Departmental Performance Report 2015-16

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Science

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada,
represented by the Minister of Industry, 2016

Cat. No. CR1-3E
ISSN 2368-3570

PDF version


Table of Contents

Minister’s Message

Institutional Head’s Message

Results Highlights

Section I: Organizational Overview

Section II: Expenditure Overview

Section III: Analysis of Program(s) and Internal Services

Section IV: Supplementary Information

Appendix: Definitions



Minister’s Message

We are pleased to report the key results of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for 2015–16.

The programs of the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Portfolio work together to deliver what Canada needs to improve productivity performance, to grow the economy and to enhance prosperity and well-being. That means supporting the government’s commitment to develop an Innovation Agenda, which will in turn create good-paying jobs for the middle class, drive growth across all industries, and improve the lives of Canadians. The work of the Portfolio includes helping small businesses grow through trade and innovation, promoting increased tourism to Canada, and supporting scientific research and the integration of scientific considerations in our investment and policy choices.

As we approach Canada’s 150th anniversary, we pledge to continue working with stakeholders from across the country to strengthen our place in the global economy.

It is our honour to present the 2015–16 Departmental Performance Report for SSHRC.

The Honourable Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

The Honourable Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism

The Honourable Bardish Chagger,
Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons


Institutional Head’s Message

Ted Hewitt, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

I am pleased to present the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s 2015–16 Departmental Performance Report.

This report outlines our ongoing progress in meeting the commitments laid out in our 2015–16 Report on Plans and Priorities. The progress is supported by SSHRC’s dynamic planning and priority-setting processes, informed by the government’s overarching mission and priorities.

In 2015-16, SSHRC advanced a number of its strategic goals, continuing to position social sciences and humanities research in its critical role of supporting Canadian creativity and innovation and informing evidence-based decision-making.

Over the past year, SSHRC continued to improve its corporate governance and management structures. Working with the other federal granting agencies, we further developed common policies, procedures and harmonized regulations. Advances were also made in streamlining business processes to support implementation of the new grants management system. These improvements allow us to serve the Canadian research community more effectively, more efficiently and with greater accountability.

SSHRC also released its strategic plan for 2016-20, Advancing Knowledge for Canada’s Future. Today’s researchers operate in a vastly different environment than the one that existed when SSHRC was created. We must therefore continue evolving to effectively support excellent research and researchers. This plan acknowledges the central role that SSHRC will play in shaping the changing research landscape in the years ahead.

In this context, the strategic plan will guide SSHRC over the next four years in enabling excellence, creating new opportunities for research and research training through collaborative initiatives, and connecting research to Canadians. By developing talent, generating insights and forging connections across campuses and communities, SSHRC’s efforts will continue advancing knowledge for a better Canada and a better world.

SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative demonstrates the value of the social sciences and humanities in addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow by improving our understanding of key intellectual, economic, social and cultural issues facing Canada. Through extensive engagement with key stakeholders in the research community and across the public, private and not-for profit sectors, we continue to expand cross-sectoral collaboration and forge innovative partnerships.

We recognize that for Canada to remain one of the world’s research leaders, we must also work with colleagues across the globe. As the leader for the Americas in the Trans-Atlantic Platform initiative, SSHRC has collaborated with international partners to identify opportunities for collaborative research across oceans and borders. Together with these partners, we developed among other things a joint funding program to enable research on big data and digital scholarship.

In delivering on its mandate to promote and support excellence in research and research training and provide advice to the Ministers, SSHRC will continue to support Canada in enhancing its position as a global leader in humanities and social sciences research and research training, improving the lives of Canadians through new and innovative ideas.

Ted Hewitt
President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council




Results Highlights

What funds were used?

(2015–16 Actual Spending)

Who was involved?

(2015–16 actual FTEs)
$720,292,139 218

 

Results Highlights

  • To promote and support Canadian excellence in social sciences and humanities research and talent development, SSHRC delivered the first two competitions of the new Canada First Research Excellence Fund, which supports complex institutional initiatives demonstrating the potential for global leadership in focus areas of strategic relevance for Canada.
  • To work with Canadian postsecondary institutions and other organizations to build a 21st century research and training environment in the humanities and social sciences, SSHRC harmonized business processes and procedures across its funding opportunities to improve the user experience and facilitate the implementation of its new grants management system.
  • To position knowledge and expertise about human thought and behaviour to bring maximal benefits to Canada and the world, SSHRC strengthened collaborations with government departments, industry and community organization and other partners to promote awareness of and ongoing engagement in its suite of programs, as well as its Imagining Canada’s Future initiative.

Section I: Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

Appropriate Minister:

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, P.C., M.P.
 Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Science

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Institutional Head: Ted Hewitt, President
Ministerial Portfolio: Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Enabling Instrument(s):

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. S-12

Year of Incorporation / Commencement: 1977

 


Organizational Context

Raison d’être

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funds research and research training that builds knowledge about people, past and present, with a view toward creating a better future. From questions of family and culture to concerns about jobs and employment, research about people—how we live, what we think, how we act—informs new knowledge and insights on the issues that matter most to Canadians.

SSHRC plays a unique role within Canada’s science, technology and innovation system by awarding grants and scholarships to researchers, students and fellows who work as individuals, in small groups and in formal partnerships with partners from all sectors to develop talent, generate insights and build connections that address the needs of all sectors of society.

Responsibilities

SSHRC is an agency that reports to Parliament through the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. It was created through an act of Parliament in 1977 and mandated to:

  • promote and assist research and scholarship in the social sciences and humanities; and
  • advise the Minister in respect of such matters relating to such research as the Minister may refer to the Council for its consideration.

To fulfil its mandate, SSHRC offers funding opportunities that provide support to Canadian researchers and students through grants, scholarships and fellowships, respecting the terms of the federal Policy on Transfer Payments. SSHRC is also responsible for administering the following tri-agency programs, offered jointly with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR):

  • the Canada Research Chairs Program;
  • the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program;
  • the Research Support Fund; and
  • the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

In addition, SSHRC works with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, as well as with NSERC and CIHR, to support Networks of Centres of Excellence initiatives. It collaborates with NSERC and CIHR to deliver the Canada Graduate Scholarships, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, and Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships programs. SSHRC and CIHR also participate in the College and Community Innovation Program, managed by NSERC. SSHRC will continue to foster this collaboration to the benefit of all Canadians by building on the harmonization of tri-agency programs, practices and policies.

