Flexibility

The use of “flex moves” - the conversion of a Tier 1 allocation into two Tier 2s and vice-versa - is monitored and approved by the office of the vice president, research and innovation (VPRI) at the University of Toronto. An example of a flex move would be where a hospital wishes to recruit more junior staff in order to build strategic research capacity; in such a case, the hospital would request converting a Tier 1 CRC into two Tier 2 CRCs. The university has some scope to accommodate flex moves, and VPRI’s office will consider the strategic case for adjusting the hospital’s allocation as well as taking into account how closely both the university and the hospital align with their original allocations. For more information consult the allocation of chairs at the University of Toronto.

At SRI, the request for a “flex move” is initiated by the vice president, research, on the advice of REC or the selection committee.

The Selection Committee

The activities of the selection committee are at the core of the selection process. The membership of the committee is determined following discussions including the vice-president, research; Platform director; business development and analytics office; leadership of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre; and members of the appropriate Platform and Program.

For an internal selection, the selection committee should have a minimum of six members, including:

  • the Platform director, as the chair of the selection committee;
  • three members of the respective SRI Platform;
  • one member of another SRI Platform and/or Program;
  • equity officer(s) from the BDA office
  • ensuring representation from at least one of the FDGs: women; members of visible minorities; persons with disabilities; Indigenous peoples.

For an external recruitment, the selection committee should include at least one person external to SRI, in addition to the committee membership described above. For a clinician-scientist recruit, there should be representation from the appropriate clinical department; the hospital may also require additional representation. In both instances, there may additionally be a requirement for the University of Toronto to be represented.

The selection process includes:

  • advising on whether the post should be filled through an internal or external search, and/or whether the post is best filled at Tier 1 or Tier 2 level (if not already decided upon by REC)
  • establishing the selection process and candidate selection criteria prior to the receipt of CVs from applicants
  • reviewing CVs, proposals and any other material provided
  • formal interviewing of candidates, as required or appropriate
  • selecting and formally recommending the prospective CRC nominee.

The selection committee will normally have two face-to-face meetings:

Meeting 1:

  • to discuss and agree upon the selection criteria and materials required from candidates
  • to review the job advertisement and help identify equity candidates

Meeting 2:

  • to review applications and make a recommendation to the vice-president, research.

Members of the selection committee should be familiar with CRCP and SRI EDI policies, guidelines and expectations; the effects of implicit bias in peer-review; and, the university’s equity targets.

Institutions must ensure that the selection committee meets the following requirements:

  • includes representation from at least one of the FDGs: women; members of visible minorities; persons with disabilities; and Indigenous peoples
  • ensures all committee members have the opportunity to contribute to conversations and have their opinions considered
  • includes an equity and diversity officer, (or a committee member / institutional official identified as the equity, diversity and inclusion champion)
  • completes, at minimum, the mandatory CRCP unconscious bias training module
  • ensures that members are sensitized to issues of equity and diversity, and unconscious bias and of the ways in which implicit bias can affect peer review
  • is aware of any representation gap(s) among the institution’s current Chairholders
  • has established the application requirements, selection criteria and shortlisting process prior to the receipt of applications and CVs
  • is sensitive to an applicant’s career interruptions.

Selection committee members must declare if they have a conflict of interest regarding their participation, or if any information has been shared with them about a candidate that may influence their decision.

A conflict of interest may be deemed to exist when a committee member:

  • is a relative or close friend, or has a personal relationship with the applicant
  • is in a position to gain or lose financially or materially from a successful CRC nomination
  • has had long-standing scientific or personal differences with the applicant
  • has, within the past six years, collaborated, published or shared funding with the applicant, or has plans to do so in the immediate future
  • has, within the past six years, been a supervisor or a trainee of the applicant
  • feels for any reason unable to provide an impartial review of the application.

The requirements and expectations set out above apply to any person involved at any stage of the selection process, and not only to the members of the formal selection committee. The chair of the selection committee will resolve areas of uncertainty and determine whether a committee member may continue to serve on the committee. If the chair has a conflict the vice president, research will decide if a replacement should be appointed.

The Role of the Equity and Diversity Officer

The role of the equity and diversity officer is to ensure that CRCP EDIAP requirements are considered throughout the selection and nomination process and that the process is equitable and transparent. The officer advises the committee on equity and diversity issues, institutional targets and best practices and requirements for recruiting and nominating CRCs.

