Dec. 18, 2020

7 UCalgary faculty named Canada Research Chairs

Group includes first chairs for faculties of law and social work

The Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) named seven UCalgary faculty members to its ranks today, in recognition of their achievements and pursuit of research excellence. UCalgary is now home to 66 active Canada Research Chairs (CRCs). 

“The CRCP enables us to attract and retain world-class scholars who are addressing pressing global issues through their work,” says Dr. William Ghali, vice-president (research). “Our new CRCs represent the next generation of great talent, and we are thrilled that they have chosen to build exemplary research programs at the University of Calgary.”

The CRCP is the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world's top countries in research and development. It invests approximately $295 million per year to reinforce academic research and training excellence in Canadian post-secondary institutions. 

“For over 20 years, the Canada Research Chairs Program has been mobilizing Canada’s most esteemed academics to train and mentor the next generation of researchers and pursue groundbreaking research that responds to society’s economic, social and health needs," says the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. "Congratulations to the new and renewed Canada Research Chairs! I look forward to seeing where your research and innovation leads us.” 

CRCs improve depth of knowledge in their fields and support students through supervision, teaching, and the co-ordination of other researchers' work. This group of CRCs includes the first chairholders for the faculties of law and social work. 

“This is an outstanding choice”, says Dr. Ian Holloway, dean of the Faculty of Law. “Emily Laidlaw is one of the leading scholars of her generation, and her work at the intersection of internet law and privacy is having a global impact. We’re very proud of her.”

"We are very pleased to have this Canada Research Chair supporting Kathy Sitter's research partnerships with the disability community," says Dr. Ellen Perrault, dean of the Faculty of Social Work. "It’s an opportunity to learn how storytelling and multisensory approaches can help create a more inclusive society as we imagine futures where everyone can participate."

The complete list of new Canada Research Chairs at the University of Calgary:

  • Dr. Paul Beck, MD, PhD, Tier I CRC in Precision Medicine (Cumming School of Medicine)
  • Dr. Deinera Exner-Cortens, PhD, Tier II CRC in Childhood Health Promotion (Faculty of Arts and Cumming School of Medicine)
  • Dr. Emily Laidlaw, PhD, Tier II CRC in Cybersecurity Law (Faculty of Law)
  • Dr. Jennifer Leason, PhD, Tier II CRC in Indigenous Maternal Child Wellness (Faculty of Arts)
  • Dr. Kimberly Lenters, PhD, Tier II CRC in Language and Literacy Education (Werklund School of Education)
  • Dr. Wilten Nicola, PhD, Tier II CRC in Computational Neuroscience (Cumming School of Medicine)
  • Dr. Kathleen Sitter, PhD, Tier II CRC in Multi-Sensory Storytelling in Research and Knowledge Translation (Faculty of Social Work)

This prestigious group represents the breadth and depth of the research and expertise at the University of Calgary, representing a number of our faculties and institutes within the Cumming School of Medicine, including the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, the Owerko Centre, The Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research & Education at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and the HBI, the O’Brien Institute for Public Health and the Synder Institute for Chronic Diseases.

The Canada Research Chairs Program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world's top countries for research and development. The program is committed to ensuring access and opportunities to all qualified candidates, while maintaining standards of excellence. The goals of equity and excellence are not mutually exclusive. Equity ensures that the largest pool of qualified candidates is accessed without affecting the integrity of the selection process.