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|Duration||Five years, renewable once|
|Application Deadline||There is no competition currently scheduled for this program.|
|How to Apply||See below|
To complete the Consent to Disclosure of Personal Information Form, select the link above.
|Chairholders||Current Chairholders and other information|
This Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering Program (CWSE) was launched in 1996. The goal of the program is to increase the participation of women in science and engineering, and to provide role models for women active in, and considering, careers in these fields. NSERC funding must be matched by cash contributions from corporate sponsors.
Chairs are tenable at any NSERC-eligible Canadian university within a designated region. Chairholders are approved for a five-year term, renewable for an additional three years if progress is satisfactory and support from the sponsoring organization(s) continues.
NSERC will match cash contributions from sponsoring organizations up to a maximum of $70,000 per year. These partner contributions may come from industry, government, the university, or any other private or public sector organizations, communities or individuals. NSERC will also consider matching in-kind contributions consisting of staff time, salaries, equipment, and any other resources provided by the business and industry partners of the Chair.
In addition, NSERC will match university cash contributions up to $20,000 to support a postdoctoral fellow or research engineer to help chairholders maintain their research activity at a high level during their tenure as a CWSE.
Chairholders are expected to contribute up to 50 percent of their time to the activities of the chair and the remaining time to their professor/researcher activities at the university. The contributions from NSERC and the corporate sponsor(s) can be used to cover part of the chairholder's salary plus the cost of activities associated with the chair. The contributions from NSERC and the corporate sponsor(s) to the salary of the chairholders will be commensurate with the release time from normal teaching and administrative activities granted by the host institutions (e.g., if the candidate proposes to spend 25 percent of her time on chair-related activities, the contributions from NSERC and the sponsor(s) can be used to defray up to 25 percent of her salary; proposals where the host institution pays the candidate's entire salary will be accepted). The university will be responsible for any salary increments over the course of the award due to merit, progression through the ranks and inflation.
If additional funding commitments are secured after a chair has started, NSERC will consider adjusting its level of funding. Requests for additional matching funds (up to the maximum total of $90,000) should be supported by a full description of the changes that will result from the additional funding and by a revised budget.
Chair candidates must be women and meet NSERC's regular eligibility criteria to apply for or receive NSERC funding. Candidates (already holding a faculty appointment at a Canadian university) must either hold a current NSERC Discovery Grant or be awarded one prior to taking up the chair. Chairs can be conditionally awarded to candidates not currently holding a Discovery Grant, provided they obtain one during the next competition. However, no funding will be released and the chair will not be announced until the grant is obtained.
Although NSERC will accept applications from candidates not currently holding Discovery Grants, evidence of research excellence is one of the selection criteria. It is incumbent on the applying university to select a candidate who can successfully meet this requirement.
Proposals may be submitted by any NSERC-eligible Canadian university located in the appropriate region, or jointly by two or more eligible institutions located within the same region.
Apart from the basic structure outlined below, the proposal is free form. It allows the university the flexibility to be creative and innovative in structuring the chair and the chair’s Action Plan. The university should make the best possible case for the establishment of the best possible chair, in line with the university’s goals, priorities, aspirations and resources.
The summary should clearly outline, in point form, the proposed activities and where they will have an impact with respect to the program objectives.
University’s strategy towards Women in Science and Engineering
The university should outline its strategy in the context of the objectives of the CWSE program, noting:
The applicant for a proposal must be the senior administrator (e.g., Department Head, Dean, Vice-President or President) with direct or ultimate responsibility for the proposed chair. The applicant cannot be the candidate for the chair. There is no special application form for this program. The application is free form and should be printed single-sided on 8 1/2 x 11 inch (21.5 cm x 28 cm) white paper using the following general presentation guidelines:
Note: If an application does not meet these standards, it may be rejected.
NSERC must receive the application by the deadline date.
The original plus one electronic and one hard copy of the full application must be submitted. Documents sent to NSERC should not be bound or stapled. Please use clips to hold the copies together.