The officer will normally be a staff member in the SRI business development and analytics office identified as the equity, diversity and inclusion champion.

The responsibilities of the equity and diversity officer include:

  • Serving as a member of the search committee, and participating and approving all EDI aspects of the recruitment and nomination process.
  • Informing the search committee on institutional equity and diversity targets and EDIAP requirements.
  • Providing resources to the search committee that include: a copy of these guidelines; templates and samples of job postings that satisfy EDIAP requirements; links and resources for equity and diversity and unconscious bias training; a sample candidate evaluation matrix; and recruitment and nomination process checklists.
  • Reviewing and approving EDI content of job postings.
  • Identifying potential biases and stereotypes revealed through the recruitment and nomination process, alerting the committee should instances arise, and supporting members as they work through them.
  • Ensuring that all committee members have the opportunity to contribute to discussions and have their opinions considered.
  • Advising on the evaluation of applications for career interruptions, non-traditional components and accommodation considerations.
  • Reviewing and signing off on the recommendation report.

Preparing CRC Job Postings

There must be an open posting inviting applications to fill a vacant Chair. The posting must be explicit about the CRC opportunity and the institution’s intention to nominate the successful candidate for a CRC award. The CRCP requires notification of the posting on the day it is published and a copy of the posting must be included with the CRC nomination package.

The posting should be unambiguous about any specific requirements of the vacancy in terms of essential skills, training, experience and achievements the candidate is expected to have, and any expectations the platform or SRI has about future activities of the nominee. The posting should be explicit about the expected standing and seniority of the candidate.

The posting must use inclusive, unbiased, ungendered language and must be reviewed and approved by the business development and analytics office’s equity and diversity officer (or equivalent) prior to being published. It must contain the following elements:

  • the date of the posting, information on the CRC opportunity, including a clear indication of the number of positions that will be filled and the nature of the selection (internal or external), and information on the selection process and any special criteria or requirements that will be used to select the prospective CRC nominee
  • in the case of Tier 2 opportunities, CRC eligibility requirements and a reference to the CRCP’s Tier 2 justification process
  • a reference to career interruptions and encouragement to applicants to explain any personal circumstances, to inform a fair assessment of their application
  • an equity statement encouraging applications from members of the FDGs and a statement on the institution’s accommodation policies
  • a statement that applicants must complete a self-declaration form, including a link to the form located on the SRI website (available here)

Sample postings for Tier 1 or Tier 2 CRC selections are available in Appendix A of the PDF.

Posting CRC Vacancies

Invitations for CVs and proposals to fill a CRC vacancy must be publicly posted on SRI’s website for a minimum of 30 days.

Postings for internal CRC vacancies (only open to existing SRI faculty) must also be circulated internally (e.g., by email) to all eligible faculty.

Posting for external CRC vacancies (to attract new faculty) must be posted on the Sunnybrook careers webpage through Sunnybrook human resources. It is expected that the vacancy will also be advertised in the usual specialist journals and websites. In addition, institutions are expected to post the opportunity more broadly, to encourage applications from members of the FDGs (see below).

A link to all postings must be emailed to edi-edi@chairs-chaires.gc.ca on the same day it is posted.

Encouraging a Diverse Pool of Candidates

The CRCP expects institutions will actively encourage applications from individuals who identify as members of the FDGs to generate a diverse pool of applicants.

For internal CRC vacancies, Research Platforms are encouraged to identify potential applicants from the FDGs from among the faculty who meet the CRC requirements for the specific vacancy, provide mentoring and support to them, and strongly encourage them to apply.

For external CRC vacancies, in addition to posting the position in traditional scientific, professional and specialist journals and job-posting websites, selection committees are encouraged to advertise the job posting in publications and websites and to professional networks targeting under-represented groups. Examples of where job postings should additionally be advertised include, but are not limited to:

Important: All applicants must have their applications equally evaluated on the basis of their scholarly credentials, independent of their self-identification as a member of the FDGs. The selection committee should not suggest, whether subtle or overt, that a candidate is being considered on the basis of their gender, race, sexual orientation, Indigenous identity or disability status. The committee’s contact and conversations with applicants from the FDGs and encouragement to apply must focus on their scholarship, qualifications, and research excellence, rather than their self-identification status.

