What’s in an application?—SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships

A SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships application consists of the following documents:

  1. Completed web-based SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships application form
  2. Completed SSHRC online CV
  3. Non-Tenure Teaching Appointment Letter (if applicable)
  4. Program of Work (maximum four pages)
  5. Bibliography and Citations (maximum ten pages)
  6. Tenure Location Justification (if applicable, maximum one page)
  7. Letters of Appraisal (two letters)
  8. Research Appraisal
  9. Institutional Nomination and Commitment
  10. Allowable Inclusions (if applicable, maximum one page)
  11. Research Contributions (maximum two pages)
  12. Supplement and/or Joint Initiative Justification pages (if applicable, maximum one page per justification)

Note: Your application cannot be submitted without all supporting documentation.

Applicants requiring assistance while preparing their application are encouraged to communicate with SSHRC’s Research Training Portfolio well in advance of the application deadline.

1. Completed web-based SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships application form

A completed application should address all evaluation criteria presented in the funding opportunity description.

The SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships application form consists of the following sections:

  • application title;
  • preferred adjudication committee;
  • supplements (if applicable);
  • joint initiatives (if applicable);
  • teaching appointment (see “3. Non-tenure Appointment Letter” below, if applicable); and
  • applicant information (information listed here is shared with the SSHRC online CV discussed below, although a different affiliation can be entered here if necessary);
  • Aboriginal research; and
  • declaration on Aboriginal identity (optional).

2. Completed SSHRC online CV

Complete this form and ensure that all information is accurate and up-to-date.

3. Non-Tenure Teaching Appointment Letter (if applicable)

If you hold a teaching appointment of any kind, you must upload to your application a letter from a university official confirming that you do not hold a tenure or tenure-track position. Please note that we will also accept a scanned copy of your contract. Neither the letter nor the contract will be visible to committee members.

4. Program of Work (maximum four pages)

You must upload a copy of your program of work to your application. In writing your proposal, remember that you are addressing a multidisciplinary evaluation committee. Avoid jargon, acronyms and highly technical terms.

You must also ensure that your program of work includes the following:

  • State the title and subject of your doctoral thesis and discuss the relationship of your doctoral thesis to your proposed research. If the two areas of research are closely related, explain how your proposed research will develop or expand your thesis. If the areas of research are not related, describe your proposed area of research.
  • Outline your plans for achieving your research objectives. Clearly describe your theoretical approach and your methodology.
  • Justify your choice of the proposed university or research institution.
  • If applicable, indicate any other institution with which you will be affiliated, and provide a justification.
  • If your proposed research is related to health or psychology, justify your submission of this proposal to SSHRC (rather than to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research or Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council), based on SSHRC’s Subject Matter Eligibility guidelines. If in doubt about the eligibility of your proposed research, consult SSHRC staff prior to submission of your application.
  • If yours is a research-creation project, indicate clearly the research component of your proposed work. Outline the objectives of your research, the context, methodology and contribution to the advancement of knowledge.

5. Bibliography and Citations (maximum ten pages)

You must provide:

  • a bibliography for your proposed program of work (do not include endnotes); and
  • bibliographic details for all citations included in your program of work (ensure that they are clear and complete, to allow reviewers to locate the sources easily).

6. Tenure Location Justification (only if applicable, maximum one page)

If you are proposing to remain at the same university where you received your PhD, use this space to explain this decision.

Note: If you are proposing to affiliate with a different institution than the one where you received your PhD, the Tenure Location Justification page will not be accepted. It will subsequently be removed from the application and will not be submitted to the committee for review.

7. Letters of Appraisal (two letters)

One of the two letters of appraisal must be completed by an acknowledged specialist (i.e., a professor who is familiar with your proposed area of research), and the other by someone who can comment on your past and potential contribution to research (normally, your PhD supervisor).

In both letters, referees must assess and comment on the following:

Applicant’s track record

  • past and potential contributions to scholarly research; and
  • importance to the discipline of the journals in which the applicant has published, and/or the candidate’s prospects for publication.

Applicant’s program of work

  • originality;
  • significance and feasibility;
  • strengths and weaknesses of the proposed program of work;
  • appropriateness of the proposed institutional affiliation; and
  • applicant’s proficiency in the foreign language(s) necessary to pursue the program of work (if applicable).

Comments should focus on the proposal, its theoretical framework, the relation of the proposal to the field, and the methodology.

8. Research Appraisal

The Research Appraisal form must be completed by the proposed research supervisor at the institution where you plan to hold your award.

The research supervisor must describe:

  • how your project relates to the research interests and strengths of your proposed department;
  • how he or she will serve as a mentor; and
  • what you will be able to offer as a research fellow.

Note: If you intend to be supervised by more than one person, you must select one supervisor who will be responsible for completing this form. You may provide information about the additional supervisor in your Program of Work.

9. Institutional Nomination and Commitment

The Institutional Nomination and Commitment form must:

  • be completed by the head of the department or their designate at your proposed institution of affiliation.

Host institutions will be asked to outline how they will support effective research training and career development for the applicant, based on SSHRC’s Guidelines for Effective Research Training.

Note: If you propose to affiliate with an additional institution, you must identify one place of affiliation that will be responsible for completing this form. You may provide information about the additional affiliation in your Program of Work.

10. Allowable Inclusions (if applicable, maximum one page)

SSHRC asks its adjudication committees to take into consideration special circumstances that may have affected candidates’ research, professional career, record of academic or research achievement, or completion of degrees. Relevant circumstances might include administrative responsibilities, parental leave, childrearing, illness, cultural or community responsibilities, socio-economic context, or health-related family responsibilities. Please specify the dates for any delays or interruptions.

11. Research Contributions (maximum 2 pages)

You must upload a document listing your research contributions. Provide details, as appropriate, on the contributions you listed, as follows:

  • In the left margin, identify refereed publications with an "R". A refereed work is assessed:
    • in its entirety—not merely an abstract or extract;
    • before publication; and
    • by appropriately independent, anonymous, qualified experts. ("Independent" in this context means at arm's length from the author.)
  • Specify your role in co-authored publications.
  • For published contributions, provide complete bibliographic details (including co-authors, title, publisher, journal, volume, date of publication, page numbers, number of pages, etc.) as they appear in the original publication.
  • For publications in languages other than French or English, provide a translation of the title and the name of the publication.

Supplement and/or Joint Initiative (if applicable, maximum one page each)

If you wish to be considered for a supplement and/or joint or special initiative, and meet the eligibility criteria, you must select the supplement and/or joint or special initiative from the drop-down menu. Please provide a maximum one-page justification per supplement and joint or special initiative selected. Information on supplements and joint or special initiatives is available on SSHRC's website.