Completed applications should be sent to the following address:
Scholarships and Fellowships Division
350 Albert Street
All of the objectives have equal importance and must be addressed in the proposal, but it is left to each individual chair candidate as to how she wishes to focus on these objectives. The first objective has several sub-points that do not all necessarily need to be addressed in the proposal, but are included as a guideline. There has to be a balance in the activities of the chair between science promotion, research into factors and institutional mechanisms that influence the participation rates of women in science and engineering, as well as public advocacy and role-modeling. The balance among these activities depends on the interests of the chair, and the situation and needs within the university and the region.
Proposals should include a detailed action plan that describes how the chairholder will address the goals and objectives of this chair program. Specifics of the proposed strategies are left to the discretion, creativity and motivation of the applying organizations, sponsors, and the chairholders. Action plans should include the following:
In September 2006, the five regional Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) were formally linked through the creation of a national network, funded by NSERC. The network provides mechanisms to facilitate interactions among the five Chairs in order to:
Towards these goals, the national network undertakes a range of collaborative research, communication and networking activities such as contributions to national and regional conferences. Current research projects include:
In addition to the chair application, external candidates and those internal candidates who either do not hold a Discovery Grant or whose Discovery Grant is in its final year must submit an application for a Discovery Grant, using Form 101 and Form 100. The Discovery Grant proposal will help reviewers to assess the research stature and potential of the proposed candidate. Funding through the Discovery Grants program does not require matching from the corporate sponsor(s). Internal candidates whose Discovery Grant is not in its final year must agree to authorize NSERC to make the results of their most recent Discovery Grant evaluation, including referee and Evaluation Group comments, available to the Chair Selection Panel.
In order to provide the chairs with stable research funding, Discovery Grants will be extended for the term of the chair at the Chairholder’s request. Stable funding will allow each chair to put in place the necessary framework to help ensure that their research program remains active at a time of intense community service. Internal candidates whose Discovery Grant is not in its final year will have the option of extending their current grant for the five-year chair term or re-applying in accordance with the original schedule. In the latter case, the chair accepts the decision of the Evaluation Group, including a possible reduction or nil.
Chairholders may apply to all other NSERC programs and to other funding agencies for research support not related to the chair.
All proposals will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of scientists and engineers from a variety of disciplines within the industrial, academic and government communities. The research achievements and future research plans described in the Discovery Grant applications will be reviewed by external referees with specific expertise in the proposed area of research and then assessed by the respective Evaluation Group. Their preliminary assessment will be provided to the Chair Selection Committee.
The Selection Committee will evaluate all chair applications according to the following criteria:
The Selection Committee will give equal importance to each element when evaluating proposals.
The preliminary assessment of the Discovery Grant application will be based on the selection criteria for that program. The Discovery Grant level, offered for the chair term, will be recommended by the Evaluation Group according to the regular competition schedule for the Discovery Grant program.
NSERC will approve a public announcement only after a chairholder has formally accepted the position and after all the conditions of the award have been addressed to NSERC's satisfaction. Refer to the General Guidelines for the Public Announcement of Major NSERC Awards in planning a public announcement of a chair award.
The chairholder, the university and the sponsoring organization(s) must submit regular progress reports. Continued NSERC support for the chair depends on favourable reviews of the activities and progress of the chair, and the continued contribution of the supporting organization(s), which must be confirmed annually.
The decision to renew a chair for a second term will be based on the fourth year progress report, a proposed action plan for the second term, supporting documentation from the sponsor(s), a statement of impact from the host university and the assessment of a new Discovery Grant application, if applicable.
If the evaluation is positive and the sponsoring organization(s) are willing to continue financial support, the chair may be renewed once for a second term of three years only. Terms of support for the second term are identical to those in the first term:
Applicants and candidates are encouraged to contact the NSERC staff member responsible for this program:
Scholarships and Fellowships Division