Partnership Grants Formal Application
November 2012 Competition
||Stage 1: Letter of Intent Up to $20,000
Stage 2: Formal Application (by invitation)
Requests for support from SSHRC would typically be in the range of $500,000 to $2.5 million, with lower or higher amounts considered
||4 to 7 years
||November 1, 2012 (Closed)
||Web CV, application and instructions
Value and Duration
Evaluation and Adjudication
Administrative Regulations and Related Information
Partnership Grant proposals are expected to respond to the objectives of the Insight program or the Connection program, or a combination thereof. Please see the Insight and Connection program descriptions for more details.
|The objectives of the Insight program are to:
||The objectives of the Connection program are to:
- build knowledge and understanding from disciplinary, interdisciplinary and/or cross-sector perspectives through support for the best researchers;
- support new approaches to research on complex and important topics, including those that transcend the capacity of any one scholar, institution or discipline;
- provide a high-quality research training experience for students;
- fund research expertise that relates to societal challenges and opportunities; and
- mobilize research knowledge, to and from academic and non-academic audiences, with the potential to lead to intellectual, cultural, social and economic influence, benefit and impact.
- facilitate the multidirectional flow of social sciences and humanities knowledge among researchers and between the campus and the larger community, in order to enhance intellectual, cultural, social and economic influence, benefit, and impact;
- increase the accessibility and use of social sciences and humanities research knowledge among academic and non-academic audiences;
- support the building of reciprocal relationships among social sciences and humanities researchers, and between social sciences and humanities researchers and those in a position to either co-create or use research knowledge;
- support the development of social sciences and humanities research networks and tools designed to facilitate scholarly work; and
- make such networks and tools more accessible to non-academic audiences.
Partnership Grants provide support for new and existing formal partnerships over four to seven years to advance research and/or knowledge mobilization in the social sciences and humanities through mutual co-operation and sharing of intellectual leadership, as well as through resources as evidenced by cash and/or in-kind contributions.
A formal partnership is a bilateral or multilateral formal collaboration agreement between an applicant and one or more partners, of which at least one must be a Canadian postsecondary institution and at least one must be different from the institution or organization that will administer the grant funds. Partnerships may be between academic institutions, or between one or more academic institutions and one or more non-academic partners. These partners agree and commit to work collaboratively to achieve shared goals for mutual benefit. Partners must provide evidence attesting to the commitment that has been agreed upon. For more information, see the definitions for formal partnership and partner.
It is expected that students and new scholars will meaningfully participate in proposed initiatives. The quality of training, mentoring and employability plans for students and emerging scholars will be evaluated as an important part of the proposed initiative.
SSHRC invites applicants and their partners who wish to propose formal disciplinary, interdisciplinary, interinstitutional, international and/or cross-sector partnership arrangements to apply for support through this funding opportunity. Funds are available to support a variety of formal partnership initiatives in all of the disciplines and themes eligible for funding at SSHRC.
The intellectual leadership and governance for a new or existing formal partnership may come from within the research community and/or from partners from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. However, the grant funding, once awarded, may only be administered by an eligible institution (see information on eligibility below).
Within the Partnership Grants funding opportunity, there are two distinct categories of partnerships that may request support: existing and new.
Existing partnerships: Support to foster new research and/or research-related partnership activities that are distinct from the partnership’s previous/ongoing partnership activities.
New partnerships: Support to foster new research and/or research-related partnership activities that are undertaken by partnerships in their initial stages.
Partnership funding is intended for larger teams working in formal collaboration between postsecondary institutions and/or organizations of various types.
Applicants whose projects or activities are still at the developmental stage are encouraged to apply to the Partnership Development Grants competition.
Researchers working individually or in smaller, less formal teams are encouraged to apply for Insight Grants. For scholars interested in carrying out research in its initial stages, SSHRC also provides short-term support by way of its Insight Development Grants.
Following is a list of possible formal partnership approaches. Applicants are in no way limited to these approaches, and are welcome to combine some of the features described.
Disciplinary and interdisciplinary research partnerships: Disciplinary and interdisciplinary interinstitutional research initiatives designed to make a significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge and understanding in the humanities and/or social sciences. While SSHRC welcomes proposals for interdisciplinary research partnerships involving natural sciences, engineering and/or health partners, proposed partnerships of this nature must adhere to SSHRC’s policy regarding the eligibility of subject matter.
Cross-sector co-creation of knowledge and understanding: Partnerships between postsecondary institution(s) and non-academic sector partner(s) designed to foster innovative research, training and the co-creation of new knowledge on critical issues of intellectual, social, economic and cultural significance through a process of ongoing collaboration and mutual learning.
Networks for research and/or related activities:
Networks between scholars, academic institutions and/or other partners (e.g., private sector partners, foundations, think tanks, etc.) designed to advance the innovative co-creation of knowledge, as well as training and mobilization of research, on critical issues of intellectual, social, economic and cultural significance.
Partnered knowledge mobilization: Partnerships designed to synthesize, apply and mobilize new and existing social sciences research knowledge in accessible ways in order to build institutional capacity and to increase the national and international impact and stature of Canadian research.
