Canada Research Chairs at Unity Health

The Canada Research Chairs (CRC) program offers Canadian universities the opportunity to nominate researchers for senior professorships in areas that will further the institution’s overall research priorities. Each university receives an allocation of Chairs which is proportional to the amount of recent funding the institution has received from the Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC) and the institution nominates a researcher for each Chair. The institution uses Chair nominations for external recruitment or internal retention of exceptional researchers who have demonstrated research excellence and leadership and whose work is aligned with the institutional strategic priorities.

There are two levels of Chairs.

  • Tier I Chairs are outstanding researchers acknowledged by their peers as world leaders in their fields. This type of Chair is awarded for a seven-year period and may be renewed at the discretion of the University.
  • Tier II Chairs are exceptional emerging researchers acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to become world leaders in their fields. Tier II Chairs are awarded for five years and may be renewed once at the discretion of the University.

See the Canada Research Chairs program statistics here.

The University of Toronto’s CRC program is administered by the University in partnership with nine affiliated hospitals in the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network (TAHSN).

This website complements the information provided on the University’s website and provides information specific to Unity Health Toronto, including postings for available CRC opportunities at Unity Health Toronto.

Unity Health Toronto is developing an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (EDIAP) for the CRC program (link coming soon). The Unity’s EDIAP guides our efforts to sustain the participation of underrepresented individuals from the four federally designated groups (FDGs) – women, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and racialized persons – as well as members of sexual minority groups among our chair allocations.

The Unity Health Toronto EDIAP will align with the University of Toronto Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan and its TAHSN partners. Unity Health Toronto will work closely with the University of Toronto on implementing the plan’s objectives. For more information, please review the CRC website to learn more about the Federal program’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Requirements and Practices that aim to increase transparency within the program and which also requires firm targets to increase nationally the number of chair holders from the four designated groups as defined by the CRC program.

Unity Health Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons (visible minorities), women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of sexual minority groups (LGBTQ2+), and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

2019 Addendum to 2006 Canadian Human Rights Settlement Agreement

In 2006 a Canadian Human Rights Settlement Agreement was reached between the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) and eight academics who filed complaints with the Canadian Human Rights Commission in 2003. In 2019, an addendum to the agreement was reached between the CRCP and the equity seeking plaintiffs, which outlines the new terms of the revised agreement. These new terms were developed collaboratively between the parties and update the original settlement agreement to align with best practices. They build on the CRCP’s current EDI measures and ensure that the objective of attracting and retaining a diverse cadre of world-class researchers at Canadian postsecondary institutions to reinforce excellence in research and training is achieved. See the addendum here.


Administration of CRCs

Unity Health Toronto follows the Federal program’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Practices and CRC guidelines for ensuring a fair and transparent recruitment and nomination process. Oversight of the CRC program resides in the portfolio of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (VPRI) who works closely with the leadership at the University of Toronto.

For each CRC opportunity at Unity Health Toronto, the VPRI will establish a Selection Committee that meets CRC’s guidelines and will openly advertise the position. The Committee will review candidates against established criteria based closely on CRC’s evaluation criteria and make recommendations to the VPRI, who will make the final decision in collaboration with the Research Leadership Committee and the University (see Guide to Nomination and Renewals for Selection Committees).

Currently, there is a call for one(1) Tier 1 CIHR Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Health:

