Connection Grants

Updated November 2015

Value $7,000 to $25,000 for events, and up to $50,000 for other outreach activities; higher amounts for outreach activities may be considered if well justified
Duration 1 year
Application deadlines February 1, May 1, August 1 and November 1
see chart below
Results announced At the end of each funding cycle (March, June, September and December)
Apply Web CV, application and instructions

* Note: If a deadline falls on a weekend or a Canadian public holiday, the online application system will remain open until 8 p.m. (eastern time) on the next business day.

Future Challenge Areas
Value and Duration
Application Process
Evaluation and Adjudication
Regulations, Policies and Related Information
Contact Information


Connection Grants support events and outreach activities geared toward short-term, targeted knowledge mobilization initiatives. These events and activities represent opportunities to exchange knowledge and to engage on research issues of value to those participating. Events and outreach activities funded by a Connection Grant may often serve as a first step toward more comprehensive and longer-term projects potentially eligible for funding through other SSHRC funding opportunities.

Connection Grants proposals are expected to meet the objectives of the Connection program.

Connection Grants support workshops, colloquiums, conferences, forums, summer institutes or other events or outreach activities that facilitate:

  • disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary exchanges in the humanities and social sciences;
  • scholarly exchanges between those working in the social sciences and humanities and those working in other research fields;
  • intersectoral exchanges between academic researchers in the humanities and social sciences and researchers and practitioners from the public, private and/or not-for-profit sectors; and/or
  • international research collaboration and scholarly exchanges between researchers, students and non-academic partners from other countries.

Note: Grant funding may be administered only by an eligible Canadian institution. However, the intellectual leadership and governance for Connection Grant activities may come from within the research community and/or from within the public, private and/or not-for-profit sectors.

Proposed Events and Outreach Activities

  • All activities must take place within 12 months of the date indicated on the notice of decision.
  • Proposed events and outreach activities must produce a timely and concrete deliverable, such as conference proceedings or other knowledge products developed for traditional formats and/or employing digital and/or multimedia formats (unless specifically intended to create new, longer-term linkages or to initiate collaboration).
  • Proposed events and outreach activities may be one-time encounters or catalysts designed to lead to longer-term partnerships and/or sustained programs of scholarly research.


Proposed events may be:

  • face-to-face or involve virtual interaction;
  • discipline-specific, or cross-disciplinary and/or cross-sectoral; and
  • open- or closed-invitation.

Face-to-face events, such as workshops and conferences, may be held in Canada or abroad. If a proposed event is to be held abroad, the applicant must adequately explain the event’s potential to mobilize Canadian research on an international level and why the event needs to be held outside Canada. Applicants must provide evidence that they are playing an active and significant role in the organization and delivery of the event. Suitable roles include, but are not limited to, organizing or co-organizing the event; or organizing and/or leading a formal session, workshop or other activity consistent with the objectives of the Connection program.

Other Outreach Activities

Proposed outreach activities must be designed to engage the broader public in humanities and social sciences knowledge through one or a combination of the following: knowledge dissemination, transfer, brokering, translation, synthesis, exchange, networking or co-creation. Proposed activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • adaptation (including translation, e.g., into French, English or aboriginal languages) of texts or presentations for the purpose of broader knowledge mobilization to different audiences;
  • development of policy briefs, knowledge syntheses and scoping reviews;
  • development of articles for print or online publication in newspapers or weekly or monthly magazines—whether specialized or general interest;
  • virtual networking;
  • media events (such as television/radio presentations);
  • public debates;
  • artistic exhibits, performances or festivals;
  • development/use of interactive technologies, audio-visual products or software; and/or
  • development/use of educational aids, instruments or equipment.

Participants and Audiences

Participants or audiences, in Canada and abroad, for both event and outreach activities, may include, among others, any of the following:

  • academic researchers;
  • non-academic researchers;
  • policy-makers;
  • professional practitioners;
  • representatives from organizations in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors;
  • representatives from community-based, local or regional non-academic organizations; and/or
  • students at all levels.

SSHRC welcomes applications involving Aboriginal research, as well as those involving research-creation.

Related opportunities

SSHRC and one of its partner organizations offer the following initiative that complements the Connection Grants funding opportunity:

  • Societal Implications of Disruptive Innovation in Genomics promotes social sciences and humanities research and related activities aimed at expanding understanding of the potential for new and emerging genomic innovations to affect society. Interested researchers should develop proposals related to this focus and submit their applications through funding opportunities offered under SSHRC’s Insight and Connection programs, or to relevant Knowledge Synthesis Grants competitions. For more information, see the Genome Canada website.


Future Challenge Areas

SSHRC invites all applicants to review Imagining Canada’s Future’s six future challenge areas and subquestions, and to consider addressing one or more of these areas in their research proposal. While this is not an evaluation criterion for merit review, research that addresses one or more of the future challenge areas further positions the value of the social sciences and humanities to meet Canada’s future, long-term societal challenges and opportunities.

SSHRC monitors research capacity in these areas, and develops and implements strategies and knowledge mobilization activities, including a series of Knowledge Synthesis Grants funding opportunities, to enhance the contribution of humanities and social sciences across the six challenge areas.