The president of SSHRC is supported by a governing council appointed by order-in-council to reflect the perspectives of the academic, public and private sectors. SSHRC’s governing council promotes and assists research and scholarship in the social sciences and humanities. It meets regularly to set strategic policy and program priorities, allocate budgets, and advise the Minister and Parliament on matters related to research in these areas.

Strategic Outcomes and Program Alignment Architecture

  1. Strategic Outcome: Canada is a world leader in social sciences and humanities research and research training.
    • 1.1 Program: Talent: attraction, retention and development of students and researchers in the social sciences and humanities
      • 1.1.1 Sub-Program: Canada Research Chairs
      • 1.1.2 Sub-Program: Canada Graduate Scholarships
      • 1.1.3 Sub-Program: Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
      • 1.1.4 Sub-Program: Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships
      • 1.1.5 Sub-Program: Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships
    • 1.2 Program: Insight: new knowledge in the social sciences and humanities
      • 1.2.1 Sub-program: Individual, team and partnership research grants
      • 1.2.2 Sub-program: Institutional research capacity grants
    • 1.3 Program: Connection: mobilization of social sciences and humanities knowledge
      • 1.3.1 Sub-program: Individual, team and partnership knowledge mobilization grants
      • 1.3.2 Sub-program: Research-based knowledge culture
      • 1.3.3 Sub-program: Networks of Centres of Excellence
  2. Strategic Outcome: Canada has the institutional capacity to enable research and research-related activities in social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering and health.
    • 2.1 Program: Indirect Costs of Research
    • 2.2 Program: Canada First Research Excellence Fund
  • Internal Services


Operating Environment and Risk Analysis

Operating Environment

External environment
Since the election in October 2015, the priorities for the new Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), Minister of Science and Minister of Small Business and Tourism include: launching Canada’s Innovation Agenda to expand support for incubators and accelerators, as well as the emerging national network for business innovation and cluster support, strengthening the recognition of, and support for, fundamental research to support new discoveries, and re-inserting scientific considerations into the heart of decision-making and investment choices. To strengthen Canada’s leadership in innovation and research, the Minister of ISED will work on developing the Innovation Agenda and work with the Minister of Science to establish two new Canada Excellence Research Chairs in clean and sustainable technologies. The Minister of Science will also explore options to strengthen the recognition of, and support for, fundamental research through the Science Review.

The new government is also planning to appoint a Chief Science Officer mandated to ensure that government science is fully available to the public, that government scientists are able to speak freely about their work, and that scientific analyses are considered when the government makes decisions.

The renewed interest in evidence-based policy making and the value of research has boosted SSHRC’s engagement with key stakeholders across academic, government, private and not-for-profit community sectors in order to better connect policy-makers with relevant research and expertise.

Internal environment
SSHRC administers a significant budget—roughly $380 million for SSHRC programs and $342 million for the Research Support Fund. Despite the size of this budget, the overall level of risk to the organization is low in terms of continuity of government operations, the maintenance of services to and protection of interests of the Canadian public, and the safety and security of the Canadian public.

In 2015–16, program initiatives of note include the ongoing development of SSHRC’s Aboriginal Research Integrated Strategy and activities related to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action; the Trans-Atlantic Platform, a unique collaboration between key humanities and social science funders from South America, North America and Europe (including the platform’s first joint call through Digging into Data 4); the ongoing tri-agency harmonization of the Canada Graduate Scholarships; and a call for proposals for research related to Syrian refugee arrival, resettlement and integration.

Finally, SSHRC invested a significant effort in the development and launch of its new Strategic Plan, Advancing Knowledge for Canada’s Future, 2016-20.

Risk Analysis

SSHRC has adopted an integrated risk management framework, which provides a comprehensive view of corporate risks and assigns responsibility for their management. The approach is part of SSHRC’s annual planning cycle, which integrates priority-setting, resource allocation and risk management. This approach aligns with the Treasury Board’s Framework for the Management of Risk. As part of its annual planning cycle, SSHRC reviewed and updated its Corporate Risk Profile and Corporate Risk Management Framework in 2015–16, to ensure that each risk would be systematically monitored by senior management.

The review of the Corporate Risk Profile found three risks that fall outside of management’s risk tolerance threshold, requiring dedicated resources and more rigorous monitoring and follow-up. These risks, identified in the 2015–16 RPP, and the response strategies used to mitigate them, are described in the Key Risks table in this section.

The following description of actual performance and activities related to the risk responses identified in the 2015–16 RPP is organized by risk. It highlights SSHRC’s ability to adapt and adjust during the course of the year.

Managing Stakeholder Relations

  • In 2015–16, SSHRC contributed to issues of science policy at the federal level. SSHRC supported the government’s commitments to Open Science through the development of a draft Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management, its ongoing support for the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications, and its participation in the committee developing an Open Science implementation plan for the Government of Canada. SSHRC monitored the progress of the Digital Research Infrastructure Strategy being led by ISED and an assessment of Canadian agriculture research led by the Canada Foundation for Innovation. SSHRC also provided input on the creation of the position Chief Science Officer for Canada.
  • SSHRC ensured that information regarding the first Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) competition was available not only in a timely manner but also to all stakeholders at the same time. SSHRC regularly posted updated FAQs for applicant institutions so that all institutions had access to interpretations of program guidelines and instructions generated in response to questions received.

Research Portal

  • An external communications strategy has been developed and will be revised and updated to focus on program harmonization and the launch of the Research Portal 2.0 process. Meanwhile, SSHRC has been supporting senior staff in their communications with external stakeholders on the status of the harmonization process of the Research Portal.
  • Oversight and governance for the project was strengthened. NSERC was identified as the lead agency, clarifying responsibility for the Research Portal. The Research Portal Executive Committee was established and began meeting regularly to provide high-level oversight of the project. A SSHRC-NSERC committee at the direct level provides cross-agency support and advice to the project director.

Demonstrating Relevance and Results

  • Internal and external data analysis provided insights on the alignment of subject matter in researchers’ proposals with the future challenge areas (FCAs) across all competitions. Key FCA collaborative initiatives benefited from the FCA-specific knowledge of subject matter experts assigned for merit review of researchers’ proposals.
  • Management approved Achievement Reports for grantees in the Insight and Connection programs and Partnerships funding opportunities. The Insight and Connection reports were slightly delayed for revisions that clarified their intent and the questions being asked. They were launched in early June 2016. The Achievement Report for Partnerships will be made available to grantees later in 2016–17.

