Carolyn Watters

Vice-President and Chief Digital Research Officer

National Research Council (NRC)

Dr. Carolyn Watters joined the NRC in February 2019 as the organization’s inaugural Chief Digital Research Officer and Vice-President, including oversight of the Digital Technologies Research Centre. Dr. Watters joined the NRC through the Interchange program, on secondment from Dalhousie University.

Dr. Watters, who has a PhD in Computer Science, served as the Provost and Vice President Academic for Dalhousie University, one of Canada’s oldest research universities, from 2010 to 2018. While Provost she served for a term as the Chair of the U15 Provost’s Academic Committee. Dr. Watters was one of the founding members of CALDO, a consortium of four and later nine Canadian research universities to build partnerships with universities in Latin America. She has engaged widely in quality assurance including a term as Chair of the Maritimes Higher Education Commission. Previously she was the Dean of Graduate studies including a term as the president of the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies. During that time she led international initiatives in partnership with the US Council of Graduate Schools.

She remains a Full Professor in the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University, specializing in human computer engagement in information spaces from documents to social media. Her interdisciplinary and collaborative work has spanned all three National research funding councils: the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).  She has published over 170 peer-reviewed articles, supervised many PhD and Masters students, as well as engaged in applied research with corporations.

Dr. Watters engages nationally and internationally as a role model for women in science and technology, including many years on the founding board of Women Unlimited.  She also has a deep appreciation for the importance of entrepreneurial experience and capacity building across disciplines and cofounded a successful spin off company, now 20 years old, based on developing innovative interactive mathematics and working with publishers in the digital transformation of learning material.

Dr. Watters has been a member of a NSERC Discovery Grant committee, the NSERC Discovery Grant Process Review Panel, the initial Chair of the NSERC Create Competition Committee, a member of the SSHRC Governing Council, and the Research Council for Mitacs.

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