Marc Renaud earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He became a professor in the Department of Sociology at the Université de Montréal in 1975, where he supervised some forty dissertations and theses, and created the social aspects of health and prevention research group or GRASP (Groupe de recherche sur les aspects sociaux de la santé et de la prevention). He was also vice-president and Webster Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), president of the Conseil québécois de la recherche sociale (Quebec social research council or CQRS), a member of the National Forum on Health, and president of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). He has served as an advisor for UNESCO, the OECD, the European Union, and the Government of Portugal. M. Renaud is currently the Public and Social Policies Chair at the ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon.
In the past, his research focused largely on health issues: health policies, the impact of technological change, and health determiners. Now, after his non-academic experiences, he is working on questions related to globalization, science policies, the development of post-secondary educational institutions, and support for the world's poorest countries.
He has received many awards and honours, including election to the Royal Society of Canada and several honorary doctorates. Dr. Renaud has also been named to the Order of Canada.