Key Risks

Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to the Organization’s Programs
Managing Stakeholder Relations: The risk that the organization does not effectively manage diverse stakeholder relationships and challenges to its reputation

This risk was identified in the 2015–16 RPP with the following response strategies:
Respond to the new science, technology and innovation strategy: Seizing Canada’s Moment: Moving Forward in Science, Technology and Innovation 2014

Ensure that information regarding the first CFREF competition is available in a timely manner to all stakeholders at the same time
  • Talent
  • Insight
  • Connection
  • Indirect costs of research
  • Canada First Research Excellence Fund
Research Portal: The risk that implementation is hampered by delays in project planning

This risk was identified in the 2015–16 RPP with the following response strategies:
Increase internal and external awareness of the objectives and benefits of the project

Work with NSERC (lead) to strengthen the governance and oversight of the project
  • Talent
  • Insight
  • Connection
Demonstrating Relevance and Results: The risk that the organization is unable to demonstrate its relevance by measuring and reporting on the outcomes of its programs

This risk was identified in the 2015–16 RPP with the following response strategies:
Gain and share insights on FCAs through analysis of administrative data, media coverage and monitoring of trends

Launch pilot of achievement reporting for one or more funding opportunities
  • Talent
  • Insight
  • Connection
  • Indirect costs of research
  • Canada First Research Excellence Fund

Organizational Priorities

Promote and support Canadian excellence in social sciences and humanities research and talent development

Description

Talented, skilled and creative people are at the heart of successful societies like Canada. Demand is growing across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors for highly qualified individuals who exhibit the leadership qualities required for success in the 21st-century economy, such as those who are creative, analytical and articulate, as well as sophisticated in their understanding of individuals, communities and societies in the past and present. These qualities are acquired through direct engagement—on the part of both researchers and students—in excellent research that effectively nurtures both intellectual skills (e.g., rigour, objectivity, analysis, synthesis, creativity) and professional skills (e.g., communication; collaboration across disciplines; building of partnerships with government, community-based and private sector partners; network-building; management of large teams).

SSHRC must continue to be at the forefront of promoting world-class research and engagement in Canada in a number of ways, first and foremost by working to update policies and practices for fostering research excellence and making the results of research available. In doing so, SSHRC supports the people, knowledge and innovation elements of the Government of Canada’s science and technology priorities. As the premier funder of social sciences and humanities research in Canada, SSHRC must also ensure its assessment criteria and merit review processes evolve in keeping with the ever-changing nature of research excellence. Finally, because research excellence is defined in an international context, Canadian social sciences and humanities research must be increasingly connected to global research networks, and reflect and contribute to global research agendas.

Priority TypeFootnote 1

Previously committed to
Key Supporting Initiatives

Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Status Link to the Organization’s Program(s)
Coordinating SSHRC’s implementation of the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications April 2015 March 2017 On track Cross-program initiative
Leading the development of a tri-agency policy on research data consistent with the Action Plan on Open Government commitments, working closely with NSERC and CIHR April 2015 March 2016 Completed Cross-program initiative
Coordinating SSHRC’s participation in the Trans-Atlantic Platform digital pilot (Digging into Data 4) April 2015 March 2016 Completed Cross-program initiative
Administering the first two inaugural competitions of the CFREF and announce the results of the first competition April 2015 Ongoing On track Canada First Research Excellence Fund
Progress Toward the Priority

For plans to promote the skills, tools and infrastructure necessary for success in research and research training, in 2015–16, SSHRC continued to work with the federal research funders and other stakeholders to develop and implement policies to support a well-functioning ecosystem for research and innovation, including a policy on research data stewardship. To support these plans, in 2015–16, SSHRC did the following:

  • SSHRC worked with NSERC and CIHR to communicate the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications to the research community. SSHRC program literature now refers to the new policy. SSHRC also supported a study led by Érudit on the business models of Canadian scholarly journals within the evolving open access context. SSHRC participated in a symposium organized by the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science on the same topic.
  • SSHRC led the working group on the development of the Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management and a related workplan on data management policies. To ensure good communications with the stakeholders on data management, SSHRC sits on the Research Data Canada Steering Committee and the Leadership Council for Digital Infrastructure. SSHRC helped develop the Government of Canada’s Open Science Implementation Plan and co-led with Environment Canada the development of one of the plan’s key deliverables, a “Guidance Document on Scientific Data Stewardship and Scientific Data Management Planning” for science-based departments and agencies.
  • SSHRC participated in negotiations to launch round 4 of the Digging into Data Challenge as part of efforts to strengthen relationships with other funding agencies in the social sciences and humanities participating in the Trans-Atlantic Platform (T/AP) initiative. The T-AP Digging into Data funding opportunity launched on March 1, 2016.
  • The CFREF competitions are on schedule. The results were announced for the first CFREF competition and the second competition was launched. Its results will be announced in summer 2016.

Work with Canadian postsecondary institutions and other organizations to build a 21st-century research and training environment in the humanities and social sciences

Description

Excellence in research and research training does not occur in a vacuum—it requires an enabling and fertile environment. This environment includes institutions (postsecondary institutions, in particular), as well as a number of other structures, policies and supports. SSHRC, along with other federal and provincial funders of research, plays an important part in Canada’s research and research training environment.

SSHRC harmonized business processes and procedures across funding opportunities, creating a more flexible and effective system of application and assessment to support the most promising students and the best researchers, and to mobilize social sciences and humanities research knowledge. As part of the process of continuous improvement, SSHRC is committed to further streamlining and simplifying the application process by providing a single point of access for applicants, reviewers, committee members, institutions and partners through the use of technology.

