Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Grants and Awards
Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strengthen the post-secondary community and the quality, social relevance and impact of research. EDI-informed analyses, systems and practices ensure barriers faced by underrepresented or disadvantaged groups are identified and addressed, which in turn enhances the integrity of application and selection processes, strengthens research outputs and increases the overall excellence of research.
Targeted programs and initiatives
Three granting agencies
- Canada Research Chairs
The program helps fund world-class chairholders from Canada and other countries. As part of the program’s equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) action plan, launched in 2017, all eligible institutions receiving funding are required to establish equity and diversity targets as a tool to ensure equitable representation of individuals from the four designated groups in Canada (women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous Peoples and members of visible minorities), and to provide a supportive and inclusive workplace as per the EDI requirements and practices.
- Canada 150 Research Chairs
This initiative aims to enhance Canada’s reputation as a global centre for science, research and innovation excellence. All institutions’ practices for recruiting chairs were expected to be open, transparent and equitable. Institutions are also required to ensure equitable access to opportunities available within the research teams that the program established.
- Canada First Research Excellence Fund
This program helps Canadian institutions excel globally in research areas that create long-term economic advantages for Canada. All institutions must maintain an up-to-date equity plan.
- Canada Excellence Research Chairs
These awards support research teams in establishing ambitious programs at Canadian universities. This program has, since it was launched in 2008, taken several actions to promote access to the program for all qualified individuals, to ensure opportunities remain open, transparent and equitable. See the program’s equity and diversity practices.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Institutional Capacity-Building Grant
This pilot funding opportunity aims to foster equity, diversity and inclusion in the Canadian post-secondary research ecosystem through a focus on the identification and elimination of systemic barriers that impede the career advancement, recruitment and retention of underrepresented or disadvantaged groups.
- New Frontiers in Research Fund
This initiative funds interdisciplinary, international, high-risk, transformative and fast-breaking research. Equity, diversity and inclusion requirements are assessed within two of the five evaluation criteria. See the program’s Best Practices in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Research guide.
- Sex as a Biological Variable Supplement: COVID-19
CIHR’s Institute of Gender and Health has funded 14 researchers through the Operating Grant: Canadian 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rapid Research Funding Opportunity to specifically investigate sex differences in SARS-CoV-2 viral pathogenesis and its associated immune response.
- COVID-19 and Indigenous Health Research
Research funding for Indigenous communities and organizations and researchers of Indigenous ancestry in Canada who are responding to the unique health and well-being needs of Indigenous Peoples as they relate to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- CIHR Institute of Gender and Health Funding Initiatives
The CIHR Institute of Gender and Health spearheads several initiatives to enhance the integration, innovation and impact of sex and gender in science.
- CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health Funding Initiatives
The CIHR Institute of Indigenous Peoples’ Health develops initiatives to support research and build research capacity to improve the health of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.
- CIHR COVID-19 and Mental Health (CMH) Initiative
Led by the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction, this initiative is a proactive response to provide urgent knowledge and evidence to support decision-making throughout the mental health and substance use responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering Program
The goal of this program is to increase the participation and retention of women in science and engineering and to provide role models for women active in, and considering, careers in these fields.
- PromoScience: promoting science among underrepresented groups PromoScience supports initiatives that promote the natural sciences and engineering to Canada's young people, particularly to groups such as girls and Indigenous Peoples which are underrepresented in scientific and engineering careers.
- NSERC Indigenous Student Ambassadors
This program aims to engage Indigenous students and fellows in promoting interest and participation in the natural sciences and engineering by visiting Canada’s Indigenous communities and schools and sharing their research and education experiences or participating in science promotion events and activities.
- Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA)
These awards are meant to nurture undergraduate students’ interest and fully develop their potential for a research career in the natural sciences and engineering. Indigenous applicants are submitted over and above the quota.
- Ingenium-NSERC STEAM Horizon Awards
Ingenium-NSERC STEAM Horizon Awards promote the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics (STEAM) to the next generation of scientists and engineers. Winners clearly demonstrate inspiring achievement in these fields by applying their passion to have an impact on their community. Two awards are granted to eligible Indigenous students.
- NSERC Student Ambassadors
This pilot initiative engages post-secondary students and fellows directly in becoming mentors and role models to share their science and engineering experience with other youth from groups that are underrepresented or disadvantaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Indigenous applicants are submitted over and above the quota.
- NSERC and L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Supplement
This program recognizes outstanding woman scientists engaged in a promising postdoctoral research project who have demonstrated exemplary involvement in science promotion and leadership.
- Canadian Forest Sector Workforce Diversity undergraduate supplements
This supplement aims to provide research opportunities in natural sciences and engineering to highly qualified individuals and to encourage postgraduate studies in research areas of relevance to Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service. The objective is also to address the diversity gap in the forest sector workforce with research and training opportunities.
- The Alice Wilson Award for women postdoctoral fellowship holders
This award is given yearly to three women of outstanding academic qualifications in the arts and humanities, social sciences or science who are entering a career in scholarship or research at the postdoctoral level.