Collection of Equity Data and Encouragement to Self-Identify

The CRCP expects institutions to encourage individuals to self-identify and to collect equity data. The collection of equity data of CRCs is to inform institutional planning and to monitor progress toward meeting targets for the FGDs. The University of Toronto collects equity data for monitoring of the FDGs targets and shares aggregated SRI data with SRI. More information about equity data collection at the University of Toronto can be found here.

Sunnybrook Research Institute has developed a self-identification form. At SRI, equity data are collected as part of the selection process only to assess the diversity of the applicant pool.

Equity data for the selection of Chairs at SRI is collected and safeguarded confidentially by the business development and analytics office and cannot be accessed by selection committees, other members of SRI staff, scientists or external reviewers. Completion and return of the self-identification form is mandatory as part of the application package for all selection processes of CRCs at SRI. However, candidates have the option to submit a null response to any or all of the questions. All CRC postings include encouragement to self-identify, as well assurance of confidentiality and clear information about who will have access to the data and how data will be used. Anonymized, aggregated data relating to a specific recruitment will be provided to the chair of selection committee. Where there are three or fewer responses, the data table will report only “*”. The committee chair, in consultation with the equity officer, will use this aggregated equity report to assess the diversity of the applicant pool. If the data does not indicate sufficient diversity among the applicants, the committee chair has the option to recommend re-posting the CRC opportunity to generate a more diverse pool of applicants.

Candidate Assessment

The CRCP expects institutions to be committed to a fair and equitable selection process that objectively and consistently follows clear selection criteria established prior to the initial screening of CVs. The criteria adopted to assess CVs must be unambiguous and account for both traditional and non-traditional research outputs such as professional services, outreach, mentoring and training of highly qualified personnel and other contributions appropriate to the specific CRC vacancy.

A summary table of metrics will be compiled by the business development and analytics office and provided to the committee chair, along with the proposals and CVs. The table will include summaries of funding, publications and other data extracted from the CVs and proposals, as well as from established scientific database sources (e.g., Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, etc.). A sample research metrics table and CV evaluation matrix is included in Appendix B of the PDF and may be adapted to suit the particular vacancy. The selection committee will agree on the information to be collected prior to the review of CVs.

Review of Candidate CVs, Proposals and Other Materials

Selection committee members will review materials against the predetermined criteria. Use of an evaluation matrix is recommended to ensure consistency. Members should ensure a fair and equitable treatment of all candidates and must do the following:

  • Be objective.
  • Apply the criteria in the same way for all candidates.
  • Make allowance for differences in communication and presentation styles.
  • Make allowance for career breaks for family or medical needs or community responsibility.
  • Consult the CRC Guidelines for Assessing the Productivity of Nominees.

Candidate Interviews

The CRCP expects institutions to be committed to a fair and equitable selection and interview process that objectively and consistently follows clear selection criteria. Should the selection committee determine that it is necessary to interview candidates, interviewers must:

  • Be objective. The use of an evaluation matrix is recommended. A sample candidate evaluation matrix is included in Appendix B of the PDF and may be adapted to suit the circumstances of the particular post.
  • Ask the same questions of each candidate.
  • Use inclusive, unbiased, ungendered language and be consistent in manner, tone and attitude, and in the use of specialized terminology.
  • Make allowance for differences in communication and presentation styles.
  • Make allowance for career breaks for family or medical needs or community responsibility.

For an internal selection process, it may be determined that an interview component will not materially enhance the information available for review and that the selection process should proceed through the assessment of CVs and proposals only.

Consideration of Career Leaves

Sunnybrook Research Institute recognizes that scientists have varying career paths and understands the impact that career interruptions can have on a candidate’s record of research achievement. Candidates are encouraged to explain any interruptions in order to allow for a fair assessment of their application.

During the selection and review process, the equity officer and the selection committee chair must ensure that:

  • Search committee members are instructed to give careful consideration to career interruptions, and be sensitive to their impact on the candidate’s performance and career progression.
  • Applicants who declare career leaves will be not disadvantaged in committee assessments.

Committee Recommendation

The Selection Committee’s principal role is to recommend to the vice-president, research the candidate who should be offered the opportunity to be nominated for a CRC.