Priority Type

Previously committed to
Key Supporting Initiatives

Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Status Link to the Organization’s Program(s)
Providing leadership, support and oversight to the Research Portal project, which includes the modernization and harmonization of processes and communications to stakeholders April 2015 Ongoing On track Cross-program initiative
Supporting the NSERC-SSHRC Business Coordination Team to enable the maintenance of the Research Portal, upgrade the Client Relationship Management System from 2011 to 2015, and plan the transition to the Research Portal 2.0 April 2015 Ongoing On track Cross-program initiative
Coordinating the implementation of the Canadian Common CV (CCV) action plan in response to findings and recommendations from a strategic review April 2015 March 2016 Completed Cross-program initiative
Progress Toward the Priority

For plans to facilitate world-class research and research training and enable innovation in program delivery by regularly updating all steps in the grants management process to ensure they are effective, efficient, SSHRC continued to improve the user experience, streamlining and harmonizing business processes through the continuing, phased implementation of the new grants management system, which includes the adoption of the Research Portal, the Client Relationship Management System and the CCV (a web-based application that provides a single, common approach to gathering CV information required by a network of research funding organizations). To support these plans, in 2015–16, SSHRC did the following:

  • The new Research Portal project director and a dedicated team were hired. The cross-agency working group facilitated streamlining and harmonizing of business processes. Key components of the project management plan were developed and approved.
  • The Business Coordination Team and the Research Portal Working Group focused on harmonizing business processes and the high-level business requirements for the lifecycle of grant management.
  • A new executive director for the CCV was hired as the strategic direction and roadmap in response to a Strategic Review conducted in 2014–15 continue to be implemented. The roadmap outlines three areas of action:
    • rebranding to define the future vision for the CCV (in progress);
    • identification of a hosting partner (in progress); and
    • redesign of the CCV (planned for next fiscal year).

Position knowledge and expertise about human thought and behaviour to bring maximal benefits to Canada and the world

Description

The benefits of social sciences and humanities research can be seen in every aspect of Canadian society, from assisting the development and assessing the impact of the laws and policies passed by our governments, to the successful implementation of business innovation strategies, the training of next-generation leaders, and the revision of the curricula used in our elementary and secondary school classrooms. While it is clear that SSHRC funding is contributing to so many facets of life in communities across Canada and around the world, Canada’s social sciences and humanities knowledge and expertise must be actively stewarded for its benefits to be sustained and available to its citizens.

SSHRC, in partnership with the research community, has a responsibility to ensure that the benefits of research and talent development are realized as fully as possible, for the benefit of Canada and the world. We must encourage opportunities for the social sciences and humanities to contribute to national debate; address the challenges of today and tomorrow; and produce new knowledge and understanding of intellectual, economic, social and cultural value.

Priority Type

Previously committed to
Key Supporting Initiatives

Planned Initiatives Start Date End Date Status Link to the Organization’s Program(s)
Building awareness and participation in FCAs among academic and non-academic sectors through strategic partnerships, events and outreach March 2015 April 2016 Completed Cross-program initiative
Launching up to two Knowledge Synthesis Grant competitions linked to future challenges March 2015 April 2016 Completed Cross-program initiative (Strategic Outcome 1)
Building support for and promoting research, talent development and mobilization of knowledge in the six FCAs March 2015 April 2016 Completed Cross-program initiative (Strategic Outcome 1)
Progress Toward the Priority

For plans to support research and talent development in Canada with a focus on the six FCAs, SSHRC implemented a strategy to advance the contributions of the social sciences and humanities toward meeting Canada’s future, long-term societal challenges and opportunities. To support these plans, in 2015–16, SSHRC did the following:

  • Extensive collaboration with government departments, industry and community organizations, and other partners promoted awareness and participation in SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative. These included the Imagining Canada’s Future Fall Forum and publication of the first summary report on the topic of new ways of learning and teaching; a symposium on natural resources and energy held in December, organized in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada; a Policy Brief Challenge with Global Affairs Canada; and an Open Data Challenge with Compute Canada.
  • Two Knowledge Synthesis Grant competitions were successfully launched for the FCAs of natural resources and energy and leveraging emerging technologies. Summary reports on results will be released next fiscal year. In addition, a call for proposals for a Knowledge Synthesis Grant competition on experiences and aspirations of Indigenous Peoples was drafted.
  • To promote the FCAs, SSHRC took advantage of its website, Dialogue (the corporate e-newsletter) and social media; developed conference materials, such as posters and programs; produced 12 short videos on the FCAs; and associated with Big Thinking lectures to incorporate FCAs and related activities in advertising for the Congress for Humanities and Social Sciences.

For more information on organizational priorities, see the ministers’ mandate letters


Section II: Expenditure Overview

Actual Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015-16
Main Estimates
2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
Difference
(actual minus planned)
717,089,852 717,089,852 721,497,544 720,292,139 3,202,287

 

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
209 218 9*

*The difference between planned and actual FTEs is due to an increase from Budget 2014 for social innovation and the new Canada First Research Excellence Fund program.

Budgetary Performance Summary

Budgetary Performance Summary for Programs and Internal Services (dollars)

Programs and Internal Services 2015-16
Main Estimates
2015-16
Planned Spending
2016–17
Planned Spending
2017–18
Planned Spending
2015-16 Total Authorities Available for Use 2015-16
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2014-15
Actual Spending (authorities used)
2013–14
Actual Spending (authorities used)
1.1 Talent: attraction, retention and development of students and researchers in the social sciences and humanities 172,834,808 172,986,882 173,493,111 173,415,937 172,802,050 169,294,848 168,129,181 170,656,178
1.2 Insight: new knowledge in the social sciences and humanities 156,251,032 156,464,015 159,789,803 157,751,114 157,549,508 162,450,407 154,341,344 143,601,012
1.3 Connection: mobilization of social sciences and humanities knowledge 30,186,058 30,226,183 28,590,819 27,355,833 31,162,350 32,964,773 33,309,316 34,556,118
2.1 Research Support Fund 341,675,018 341,686,408 341,615,386 341,611,587 340,726,254 340,666,298 340,902,057 331,845,665
2.2 Canada First Research Excellence Fund - - 2,494,438 2,484,435 1,912,757 2,545,724 - -
Programs Subtotal 700,946,916 701,363,488 705,983,557 702,618,906 704,152,919 707,922,050 696,681,898 680,658,973

Internal Services
Subtotal

16,142,936 15,726,364 14,029,252 13,633,162 17,344,625 12,370,089 16,244,750 15,060,465
Total 717,089,852 717,089,852 720,012,809 716,252,068 721,497,544 720,292,139 712,926,648 695,719,438

Departmental Spending Trend

Spending Trend SSHRC excluding Research Support Fund
Description of figure

Description of Departmental Spending Trend Graph—SSHRC (excluding the Research Support Fund)

This stacked bar graph shows the trend for spending by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), not including spending on the Research Support Fund, for fiscal years 2013-14 to 2018-19. Each bar is broken down by sunset programs, statutory programs and voted programs. Spending is shown in millions of dollars.