Partnered chairs: Partnerships between academic institutions and non-academic partners (e.g., private sector partner, foundation, government partner, etc.) or between two or more academic institutions to nominate research chairs designed to advance research and/or related activities in a specific area in the social sciences and/or humanities. Chair partners pool financial resources and suggest an amount of funds required from SSHRC. Proposals must demonstrate that a formal agreement exists between the partners to maintain the chair position for a minimum period of four years. Proposals must include the name of the proposed chairholder.
For more information, please see SSHRC’s Guidelines for Partnered Chairs.
Partnered research centres: Partnerships between an academic institution and non-academic partners (e.g., private sector partner, foundation, etc.) or between two or more institutions to create or support a research centre designed to advance research and/or related activities in a specific area in the social sciences and/or humanities. Partners pool financial resources and suggest an amount of funds required from SSHRC. Proposals must demonstrate that a formal agreement exists between the partners to maintain the centre for a minimum period of four years.
Applicants requiring infrastructure funding to support their research may be eligible for support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Leaders Opportunity Fund. For more information, please visit the CFI website or contact the CFI liaison officer at your institution.
Value and Duration
Partnership Grants undergo a two-stage adjudication process, involving a letter of intent and a formal application. Only applicants successful at the letter of intent stage will be invited to submit a formal application.
Stage 1: Letter of Intent
Applicants successful at the letter of intent stage will be offered a grant worth up to $20,000 to help in the preparation of the formal application—i.e., to further refine the question(s) to be addressed; to establish partnership arrangements, governance structure and/or approach/methodology; and to consolidate their collaborative activities.
Stage 2: Formal Application
Partnership Grants are typically valued at $500,000 to $2.5 million over four to seven years. Requests outside this range will also be considered.
Salary Research Allowance
Partnership Grants applicants and co-applicants from eligible not-for-profit organizations may request a salary research allowance to release them from duties to their organization.
Most SSHRC funding is awarded through open competitions. Partnership 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 must be submitted by an eligible Canadian institution. The project director prepares the application on behalf of his/her host institution (the applicant), and on behalf of the partners.
Note: The term “institution” from hereon in this description refers to both postsecondary institutions and not-for-profit organizations.
Project directors who have received a SSHRC grant of any type but have failed to submit a final research report by the deadline specified in their Notice of Award are not eligible to be a project director on a Partnership Grant or apply for another SSHRC grant until they have submitted the report.
Grant funds may only be administered by an eligible Canadian institution. Please see SSHRC’s list of eligible institutions.
Any institution that does not currently have institutional eligibility and wishes to administer SSHRC grants must apply for, and be granted, institutional eligibility. 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's schedules, 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
For questions related to institutional eligibility, or to receive an institutional eligibility application package, please contact SSHRC's Corporate Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are three categories of individual participants for Partnership Grants:
The project director must be affiliated with the host institution (the applicant).
Postdoctoral fellows/researchers are eligible to be project directors for a Partnership Grant. However, in order for SSHRC to release grant funds, project directors must formally establish an affiliation with an eligible institution within five months of the grant start date, and maintain such an affiliation for the duration of the grant period.
Students can be project directors on a Partnership Grant if they:
- will have met all requirements for their degree before the grant is awarded, including all course work and successful defence of their dissertation, if applicable;
- establish a formal affiliation with an eligible institution within five 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; and municipal, territorial or provincial governments.
- International: Postsecondary institutions.
Any individual who will make a significant contribution to the research initiative 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.
Partners may be Canadian or international institutions or organizations (public, private, not-for-profit) of any type.
Please refer to SSHRC’s regulations regarding multiple applications for more information.
Partnership 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.
Stage One: Letter of Intent
Applicants must complete the application form (available under Apply once the Partnership Grants letter of intent stage competition opens) by following the accompanying instructions. Applications must be submitted electronically by an authorized research grants officer from the host institution or by a representative of the not-for-profit organization who has financial signing authority and is not participating in the project.
Stage Two: Formal Application
Only those applicants who are successful at the letter of intent stage will be invited to submit a formal application.
Applications must be submitted electronically by an authorized research grants officer from the host institution or by a representative of the not-for-profit organization who has financial signing authority and is not participating in the project.
Applicants for Partnership Grants must demonstrate the following within their application:
Quality and commitment of formal partnerships
Applicants will be expected to include relevant documentation to allow for an informed evaluation of the quality and level of commitment of the proposed formal partnerships.
If invited to submit a formal application, applicants will be required to include evidence of formal partnership in their application. This evidence may include, but is not limited to:
- governance frameworks;
- strategic plans;
- intellectual property agreements; and/or
- letters of participation and engagement.
Institutional and partner contributions
Stage 1—Letter of Intent: Applicants at the letter of intent stage are expected to include a proposed plan to secure, over and above the budget requested from SSHRC, a minimum of 35 per cent in additional resources from sources other than SSHRC during the life of the grant (four to seven years). As an example, if $1 million is requested from SSHRC, a minimum of $350,000 in additional cash and/or in-kind support must be secured from partners, resulting in an actual total project budget of $1,350,000. SSHRC recognizes that the project can grow beyond that amount as additional partners become involved over the life of the grant.
Stage 2—Formal Application: Applicants invited to submit a formal application are required to demonstrate that they have already begun to confirm the 35 per cent minimum additional cash and/or in-kind contributions, and to indicate how they will secure the remaining resources during the life of the grant. The administering institution will be required to submit reports documenting both the engagement of their partners and their progress in meeting the requirements for partner contributions. By the mid-term evaluation (halfway through the grant period), the minimum contribution of 35 per cent over and above the budget requested from SSHRC at the time of the formal application must be confirmed for the remainder of the award period. In the event that this amount is not secured by that time, SSHRC will withhold the remaining grant payments until it receives confirmation that the minimum additional contributions have been secured.
For more information, please see the SSHRC Guidelines for Cash and In-kind Contributions.
Evaluation and Adjudication
Partnership Grant applications are adjudicated, and available funds are awarded, through a competitive process. For general information on SSHRC’s adjudication process, see the Peer Review section of SSHRC’s website.
Applications for Partnership Grants are adjudicated as follows:
Stage One: Letter of Intent
- Letter of intent applications are adjudicated by a multidisciplinary committee that includes relevant expertise from the academic community, as well as research expertise from the public, private and/or not-for-profit sectors.
- Applications successful at the letter of intent stage are awarded a grant of up to $20,000 for the period during which the full proposal is prepared.
Stage Two: Formal Application
- Expert review: The expert review process is designed to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each of the full proposals in relation to the assessment criteria. The assessment of each proposal will be tailored to the nature and complexity of the proposal. SSHRC will seek, but cannot guarantee, three to six experts to review and comment on each proposal, depending on the size of budget requested. Wherever possible, panels of experts will review small groups of similar or related proposals. Written external reviews may be used where expert committee review is not possible or where supplementary insights are required.
- Full proposals are adjudicated by a multidisciplinary committee that includes relevant expertise from the academic community, as well as research expertise from the public, private and/or not-for-profit sectors. The committee reviews the full applications, reports from expert reviews, and, based on an assessment of relative merit, provides funding recommendations to SSHRC. The review process may involve an interview. The selection committee will be asked to ensure that the applications recommended for funding provide for a rich portfolio of investments of various sizes within the Insight and/or Connection programs and across diverse fields and approaches to partnered research and related activities.
SSHRC makes funding decisions based on the recommendations of the adjudication committee and on the funds available.
SSHRC continues to recognize the value of research throughout all of the social sciences and humanities, as well as in its current priority areas. Applicants are asked to indicate in their application form whether their research falls within one of SSHRC’s priority areas. This information is gathered for reporting purposes and may also assist SSHRC in identifying applications for either additional support, a more tailored adjudication, or both.
Please read the priority area descriptions carefully to determine whether your intended proposal is relevant to one of them. Applicants who, in their application, have identified their proposal as related to one of SSHRC’s priority areas must complete a one-page Statement of Alignment describing the proposal’s relevance to the priority area. The Statement of Alignment is intended only to verify consistency with the priority areas, and will not be used in assessing the merit of the proposal.
If it is determined that a proposal is not aligned with the parameters of the priority area, the proposal will nevertheless remain eligible within the Partnership Grants funding opportunity.
Evaluation Criteria and Scoring
The following criteria and scoring scheme are used by the adjudication committees to evaluate Partnership Grant applications:
- Challenge—The aim and importance of the endeavour (40%):
- originality, significance and expected contribution to knowledge;
- appropriateness of the literature review;
- appropriateness of the theoretical approach or framework;
- appropriateness of the methods/approach (including the co-creation of knowledge);
- quality of training and mentoring to be provided to students, emerging scholars and other highly qualified personnel, and opportunities for them to contribute;
- potential influence and impact within and/or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community; and
- potential for long-term viability and identification of progress indicators.
- Feasibility—The plan to achieve excellence (30%):
- probability of effective and timely attainment of the proposal’s objectives;
- quality and genuineness of the formal partnership and associated management and governance arrangements and leadership, including involvement of partners and others in the design and conduct of the research and/or related activities;
- 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 host institution and/or from partners;
- quality of the knowledge mobilization plans, including effective dissemination and exchange, and plans to engage within and/or beyond the research community; and
- strategies and timelines for the design and conduct of the activity/activities proposed.
- Capability—The expertise to succeed (30%):
- quality, quantity and significance of the contributions and commitment of the host institution and partners to the proposed endeavour and of the institutional role and experience in collaboration and formal partnership;
- quality, quantity and significance of past experience and published outputs of the project director and/or team members relative to their role in the partnership, and to the stage of their career;
- evidence of contributions such as commissioned reports, professional practice, public discourses, public policies, products and services, development of talent, experience in collaboration, etc.;
- experience in formal partnerships; and
- potential to make future contributions.
Adjudication committee members assign a score for each of the three criteria based on the scoring table below. 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.
Not recommended for funding
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. All applicants will receive, together with their SSHRC Notice of Award, feedback on their application.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions about Partnership Development Grants and Partnership Grants
For more information about this funding opportunity, or for advice on how to prepare your application, please contact: