Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada

About the program

Dimensions invites you to take part in a post-secondary transformation to increase equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and help drive deeper cultural change within the research ecosystem. Sound EDI-informed policies and practices improve access to the largest pool of qualified potential participants, enhance the integrity of a program's application and selection processes, strengthen research outputs and increase the overall excellence of research. The program addresses obstacles faced by, but not limited to, women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities. It provides public recognition for institutions committed to achieving increased EDI.

A Letter of Intent call to join the first cohort of institutions seeking a Dimensions award in this pilot will open on June 3, 2019.

About the name

Dimensions recognizes that a multiplicity of perspectives, lived experiences and the overall complexity of diverse individuals foster increased research excellence, innovation and creativity within the post-secondary sector. This program takes a multidimensional approach to equity, diversity and inclusion to achieve a future research community where all can thrive.



This charter is foundational to the Dimensions pilot program to foster increased research excellence, innovation and creativity within the post-secondary sector across all disciplines, through greater equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI).Footnote 1

By committing to this charter’s principles and by implementing actions to achieve its objective, CEGEPs, colleges, polytechnics and universities (hereafter identified as “institutions”Footnote 2) recognize that equity, diversity and inclusion strengthen the research community, the quality, relevance and impact of research, and the opportunities for the full pool of potential participants.

Dimensions helps build on and celebrate progress made to-date and provides public recognition for increased commitments and tangible results regarding equity, diversity and inclusion.

Fundamental to achieving results is the need to identify and address systemic barriers,Footnote 3 particularly those experienced by members of underrepresented or disadvantaged groups including, but not limited to, women, Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), persons with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups and members of LGBTQ2+Footnote 4 communities. All individuals have multiple identities and the intersection of those identities should be considered wherever possible. Institutions should recognize circumstances wherein other groups may also face barriers.

Dimensions recognizes that diversity has many facets, including age, education, parental status/responsibility, immigration status, religion, language, place of origin, ethnicity, culture, socio-economic status and many other attributes.Footnote 5 Diversity is one of Canada’s strengths, which positively contributes to research excellence.

An in-depth and intersectional understanding of inequity, discrimination and exclusion is needed to achieve cultural change. Therefore, institutions are called upon to undertake meaningful, inclusive engagement with underrepresented and disadvantaged members of their research communities.Footnote 6 Such engagement is an integral part of an institution’s self-assessment and is crucial to the successful implementation of concrete actions to increase equity, diversity and inclusion. Institutional and cultural change will be challenging and gradual.

In recognition of the Calls for Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a guiding principle of the charter is to engage in meaningful, respectful and continuous dialogue and collaboration with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.

Institutions are invited to endorse the charter and to commit to its principles by applying them to the evolving realities of their respective environments to transform post-secondary research experiences, contributions and outputs by achieving greater equity, diversity and inclusion.


Participation in the Dimensions pilot program is voluntary. By choosing to endorse this charter, institutions commit to adopting these principles throughout their practices and culture to achieve greater equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Institutional commitment is understood to reflect ongoing and productive engagement with their community.

  1. The post-secondary research community has the greatest potential to thrive when members experience equitable, inclusive and unbiased systems and practices.
  2. To advance institutional equity, diversity and inclusion, specific, measurable and sustainable actions are needed to counter systemic barriers, explicit and unconscious biases, and inequities. This includes addressing obstacles faced by, but not limited to, women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minority or racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities.
  3. Institutions require qualitative and quantitative data to measure, monitor, understand and publicly report on challenges and progress made. The analysis of the data should inform a comprehensive, in-depth, intersectional understanding of the contexts, manifestations and experiences that result from inequities, underrepresentation and exclusion among all post-secondary community members.
  4. When equity, diversity and inclusion considerations and practices are integral to research participation, to the research itself, and to research training and learning environments, research excellence, innovation and creativity are heightened across all disciplines, fields of study and stages of career development.
  5. To contribute to reconciliation, research with, by or impacting Indigenous Peoples must align with the research policies and best practices identified through ongoing engagement with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples and their organizations.
  6. Advancing equity, diversity and inclusion is a shared responsibility that requires dedicated resources and strong leadership at all levels. Senior leadership demonstrates commitment through public endorsement, by ensuring the work involved is resourced and distributed fairly, and by embedding changes in institutional governance and accountability structures.
  7. Issues of institutional and individual safety, trust, belonging, privacy and power differentials must be recognized and pro-actively addressed; this will be most successful when those impacted are directly engaged in defining the actions.
  8. Achieving the overall objective of the Dimensions program—to foster increased research excellence, innovation and creativity within the post-secondary sector across all disciplines through increased equity, diversity and inclusion—involves institutional collaboration, transparency, and the sharing of challenges, successes and promising practices.

Endorse the charter!

All heads of Canadian post-secondary institutions are invited to endorse the Dimensions charter. In doing so, they publicly show their academic community’s commitment to embedding its principles in their policies, practices and action plans.

To endorse the charter:

  • Download this fillable PDF.
  • Sign the form (only presidents or equivalent can sign).
  • Save the signed document and upload it to this secure site.
  • Promote your institution’s endorsement on your website and social media platforms using #DimensionsEDI.

Note: Endorsing the charter is a separate process from applying to the pilot Dimensions awards program.

For any questions, please contact us at dimensionsEDI@nserc-crsng.gc.ca

These institutions have endorsed the charter, how about yours?

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