The x-axis shows six fiscal years: 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

The y-axis shows dollar values. The scale begins at 350 million dollars and goes to 380 million dollars, in increments of 5 million.

Directly below the x-axis is the legend showing which shading represents which type of program, as well as a table with the totals by fiscal year for the different program types:

  • sunset programs—anticipated (first row) are represented by the dark shading at the top of the bars;
  • statutory programs (second row) are represented by the pale shading below the sunset programs on the bars (where there is spending on sunset programs); and
  • voted programs (third row) are represented by medium shading, below the statutory programs on the bars.

The fourth row presents the totals for all programs (minus the Research Support Fund) for each fiscal year.

The value of SSHRC’s sunset programs is zero for 2013-14, two million dollars for 2014-15, five million dollars for both 2015-16 and 2016-17, two million dollars for 2017-18, and zero for 2018-19.

The value of SSHRC’s statutory programs for each fiscal year from 2013-14 until 2018-19 is three million dollars.

SSHRC’s voted spending (minus the Research Support Fund) by fiscal year is as follows:

  • 2013-14: 361 million dollars
  • 2014-15: 367 million dollars
  • 2015-16: 371 million dollars
  • 2016-17: 370 million dollars
  • 2017-18: 369 million dollars
  • 2018-19: 363 million dollars

SSHRC spending excluding Research Support Fund

The change in spending from 2013–14 reflects ongoing savings achieved through improved efficiency, offset by funds provided to strengthen research partnerships between postsecondary institutions and industry (Budget 2013). Since 2013–14, variations in the spending profile are largely due to additional funds to support advanced research in the social sciences and humanities (Budget 2014), a pilot initiative to foster social innovation through research at colleges and polytechnics (sunsetting program – Budget 2014) and the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (Budget 2014).

Funding to support partnership activities between academic researchers, businesses and other partners announced in Budget 2015 are not included in planned spending.


Spending Trend-Indirect Costs Program
Description of figure

Description of Departmental Spending Trend Graph – Research Support Fund

This bar graph shows the trend for spending by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) on the Research Support Fund for fiscal years 2013-14 to 2018-19. Spending is shown in millions of dollars.

The x-axis shows six fiscal years: 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

The y-axis shows dollar values. The scale begins to 326 million dollars and goes to 344 million dollars, in increments of 2 million.

Directly below the x-axis is the legend showing which shading represents which type of program, as well as a table with the totals by fiscal year for the different program types:

  • sunset programs—anticipated (first row) are represented by the dark shading; however, the Research Support Fund is not a sunset program, so the value for each fiscal year from 2013-14 until 2018-19 is zero and no dark shading shows on the graph;
  • statutory programs (second row) are represented by the pale shading; however, the Research Support Fund is not a statutory program, so the value for each fiscal year from 2013-14 until 2018-19 is zero and no pale shading shows on the graph; and
  • voted programs (third row) are represented by medium shading; since the Research Support Fund is a voted program, all the bars show only medium shading.

The fourth row repeats the totals for the Research Support Fund for each fiscal year.

SSHRC’s voted spending on the Research Support Fund by fiscal year is as follows:

  • 2013-14: 332 million dollars
  • 2014-15: 341 million dollars
  • 2015-16: 341 million dollars
  • 2016-17: 342 million dollars
  • 2017-18: 342 million dollars
  • 2018-19: 342 million dollars

Research Support Fund

The Research Support Fund’s spending profile reflects the funds provided by Budget 2014 but does not include the additional funds starting in 2016–17 announced in Budget 2015.

Expenditures by Vote

For information on the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s organizational voted and statutory expenditures, consult the Public Accounts of Canada 2016.

 

Alignment of Spending with the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2015-16 Actual Spending with the Whole-of-Government Framework (dollars)
Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2015-16 Actual Spending
1.1 Talent: attraction, retention and development of students and researchers in the social sciences and humanities Economic Affairs An innovative and knowledge-based economy 169,294,848
1.2 Insight: new knowledge in the social sciences and humanities Economic Affairs An innovative and knowledge-based economy 162,450,407
1.3 Connection: mobilization of social sciences and humanities knowledge Economic Affairs An innovative and knowledge-based economy 32,964,773
2.1 Indirect Costs of Research Economic Affairs An innovative and knowledge-based economy 340,666,298
2.2 Canada First Research Excellence Fund Economic Affairs An innovative and knowledge-based economy 2,545,724

 

Total Spending by Spending Area (dollars)
Spending Area Total Planned Spending Total Actual Spending
Economic Affairs 701,363,488 707,922,050
Social Affairs 0 0
International Affairs 0 0
Government Affairs 0 0

Financial Statements and Financial Statements Highlights

Financial Statements

SSHRC’s audited financial statements for the year ending March 31, 2016 can be found on
SSHRC’s website.

Financial Statements Highlights

Condensed Statement of Operations (unaudited)
For the Year Ended March 31, 2016 (dollars)
Financial Information 2015-16 Planned Results 2015-16 Actual 2014-15 Actual Difference (2015–16 actual minus 2015–16 planned) Difference (2015–16 actual minus 2014–15 actual)
Total expenses 719,020,764 723,122,056 713,778,521 4,101,292 9,343,535
Total revenues 0 67,622 28,840 67,622 38,782
Net cost of operations before government funding and transfers 719,020,764 723,054,434 713,749,681 4,033,670 9,304,753

Condensed Statement of Financial Position (unaudited)
As at March 31, 2016 (dollars)
Financial Information 2015-16 2014-15 Difference (2015–16 minus 2014–15)
Total net liabilities 4,999,847 5,198,983 (199,136)
Total net financial assets 3,971,751 4,259,397 (287,646)
Departmental net debt 1,028,095 939,586 88,509
Total non-financial assets 3,821,993 4,710,747 (888,754)
Departmental net financial position 2,973,897 3,771,160 (977,263)

 


Section III: Analysis of Programs and Internal Services

Programs

Program Title: Talent: attraction, retention and development of students and researchers in the social sciences and humanities

Description: This program provides support to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the form of fellowships, and to research chairs in postsecondary institutions that cover salary and research funding. This program is key to attracting, retaining and developing talent in the social sciences and humanities; to cultivating leaders within academia and across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors; and to building centres of world-class research excellence at Canadian postsecondary institutions. The program brands Canada as a top destination for research and research training.

