The University of Toronto’s Canada Research Chair program is administered by the University in partnership with nine affiliated hospitals in the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network (TASHN).
- Canada Research Chairs ProgramCanada Research Chairs Program (CRCP) implemented the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan in May 2017 to respond to the recommendation that institutions adopt greater transparency in their allocation, selection and renewal processes for chairholders. An update to the CRCP requirements for recruiting and nominating CRCs was published in September 2018.The CRCP action plan focuses on improving the governance, transparency and monitoring of equity and diversity within the program. The plan is aimed at supporting institutions in addressing the underrepresentation of the four designated groups (FDGs)—women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples and members of visible minorities—within the program.In response to the CRCP plan, UHN has developed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan to increase transparency within its CRC administrative processes and to identify any barriers that may be affecting the recruitment, hiring or retention of chairholders from FDGs. These actions underscore UHN’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and support our ongoing efforts to create an accessible, inclusive, respectful and welcoming service, work and learning environment.Current equity targets and gapsThe University of Toronto has met its targets for three of the FDGs as outlined in the table below. While this achievement aligns with the program requirements, the University recognizes that maintaining and increasing the diversity among CRCs requires a proactive and research-informed approach, as well as education and leadership throughout the University and the hospitals. UHN is committed to helping the university continue to meet its targets.Canada Research Chairs at the University of Toronto and its Affiliated Hospitals247 Filled Chairs (December 2018)
Designated Target Target Representation Gap group (percentage) (actual number) (actual number) (actual number) Women 32% 79 84 No gap Indigenous peoples 1% 2 2 No gap Persons with disabilities 4% 10 8 2 Visible minorities 15% 37 43 No gap
- UHN’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action PlanMethodologyOversight of the CRC program at UHN resides in the portfolio of the Executive Vice President Science and Research (EVPSR) and the Strategic Research Initiatives (StRIDe) Department. In response to the CRCP call for an Institutional Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan, the EVPSR established a working group to implement actions to improve the governance, transparency and monitoring of equity, diversity and inclusion within the CRC program. The working group included the EVPSR, UHN Human Resources, UHN’s Diversity Officer and StRIDe staff.As part of this process, UHN conducted a series of reviews to assess the extent to which UHN’s CRC hiring and recruitment practices are fair, open and transparent and to identify barriers that may affect the employment, recruitment and advancement of FDGs. This included an employment systems review of current hiring practices, a comparative review of current CRCs and an environmental scan of policies and resources that aim to promote equity, diversity and inclusion. These activities were supplemented by the University of Toronto’s (UofT) review of its CRC program.Employment systems reviewUHN is one of nine hospitals that are fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. The University oversees all CRC allocations across its campus and the affiliated hospitals; however, the hospitals have independent hiring and recruitment policies.UHN carries out a systems review of its administrative processes for hiring, recruiting and advancing CRCs annually. As part of this process, UHN reviews the results of its Employee Engagement Surveys, which measure the degree to which employees are committed to UHN and their role. These surveys are conducted annually and the results are shared with all staff at UHN. According to the surveys, a majority of employees think that UHN is an excellent place to work, feel that they have the resources required to do their jobs well and are focused on improving their work at UHN. An internal review of employee retention rates across UHN showed that current turnover rates for staff are very low, with approximately 87% retention after two years.The 2018 review highlighted new opportunities to strengthen UHN’s CRC hiring and recruitment practices, which were implemented in UHN’s 2018/2019 EDI Action Plan (see Action Items #1 and #2).Comparative reviewThe comparative review was conducted using information from archived CRC applications after consulting with UHN’s Equity Advisor. The analysis shows support for all chairholders with regards to: access to UHN facilities, administrative support and trainee salary support. The proportion of the CRC used to recover salary costs does not vary significantly among chairholders. A more detailed comparison is not possible because the sample size is small and UHN chairholders have different levels of experience and seniority.No systemic exclusionary policies or procedures were identified during the review. However, collection of diversity data was identified as a challenge that needed to be addressed (Action #3).Environmental scanThe environmental scan included a review of the following:
The analysis revealed new opportunities to enhance fairness and transparency of current CRC hiring and recruitment processes (see Action Items #2) and to promote diversification within UHN’s research community (see Action Items #4 and #5).