Date of Posting: February 14, 2022

Application Deadline: April 8, 2022

Unity Health Toronto and the University of Toronto, located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, acknowledges that we are on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We acknowledge and pay tribute to the traditional territories of the peoples of Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands. The City of Toronto is home to a culturally diverse community. Together, we share this land, strive to live together, learn together, walk together, and grow together ‘in a good way.’
Founded in 1827, the University of Toronto is Canada’s top university with a long history of challenging the impossible and transforming society through the ingenuity and resolve of its faculty, students, alumni and supporters. In 1920, St. Michael’s Hospital (one of the three sites of Unity Health Toronto) became a fully affiliated hospital of the University. As such all Researchers appointed to Unity Health Toronto, also hold an academic appointment at the University of Toronto.
In the spring of 2016, The University of Toronto established a Truth and Reconciliation Steering Committee, which in 2017 released its final report entitled Wecheehetowin (meaning “working together” in Cree), which highlights six key areas for action in the collective journey to reconciliation. The report includes 34 calls to action for U of T in the areas of 1) Indigenous spaces, 2) Indigenous faculty and staff, 3) Indigenous curriculum, 4) Indigenous research ethics and community relationships, 5) Indigenous students and co-curricular education and 6) Institutional leadership and implementation. The Wecheehetowein continues to guide the University of Toronto on its path of transformation.
Similarly, Unity Health Toronto is committed to making transformative changes in our relationship with Indigenous peoples and in supporting Indigenous-led improvements to health care experiences. Some concrete steps we are taking as an institution include:

1. Unity Health is currently hiring for a short-term advisory leadership role that will help us lay the foundation, and develop a structure, to support this ongoing transformation. A key objective includes developing a longer-term strategy that encompasses ongoing leadership and staffing.
2. Establishment of the Council on Anti-Racism, Equity and Social Accountability (CARESA) whose mandate is to inform and oversee transformational improvements in equity, systemic racism and social accountability at Unity Health. CARESA’s initial focus is specifically on anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism.
3. Supporting Indigenous-led efforts to fight COVID-19 at the Auduzhe Mino Nesewinong (Place for Health Breathing) for First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
4. Our Board of Directors has embarked on a specific process to recruit Indigenous representation on the board of Unity Health. The First Nations, Inuit and Métis Community Advisory Panel is helping to shape this process.
5. We are working to create Indigenous sacred spaces at our sites to support Indigenous spiritual practices and ceremony for patients throughout their healing journey.

Unity Health Toronto (UHT), a fully-affiliated hospital of the University of Toronto (UofT), invites applications for a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC) position. This individual will lead a research program in Indigenous Health that is aligned with one or more of our four established pillars of world-class research and innovation, as outlined in our Research Strategic Plan 2021-2026.

The Chair will be an energetic and dynamic scholar who has lived Indigenous experience, who will advocate for the health of Indigenous peoples and beyond. They must have demonstrated leadership and international recognition in the study of Indigenous health and well-being. The Chair will support research connected to all aspects of physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, as priorities for enhancing community wellbeing, and responding to the need for Indigenous approaches to the promotion of Indigenous health. This CRC will help to address the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s Calls to Action in addressing Indigenous wellbeing, recognizing the value of Indigenous practices, and growing the quality of Indigenous healthcare research. Importantly, the Chair will partner with Indigenous peoples, communities, and associations to promote and advance health equity through inclusion of diverse Indigenous leadership, voices, and action.

Tier 1 Chairs are tenable for seven years and renewable once. They are intended for outstanding and innovative world-class researchers whose accomplishments have made a major impact in their fields and who are recognized internationally as leaders in their fields. Nominees for Tier 1 Chair positions must be full professors or associate professors who are expected to be promoted to the full professor level within one or two years of the nomination. Alternatively, if they come from outside the academic sector, nominees must possess the necessary qualifications to be appointed at these levels. In cases where nominees have non-research commitments at Unity Health and/or at the University level (e.g. clinical or administrative), these commitments should be limited in order for nominees to undertake their program of research at the level expected of a CRC holder. In addition, the nominee should not currently hold a major salary award, or the award should end before January 2023. Further information about the Canada Research Chairs Program can be found on the Government of Canada’s CRC website.