Value and Duration

For event Connection Grants, the maximum value is $25,000 over one year. The minimum request required is $7,000.

For Connection Grants for other outreach activities, SSHRC is willing to consider amounts higher than  $50,000, although such applications must satisfactorily justify the need for the higher amount, as well as provide evidence that the entire award can be managed within the one-year timeframe.

Matching Funds

SSHRC will not fund the full cost of any connection event or outreach activity. Additional support in the form of cash and/or in-kind contributions (excluding registration fees), equivalent to a minimum of 50 per cent of the amount requested from SSHRC, must come from sponsoring organizations. For example, an applicant asking SSHRC for $10,000 in funding will have to provide additional support equal to $5,000. SSHRC will consider only those funds stemming from sponsoring organizations in its calculations of matching funds; individual contributions will not be considered in the calculation of matching funds.

Applicants must demonstrate their ability to secure at least the minimum matching funding, by including letters of support from sponsoring organizations that clearly confirm the amounts and types of contributions the organizations are providing for the proposed event or activity (see SSHRC’s Guidelines for Cash and In-Kind Contributions for more details). Note that letters of support must come from sponsoring organizations, not from individuals.  

Applicants may draw on complementary funding from SSHRC research grants and/or other research funding agencies, but must make clear in their budget proposal that there is no duplication of financial support for the same budget expenses. While SSHRC funds may be used in this complementary way, these funds cannot be counted towards the 50 per cent requirement for matching funds.



Subject Matter

Most SSHRC funding is awarded through open competitions. Connection Grant proposals may involve any disciplines, thematic areas, approaches or subject areas eligible for SSHRC funding. Please see Subject Matter Eligibility for more information.


Applications may be submitted by institutions or individual applicants and teams.

  1. Institutional Connection Grants applications may be submitted by an institution to conduct an event or outreach activity, or series thereof, in order to attain strategic objectives relevant to the institution’s mission and mandate. Applications must be submitted by an eligible Canadian institution. The project director identified by the institution prepares the application on behalf of his/her institution (the applicant), and is responsible for the overall leadership of the project. Applicants / project directors on any project funded through a still-active SSHRC Connection Grant cannot be the project director for an institutional Connection Grant.

    Note: The term “institution” in this description refers to both postsecondary institutions and not-for-profit organizations.

  2. Individual Connection Grants may be submitted by an individual (applicant) or by a team (consisting of an applicant [project director] plus one or more co-applicants and/or collaborators) to conduct an event or outreach activity, or series thereof, that primarily falls within the applicant’s domain of expertise and that will, ultimately, allow them to make a significant contribution to their field of research. In the case of a team approach, all team members must meet the eligibility criteria specific to their role. Applicants/project directors on any project funded through a still-active SSHRC Connection Grant are not eligible to apply for an individual Connection Grant.

    Applicants (except postdoctoral fellows/researchers) must be affiliated with an eligible Canadian institution at the time of application. See Institutions below for more information on institutional eligibility requirements and processes for Connection Grants.

Researchers who maintain an affiliation with a Canadian postsecondary institution, but whose primary affiliation is with a non-Canadian postsecondary institution, are not eligible for applicant / project director status in a Connection Grants application.

Postdoctoral fellows/researchers are eligible to be applicants or project directors for a Connection Grant. However, in order for SSHRC to release grant funds, applicants/project directors must formally establish an affiliation with an eligible Canadian postsecondary institution within three months of the grant start date and maintain such an affiliation for the duration of the grant period.


Co-applicants may be individuals from any of the following:

  • Canadian: Postsecondary institutions; not-for-profit organizations; philanthropic foundations; think tanks; and municipal, territorial or provincial governments.
  • International: Postsecondary institutions.

Postdoctoral fellows/researchers are eligible to be co-applicants for a Connection Grant under the same conditions as those described under Applicants above.


Any individual who will make a significant contribution to the intellectual direction of the event or outreach activity is eligible to be a collaborator. Collaborators do not need to be affiliated with an eligible Canadian postsecondary institution.

Note that individuals from the private sector or federal government may only participate as collaborators.


Students are not eligible to apply for a Connection Grant. However, Connection Grant proposals led by students may be submitted, provided they involve both students and researchers and are submitted on behalf of the student by a faculty member at an eligible Canadian postsecondary institution.

Multiple applications

Individuals (applicants for individual Connection Grants and project directors for institutional Connection Grants) may apply for one Connection Grant per calendar year. An applicant may not apply for or hold more than one Connection Grant for the same event or outreach activity. Please refer to SSHRC’s regulations regarding multiple applications for more information.


All recipients of Connection Grants are required to submit an achievement report by the deadline specified in their Notice of Award. Individuals (applicants for individual Connection Grants, and project directors) who have received a SSHRC grant of any type but have failed to submit an achievement report by the deadline specified are not eligible to apply for another SSHRC grant until they have submitted the report.


