Western Research Chairs

Decorative image of a purple chair set against a purple wall. 

The Western Research Chairs program has been reintroduced to create additional capacity for research, scholarship and creative activity, while also supporting innovation, leadership and collaboration. Western Research Chairs support networking and relationship building in Canada and globally, including with the business community and with other non-academic stakeholder communities. In addition, temporary appointments will help bring new ideas and innovative concepts into the university and support high-impact training opportunities. All nominations must be championed by the Dean of the supporting faculty or school.


Nomination Process

  • All nominees must be championed by the Dean(s) of the supporting faculty/faculties.
  • Nominees are approved based on fit to the program, a minimum score of 75 on the evaluation rubric and availability of funding.
  • For internal nominees, Deans are to submit an application on behalf of a candidate.
  • For positions open to external applicants, Deans are to submit proposed positions. A formal search will be conducted to identify preferred nominees for successful proposals.
  • Until the College of Reviewers is set up, Western's Associate Vice-Presidents (Research) will review applications and make recommendations to the Vice-President (Research).
  • Chair renewals, where appropriate, will be dependent on available budget and recommendations by the College of Reviewers.
  • Nomination packages should be sent to intgrant@uwo.ca and include: 

    1. The Nominee's CV
    2. A Proposal describing the research, scholarship or creative activity to be supported by the Chair. Proposals should clearly demonstrate a commitment to EDI-D within the research, research team, HQP and training, mentorship, outreach, evaluation and/or as part of the knowledge exchange and dissemination; and
    3. A Letter of Support from the sponsoring Dean indicating the Chair type, and addressing fit with the Western Research Chairs program and the merit of the nominee.

The program consists of five types of Western Research Chair, whose work will lead societal change, support Canada's economic growth and advance fundamental research.

Strategic Focus Chair

Purpose: To attract or retain leading scholars in key areas of research activity.

Targeted Level: Full professors or associate professors expected to be promoted to full professor within one-two years of nomination.


  • Outstanding and innovative world-class researcher whose accomplishments have made a major impact in their field
  • Recognized internationally as a leader in their field
  • Superior record of attracting and supervising/teaching graduate students and postdoctoral scholars or other students and personnel
  • Proposing an original, innovative research program of the highest quality

Duration: Five years, renewable once.

Advancing Research Chair

Purpose: To attract or retain emerging scholars in key areas of research activity.

Targeted Level: Assistant or Associate Professor.


  • Emerging scholar who has received their highest degree within 10 years of nomination
  • Outstanding researcher whose accomplishments are commensurate with their career stage
  • Proposing an original, innovative research program of high quality

Duration: Five years, non-renewable.

Innovation Chair

Purpose: To support scholars involved in research and partnerships that develop innovative products, services, knowledge exchange, startups or technologies.

Targeted Level: Internal nominees at the Assistant, Associate or Full Professor level.


  • Research and training record commensurate with experience
  • Recognition with distinction amongst peer group
  • Demonstrated ability to work with industry or other external partners
  • In partnership, proposing a research program or collaboration of high merit that focuses on developing new and innovative products, services, processes or technologies

Duration: Up to two years, based on requirements of the project, non-renewable.

Leadership Chair

Purpose: To attract or retain senior leaders for research institutes, facilities or major initiatives.

Targeted Level: Leading scholars, either internally or externally appointed.


  • Evidence of outstanding scholarship and an established international reputation in their field
  • Demonstrated leadership involving financial oversight and fund-raising
  • Demonstrated ability to build and manage effective teams that include multidisciplinary scholars, external partners and other stakeholders

Duration: Five years, renewable once. 

Visiting Fellow Chair

Purpose: To attract national or international scholars and world-class experts to travel to Western and spend three-six months working with Western scholars.

Targeted Level: External nominees who are at the Assistant, Associate or Full Professor level.


  • Evidence of outstanding scholarship and an established international reputation in their field
  • Demonstration that the visit to Western will foster collaboration and exchanges between Western and their home institution in areas of strategic importance to Western
  • Upon returning to their home institutions, Chairs are expected to continue collaborations/ partnerships, or help create local companies with ties to Canadian collaborators and Canadian companies

Duration: Three-six months, non-renewable.



For more information about this program, please contact intgrant@uwo.ca.