Not-for-Profit Organizations Applying for Institutional Eligibility

Some SSHRC funding opportunities (Partnership Grants, Connection Grants and Aid to Scholarly Journals) allow for a not-for-profit organization to be the applicant, while the Partnership Development Grants opportunity allows for applicants to be from a not-for-profit organization. However, in these cases, the grant funding, once awarded, may only be administered by an eligible institution who is a signatory to the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions (the Agreement) or the Terms and Conditions.

As virtually all universities and the majority of colleges in Canada have the required policies and infrastructure in place to administer SSHRC grants and awards and are already signatories to the Agreement, it is often useful to work out agreements whereby partners agree to have the postsecondary institution administer the grant. If this is not possible, the lead not-for-profit organization may apply for its own institutional eligibility with SSHRC.

Deciding Whether to Apply for Institutional Eligibility as a Not-For-Profit Organization?

  • Institutional eligibility granted to not-for-profit organizations is for the following specific funding opportunities only.
    • Provisional institutional eligibility: not-for-profit organizations applying for institutional eligibility for Partnership Development Grants or Partnership Grants funding opportunities. An application to renew eligibility must be submitted for each new granting cycle.
    • Restricted institutional eligibility: not-for-profit organizations applying for institutional eligibility for Connection Grants or Aid to Scholarly Journals funding opportunities. An application to renew eligibility must be submitted for each new granting cycle.
  • SSHRC will sign the Agreement or Terms and Conditions with a not-for-profit organization only if their funding opportunity application is successful and they are declared eligible to administer SSHRC grants and awards.
  • A decision on the organization’s institutional eligibility will only be made after the announcement of competition results.
  • For a sample letter, “Oversight Agreement letter between a university and a not-for-profit organization,” please contact SSHRC.

SSHRC will not release grant funding to an organization before the organization becomes a signatory to the Agreement or Terms and Conditions.


Options for Not-For-Profit Organizations


Guidelines for Research Administrators

The institution’s research administrator is responsible for reviewing applications for SSHRC funding from applicants affiliated with their institution, approving them as appropriate, and forwarding them to SSHRC.

In order to apply for a funding opportunity, each organization eligible to administer grants and awards must have an assigned research administrator.

It is the research administrator’s responsibility to ensure that the application is forwarded to SSHRC in good order by the application deadline. In forwarding an application to SSHRC, the research administrator confirms that the organization will take responsibility for the administration of SSHRC funds, if the application receives funding.

The research administrator is defined as an authorized official designated by the organization, who:

  • has the authority to bind the organization to the general conditions governing grants and awards, as outlined in the Agreement or Terms and Conditions;
  • has financial signing authority;
  • holds an official, paid position with the organization; and
  • is not listed as a member of the research team (applicant, co-applicant, collaborator) on the application for funding.

Review Process

SSHRC will declare an institution eligible only once a copy of the Agreement or Terms and Conditions, signed by SSHRC’s president and the president / principal / executive director of the organization is received by SSHRC. A not-for-profit organization is invited to become a signatory to the Agreement or Terms and Conditions once SSHRC is satisfied that the organization meets all the eligibility requirements, and only if their funding opportunity application is successful.

Under no circumstances will an organization be recognized as conditionally eligible if it has not fully met all the requirements.

SSHRC will not release funding to an organization before receiving the signed Agreement or Terms and Conditions. Payments may commence upon receipt of a signed Agreement or Terms and Conditions from the organization. In signing the Agreement or Terms and Conditions, an organization agrees to meet all requirements itemized in that document.

Institutional eligibility determinations cannot be appealed. However, an organization can submit new information demonstrating compliance with SSHRC’s requirements at any time.


Status retraction

Institutional eligibility status can be revoked if:

  • an organization is found to have breached the Agreement or Terms and Conditions, and/or its policies;
  • financial monitoring visits find that the organization is not compliant with the Agreement or Terms and Conditions.

If an organization becomes ineligible, then no more payments can be made to that organization, and active grants or awards are put on hold.

An organization can restore its eligibility once sufficient assurance is provided that the issues have been resolved.