Aid to Small Universities

Warning This funding opportunity is not currently offered. For information on currently offered SSHRC funding opportunities, see Funding

Warning This funding opportunity is currently under review.

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December 2013 Competition

Overview
Value Up to $30,000 per year
Duration 3 years
Application deadline
December 1, 2013 (postmarked)
Results announced End of March 2014
Apply Application form not available

Description
Value and Duration
Eligibility
Application Process
Evaluation and Adjudication
Administrative Regulations and Related Information
Contact Information


Description

Aid to Small Universities grants enable small postsecondary institutions to develop and/or strengthen research capacity in a particular area of the social sciences and humanities. The research area to be developed will, ideally, have been identified as important within the institution’s current strategic plan. Results of the Aid to Small Universities grant funding should be achievable within the grant period. Aid to Small Universities funding is not to be used to facilitate the ongoing activities of the institution.
Aid to Small Universities funds may be used to support various activities but all must relate to the social sciences and humanities research area that has been chosen for development. Eligible costs and activities include:

  • costs associated with starting a research centre, such as personnel, research equipment, computer hardware and software, and supply costs (note: support for research centres is limited to a total of no more than six years);
  • direct costs of research;
  • faculty and student travel costs associated with research, collaboration or dissemination activities;
  • acquisition of research materials;
  • student salaries or stipends;
  • travel costs and stipends for visiting scholars;
  • travel, honoraria, hospitality, facility and equipment rental, and other administrative costs associated with organizing and holding a workshop, conference or seminar;
  • development of research-related tools of less than $7,000 in value; and
  • costs associated with developing partnerships or undertaking collaborative research.
Applicants requiring infrastructure funding to support research and/or related activities  may be eligible for support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). For more information, please visit the CFI website, or contact the CFI liaison officer at your institution.
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Value and Duration

The maximum value of an Aid to Small Universities grant is $90,000 over three years. A minimum request of $7,000 is required in at least one of the years. A maximum of $30,000 is available in a single year.


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Eligibility

Subject Matter

Aid to Small Universities applications may involve one to several of the disciplines, thematic areas, approaches or subject areas eligible for SSHRC funding. Please see Subject Matter Eligibility for more information.

Institutions

To be eligible to apply to the Aid to Small Universities funding opportunity, institutions must:

  • be a Canadian postsecondary institution eligible to administer SSHRC funds;
  • be an institutional member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and/or the Association of Canadian Community Colleges;
  • be independent of the federal government for the purpose of faculty employment status;
  • have fewer than 250 full-time faculty in SSHRC fields; and
  • hold active degree-granting status for social sciences and humanities disciplines at the undergraduate level or beyond.

Note: Institutes or organizations affiliated with a postsecondary institution that is itself too large to be eligible for an Aid to Small Universities grant, but which operate independently and in a substantially different cultural environment from that of their parent institution, may be eligible for Aid to Small Universities funding.

Multiple Applications

Institutions that have received a SSHRC institutional grant of any type but have failed to submit a final research or activity report by the deadline specified in the Notice of Award are not eligible to apply for another SSHRC institutional grant until they have submitted the report.

Monitoring

Aid to Small University grant holders will be expected to report on the use of grant funds, on research and related activities undertaken during the period of the grant, and on outcomes. Successful applicants will be informed of reporting requirements upon receiving their Notice of Award.


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Application Process

Applicants must complete the application form in accordance with the accompanying instructions. Applications must be submitted by mail to the following address, and be postmarked no later than December 1, 2013:

Aid to Small Universities
Research Portfolio
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
350 Albert Street
PO Box 1610
Ottawa, ON  K1P 6G4


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Evaluation and Adjudication

Aid to Small Universities applications are adjudicated, and funds are awarded, through a competitive process. The adjudication committee will be composed of senior administrators and/or scholars from postsecondary institutions. Participants in the review process are asked to evaluate and rank the proposals based on the evaluation criteria below.

SSHRC makes funding decisions based on the recommendations of the adjudication committee and on the funds available.

Evaluation Criteria and Scoring

The following criteria and the scoring scheme will be used by adjudication committee members to evaluate Aid to Small Universities applications:

  1. Challenge—The aim and importance of the endeavour (40%):

    • strategic value of the chosen research development area, and clarity of alignment between it and the institution’s strategic plan;
    • expected contribution to knowledge;
    • appropriateness of the methods/approach; and
    • potential influence and impact within and/or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community.
  2. Feasibility—The plan to achieve excellence (30%):

    • probability of effective and timely attainment of an increase in research capacity;
    • appropriateness of the requested budget and justification of proposed costs; and
    • indications of financial and in-kind contributions from other sources, as appropriate.

  3. Capability—The potential to succeed (30%):

    • indications of human, financial and institutional resources available and to be committed; and
    • where applicable, reported outputs and outcomes resulting from previous Aid to Small Universities funding.

Scoring table

Adjudication committee members assign a score for each of the three criteria listed above, based on the following scoring table. The appropriate weighting is then applied to arrive at a final score. Applications must receive a score of 3.0 or higher for each of the three criteria in order to be recommended for funding.

Score Descriptor
5-6 Very good - excellent
4-4.9 Good - very good
3-3.9 Satisfactory - good
Below 3 Unsatisfactory

Communication of results

Institutions will receive a notice of decision in March 2014.


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Administrative Regulations and Related Information

All applicants and grant holders must comply with the Regulations Governing Grant Applications and with the regulations set out in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.

For descriptions of SSHRC terms, see Definitions of Terms.


Contact Information

For more information about the Aid to Small Universities funding opportunity, or for advice on how to prepare your university’s application, please contact:

Sébastien Demers
Program Officer

Research Portfolio
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
350 Albert Street
PO Box 1610
Ottawa, ON  K1P 6G4

Email: sebastien.demers@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca
Tel.: 613-947-9657