Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC), in Four Research Alignment Areas
Western University in London, Canada invites candidates to apply for one of several prestigious Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) opportunities. Western recognizes that our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion is central to the University’s mandate as a research-intensive institution of higher learning and a community leader. Western understands that our pursuit of research excellence and our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion are mutually supporting.
Launched in 2008, the CERC Program supports Canadian universities in their efforts to build on Canada's growing reputation as a global leader in research and innovation and attract world-renowned researchers to Canada. These awards are among the most prestigious and generous available globally.
The CERC nomination is a two stage process where applicants first apply to the job posting at the institution; the successful applicant(s) will then work with the institution to submit an application to the program. Western Research will provide support to the successful nominees for application development including budget development and proposal development, review, and editing. Following a rigorous and highly competitive selection process, the CERC program awards successful researchers and their teams either $8 million or $4 million over eight years to establish ambitious research programs at Canadian universities. The two award values recognize the varying costs of research within different research disciplines and aims to be inclusive of all areas of research.
It is anticipated that up to 3 candidates will be selected to be nominated for CERC positions. Western welcomes applications from outstanding established scholars in the following four areas, with at most one nomination being selected from a given area:
1. Neurovirology and/or Neuroimmunology
While it has been known for some time that a variety of infectious agents can impact the development and progression of dementia, establishing clear causal links and developing an understanding of the specific mechanisms involved has remained elusive. A CERC in Neurovirology and/or Neuroimmunology will promote synergy between Western’s established clusters of excellence in the areas of cognitive neuroscience, neuro-imaging, and infectious diseases. This will accelerate research to address the intersecting challenges of cognitive decline accompanying both aging and infection by viral and bacterial pathogens that have been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. The outstanding research excellence in neuroscience, neuroimaging and infection diseases, and world-leading facilities at Western provides an exceptional and unique opportunity for a well-established individual to provide leadership in collaborative programs of cognitive decline accompanying both aging and infection by viral and bacterial pathogens that will accelerate our international leadership and impact in these emerging, intersecting challenges.
2. Materials Degradation
The degradation of materials, or their failure to degrade in a controlled and timely manner, have significant direct and indirect costs. The impacts of materials degradation can be addressed through an enhanced chemical understanding of the factors governing these processes and by designing and developing new materials with optimized degradation profiles for their target applications. Western is an internationally recognized leader in materials degradation research. A CERC in Materials degradation will: (i) advance the fundamental understanding of degradation processes, mechanisms, and driving forces; (ii) develop new approaches to control and tune degradation (e.g. coatings, materials selection and design); and/or (iii) investigate environmental, health, societal, and safety aspects of degradation processes of materials.
3. Climate Change and Extreme Weather
Western is globally recognized as a leader in weather-related hazards and micro-climate level studies through the unique WindEEE Research Institute, the historical Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory, and the Northern Tornado Project. A CERC in Climate Change and Extreme Weather will be focused on understanding and projecting historical and future extremes, their driving mechanisms, and spatial/temporal variability associated with climate and land cover change. The CERC will build on the strength of weather-related hazard modeling, micro-climate modeling, wind engineering, and space science at Western.
4. Technology Facilitated Gender-Based and Sexual Violence
Gender-based and sexual violence (GBSV) is pervasive, pernicious, and extraordinarily costly to individuals, communities, and society. It is also increasingly facilitated by digital technologies. A CERC in Technology Facilitated Gender-Based and Sexual Violence will build on Western’s institutional strength and global leadership in this area including the Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women and Children (CREVAWC). This CERC will focus on education in relation to any area of technology facilitated GBSV, including: eradicating technology facilitated GBSV; the inequitable experiences of technology facilitated GBSV or access to supportive resources; the technological mediation of sexual violence and screen culture; using technologies to prevent GBSV and activate for change; how discourses and policies around technology facilitated GBSV circulate in media, education, and culture; and/or legal and school-based responses to technology facilitated GBSV. A successful applicant will be expected to teach graduate and teacher education courses in the Faculty of Education.
In accordance with the CERC program, candidates should be top-tier researchers whose accomplishments have made a major societal impact and who are recognized internationally as a leader. In cases where the nominee is a Canadian Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit or Métis) researcher based in Canada, the impact can be at the international level and/or at the community, regional or national level. Candidates must be full professors or associate professors expected to be promoted to full professor within one or two years of the nomination. Alternatively, if they come from outside the academic sector, nominees must possess the qualifications necessary to be appointed at these levels.
Researchers who hold a full-time academic appointment at a Canadian institution are eligible to be nominated; however, they may not be nominated by the institution at which they currently hold their appointment. If an institution nominates a researcher who is currently at a Canadian institution, the institution must demonstrate the net benefit to the country in moving the researcher from one Canadian institution to another.
Successful candidates must have a Ph.D. or equivalent (e.g. MD, DDS, with relevant professional designation or licensure) in a discipline appropriate to the field of research, be engaged in a program of research and have a demonstrated record of excellence in scholarly research and teaching. Assessment of candidates will be based on research excellence, as reflected in the number and quality of peer-reviewed publications, previous success securing research support, and other evidence of impact.
Successful candidates will be appointed as a faculty member, to an appropriate Department, School, or Faculty as early as July 2023. Duties will include research, teaching and service. The appointment will be conditional upon the successful award of the CERC to the candidate. Awardees will have up to 12 months to take up the award after the notice of award and acceptance has been signed by all parties.
Western recognizes the potential impact that legitimate career interruptions can have on a candidate’s record of research achievement. These leaves will be taken into careful consideration during the assessment process. Potential candidates are encouraged to explain within their application the impact that career interruptions have had and to submit a full career or extended CV.
About Western University
With an enviable national reputation and an international profile that ranks among the top universities world-wide, Western pushes the boundaries of pedagogical and scholarly excellence while setting a national standard for a student experience that is second to none. Western ranks as one of Canada’s top research-intensive universities, with annual research funding in excess of $240 million. Western is a founding member of Canada’s U15, serves as a hub for more than 500 international research collaborations, and is recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. There are more than 38,000 students within Western’s 12 Faculties and Schools and 3 affiliated University Colleges. Approximately 4,000 faculty and staff work in partnership to deliver 400+ specializations, majors and minors, as well as innovative modular degree programs. For more information about Western’s strategic priorities, visit the Western Strategic Plan and Indigenous Strategic Plan and for information on Western’s research areas please visit Western Research.
How to Apply
Applications will be reviewed by a multi-disciplinary committee and must include the following:
1) Completed: the form: Application CERC agencies: Canada Excellence Research Chair Application
2) Cover letter: include which one of the four areas of Research Alignment you are applying to.
3) Detailed curriculum vitae
4) A plan identifying the proposed research program, including how you embed Equity, Diversity and Inclusion principles in your research. (Maximum 5 pages)
5) Highlights of your most significant contributions to your field and how your contributions connect with your research plan. (Maximum 2 pages)
6) A statement of your teaching and mentoring philosophies, including how you embed Equity, Diversity and Inclusion principles in teaching and mentoring. (Maximum 2 pages)
7) The names and email addresses of 3 references.
The application should be submitted as a single PDF file to:
Review of applications will begin on June 13, 2022 and continue until the positions are filled.
Effective September 7, 2021, all employees and visitors to campus are required to comply with Western’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.
Positions are subject to budget approval. Applicants should have fluent written and oral communication skills in English. The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Western is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, members of racialized groups, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation and persons of any gender identity or gender expression.
In accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
Accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities throughout the application and recruitment process. If you require accommodations, please contact email@example.com.