NSERC Presents: Initiatives to Advance Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Research Excellence

Join us to learn about what the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) is doing to increase equity, diversity, inclusion, and research excellence, and reduce barriers to under-represented researchers in natural sciences and engineering.

In addition to providing information on a Council-wide action plan, this session will provide faculty members, research staff, and graduate students an opportunity to provide input and feedback on NSERC’s approach and directions.


  • 11:00 – 11:05 Opening Remarks
  • 11:05 – 11:15 From Unconscious Bias to Diversity Competencies
  • 11:15 – 11:25 Dr. Jennifer Love, Senior Advisor on Women Faculty
  • 11:25 – 12:25 Overview of NSERC Initiatives and Q&A
    • Anne Webb, Senior Policy Advisor, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
    • Jennifer Houghton, Program Officer, Scholarships and Fellowships Division

Lunch will be provided.


Please let us know you’ll be there to ensure adequate room capacity and refreshments.

Additional Details

NSERC has been implementing initiatives to increase women and girls’ participation in natural sciences and engineering research since the 1980s. These initiatives are now being complemented by additional institutional commitments and a Council-wide action plan to increase equity, diversity and inclusion as integral elements of research excellence.

NSERC’s current strategic plan, NSERC 2020, has as one of the five strategic goals “Building a Diversified and Competitive Research Base”. This goal includes equity as a key priority.

This presentation, recognizing the range of issues contributing to current participation rates of women, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, gender diverse people and members of visible minorities in science and engineering research in Canada, introduces initiatives and actions NSERC is committed to undertaking in order to increase equity, diversity and inclusion in research and in understandings of research excellence.

NSERC Speaker Bios

Anne Webb is a Senior Policy Advisor, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at NSERC. The focus of her work is integrating gender equity and diversity considerations into policies and programs, and facilitating gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) capacity building, across the Agency.

Prior to joining NSERC in the fall of 2013 she worked for over 20 years in the non-profit sector training academic and community-based researchers, designing and coordinating gender equality research internationally and in Canada to inform policy, program and institutional change.

Jennifer Houghton has worked at NSERC since 2002. She is currently a Program Officer in the Scholarships and Fellowships Division,  and previously worked in the NSERC Research Partnerships Division. She holds a B. S. Soc. in Criminology, and both a B.A. and M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Ottawa.

Jennifer has administered multiple funding programs, including Canada Postgraduate Scholarships, Postdoctoral Fellowships, Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories, Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships, Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements, and Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering. Jennifer enjoys working to increase opportunities for girls and women in STEM fields and is very pleased to be involved with NSERC initiatives in this area.