UBC's Commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within the CRC Program

UBC has a robust strategy for raising awareness of our commitment to and the benefits of equity, diversity and inclusion within the Canada Research Chair Program (CRCP) and our broader research enterprise.

Our strategy includes practices such as the following:

Diversity in hiring

As part of the Faculty Relations Faculty Recruitment Guide and orientations sessions, hiring committees are encouraged to use proactive and individual efforts to advertise and contact diverse groups.  These include contacting organizations and associations focused on diverse groups, seeking candidates at international meetings, enlisting networks through other centres or institutes to forward search ads to broad groups, soliciting search committees and other faculty to identify members of diverse groups that can be contacted individually.  Diverse search committees are expected for all searches.

UBC has provided search committees the flexibility to consider the full range of potential applicants for Tier 2 CRC recruitment, including promising candidates early in their careers who have strong potential but are still establishing their publication and research program. Further, UBC has developed a strategy for increasing the diversity among CRC chairholders by reserving a proportion of Tier 2 chairs for international recruitment, which routinely involve international advertising to increase the diversity in the pool of applicants. 

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Equitable and transparent nomination and recruitment processes

Nomination and recruitment processes must be transparent, open, and equitable.  This applies to the nomination of all new chairs, regardless of whether they are intended to facilitate the recruitment or the retention of research faculty.  The process should be consistent with strategies identified by UBC to address historical patterns of underrepresentation among women, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, and Aboriginal peoples.

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Advertising for CRCs

When advertising for CRCs, UBC adheres to the following requirements:

  • Advertisements for CRCs should explicitly refer to the UBC’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Advertisements for CRCs should be posted separately from any other faculty-member advertisements issued by the same unit.
  • Advertisement for Tier 2 CRCs should encourage applications from all eligible candidates, no matter when they earned their highest degrees.

Recruitment of all faculty positions are posted on the central UBC recruitment site.

For positions where central posting is not a requirement such as retention candidates, information is provided on the Faculty websites.

Further information regarding CRCP's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan can be found on the CRC website here.

UBC's Equity Target Data

UBC’s CRC equity strategies have resulted in chair occupancy rates that surpass the targets for visible minorities and Aboriginal Peoples, and meet the target for women. The following table outlines UBC’s CRC equity and diversity and occupancy rates (as of January 2016).

Designated GroupTargetOccupancy*

Visible minorities

Persons with disabilities4%1%
Aboriginal Peoples1%2%

In the spirit of openness and transparency, the Canada Research Chairs program is making public the results and findings of its target-setting exercise, while respecting the Privacy Act.

At an institutional level, UBC initiated an Employment Equity program based on guidelines established by the federal government. UBC’s Employment Equity measures include the removal of barriers to selection, promotion and training of members of the above-noted designated groups (women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities and Aboriginal Peoples).

In April 2016, UBC’s Equity and Inclusion Office undertook a census of the university population, asking faculty and staff members to self-identify as a member of these four designated groups.  The census is also collecting information on sexual orientation and gender diversity. The updated equity information will form the basis for a revised Employment Equity Plan, and assists UBC set its employment equity goals.  This will further improve UBC's hiring, promotion and retention practices.

Institution-wide equity, diversity, inclusion practices

“Equity and diversity are integral to the mission of the University of British Columbia, and UBC strives to be a community in which equity is embedded in all areas of academic, work and campus life.  As one of Canada’s top research universities, a commitment to equity allows us to attract the best teachers and researchers from across Canada and round the world.”

-Santa J. Ono, President and Vice-Chancellor, The University of British Columbia

Beyond the CRC Program, below are a few of the ways that exemplify UBC's broader commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

Equity, diversity and inclusion training

UBC has implemented a number of strategies to ensure equity and diversity is considered in all facets of its hiring and planning practices and policy development.

Working together to ensure diversity

The Vice Presidential Strategic implementation Committee for Equity and Diversity advises senior management on how to best implement solutions to address substantive equity issues on campus.

The Senior Advisor to the Provost on Women Faculty works closely with faculties on hiring processes and develops a set of best practices to ensure advancement of diversity. Through the work of this office, UBC has created many resources on equity and diversity in hiring, retention, career advancement, salary increases and mentoring.

Providing equity and diversity training for search committees

All search committees must take an orientation session that emphasizes:

  • running a search that supports proactive recruitment of diverse candidates;
  • performing a consistent, unbiased review; and
  • implementing internal processes that include diversity as a strategic part of the research.

The sessions are run by someone from the appropriate dean’s office, or through the Equity and Inclusion Office, The Provost’s Office or Faculty Relations.  These efforts complement the oversight at the Faculty level, and have heightened awareness and expanded the applicant pools.  This has resulted in increased diversity in chair and regular faculty positions.

Search committee chairs can request an unconscious bias and equity and diversity briefing from Sara-Jane Finlay, Associate Vice President, Equity & Inclusion (sara-jane.finlay@ubc.ca) or Jennifer Love, Senior Advisor to the Provost on Women Faculty (lovej@mail.ubc.ca).

The Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) is pleased to launch an unconscious bias training module that will be mandatory for TIPS’ governance and peer review committees.  The module explains what unconscious bias is, outlines how it can affect the evaluation of applications, and suggests ways to mitigate the influence of unconscious bias. The Secretariat wishes to sincerely thank its colleagues at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research for making the original version of this training module available. TIPS, in collaboration with SSHRC and NSERC, have broadened the module to be applicable to all disciplines.

UBC Statement on Respectful Environment for Students, Faculty and Staff

In late September 2008, President Toope introduced the UBC Respectful Environment Statement for Students, Faculty and Staff.  The Statement speaks to Freedoms and our responsibilities, and provides the guiding principles to support us in building an environment in which respect, civility, diversity, and opportunity and inclusion are valued. The statement was revised in May, 2014.

"UBC envisions a climate in which students, faculty and staff are provided with the best possible conditions for learning, researching and working, including an environment that is dedicated to excellence, equity and mutual respect. UBC strives to realize this vision by establishing employment and educational practices that respect the dignity of individuals and make it possible for everyone to live, work, and study in a positive and supportive environment, free from harmful behaviours such as bullying and harassment."

Policy #20 Advertising of Available Positions

In Policy #20 Advertising of Available Positions, UBC requires that each advertisement for an academic position include the following paragraph:

"Equity and diversity are essential for academic excellence.  An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged.  We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nations, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person."

In practice, this means that UBC sees diversity as a prime criterion in the search and appointment for all candidates, particularly those in prestigious positions such as Canada Research Chairs.  Through the briefing of search committees, UBC emphasizes the importance of diversity competencies and the requirement for skills to work with diverse populations in all appointments.

Policy #2 Employment Equity

UBC’s Policy #2 Employment Equity, was approved by the Board of Governors in November 1990 and upholds the principles of individual merit and achievement to ensure that selection, training, and promotion decisions are based on how well an individual’s skills, knowledge and experience match specific performance criteria.

"The University of British Columbia has established a program of employment equity to provide a fair and equitable workplace and to offer all individuals full opportunity to develop their potential.  Accordingly, the University will identify and eliminate any discriminatory barriers that interfere with employment opportunities in all jobs and at all levels throughout the University. Both current and prospective faculty and staff will receive equitable treatment in hiring, training, and promotion procedures."

Other UBC Policies protecting and promoting equity and inclusion 

For further information on equity, inclusion and diversity at UBC, please visit the Equity and Inclusion website or contact the Associate Vice-President, Equity and Inclusion.

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