Program Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

Talent funding constituted 46.7 per cent of SSHRC’s grant expenditures in 2015–16 under Strategic Outcome 1. The scholarships, fellowships and chairs offered under the Talent program are key to attracting, retaining and developing students and researchers in the social sciences and humanities.

In 2015–16, SSHRC worked with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to harmonize policies and guidelines related to the management of awards and scholarships by students, postdoctoral researchers and institutions. The framework for harmonizing post-award policies for award recipients across the three federal research funding agencies was approved by the programs vice-presidents of the three agencies. A harmonized award holders’ guide is now being prepared.

In March 2016, SSHRC approved three measures to support Indigenous talent. The measures will be piloted in 2016–17 to provide doctoral and postdoctoral Indigenous applicants with (1) an opportunity to self-identify as Indigenous; (2) an opportunity to identify proposed programs of study as Indigenous research; and (3) an opportunity to identify additional special circumstances that often affect the academic careers of Indigenous applicants (e.g., cultural or community responsibilities).

Regarding the employment prospects of SSHRC-funded scholarship and fellowship recipients, the June 2015 SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships Program Review found clear evidence that former doctoral fellowship recipients are more likely than non-recipients with comparable education to be working, earning a higher income, and working in academia or other research-intensive positions. Those working in universities are more likely than non-recipients to be research faculty, and less likely to be adjunct faculty. In comparison with non-recipients, they report working in careers more closely related to their degree program and consider their doctoral training more useful in preparing them for their careers.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015-16
Main Estimates
2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2015–16 Difference (actual minus planned)
172,834,808 172,986,882 172,802,050 169,294,848 -3,692,034

The variance is due to a change in the allocation of internal services as per the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Guideline on the Attribution of Internal Services effective February 29, 2016.             

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
43 50 7

 

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
SSHRC-funded scholarship and fellowship recipients are employed in Canada and internationally Employment rates (in percentage) of SSHRC-funded doctoral students 85 82.5
Employment rates (in percentage) of SSHRC-funded postdoctoral fellows 90 94
Canada builds research excellence and research capacity Percentage of SSHRC Canada Research Chairs researchers that report having been nominated for, or having received, a national or international prize or award 10 10

Program Title: Insight: new knowledge in the social sciences and humanities

Description: This program provides grants to support research in the social sciences and humanities conducted by scholars and researchers working as individuals, in teams, and in formal partnerships among the academic, public, private and/or not-for-profit sectors, and to support the building of institutional research capacity. This program is necessary to build knowledge and understanding about people, societies and the world, as well as to inform the search for solutions to societal challenges. The objectives of the program are to build knowledge and understanding from disciplinary, interdisciplinary and/or cross-sectoral perspectives; support new approaches to research on complex and important topics; provide a high-quality research training experience for students; mobilize research knowledge to and from academic and non-academic audiences; and build institutional research capacity. Research supported by the program has the potential to lead to intellectual, cultural, social and economic influence, benefit and impact, and increased institutional research capacity. International research initiatives that offer outstanding opportunities to advance Canadian research are encouraged. Partnerships can include both Canadian and international partners.

Program Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

In 2015–16, SSHRC invested 44 per cent of its grants expenditures under Strategic Outcome 1 in funding opportunities under its Insight program. This program aims to support and foster excellence in social sciences and humanities research, research that is intended to increase understanding of individuals and societies, and to inform the search for solutions to societal challenges. SSHRC-funded researchers are building knowledge and understanding of complex and important topics in the humanities and social sciences, producing an average of 17 research contributions per grant. The majority of these are conference papers, peer-reviewed articles in research journals, and books and book chapters. SSHRC-funded researchers are also present in the media, in radio and television broadcasts, in public lectures, and on websites. The work of researchers funded through the Insight program is recognized nationally and internationally. A number of funded research projects have been cited for recognition or prizes, and the researchers themselves have won various awards for their books and articles, as well as prestigious honours such as the Killam Prize.

Through its Insight program, SSHRC supports formal partnerships (with financial and/or in-kind contributions from partners) involving the academic, public, private and not-for-profit sectors within Canada and internationally. Partnership Grants support large-scale formal research partnerships that advance research, research training and/or knowledge mobilization. Partnership Development Grants support smaller-scale partnerships in a shorter timeframe. For every dollar awarded by SSHRC, Partnership Grant holders are, on average, leveraging up to $0.84 in cash and in-kind partner contributions, while Partnership Development Grant holders are leveraging partner contributions of up to $0.81 per SSHRC dollar.

In 2015–16, SSHRC fully integrated across its programs the updated definition, principles and merit review guidelines related to Indigenous research. The Aboriginal Research Statement of Principles recognizes that Indigenous research supports SSHRC’s commitment to scholarly excellence.

In 2015–16, the first Community and College Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) competition awarded 27 grants out of 85 proposals. This 2014–15 pilot initiative connects Canada’s colleges and polytechnics with the research needs of local community organizations.

SSHRC visited sites across Canada to promote the funding opportunity. To respond to concerns raised by the college community and the CCSIF Advisory Committee, the funding opportunity was changed for the second competition, which was launched in 2015. This second round received 74 applications; they were adjudicated in March 2016 and the results were released in June 2016. A preliminary review of the funding opportunity, as well as an analysis of funded projects from the first round, was produced in March 2016.

 

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015-16
Main Estimates
2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2015–16 Difference (actual minus planned)
156,251,032    156,464,015 157,549,508 162,450,407 5,986,392

* The variance between planned and actual spending is due to an increase from Budget 2014 for social innovation and a reallocation unused funds from Canada Research Chairs to Insight Grants.

         

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
50 59 9

The variance is due to a change in the allocation of internal services as per the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Guideline on the Attribution of Internal Services effective February 29, 2016.             

