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National Network


The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) aims to make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports university students in their advanced studies, promotes and supports discovery research, and fosters innovation by encouraging Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects. NSERC researchers are on the vanguard of science, building on Canada’s long tradition of scientific excellence.

The Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) Program was launched in 1996. The goal of the program is to increase the participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and to provide role models for women active in, and considering, careers in these fields. The CWSE Program is regional—with one Chair for each of the Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies, and British Columbia/Yukon regions. NSERC funding must be matched by cash contributions from supporting organizations.

  • Develop, implement, and communicate strategies to raise the level of participation of women in science and engineering as students and as professionals, specifically to:
    • encourage female students in elementary and secondary schools to consider careers in science and engineering;
    • increase the enrolment of women in undergraduate and graduate programs in science and engineering in all Canadian universities and colleges;
    • increase the profile and retention rate of women in science and engineering positions;
    • eliminate barriers for women who wish to pursue careers in science and engineering; and
    • promote the integration of female students and professionals both within and outside academia.
  • Provide female role models who are accomplished, successful, and recognized researchers in science and engineering.

Communities Impacted v3pdf Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
Sharing proven practices
  • 117 committees
  • 531 lectures, panels, courses, and workshops
  • 5 conferences
Shinning a spotlight
  • 312 academic publications
  • 156 mainstream media features and interviews
  • 38 regional and national awards
Reaching out
  • 125,500 youth and parents
  • 10,610 post-secondary students
  • 9,622 industry professionals
  • 9,451 academics and teachers
  • 155,183 direct interactions
Building momentum
  • 36 major grants received
  • $6.95 million leveraged beyond the original NSERC and matching grants
Building networks
  • 83 companies
  • 205 non-profit organizations
  • 13 international partnerships

The National Network of CWSE is sponsoring academic advancement workshops nationwide. The workshops are a unique opportunity for women to look ahead to promotion—to get advice and support on their career path. The workshops focus on skills, strategies, and "insider information" necessary to obtain and succeed in a tenure-track position in science and engineering and advance to other positions of leadership.

They have two levels:

  • Assistant professor level with a focus on tenure
  • Associate professor level with a focus on promotion to full professor
Past examples include:
  • 2015: FORWARD to Professorship (Ottawa)
  • 2015: Promotion to Professorship (Vancouver)
  • 2016: Women in Science and Engineering Advancement (Calgary)
  • 2017: Tenure and Beyond! (Hamilton)
  • 2017: Step-Up (Saint John)
  • 2018: Step-Up (Burnaby)

If you would like to run one of these workshops, please contact us for materials, planning advice, or assistance:

Catherine Mavriplis 

National Network of CWSE Chairs

Faculty of Engineering

University of Ottawa


Phone: 613-562-5800 ext. 8961

The NSERC CWSE National Network Conference Grant is administered by the NSERC CWSE Chairs. Applications for funding are accepted three times per year and may be submitted by individual students, professors, administrators or professionals during the intake periods. The objective of the NSERC CWSE National Network Conference Grant is to support the organization of non-profit national conferences to contribute to the advancement of women in STEM.

The National Network of Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering presents the “Analysis of the distribution of gender in STEM fields in Canada” report as a resource to guide students, professionals, policy-makers and society as a whole to inform their thinking and approach to diversity and inclusion in STEM.

This report offers a statistical overview of the distribution of gender in STEM fields in Canada in terms of undergraduate and graduate degrees awarded, major field of study and wages and employment.

Access to the Statistics Canada survey data used in this study was granted to Ms Perreault and permission to release these files was obtained by Ms Perreault. The data for this report come from the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS), the Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2001-2016, and the National Graduates Survey (NGS) 200-2009.



Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
For Inquiries :
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