Frequently Asked Questions about the Application Process—Doctoral Awards

For the latest and most up-to-date information regarding the Doctoral Awards funding opportunity, see Upcoming Deadlines and the funding opportunity description.


  1. Is my proposed research eligible for SSHRC funding?
  2. Where can I find detailed instructions on how to apply?
  3. Can I apply directly to SSHRC if I miss my Canadian university’s internal application deadline?
  4. If I must apply directly to SSHRC, does my application need to be received by SSHRC before the application deadline?
  5. What if I don't know which university I will be attending?
  6. Can I include a publication in my Bibliography/Citations if it has been accepted for publication, but has not yet been published?
  7. Should my conference presentation be listed as a refereed or non-refereed contribution?
  8. Can I open the Letters of Appraisal filled out by my referees?
  9. Do I need a Departmental Appraisal?
  10. Can I update my application after submission?
  11. What is the SSHRC mailing address?
  12. Who evaluates the applications?
  13. On what criteria will my application be evaluated?
  14. Can I have feedback from the committee about my score?
  15. How is my score calculated?
  16. I am on a waiting list / recommended but not funded. What does this mean?
  17. Is the award renewable?
  18. How many times can I apply?
  19. Can I change my university?
  20. Can I request a change of start date?
  21. Can I work while I hold the award?
  22. Can I hold other awards simultaneously?



1. Is my proposed research eligible for SSHRC funding?

Due to recent changes in eligibility of subject matter (particularly related to health and psychology research), we advise you to review the subject matter guidelines to ensure that you are applying to the appropriate agency. If upon reviewing the guidelines you are still unsure, you may send a copy of your program of study to fellowships@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca to enable SSHRC staff to provide a preliminary assessment of your program of study’s eligibility. However, please note that a final decision on eligibility can only be made following submission of a full proposal.

2. Where can I find detailed instructions on how to apply?     

You must create an online account on SSHRC’s web-based forms site and log on. Once you have started your application, you can click the Instructions tab at the top of the page for more details. You can also review the What’s in an application? page for Doctoral Awards.

3. Can I apply directly to SSHRC if I miss my Canadian university’s internal application deadline?

No. You can only apply directly to SSHRC if you are not eligible to apply through your university.

4. If I must apply directly to SSHRC, does my application need to be received by SSHRC before the application deadline?

Applications submitted directly to SSHRC must be postmarked by the deadline date.

5. What if I don't know which university I will be attending?   

Indicate your first choice. If your Doctoral Awards application is successful, you can update your university of tenure upon activation of the award.

6. Can I include a publication in my Bibliography/Citations if it has been accepted for publication, but has not yet been published?

Yes. You may list publications accepted for publication along with their intended publication date. Please do not list publications that have been submitted but have not yet been accepted for publication.

7. Should my conference presentation be listed as a refereed or non-refereed contribution?

Refereed contributions have gone through the peer review process before publication or presentation. A refereed work has been assessed in its entirety (i.e., has not been assessed merely on the basis of an abstract or extract).

8. Can I open the Letters of Appraisal filled out by my referees?

No. You must include your letters in their sealed envelopes.

9. Do I need a Departmental Appraisal?

If you are applying through a Canadian university, you must include a Departmental Appraisal as part of your application. Do not include this form if you are applying directly to SSHRC.

10. Can I update my application after submission?

You cannot update your application after the deadline. We do, however, ask that you provide any updates to your personal contact information by emailing fellowships@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca.

11. What is the SSHRC mailing address?

If you must apply directly to SSHRC, submit your completed application to:

By mail:
Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
350 Albert Street
P.O. Box 1610
Ottawa, ON  K1P 6G4

By messenger or courier:
Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Room 1663
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, ON  K1A 1H5
Tel.: 613-996-3078



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Selection Process

12. Who evaluates the applications?

Your application will be screened by SSHRC program staff for eligibility. Eligible applications are evaluated by members of a multidisciplinary and bilingual committee of academics from across the country, in an independent peer review process.

13. On what criteria will my application be evaluated?

Your applications will be evaluated on the Evaluation Criteria listed in the Doctoral Awards funding opportunity description.

14. Can I have feedback from the committee about my score?

No such feedback is provided. In view of the large number of applications, committee members are not asked to provide written appraisals of individual applications, nor is a record kept of consensus judgments about the strengths or weaknesses of individual applications.

15. How is my score calculated?

Each reader assigns your application a relative score from 1 to 10. These scores combined equal your final score.



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Results

16. I am on a waiting list / recommended but not funded. What does this mean?

This means that your application was ranked highly enough for your name to be placed on a list of candidates recommended for an award in the event that additional funds become available, but that you have not received an award. In the event that a Doctoral Award is declined, SSHRC will use the waiting list / recommended but not funded list to replace the original recipient with an alternate. These lists are committee-specific. Should an award become available, SSHRC will contact the next eligible alternate candidate by email.

17. Is the award renewable?

No. Each award is a non-renewable offer that cannot be repeated or extended.

18. How many times can I apply?

As long as you are eligible, you may continue to apply once a year. Please note that prior results are confidential and not shared.

19. Can I change my university?

Yes. If you have not yet activated your award, simply indicate on your Payment Activation Form where you will hold the award, and SSHRC will update the information accordingly. If you have already activated your award, please see the appropriate Award Holder’s Guide for more information.

If you have already activated your award and are changing university, SSHRC will approve a transfer only if credit for prior studies has been granted by the new university.

20. Can I request a change of start date?

Yes, you may send a request for change of start date to fellowships@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca and SSHRC will contact you.

21. Can I work while I hold the award?

SSHRC expects award holders to devote the majority of their time to the timely completion of their degree programs. As a guideline in this context, SSHRC strongly suggests that award holders limit their number of hours of employment per 12-month period to 450. Canadian universities may, however, set their own guidelines. Please contact your university for further information.

You may not hold full-time employment during any period of time in which you hold the award. For more information, see the appropriate Award Holder’s Guide.

22. Can I hold other awards simultaneously?

You may not concurrently hold an award from SSHRC and another federal granting agency (the Canadian Institutes of Health Research or the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council). We do not limit awards from other sources (e.g., foreign sources, Canadian provinces, private organizations, your university), regardless of value. For more information, see the Eligibility section of the Doctoral Awards funding opportunity description, and the guidelines regarding multiple applications.