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Canada builds research excellence in social sciences and humanities research Percentage of research projects cited for Canadian and/or international recognition or prizes in a year 15 10.1
Research is undertaken in areas of strategic importance to Canada Percentage of applications received in Government-identified priority areas 30 28.2

Program Title: Connection: mobilization of social sciences and humanities knowledge

Description: This program provides funding (grants and operational) to support the multidirectional flow, exchange and co-creation of knowledge in the social sciences and humanities among researchers and diverse groups of policy-makers, business leaders, community groups, educators and the media, working as individuals, in teams, in formal partnerships and in networks. This program is necessary to help stimulate leading-edge, internationally competitive research in areas critical to Canada; build multisectoral partnerships; and accelerate the use of multidisciplinary research results by organizations that can harness them for Canadian economic and social development. The program increases the availability and use of social sciences and humanities research knowledge among academic and non-academic audiences; supports the building of reciprocal relationships, networks and tools designed to facilitate scholarly work; and makes such networks and tools more accessible to non-academic audiences. The funding opportunities offered in this program are intended to complement activities funded through the Talent and Insight programs.

Program Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

In 2015–16, Connection program funding constituted 9.0 per cent of SSHRC’s grant expenditures under Strategic Outcome 1. SSHRC’s support for knowledge mobilization activities enhances access to, and maximizes the impact of, publicly funded research in the social sciences and humanities. In addition, SSHRC continued its integration of knowledge mobilization activities across its suite of programs, so that Canadian and international policy-makers, business and community leaders, educators, media representatives, and countless others benefit from SSHRC-funded activities. Activities include the publication of scholarly journals and books; organization of and participation in events to discuss, compare and plan research activities; the honouring and recognition of researchers, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows whose contributions to research have enriched Canadian society; and the development of large-scale, virtual research networks that bring together partners from academia, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations.

In 2015–16, SSHRC implemented the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications to improve access to the results of Agency-funded research, and to increase the dissemination and exchange of research results. SSHRC worked with NSERC and CIHR to communicate the policy to the research community.

In November 2015, SSHRC streamlined the application process for Connection Grants, responding to concerns expressed by applicants and making the process simpler for the applicants.

In 2015–16, SSHRC successfully launched two Knowledge Synthesis Grants competitions in the areas of natural resources and energy and emerging technologies. Knowledge Synthesis Grants support researchers, teams of researchers and knowledge users to produce a synthesis of existing research knowledge and the identification of knowledge gaps. In addition, the call for proposals for the next Knowledge Synthesis Grants competition on experiences and aspirations of Indigenous Peoples has been drafted and reviewed by an advisory working group.

Through its Imagining Canada’s Future initiative, SSHRC works with researchers and stakeholders to identify policy relevant implications and knowledge gaps of existing research in key priority areas to meet Canada’s future, long-term societal challenges and opportunities. Activities included the Imagining Canada’s Future Fall Forum (in November) on the topic of new ways of learning and teaching; the publication of the first summary report on the same future challenge area; the first symposium on natural resources and energy held in December, organized in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada; a Policy Brief Challenge with Global Affairs Canada; and the Open Data Challenge with Compute Canada. Other highlights include multisector advisory groups for each of the Knowledge Synthesis Grants and partnership agreements with government departments and agencies to co-fund Knowledge Synthesis Grants and related workshops.

In 2015–16, SSHRC began planning for the evaluation of Research-based Knowledge Culture sub-program, which includes the Knowledge Synthesis Grants and the annual Impact Awards, which recognize the highest achievements in social sciences and humanities research, knowledge mobilization and scholarship supported by SSHRC. This evaluation is on track to be completed before the end of the next fiscal year. Planning for the evaluation of the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research program is also well under way.

 

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015-16
Main Estimates
2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2015–16 Difference (actual minus planned)
30,186,058 30,226,183 31,162,350 32,964,772 2,378,589

         

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
9 12 3

The variance is due to a change in the allocation of internal services as per the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Guideline on the Attribution of Internal Services effective February 29, 2016.             

     
Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Social sciences and humanities research knowledge is mobilized within academic and non-academic communities Average number of deliverables produced per grant 2 10

Program Title: Canada First Research Excellence Fund

Description: The program provides financial support in the form of grants to Canadian universities and colleges to excel globally in research areas that create long-term economic advantages for Canada. The program helps competitively-selected institutions implement ambitious and focused strategies to attract and retain talent, develop partnerships across sectors nationally and internationally, and undertake cutting-edge research. Consequently, the program will contribute to enhancing Canada’s competitiveness in the global, knowledge-based economy, improving Canadians’ health, and enriching our social and cultural life. The program is administered by SSHRC on behalf of CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC.

Program Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

The Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) grants are paid out through SSHRC, NSERC and CIHR, as appropriate, based proportionately on the research areas addressed by the successful proposals. In 2015–16, the CFREF constituted 0.7 per cent of SSHRC’s grant expenditures under Strategic Outcome 2. Once the program has ramped up following the results of the second competition in 2016-17, CFREF will invest approximately $200 million per year through the three federal research funding agencies to support Canada’s postsecondary institutions in their efforts to become global research leaders. It helps Canadian universities, colleges and polytechnics compete with the best in the world for talent and partnership opportunities, to make breakthrough discoveries, and to excel globally in research areas that will create long-term economic advantages for Canada.

In 2015–16, SSHRC, on behalf of the three agencies, administered the two inaugural competitions of CFREF. The results of the first competition were announced and the second competition is proceeding as scheduled. Its results will be announced in fall 2016.

 

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015-16
Main Estimates
2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2015–16 Difference (actual minus planned)
    1,912,757 2,545,724 632,967

         

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
0 6 -6

 

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
n/a n/a n/a n/a

Note: There are no performance results to report on as this is a new program. It was not yet included in SSHRC’s Program Alignment Architecture or Performance Measurement Framework at the time of the 2015–16 RPP.

Program Title: Indirect costs of research

Description: This program provides support to institutions in the form of grants, through the Research Support Fund, formerly called the Indirect Costs Program, to assist with the costs associated with managing their research enterprise, helping them to maintain a world-class research environment. This program is necessary to build institutional capacity for the conduct of research and research-related activities, to maximize the investment of publicly funded academic research. This program helps to offset the central and departmental administrative costs that institutions incur in supporting research, which are not attributable to specific research projects, such as lighting and heating, maintenance of libraries, laboratories and research networking spaces; or for the technical support required for an institution’s website or library computer system, ultimately helping researchers concentrate on cutting-edge discoveries and scholarship excellence, and ensuring that federally funded research projects are conducted in world-class facilities with the best equipment and administrative support available. The program is administered by the SSHRC-hosted Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS) on behalf of the three research granting agencies.