Grant funds may only be administered by an eligible Canadian institution. Institutions proposing to administer any grant awarded under this funding opportunity must hold or obtain institutional eligibility. Please see SSHRC’s list of eligible institutions. Any institution that does not currently have institutional eligibility and wishes to administer SSHRC grants must meet the requirements to administer grants and awards, as outlined in the Institutional Eligibility Requirements for the Administration of Grants and Awards, and must contact SSHRC at least five business days prior to the application deadline to begin the eligibility process.

Once eligibility is granted, the institution is invited to become a signatory to the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions, which entails a commitment by the institution to adhere to the high legal, ethical and financial standards set out in the Agreement, and ensures that the institution has the necessary structures and processes in place to achieve this objective. Please note that SSHRC will not release funding to an institution before it becomes a signatory of the Agreement.

For questions related to institutional eligibility, or to receive an institutional eligibility application package, please contact SSHRC.


Connection Grant holders will be expected to report on the use of grant funds, on events and outreach 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.


Application Process

Applicants must complete the application form and follow the accompanying instructions. Applications must be submitted electronically by an authorized research grants officer from the applicant’s institution, or by a representative of the not-for-profit organization who has financial signing authority and is not participating in the project.

Postdoctoral researchers not currently affiliated with an eligible institution may submit their applications directly to SSHRC.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications well in advance of the start date of the proposed event or outreach activity. SSHRC makes Connection Grants funding decisions through a merit review process during four funding cycles per year, according to the following schedule:

Deadline Decision Date
May 1, 8:00 p.m. (eastern time) June 30
August 1, 8:00 p.m. (eastern time) September 30
November 1, 8:00 p.m. (eastern time) January 8
February 1, 8:00 p.m. (eastern time) March 31

Applicants should submit their application by the deadline corresponding to the decision date most appropriate to their project’s needs, keeping in mind that SSHRC cannot award a grant retroactively for an event or outreach activity that has taken place prior to the final funding decision.

Note: Once the 8:00 p.m. (eastern time) deadline has passed, the application server will be offline for 48 hours and will not be able to accept any additional applications. The application server will come back online after that 48-hour period, ready to accept applications for the next competition deadline.


Evaluation and Adjudication

Connection Grant applications are adjudicated, and available funds are awarded, through a merit review process. SSHRC makes funding decisions based on the recommendations of the adjudication committee and on the funds available. Committee discussions will be guided by the principle of minimum essential funding.

SSHRC’s Guidelines for the Merit Review of Aboriginal Research are relevant for researchers applying for a SSHRC grant to conduct events or outreach activities related to Aboriginal research. SSHRC provides these guidelines to merit reviewers to help build general understanding of Aboriginal research, and to assist committee members in interpreting SSHRC’s specific Challenge, Feasibility and Capability evaluation criteria in the context of Aboriginal research. SSHRC relies on a community of merit reviewers with experience and expertise in Aboriginal research to judge the extent to which the guidelines may be applied to a particular proposal. The guidelines may also be of use to external assessors, postsecondary institutions and partner organizations that support Aboriginal research.

Evaluation Criteria and Scoring

The following criteria and scoring scheme are used to evaluate Connection Grant applications:

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

    • appropriateness of the proposal in meeting the objectives of the Connection program;
    • expected contribution to the preservation of, access to and/or mobilization of research knowledge;
    • appropriateness of the approach;
    • evidence of the quality and significance of the research being mobilized;
    • quality of training and mentoring to be provided to students, emerging scholars and other highly qualified personnel, and opportunities for them to contribute;
    • potential for the project results to have influence and impact within and/or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community.

  2. Feasibility—The plan to achieve excellence (30%)

    • probability that the objectives will be met within the timeline proposed;
    • appropriateness of the requested budget, and justification of proposed costs;
    • indications of other planned resources (time, human and financial), including leveraging of cash and in-kind support from the applicant’s institution and/or from other sources;
    • quality and appropriateness of the knowledge mobilization plans, including effective dissemination, exchange, and engagement with stakeholders within and/or beyond the research community, where applicable; and
    • appropriateness of the strategies for conducting the activity/activities proposed.

  3. Capability—The expertise to succeed (30%)

    • quality, quantity and significance of past experience and published and/or creative outputs of the applicant / project director and any co-applicants relative to their roles in the event or activity and to their respective stages of career;
    • evidence of other knowledge mobilization activities (e.g., films, performances, commissioned reports, knowledge syntheses, experience in collaboration/other interactions with stakeholders, contributions to public debate and the media) and of impacts on professional practice, social services and policies, etc.;
    • evidence of contributions to the development of talent; and
    • potential of the applicant / project director and any co-applicants to make future contributions.

Scoring table
Reviewers assign a score for each of the three criteria (challenge, feasibility, capability), 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

Research offices will be informed of the competition results pertaining to their applicants by way of SSHRC’s secure site. Applicants from not for profit organizations will be informed of the competition results by email.


Regulations, Policies 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.

Grant holders must also comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. See SSHRC’s Open Access overview for more information.  SSHRC also encourages researchers to manage data arising from their research in accordance with both community standards and best practices.

Guidelines and related support material

All applicants for SSHRC funding should consult the following guidelines while preparing their applications:


Contact Information

For more information about the Connection Grants funding opportunity, please contact:

Tel.: 613-943-1007