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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Canada Research Chairs: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) Secretariat has implemented an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan to respond to recommendations from the program’s 15-year evaluation. Many of the recommendations refer to Four Designated Groups (FDGs) of Chairs, namely women, Indigenous/Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and visible minorities. The 2019 Addendum introduced the addition of sound approaches to increase representation by LGBTQ+ chairholders in the Program. For more information about equity, diversity and inclusion and the Canada Research Chair’s program, please see the following:

We're pleased to share TRU's equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives and fulfil the CRCP's transparency and accountability requirements. TRU currently has an allocation of six Canada Research Chairs.

Our Commitment

Thompson Rivers University is committed to the changes in policy, practice, organization, and culture necessary to support the advancement of equity, diversity, and inclusion at the university. This represents a commitment on the part of the university to strive beyond EDI compliance, in order to create an inclusive environment that nurtures academic and employment success for all. This commitment is reflective of the aspirations of the campus community as a whole.

As a public declaration of this intention, TRU has endorsed Canada's Dimensions Charter committing to embed its eight principles into institutional policies, practices, and action plans. Under TRU's Employment Equity Policy (ADM 04-1), the university is responsible for promoting the interests of women, Indigenous peoples, people with diverse needs, and racialized minorities. In 2019, TRU launched the Envision TRU initiative to develop a guiding vision for the institution over the next ten years. TRU’s vision statement aims to establish the university as a place of belonging, or Kw'seltktnews (we are all related and interconnected with nature, each other, and all things). TRU is committed to fostering inclusive environments for everyone in the community and all equity deserving groups. We are committed to developing and implementing our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan that guides our efforts toward achieving these important goals.

TRU's CRC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan
Annual Progress Reports
Strategy for Raising Awareness

In accord with TRU Policy ADM 04-1, Communication strategies and plans will be developed to:

  • Raise employee awareness about Employment Equity, the rationale for the program, and its implementation for present and future employees;
  • Provide periodic information sessions on any planned activities; and
  • Incorporate Employment Equity objectives and plans in management training, employee orientation, communication strategies and public relations activities.

The Action Plan provides more specific details on public reporting and internal communication plans

  • For the development of the Action Plan, TRU established a University Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. This committee drafted the Action Plan with special attention given to best practices in training on equity, diversity and unconscious bias.
  • The VP Research and the AVP, People and Culture will be the administrative leads for coordinating the development of the CRCP Action Plan.
  • The draft plan was shared with the Senate Research Committee, Dean's Council, TRUFA, current CRCs, and Provost's Council for feedback. Following this consultation process, the Plan was finalized and submitted to the Provost for approval.
  • The EDI Action Plan for the CRCP will be approved by the Provost and Vice-President, Academic.
  • The governance plan will be reviewed by the Provost and Vice-President, Academic every three (3) years.
  • The University contact with responsibility for supporting the CRCP EDI Action Plan is assigned to the AVP, Human Resources. The Executive Director, Office of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism provides leadership and support.
Monitoring Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Concerns

CRC equity, diversity and inclusion questions or concerns can be directed to the attention of People and Culture for immediate review. If needed, People and Culture in consultation the Office of the Vice-President of Research will undertake an investigation to clarify and, where possible, resolve any associated ongoing concerns, disputes or grievances. Action items are addressed and acted upon by all parties involved.

In accordance with the Respectful Workplace and Harassment Prevention PolicyTRU Respectful Workplace and Harassment Prevention Policy, any member of the University community who believes they may have experienced or witnessed discrimination or harassment is expected to report or discuss the matter. The University's collective agreements with TRUFA, TRUOLFA and CUPE have provisions with regard to harassment and the procedures to address alleged harassment.

Policies and procedures that govern staffing of Canada Research Chairs
  • Canada Research Chairs are filled according to a Letter of Understanding contained in the TRU Faculty Association Collective Agreement, Letter of Understanding #3, and the guidelines governing CRCs as established or amended by the Federal Government. TRU's Employment and Equity Policy (ADM 04-1) ensures TRU "will promote the interests of the four designated groups under the Employment Equity Program (women, aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and visible minorities)".
  • The goal of the Employment Equity program at TRU is to establish a qualified and diverse workforce that is representative of the labour market(s) to which TRU draws its employees. TRU will ensure that no person is denied access to employment opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated to ability or qualifications. This program will identify and remove systemic barriers to equality in employment for members of the designated groups. TRU will ensure that university policies, practices and procedures promote accessibility, equality and diversity, including the provision of reasonable accommodation as required for the designated groups.
Chair Approval Process Summary

The Faculty or Division, in concert with the faculty council (or equivalent) and the Office of the VP Research, develops an initial proposal for the vacant chair that is aligned to TRU's Strategic Plan, the Strategic Research Plan, and the requirements of the CRC program. The Faculty or Division is the lead author responsible for preparing the proposal and demonstrating its feasibility and financial sustainability. The Office of the VP Research provides overall guidance and liaises with the CRC program. Once a proposal is prepared, it is presented by the Faculty or Division to the Research Committee of Senate for review. The Committee offers feedback to strengthen the proposal and to ensure alignment with the SRP. Following SRC review and recommendation, the revised proposal is presented to Provost Council, which makes a recommendation to the Provost on the proposed research area.

When approved by the Provost, the sponsor Faculty or Division prepares recruitment material for Human Resources, in concert with the Research Office, and on behalf of the University. The recruitment material must reference the University's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion commitment. A search committee will be convened by the Senate Research Committee, and search committee members will receive equity, diversity and inclusion training from Human Resources. Applicants for the CRC position who are members of one of the aforementioned designated groups and who wish to have their applications considered as such, may fill out a Self-Identification Form and return it with their applications.

Before beginning the interview process, the CRC Search Committee must submit a shortlist of candidates to the appropriate Dean. The shortlist submission will include:

  • The advertisement for the position
  • A statement aligning the search process with the University's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, with specific steps to be taken to achieve compliance
  • A summary of the discussion and rationale relevant to arriving at the shortlist
  • Complete files, including CVs, for applicants shortlisted.

If the shortlist submitted does not include a self-identified member of a designated group, the dossiers of all self-identified members of designated groups who have applied for the position must be included, along with a written rationale for not including a designated group member on the shortlist. As part of the University Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, the CRC Working Group is tasked with refining review process involving the area Dean, the University's Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and the Provost's Office.

Target Setting

TRU makes public the institution's CRCP utilization spreadsheet, which outlines how many chair allocations the institution has, how many are filled and by which chairholders (with their term end and start dates), type of flex moves used and which allocations are available. For context, the program publishes overall CRC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion target data.

TRU's equity targets and gaps

Based on the CRCP’s target setting tool, and TRU’s current program utilization of 6 Chairs (2 NSERC, 1 CIHR, 3 SSHRC), the University has the following equity targets and gaps for each of the FDGs.

Four Designated Groups Target Gap (# of Chairs)
Women 35% Withheld*
Visible Minorities 15% Withheld
Persons with Disabilities 4% Withheld
Indigenous Peoples 1% Withheld

* All numbers less than five must be withheld to protect the privacy of chairholders

Current Canada Research Chair Postings

CRC advertisements are archived and publicly available on the Research and Graduate Studies website for at least three years. In addition, TRU provides a transparency statement posted at the start of all internal retention processes, publicly advising internal and external stakeholders that a recruitment process is underway to fill a chair allocation. These statements are archived and publicly available on the website for at least three (3) years.

Active Postings
  • Tier II Canada Research Chair in Economics of Climate Change, Disasters, and Inequality 2025 (External)
  • Archived Postings
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