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 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. Unity Health Toronto encourages applications from qualified candidates, and we especially welcome applicants who are Indigenous, Black or Racialized, persons with disabilities, people who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+, and all 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).

Canada Research Chair, CIHR Tier 2 in Indigenous Health

Deadline: September 30th, 2024

Date of Posting: April 3rd, 2024

Unity Health Toronto and the University of Toronto, located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario, acknowledge 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). It 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. Developed an Indigenous Wellness, Reconciliation and Partnerships Human Resources Strategy to advance Indigenous health and reconciliation across the organization. This included announcing Roberta Pike as the inaugural Director of Indigenous Wellness, Reconciliation and Partnerships, and Dr. Suzanne Shoush as the inaugural Physician Lead, Care Pathways.
  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, with an initial focus on anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism.
  3. Formation of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Community Advisory Panel whose mission is to advance culturally safe, accessible and high-quality health services at Unity Health for the First Peoples of Toronto and beyond, in a manner that is consistent with the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
  4. Our Board of Directors has embarked on a specific process to recruit Indigenous representation on the board of Unity Health, leading to the recruitment of Derek Chum, a highly accomplished and committed Indigenous member of the Moose Cree First Nation. The First Nations, Inuit and Métis Community Advisory Panel is helping to shape this process.
  5. Held our first Indigenous Leadership Circle – an opportunity for Unity Health leaders and Indigenous community members to discuss our progress from the past year and plans for Indigenous health and reconciliation in the year ahead. These meetings will take place quarterly.
  6. Developed an updated policy on smudging – the Smudging Protocol and Burning Sacred Medicines for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Spiritual Ceremonies.
  7. Recent hired a Tier 2 CRC in Indigenous Health, Dr. Mikaela Gabriel

The research institute has been working to support Indigenous health research for over a decade, including the partnered establishment of the Well Living House in 2012, which strives to get relevant and useful public health and Indigenous traditional knowledge to health practitioners, program managers and policy-makers.  Over the past 10+ years the work of the Well Living House has grown significantly resulting in enormous successes in addressing health outcomes of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples, advancing Indigenous science, and building research and community capacity. We are now looking to further build and expand on this success through the recruitment of additional Indigenous health leaders.

Unity Health Toronto (UHT), a fully-affiliated hospital of the University of Toronto (UofT), invites applications to fill a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair (CRC) position. The Chairholder will lead independent research programs 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.

An ideal Chairholder for this position will be an energetic and dynamic scholar who has lived Indigenous experience, and who will advocate for the health of Indigenous peoples and beyond. They must have demonstrated leadership and potential for international recognition in the study of Indigenous health and well-being. The Chairholder 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 Chairholder will be expected to partner with Indigenous peoples, communities, and associations to promote and advance health equity through inclusion of diverse Indigenous leadership, voices, and action.

Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs are tenable for five years and renewable once. To meet the criteria of the program, the nominee must

1) be an excellent emerging world-class researcher who has demonstrated particular research creativity,

2) demonstrated the potential to achieve international recognition in their field in the next 5-10 years,

3) have the potential to attract, develop and retain excellent trainees, students and future researchers,

4) be proposing an original, innovative research program of high quality.

The nominee for the Tier 2 Chair position must be qualified to hold an academic position of assistant or associate professor, and be no more than 10 years from their highest degree at the time of nomination. Applicants who are more than 10 years from having earned their highest degree (and where career breaks exist, such as maternity, parental or extended sick leave, clinical training, etc.) may have their eligibility for a Tier 2 chair assessed through the program’s Tier 2 justification process. Research interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., closures) are recognized as, and may be counted as, an eligible delay (credited at twice the amount of time) beginning March 1, 2020.

In cases where the nominee has 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 the nominee 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 2024. Further information about the Canada Research Chairs Program is on the Government of Canada’s CRC website.

The ideal applicant 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;
  • Links to, and/or 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; if existing ties do not yet exist the applicant should express the desire and knowledge of how to build these relationships.
  • Demonstrate evidence of impact in Indigenous Studies, Health, or a related field, aligned with one of our four strategic research pillars at Unity Health Toronto.
  • A strong track record of research publications, and evidence of an ability to securing external research funding to support an independent program of research.
  • Strong potential to attract, develop and retain excellent trainees, students and future researchers in the area of Indigenous health equity and inclusion;
  • 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;
  • Experience with 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 (two current Tier 1 and one nominated Tier 2 CRCs at Unity Health) with whom one can collaborate and find support.

Nomination Submission:

Applications should include:

  • a letter of interest (max 3 pages) describing your qualifications, summary of proposed research plans for the next 5 years, and alignment with Unity Health priorities.
  • a complete curriculum vitae (not an abbreviated one)
  • statement of indigenous identity

All materials should be submitted to by September 30th, 2024.

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 will 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. Unity Health encourages applications from qualified candidates and we especially welcome applicants who are Indigenous, Black or Racialized, persons with disabilities, people who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+, and all others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

Accommodation Policy: Accommodations for disabilities are provided upon 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 self-identification form, please request this form and return 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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