An ideal applicants would have:
• A PhD, MD or equivalent professional qualification;
• A passion and calling for acquiring the best healthcare for all Indigenous Peoples;
• A deep knowledge of Indigeneity, Indigenous communities, and Indigenous research methodologies (First Nations, Métis and Inuit), and the importance of spirituality in Indigenous health and wellbeing, and a complete respect for the sacred bundles kept by Indigenous communities;
• Strong links to, and leadership within Indigenous initiatives, including sustained connection with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and representative groups;
• Indigenous identity and lived experience with Indigenous communities in Canada or internationally; existing ties to local and regional communities and nations would be considered an asset;
• Candidates should hold a Professor academic appointment or hold an Associate Professor appointment but are expected to be promoted within a few years of the nomination;
• Demonstrate evidence of global influence, reputation, and impact in Indigenous Studies, Health, or a related field. A strong track record of publications in high quality journals, evidence of securing ongoing external research funding is required. Evidence of effective graduate student supervision with clear success of developing highly qualified personnel in the area of Indigenous health equity and inclusion are required, and a clear track record of honourable work ethic;
• Significant research experience and track record in health, health equity, data sovereignty, and/or social/healthcare services;
• An established, externally funded research program focused on Indigenous peoples, a strong publication record, demonstrated success in teaching and graduate supervision, and a strong record of Indigenous community outreach and engagement including the gift of diplomacy;
• Ability to recognize one’s own boundaries and limitations, and be able to effectively absorb feedback from Indigenous community and community knowledge keepers and Elders in a good way.

During a time of active reconciliation, the CRC incumbent will aim to create positive conditions for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples to utilize the Chair as a resource for building ethical and decolonized partnerships, practices and outcomes with Indigenous and non-Indigenous decision-makers. The candidate will implement an innovative and significant research program building on, and in alignment with, the dynamic and collaborative environments in Unity Health and the University of Toronto. To support the CRC incumbent in reaching their goals, there are numerous programs and initiatives devoted to Indigenous health in Toronto, including a community of scholars with whom one can collaborate and find support.

Nomination Submission: Applications should include:
1) a letter of interest (max 2 pages) describing your qualifications, research plans and alignment with Unity Health priorities.
2) a complete curriculum vitae (not an abbreviated one)
All materials should be submitted to by April 8, 2022

Unity Health recognizes that scholars have varying career paths and that career interruptions due to personal circumstances can be part of an excellent academic record. Search committee members have been instructed to give careful consideration to, and be sensitive to the impact of, career interruptions in their assessments.

Statement of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Unity Health Toronto is committed to creating a workplace culture where everyone feels valued and welcome to be themselves, and where they are empowered to share different perspectives to inspire creativity and innovation.

Accommodation Policy: Accommodations for disabilities will be provided, on request, to support participation in all aspects of the recruitment process. If you require accommodation at any point of the application process, please contact Erica Conte (

Collection of Equity Data: CRC requires the collection of self-identification data related to the four designated groups from all applicants to CRC opportunities. As part of your application, you must complete the brief CRC Self Identification Form, (sent as a separate attachment), and send it directly to This form should not be included with the nomination submission. The submission of this form is mandatory, but responses to all questions are voluntary, and you may decline to answer any questions. Any information directly related to you is strictly confidential and cannot be accessed by the search committee. Results will be aggregated for institutional planning purposes as part of Unity Health’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (EDIAP).

For more information about this specific CRC opportunity, and/or if you are unsure of your eligibility, please contact Erica Conte, Director Funding Strategy and Stewardship (

Profiles of our Chairs are listed here.

Contact information

There are a number of mechanisms at the University of Toronto to address concerns related to equity and diversity depending on the issue, and one’s position at the University and/or Unity Health Toronto. For questions, feedback and suggestions about the University’s Equity, Diversity and Action Plan and its implementation, please contact Judith Chadwick, Assistant Vice-President, Research Services, University of Toronto.

Regarding questions and suggestions specific to the CRC opportunities at Unity Health Toronto, please contact Erica Conte, Director Funding Strategy & Stewardship, Office of Vice-President Research and Innovation, Unity Health Toronto.


St. Michael’s Hospital site’s Policies and Guidelines that Govern the Staffing of Faculty, Including CRCs:

Unity Health Toronto scientists, including CRCs, are bound to Unity Health policies, including those listed below that promote EDI across Unity Health. These policies are published on the intranet. Click Here for a step-by-step guide on how to externally access internal documents.  For those outside of the institute intending to apply, contact for access to the policies below.

University of Toronto Resources

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