- Policies that support equity, diversity and inclusion
- UHN’s Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Strategic Plan, which outlines policies, practices and procedures to improve accessibility
- UHN.ca and UHN research websites to determine if images and messages reflect diversity
- Fairness and transparency of CRC hiring and recruitment practices
- Advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in UHN’s Canada Research Chairs ProgramThe main objective of UHN’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan is to increase fairness and transparency and to identify and address any barriers that may be affecting the recruitment, hiring or retention of individuals from the four designated groups (FDGs): women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples and visible minorities. The goals of the plan align with and support the University of Toronto’s EDI Action Plan, which was developed in conjunction with the nine affiliated hospitals within the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN).As part of this plan, UHN will embed EDI principles in all elements of the CRC hiring, recruitment and advancement process. Additionally, data will be collected to track and monitor progress towards meeting CRC equity targets and nominees, and chairholders will be encouraged to build diversity within their teams. In time, we hope to ensure that all researchers, staff and trainees demonstrate a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.Specific actions that have/will be undertaken by UHN to implement the plan are outlined in the table below.
ACTION INDICATOR TIMELINE 1 Ensure that all faculty and staff involved with a CRC nomination complete unconscious bias training. ▪ Completion of unconscious bias training by all staff involved in the CRC nomination process. Completed December 2017; ongoing annual training 2 Complete a review of UHN administrative processes for CRC nominee selection. ▪ Procedures developed and responsibilities assigned for all staff involved in the CRC nominee selection. Completed December 2017 3 Encourage CRC applicants and nominees to complete CRC Diversity Survey. ▪ Communications from the EVPSR/StRIDe on new requirements for self-identification developed and shared. Completed December 2017 ▪ % completion of self-identification surveys by applicants and nominees. 100% compliance by nominees. Expected 100% compliance by all applicants after implementation of new requirements in December 2018. 4 Develop strategies to recruit and support members of the designated groups to CRCs. ▪ Updated language in call for CRC job postings. Completed December 2018 ▪ Support for applicants of the University of Toronto’s Special CRC Call for members of the FDGs. Completed December 2018 ▪ Policies and practices to complement ongoing work at the University of Toronto and other TAHSN hospitals that will help build a supportive and inclusive environment for FDGs. Ongoing 5 Ensure that policies and procedures related to the recruitment, retention and advancement of chairholders reflect UHN’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. ▪ Increased FDG representation on search committees. Ongoing ▪ EDI principles incorporated into UHN’s 2019-2023 Research Strategic Plan. Ongoing ▪ Updated UHN CRC website that is accessible and useable by all. Ongoing ▪ Completion of unconscious bias training by all chairholders. Ongoing
- Administration of Canada Research ChairsRecruitment policies and proceduresUHN has a number of safeguards in place to ensure openness and transparency in the CRC hiring and recruitment process. This includes, but is not limited to:
- are posted on UHN research websites for a minimum of 30 days- are shared via email to all research institute faculty, including members of the FDGs- include equity statements that encourage members of the FDGs to apply- state that applicants will have fair and equitable access to CRC opportunities- use inclusive, unbiased and ungendered language- include UHN’s diversity statement- include statements to acknowledge career leaves and that measures will be taken to ensure that these leaves are considered during the evaluation processManagement of allocationCRCs are allocated to UHN by the University of Toronto based on a rolling three-year average of eligible Tri-Agency and Network Centres of Excellence (NCE) funding credits. This allocation to UHN is calculated, managed and communicated by the University of Toronto.Within UHN, CRCs are selected through an open, competitive process led by a combination of each Institute’s Director, Research Council Members, Appointments Committee Members and/or ad hoc Search Committee Members as appropriate.Each member of the Search Committee must complete at a minimum the Tri-Agency Institutional Programs Secretariat’s unconscious bias training and is expected to be aware of:
- Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) expert review and approval of all job postings;
- Clear, flexible criteria for assessing excellence that considers non-traditional areas of research and/or research outputs; and
- Guidelines to ensure CRC vacancy postings:
Institutes are required to issue an open call for available chairs to researchers, for recruitment, retention, and/or advancement of a chair. Applications must include at a minimum: i) a complete CV ii) a research proposal; and iii) a description of how the applicant will help attract additional resources, including financial, non-financial, training and/or collaboration opportunities.Research institutes may submit requests to the EVPSR for ‘flex moves’ (converting a vacant Tier 1 Chair into two Tier 2 Chairs or combining two vacant Tier 2 Chairs to create a Tier 1 Chair) if the availability of allocated Chairs allows.Regarding the corridor of flexibility to split or combine Chairs, each institute may decide to use flex moves to split Tier 1 Chairs into two Tier 2 Chairs when a Chair position search fails to yield applicants who meet the assessment criteria for a Tier 1 Chair or when a CRC is being used as a recruitment tool. The decision concerning when to use the corridor of flexibility rests with the EVPSR and is subject to approval by the University of Toronto.Chair renewalNotices of renewal are provided to UHN by the University of Toronto one year prior to the CRC termination date. The Research Institute leadership assesses the excellence of the chairholders and evaluates the chair renewal. The chairholder’s CV and annual scientific reviews are used in the evaluation. A recommendation is submitted to the EVPSR office for the final decision. The assessment of performance includes but is not limited to:
- UHN’s internal policies and procedures regarding diversity, equity and inclusion;
- the effect that legitimate career interruptions and personal circumstances have on a researcher’s record of achievement;
- the CRC Program’s expectations for a fair and transparent nomination process;
- the representation gap in the FDGs among the University of Toronto’s chairholders; and
- the University of Toronto’s strategy to address any underrepresentation of the FDGs.
A researcher may hold a CRC at UHN for a maximum of two terms, regardless of Tier, and Tier 1 Chairs are limited to one term only (i.e., 7 years) if the chairholder has previously held a Tier 2 Chair.The EVPSR may elect not to approve the recommendation to renew the Chair in which case, the allocation will return to the research institute. The decision is reviewed carefully to ensure that it does not lead to any bias.Advancement criteriaA position for Tier 1 Chair vacancies will be advertised following the processes for CRC recruitment outlined above, using EDI best practices.Tier 2 Chairholders are also eligible to apply for a Tier 1 Chair posting without jeopardizing their Tier 2 position.Phasing out a ChairIn certain cases, a CRC may be terminated early. Should this situation arise, the EVPSR office, which manages the institute eligible CRC funding credits, will review the current state of chairholders and the institute allocations to decide if the vacant chair should remain with the institute. A job posting would then be drafted and advertised to recruit a new chairholder for the vacant chair.Support provided to ChairholdersThe Research Institute Directors and the Human Resources Department establish an appropriate salary for chairholders based on experience and expertise. The CRC program provides funds to offset some of this salary; however, a portion of the CRC funds is used for eligible research program expenses.UHN CRCs are provided with dedicated lab space that is maintained by the institution. They also have access to a number of state-of-the-art facilities, including the Animal Resources Centre, Advanced Optical Microscopy Facility, Princess Margaret Genomics Centre, Centre for Global eHealth Innovation and UHN/SickKids Flow Facility.Their research activities are also supported by various Research Solutions and Services departments, including Research Grants (grant administration), Research Financial Services (financial accounting), Facilities Management - Planning, Redevelopment & Operations (development and construction, maintenance, security and management), Research Laboratory Services (glass sterilization and cleaning), Research Ethics Board (clinical research support) and StRIDe (grant writing and research dissemination). CRCs have access to various resources through UHN’s Human Resources, which support career development and advancement. UHN also has a centre dedicated to trainee development, the Office of Research Trainees, which provides training resources for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students associated with CRC investigators.Research Directors and Institute leadership work to provide ongoing mentorship, access to research infrastructure and administrative support to researchers. These supports are provided to all chairholders so individuals from the four designated groups are not disadvantaged in the level of institutional support that they receive. Additional support for researchers may be provided at the discretion of the Research Institute leadership.CRCs who have concerns about the level of support that they are receiving can consult with their respective Research Directors, the EVP, Human Resources or UHN’s Equity Advisor.Training and development activitiesUHN has a number of training opportunities that are aimed at promoting EDI. These include:
- Research impact measured using a broad range beyond typical metrics;
- Contributions to the research institute and to UHN;
- Alignment of the research with the institute strategic plan;
- Commitment to building diversity among research teams and use of recruitment and hiring best practices.
Processes and strategies for collecting and protecting self-identification dataBeginning in September 2018, all CRC applicants and nominees at UHN are required to complete a Diversity Survey. These requirements are communicated to applicants and nominees through CRC vacancy postings and prior to CRC application submissions.All internal and external applicants to CRC opportunities complete a Diversity Survey through the UHN.ca careers website. An example of UHN’s self-identification form can be found here. The data is collected through an electronic system that can only be accessed by the Human Resources department. The department has experience in managing personal data, and protocols in place to protect privacy and mitigate any potential data breaches. Individual information is aggregated and is only provided to the Search Committee Chairs as a summary when there are more than five applicants.All CRC nominees are asked to complete the CRC self-identification survey on the CRC EDI program website.UHN is currently implementing a strategy to collect self-identification data across UHN to gain a better understanding of diversity across the hospital.
- Cultural competency training in LGBTQ2S;
- Unconscious bias eLearning, which provides training on unconscious biases and provides tools to adjust automatic patterns of thinking and eliminate discriminatory behaviors;
- Respect, Civility & Professionalism eLearning, which reinforces leadership obligations to legislative and policy requirements associated with incivility, harassment, and discrimination; and
- Accessibility at UHN manuals, which provide information on the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, UHN’s policies and standards for accessibility, methods for communicating and interacting with persons with disabilities and common barriers to accessibility.
- Building a Supportive and Inclusive Environment across UHNUHN’s Commitment to Inclusion statement pledges the organization to champion inclusion, diversity, equality, equity and accessibility in the learning, work and service environments:
Policies to support equity, diversity and inclusionSeveral policies are in place to promote equity and diversity at UHN, including:
- We value the inherent worth of every person including age, ancestry, disability, gender expression, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation and all our differences.
- We commit to recognition of rights, respect, trust, co-operation, and partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples as outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- We believe that our differences enrich our ability to develop creative and innovative approaches to deliver exemplary patient care, research and education.
- We recognize that the responsibility to create an inclusive culture rests with each of us where we are personally responsible to hold ourselves and each other accountable.
- We are committed to championing inclusion, diversity, equality, equity and accessibility in the learning, work and service environments.
Monitoring support and inclusivityUHN’s Human Resources department administers an annual UHN-wide employee engagement survey, which provides employees with an opportunity to openly and honestly express how they feel about UHN, their local workplace and the work they do. Senior leaders receive reports on the survey and are expected to implement action plans to address any issues and focus their efforts on high priority areas.Management of equity complaintsUHN has a dedicated diversity advisory team within Human Resources to assist all within the UHN community. Staff who have experienced discrimination or require accommodation can contact the team any point.Any reported incident of incivility, discrimination, harassment, including those based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation are addressed by providing appropriate resources, including, but not limited to, education, mediation, or investigation of the incident(s), and taking appropriate action up to and including termination.Procedures, policies and support to enable retention of individuals from the four designated groupsAccessibilityUHN has developed a multi-year plan to address the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). This included a review of its AODA Strategic Plan, which outlines policies, practices and procedures to improve accessibility at UHN. Actions to address this plan are currently being implemented to ensure that:
- Fostering Respect in the Workplace policy, which provides a conflict resolution and complaint
- process for any conduct described as incivility, bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, or discrimination.
- Gender Identity policy, which provides guidelines and procedures to protect the rights of individuals who may be discriminated against based on their sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity.
- Leave for Religious Observance policy, which provides guidelines on accommodation for religious obligations.
- UHN plans to introduce a Smudging policy in 2019 to provide guidance to the UHN community engaging in smudging—a traditional ceremony, common to many First Nations, which involves the burning of medicines. UHN will also introduce an Accommodation policy in 2019, which will provide further guidance on long-established UHN accommodation practices.
Hiring Best PracticesUHN recently established new salary ranges for scientist appointment categories. These new competitive ranges recognize the importance and uniqueness of our scientists and have been created to facilitate hiring, retention and to allow salary progression on an equitable basis that aligns with UHN’s annual salary increase process.Advisory GroupsUHN has several affinity and advisory groups, such as the UHN Accessibility Council, Asian Heritage Committee, Black Legacy Committee, the Indigenous Council at UHN and the LGBTQ2S+ Committee.
- communications are in an accessible format
- all websites are accessible
- processes for receiving and responding to feedback on accessibility are in place
- manuals to educate staff and the public about the availability of accommodation are made available to individuals with disabilities.
- Contact Us
For questions, feedback and suggestions about the CRC program at UHN and the Equity, Diversity and Action Plan and its implementation, please contact Helen Chan, Director, Research Strategy & Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions, feedback and suggestions about the CRC program at U of T and the Equity, Diversity and Action Plan and its implementation, please contact:
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