The CRCP is committed to excellence and equity in research. Selection committees should be mindful that the best-qualified candidate for a CRC might not have the most years of experience, the highest number of publications or the most academic accomplishments. Non-traditional research outputs, professional services, outreach, mentoring, training of highly qualified personnel and other non-traditional contributions should receive proper consideration when evaluating CVs and the candidate’s fit with the CRC criteria. Committees should avoid using a candidate’s apparent social “fit” with others in the institution/department as a selection criterion.

If the selection process included interviews with candidates, immediately following the final interview, the committee shall agree which candidate should be recommended to the vice-president, research.

If the selection process was based on submitted materials only, the committee should meet to discuss the materials and to agree which candidate should be recommended to the vice-president, research.

At the end of the process, the selection committee should provide a written report to the vice-president, research on the selection process. The report must be signed by all committee members and must include:

  • certification by the committee chair that the selection and nomination process was transparent, open and equitable
  • the rationale for the selection of the recommended candidate
  • an explanation if the recommended candidate is not a member of one of the FDGs. The rationale for not recommending a candidate from an FDG should be approved by the equity and diversity officer
  • a brief description of the process for the review of materials and selection for an interview (as appropriate)
  • the rationale for the selection of committee members, including the declaration and resolution of any conflicts of interest
  • a copy of research metrics table and evaluation matrix used for assessing applicants
  • a copy of the guidance material provided to the selection committee.

Acceptance

The committee recommendation report must be signed by the vice president, research to indicate acceptance of the recommendation. The selection committee chair normally advises the candidates of the outcome of the selection process.

The signed report should then be forwarded to the business development and analytics office. The BDA office will then initiate the formal CRC nomination process with the candidate and the university.

Nomination

Prior to submitting the formal nomination to the CRCP, the following documentation must be submitted to the university by the business development and analytics office at SRI:

  • nomination acceptance letter signed by the SRI vice-president, research and by the nominee
  • Canada Research Chair affiliated hospital nomination form signed by the university department chair, university dean / vice-dean (or equivalent) and SRI vice-president, research
  • CRCP’s Institutional Attestation – Recruitment and Nomination Process form signed by the SRI vice-president, research

Monitoring

Within 48 months of the submission of a nomination, an institution may be asked to provide evidence that its selection process met mandatory requirements. The following documentation may be requested by the CRCP:

  • membership of committees, indicating where it includes representation from at least one of the FDGs
  • names of senior officials responsible for ensuring the recruitment process was in line with the institution’s EDIAP requirements
  • description of training provided on equity, diversity and inclusion, including training on unconscious bias
  • description of the role of the equity and diversity officer or equivalent
  • archived copy of the advertisement or announcement of the CRC opportunity
  • description of the strategy to identify a diverse pool of potential applicants including members of the FDGs, and efforts made to encourage applications from members of these groups
  • description of the measures used to ensure that individuals who required accommodation or who experienced career interruptions were not disadvantaged in the selection process
  • evaluation criteria and assessment grids
  • copies of internal policies and guidelines
  • description of the method used to collect equity data and a copy of the blank self-identification form.

Renewal

The University of Toronto administers the renewal of Chairs at its affiliated hospitals. In general, assuming that a Chairholder’s level of performance in research is maintained, and barring a reduction in the university’s CRC allocation, SRI’s practice is to allow the renewal of a CRC. A CRC can be renewed only once.

All CRC renewal nominations require written approval by the relevant vice-dean/principal, research or equivalent at the University of Toronto, prior to the release of online forms.

The university’s practice regarding renewals is included in the hospital nomination acceptance letter, which is issued by the hospital and signed by the nominee, with a copy returned to the university research services office.

Supporting Materials and Equity and Diversity Training Resources

CRC unconscious bias training module

Unconscious bias PDF

CRC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Requirements and Practices

Requirements for Recruiting and Nominating Canada Research Chairs

CRC Best Practices for Recruitment, Hiring and Retention

CRC Guidelines for Assessing the Productivity of Nominees

Hiring Practices for Equity in Employment: Interviewing Guide

Strategies for Recruiting an Excellent & Diverse Faculty Complement

Canada Research Chairs at the University of Toronto

Self-identification form

A complete list of resources is available here.

A selection process and nomination checklist is available in Appendix C of the PDF.

For more information about the CRCP, contact Kevin Hamilton, director, business development and analytics office, SRI: kevin.hamilton@sri.utoronto.ca.