February 2016 Competition
||Stage 1: Letter of Intent Up—to $20,000
Stage 2: Formal Application (by invitation)—Maximum $500,000 per year, up to$2.5 million in total
||4 to 7 years
|Application deadline *
(8 p.m. eastern)
|February 15, 2016
||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
Evaluation and Adjudication
Regulations, Policies 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. Proposals exclusively for partnered research training initiatives are expected to respond, instead, to the objectives of the Talent program. Please see the Insight, Connection and Talent program descriptions for more details.
|The objectives of the Insight program are to:
||The objectives of the Connection program are to:
||The objectives of the Talent 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.
- support the development of the best or most promising highly qualified personnel with social sciences and humanities research and professional skills;
- support the best or most promising social sciences and humanities students and postdoctoral fellows selected through an adjudication process;
- support students and scholars in gaining exposure to international social sciences and humanities scholarship; and
- mobilize social sciences and humanities knowledge that has the potential to lead to intellectual, cultural, social and economic influence, benefit and impact.
Partnership Grants provide support for new and existing formal partnerships over four to seven years to advance research, research training 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.
Partnership Grants are intended for large teams working in formal collaboration between postsecondary institutions and/or organizations of various types.
A formal partnership is a bilateral or multilateral formal collaboration agreement between an applicant and one or more partner organizations, 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 partner organizations. These partner organizations agree and commit to work collaboratively to achieve shared goals for mutual benefit. Partner organizations must provide evidence attesting to the commitment that has been agreed upon. For more information, see the definitions for formal partnership and partner organization.
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.
The intellectual leadership and governance for a new or existing formal partnership may come from within the research community and/or from partner organizations from the public, private and not for profit sectors. However, the grant funding, once awarded, may only be administered by an eligible institution (see also Regulations, Policies and Related Information below).
SSHRC welcomes applications involving Aboriginal research, as well as those involving research-creation.
SSHRC invites applicants and their partner organizations 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.
For tools and resources to assist in the planning and implementation of your partnership, please see SSHRC’s Partnerships Tool-Kit.
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.
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 partner organizations, 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 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 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 to nominate research chairs designed to advance research and/or related activities in a specific area in the social sciences and/or humanities. Chair partner organizations pool financial resources and suggest an amount of funds required from SSHRC. Proposals must demonstrate that a formal agreement exists between the partner organizations 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 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. Partner organizations pool financial resources and suggest an amount of funds required from SSHRC. Proposals must demonstrate that a formal agreement exists between the partner organizations to maintain the centre for a minimum period of four years.
Partnered research training initiatives: Partnerships designed to support the creation of innovative approaches that enrich research training experiences for students and postdoctoral researchers while facilitating their transition to academic or non-academic workplace settings.
For more information, please see SSHRC’s Guidelines for Partnered Research Training Initiatives. Note that these guidelines apply only to proposals that focus primarily on research training and that, therefore, must respond to the objectives of the Talent program.
SSHRC and its partner organizations offer several initiatives that complement the Partnership Grants funding opportunity:
- 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.
- Support for events and outreach activities geared toward short-term, targeted knowledge mobilization initiatives is provided through SSHRC’s Connection Grants.
- Applicants requiring infrastructure funding to support their research and/or research-related partnership activities may be eligible for support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund. For more information, please visit the CFI website or contact the CFI liaison officer at your institution.
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 the humanities and social sciences across the six challenge areas.
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 valued at a maximum of $500,000 per year over four to seven years, up to a total of $2.5 million.
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.
Projects whose primary objective is curriculum development are not eligible for funding.
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 formal partnership.
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. 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.
Please note that not‑for‑profit organization applicants must have at least one Canadian postsecondary institution partner organization in order to be eligible for this funding opportunity.
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.
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.
Postdoctoral fellows/researchers are eligible to be co-applicants for a Partnership Grant under the same conditions as those described under Project Director above.
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.
Students enrolled in a program of study are not eligible to apply as project director for a Partnership Grant. However, a student is eligible to apply as a project director if he or she:
- will have met all requirements for their degree before the grant is awarded, including all course work and successful defense of their dissertation, if applicable;
- establishes a formal affiliation with an eligible Canadian postsecondary institution within five months of the grant start date; and
- maintains such an affiliation for the duration of the grant period.
Partner organizations 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 organization contributions
Stage One—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 partner organizations, resulting in an actual total project budget of $1,350,000. SSHRC recognizes that the project can grow beyond that amount as additional partner organizations become involved over the life of the grant.
Stage Two—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 partner organizations and their progress in meeting the requirements for partner organization 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. SSHRC is committed to ensuring high-quality adjudication of all proposals.
For general information on SSHRC’s adjudication process, see Merit Review.
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 panel 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. 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 applications and 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, Connection and Talent 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. 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 who are project directors applying for a SSHRC grant to conduct 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 research 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 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 for the project results to have 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 that the objectives will be met within the timeline proposed;
- quality and genuineness of the formal partnership and associated management and governance arrangements and leadership, including involvement of partner organizations and others in the design and conduct of the research and/or related activities;
- indications of other planned resources, including leveraging of cash and in-kind support from the host institution and/or from partner organizations;
- quality and appropriateness of the knowledge mobilization plans, including effective dissemination, exchange, and engagement with stakeholders within and/or beyond the research community applicable; and
- appropriateness of the strategies for conducting the activity/activities proposed.
- Capability—The expertise to succeed (30%):
- quality and significance of the host institution and partner organizations’ commitment and experience in collaboration and formal partnership;
- quality, quantity and significance of past experience and published and/or creative outputs of the project director and any co-applicants, relative to their role in the partnership, and to the stage of their 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;
- experience in formal partnerships; and
- potential of the project director and any co-applicants 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.
Very good - excellent
Good - very good
Satisfactory - good
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, in addition to SSHRC’s notice of decision, a summary of the adjudication committee’s evaluation of their proposal.
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:
Frequently Asked Questions about Partnership Development Grants and Partnership Grants
For more information about the Partnership Grants funding opportunity, please contact: