University Policy


Research Chairs

Approval Date: 2016-10-05

Effective Date: 2016-10-05

Review Date: 2020-10-05


Provost and Vice-President (Academic) and the Vice-President (Research)


To ensure that Research Chairs:

  • are established and administered through a rigorous process designed to optimize their effectiveness in advancing the University’s research strategies and plan;
  • are aligned with the goals and objectives of the University’s research frameworks and plans, as specified in the Related Documents section;
  • and where applicable, are financially viable based on the scope and objectives of the initiative.


Applies in respect of Research Chairs, except Canada Research Chairs which are addressed in the Reallocation, Renewal and Reduction of Canada Research Chairs policy.

Information on Teaching Chairs can be found in the Teaching and Learning Framework.


Academic Unit — Refers to a centre, department, division, faculty, program or school, other than an administrative unit, as the context requires and as defined in the University Calendar.

Chairholder — The incumbent Research Chair.

Endowment Funds — Consists of donated funds, endowed trusts or other funds of a permanent nature. External funds may be invested in the Endowment Fund, including funds of partner organizations, where the funds invested are long-term in nature and significant in size and where the President of Memorial University has granted approval. The principal of Endowment Funds is not expendable and all revenue on the principal has a restricted use as defined by the terms and conditions of the fund/trust. Expenditures are controlled by the Guidelines for Endowment Funds. With respect of Research Chairs they are often less than the full cost of the position and are expended in perpetuity from the annual investment income generated by the endowment.

Host Academic Unit — The Academic Unit at the University where the holder of a Research Chair has their primary appointment as a faculty member and which therefore administers the Research Chair.

Non-Endowed Funds — Consist of expendable funds which are combined for investment purposes, where possible, until the funds are required for expenditure. They are expended on a one-time basis to cover the term of a Research Chair, which is typically five years with one possible renewal.

Research Chair — Separate and distinct from faculty positions, a Research Chair provides for the appointment of an established scholar, or a person who has otherwise attained eminence in their field of endeavour. The funds for a Research Chair are received on behalf of individuals from one of the national granting councils (or equivalent), from industry or from an individual donor(s). A Research Chair may be a general University chair which may be identified as being in a particular field or discipline. For purposes of this policy, it does not include Canada Research Chairs.

Research Chair Stipend — An amount paid to the Chairholder for the duration of the appointment as Chair, in addition to other compensation.

Tri-Agency — CIHR, NSERC, SSHRC.

University — Memorial University of Newfoundland.


1.0 General

Research Chairs are established to enrich the intellectual environment, strengthen institutional research capacity, expand on the strong record of research engagement, acknowledge the Chairholder as an expert in the field of study, and bring prestige to the University.

Research Chairs assist universities in building on existing strengths to achieve the critical mass required for major research; in emerging areas or areas of strategic importance to universities; and in providing an enhanced training environment for graduate students and, where appropriate, postdoctoral fellows by exposing them to important research challenges and opportunities.

2.0 Research Chairs

Research Chairs represent a significant achievement and acknowledge the Chairholder as an expert in their field of study. 

Research Chairs may be established on the authority of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) and the Vice-President (Research). 

For Research Chairs, funds may be provided by Endowment Funds through a schedule of annual expendable gifts for a defined period of normally at least five yearsor by Non-Endowed Funds and/or annual expendable gifts. Arrangements for disbursement of the Research Chairs fund are subject to the approval of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) and the Vice-President (Research). 

Research Chairs may be established in a particular academic unit or institutionally. Research Chairs that are established institutionally normally shall be assigned a Host Academic Unit. Accordingly, the goals of the Research Chair shall be consistent with the University’s strategic research plans and those of the Host Academic Unit. 

Establishing a Research Chair is done in accordance with the Procedure to Establish a Research Chair. Appointing a Chairholder normally shall include a search and is done in accordance with the Procedure to Appoint a Research Chairholder. 

The initial term of appointment of Research Chairs shall be in accordance with the terms of the funding agreement of the Research Chair and the Procedure to Appoint a Research Chairholder.  If the renewal of an appointment is permitted, such renewal is in accordance with Procedure for Renewal of a Research Chairholder.

Faculty appointments are independent of Chairholder appointments. When a Chairholder ceases to hold a Research Chair, that faculty member continues to be a faculty member subject only to the terms of their employment with the University.

3.0 Funding / Budget

To ensure budgetary sustainability and to avoid unfunded salary liabilities, Units must identify a base-funded position for Research Chairs in an approved academic staffing plan.

Research Chair Stipend

When Research Chairs are appointed, a Research Chair stipend is added to the Chairholder’s existing salary for the duration of the appointment. This Research Chair Stipend is up to five salary steps for the duration of the appointment as Chairholder, as per the Salary Scale of the current Memorial University – Memorial University of Newfoundland Faculty Association collective agreement. Some salary steps may be conditional upon criteria of the Host Academic Unit. When the Research Chair Stipend is not an eligible cost under the funding agreement, funding for the Research Chair Stipend is provided from the Host Academic Unit.

Related Documents

MUN-MUNFA  Collective Agreement
Memorial University of Newfoundland Research Strategy Framework
Memorial University of Newfoundland Strategic Research Intensity Plan
Academic Appointments Guide
Donor Prospect Clearance
Employing and Hosting Foreign Nationals
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Employment
Gift Acceptance
Naming Opportunities
Travel – Pre-Employment Interview
Travel – Familiarization Visit
Travel – Relocation and Removal
Trust Funds
Guidelines for Endowment Funds


For inquiries related to this policy:

Office of the Vice-President (Academic): 709-864-8246


Provost and Vice-President (Academic)


Academic Affairs

Previous Versions:

There is at least one previous version of this policy. Contact the Policy Office to view earlier version(s)

Approval Date: 2010-07-08
Effective Date: 2010-07-08
Approval Date: 2000-06-22
Effective Date: 2000-06-22
Policy Amendment History

There are past amendments for this policy:

Date: 2019-05-30 11:39:31
This policy was replaced with a new version. Comment provided: Connected definitions using the definitions from the glossary.
Date: 2023-06-15 10:19:34
This policy was replaced with a new version. Comment provided: Updating Broken links