Program Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

Grants to postsecondary institutions from the Research Support Fund equalled $340.4 million in 2015–16 and provided vital support to the academic research environment in Canada. In 2015–16, the Research Support Fund constituted 99.5 per cent of SSHRC’s grant expenditures under Strategic Outcome 2. The Research Support Fund partially offsets expenses for institutions by providing support in five categories: maintaining modern labs and equipment; providing access to up-to-date knowledge resources; providing research management and administrative support; meeting regulatory and ethical standards; or transferring knowledge from academia to the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.The impacts of Research Support Fund grants are both direct, through supporting research administration and grant writing, and indirect, by helping to maintain the infrastructure necessary to support new initiatives.

In 2013–14, the federal government conducted a review of the program in consultation with the postsecondary sector to ensure that the program was meeting its objective of reinforcing excellence in postsecondary research. The review generally identified strong support for the program and overall satisfaction with its current design parameters while proposing that institutional reporting measures be increased; the program was renamed Research Support Fund to better reflect intended outcomes. The 10th-year evaluation of the program was completed in 2014–15. It supported the review, finding that there is a continuing need for the program and that many contextual shifts have increased pressures on institutions conducting research. The evaluation further found that the program is consistent with federal and tri-agency priorities, as well as with federal roles and responsibilities.

In 2015–16, SSHRC completed the first cycle under the Research Support Fund name. The reporting structure for the program is still being revised.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015-16
Main Estimates
2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2015–16 Difference (actual minus planned)
341,675,018 341,686,408 340,726,254 340,666,298 1,020,110

*The variance is due to a transfer from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council to National Defence to support the indirect costs of federally-funded research at the Royal Military College of Canada and Royal Military College St-Jean.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
3 3 0

 

Performance Results
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Universities and colleges improve their overall ability to conduct research and recruit and retain world-class researchers  Percentage of institutions reporting general positive impacts of their grants in the attraction of additional funding 80 90
Percentage of institutions reporting general positive impacts of their grants in the attraction and retention of researchers 90 91

Internal Services

Description
Internal services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization, and not those provided to a specific program. The groups of activities are Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Program Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

In 2015–16, SSHRC identified and inventoried all internal data sets as part of the implementation of the Directive on Open Government, which responds to the Government of Canada’s goal of making government information more open. This activity is part of a phased approach to SSHRC’s Open Government Implementation Plan, which was made public in April 2016.

In 2015–16, SSHRC replaced the Human Resources Information System and the regional pay systems with the government-wide PeopleSoft solution called My GCHR and the Phoenix pay system. Both systems were open to employees and managers in May 2016.

In 2015–16, SSHRC used its analysis of the Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) results and an environmental scan to develop an action plan for improvement. Furthermore, SSHRC initiated the development of its 2016-2020 People Strategy Action Plan to sustain a thriving and successful workforce and workplace in support of its mandate based on the PSES results and the results of an employee consultation exercise, the development of an environmental scan and an executive retreat.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2015-16
Main Estimates
2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Total Authorities
Available for Use
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2015–16 Difference (actual minus planned)
16,142,936 15,726,364 17,344,625 12,370,089 -3,356,275

 

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents [FTEs])
2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
104 88 -16

The variance is due to a change in the allocation of internal services as per the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Guideline on the Attribution of Internal Services effective February 29, 2016.             



Section IV: Supplementary Information

Supporting Information on Lower-Level Programs

Supporting information on lower-level programs is available on the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s website.

Supplementary Information Tables

The following supplementary information tables are available on the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s website.

Federal Tax Expenditures

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance Canada publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures annually in the Report of Federal Tax Expenditures. This report also provides detailed background information on tax expenditures, including descriptions, objectives, historical information and references to related federal spending programs. The tax measures presented in this report are the responsibility of the Minister of Finance.

Organizational Contact Information

Matthew Lucas
Executive Director
Corporate Strategy and Performance
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

350 Albert Street
Ottawa, ON   K1P 6G4
Canada

Telephone: 613-944-6230
Email: matthew.lucas@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca


Appendix: Definitions

appropriation (crédit): Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

budgetary expenditures (dépenses budgétaires): Operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

Departmental Performance Report (rapport ministériel sur le rendement): Reports on an appropriated organization’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Reports on Plans and Priorities. These reports are tabled in Parliament in the fall.

full-time equivalent (équivalent temps plein): A measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person-year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.

Government of Canada outcomes (résultats du gouvernement du Canada): A set of 16 high-level objectives defined for the government as a whole, grouped in four spending areas: economic affairs, social affairs, international affairs and government affairs.

Management, Resources and Results Structure (Structure de la gestion, des ressources et des résultats): A comprehensive framework that consists of an organization’s inventory of programs, resources, results, performance indicators and governance information. Programs and results are depicted in their hierarchical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The Management, Resources and Results Structure is developed from the Program Alignment Architecture.

non-budgetary expenditures (dépenses non budgétaires): Net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

performance (rendement): What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve, and how well lessons learned have been identified.

performance indicator (indicateur de rendement): A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.

performance reporting (production de rapports sur le rendement): The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.

planned spending (dépenses prévues): For Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) and Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs), planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates.

A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their RPPs and DPRs.

plans (plan): The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.

priorities (priorité): Plans or projects that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s).

program (programme): A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.

Program Alignment Architecture (architecture d’alignement des programmes): A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.

Report on Plans and Priorities (rapport sur les plans et les priorités): Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated organizations over a three-year period. These reports are tabled in Parliament each spring.

results (résultat): An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.

statutory expenditures (dépenses législatives): Expenditures that Parliament has approved through legislation other than appropriation acts. The legislation sets out the purpose of the expenditures and the terms and conditions under which they may be made.

Strategic Outcome (résultat stratégique): A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.

sunset program (programme temporisé): A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.

target (cible): A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.

voted expenditures (dépenses votées): Expenditures that Parliament approves annually through an Appropriation Act. The Vote wording becomes the governing conditions under which these expenditures may be made.

Whole-of-government framework (cadre pangouvernemental): Maps the financial contributions of federal organizations receiving appropriations by aligning their Programs to a set of 16 government-wide, high-level outcome areas, grouped under four spending areas.



Footnotes

Footnote 1

Type is defined as follows: previously committed to—committed to in the first or second fiscal year prior to the subject year of the report; ongoing—committed to at least three fiscal years prior to the subject year of the report; and new—newly committed to in the reporting year of the Report on Plans and Priorities or the Departmental Performance Report.

Return to footnote 1 referrer