Preparing an Insight Development Grants research-creation application

Who is research-creation for?

The Insight Development Grants funding opportunity invites artist-researchers—or teams of artists and researchers—affiliated with Canadian postsecondary institutions to apply for research grants of one or two years' duration, to support research-creation projects.

All applicants and participants must meet the funding opportunity’s eligibility criteria specific to their role in the project. Professional artists may participate as research collaborators, consultants and/or professional service providers, or participants. If artists are involved as paid consultants or participants, their fees should be in accordance with the principal investigator’s institutional requirements. Applicants should consult artist representation agencies, such as the Canadian Artists' Representation / Le Front des artistes canadiens, the Union des artistes, or the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, for more detailed information about artists’ fees.

What should I do?

Before submitting your proposal, determine whether your research falls within SSHRC’s mandate. First-time applicants may find it helpful to contact the research office of their institution or the program officer to clarify eligibility, assessment criteria or other details.

If working with new technologies, or within the scientific or architectural fields, applicants should take particular care to ensure their research falls within SSHRC's mandate and not that of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. The objectives and outcomes of the proposed project should be related to the social sciences and the humanities.

Clearly describe the creation process and expected artistic outputs.

Applicants should discuss with their research office any ethical considerations regarding research involving Aboriginal Peoples or, more broadly, research involving humans.

Proposals should contain both a developed scholarly apparatus and an integral connection to contemporary literary/artistic practices. A research-creation approach represents sustained, reflective research set directly and actively within the creation process itself. Research exclusively about the creation process or about literary/artistic productions, or creative work involving minimal scholarly investigation, would not be considered to fall within the scope of research-creation.

A research-creation proposal must:

  • address clear research questions;
  • offer theoretical contextualization within the relevant field(s) of inquiry;
  • present a well-considered methodological approach and creation process; and
  • include plans to produce an artwork as part of the proposed project.

Both the research and resulting artistic works must meet peer standards of excellence and be suitable for publication, public performance and/or viewing.

Proposed projects must meet the requirements outlined in the definition of research-creation, the funding opportunity description, the Regulations Governing Grant Applications, and this web page. It is the applicant’s responsibility to demonstrate that the proposed project is relevant for research-creation.

Applicants must show that their proposed project is well thought out and can be carried out as planned. Ensure that the theory and methodology are aligned with your proposal’s objectives, and that they contribute to the advancement of artistic practice or of the arts in general, and thereby to knowledge. Clearly demonstrate how the research informs the creation process, and how the creation process is integrated and relevant to the project.

Provide relevant background information. Do not presume that adjudication committee members are familiar with your work or the specific terminology and particularities of your field of specialization.

Be concise and to the point. Avoid lengthy, vague, general statements about your proposed project.

Who will assess my application?

Insight Development Grant applications are adjudicated by disciplinary, multidisciplinary, and/or thematic merit review committees, according to the number and nature of applications received, and taking into account information provide by the applicants. The committee that evaluates research-creation proposals includes artist-researchers. The committee is structured to ensure the representation of expert knowledge from a broad range of fields from the research community, as well as regional, linguistic, cultural and gender balance.

How will my application be assessed?

All applications must meet the Insight Development Grants evaluation criteria and the Insight program’s objectives. SSHRC Challenge, Feasibility and Capability evaluation criteria form the basis for the merit review committee’s decisions. Artistic merit and quality measures will be assessed according to the established standards of the discipline and the artistic practice. The Challenge, Feasibility and Capability criteria are applied to both research and artistic merit.

What should I include in the application?

Your application should include your:

  • application form;
  • curriculum vitae; and
  • support material.

What support material should I select for my application?

Support material is a mandatory part of your application. It is the equivalent of your portfolio, and should complement and strengthen the rest of your grant application.

Committees base their ratings of artistic merit on the support material and the evaluation criteria. Artwork provided should be examples of your previous and/or current work, and your artistic development. SSHRC highly recommends applicants submit research-creation support material in the form of an online digital portfolio. See SSHRC’s Guidelines for Research-Creation Support Materials.

Applicants should choose material that reflects the path of their artistic development and achievements, and shows their artistic promise. You should include recent work relevant to the grant application. You can also include some earlier work, to demonstrate for the committee your artistic growth and development.

Make sure that hyperlinks to your online support material work, and that the website is of the best possible quality. Provide the link and any related information in the support material section (one-page attachment) of the application form. Only websites whose links are provided in the support material attachment will be viewed during the adjudication process.

What are the last steps in preparing my application?

Make sure your text is free of spelling errors and that your budget is realistic and well justified.

Ensure that your application is complete. Incomplete applications are automatically ineligible.

Tip: Ask someone who has not previously read your application to read it and give you constructive criticism.

Submit your application to your institution’s research office by its internal deadline.