Innovation, Leadership and Prosperity


SSHRC’s Innovation, Leadership and Prosperity priority area responds to the complexity, diversity and creativity of the new knowledge paradigm of the 21st century. Innovation, Leadership and Prosperity funding helps build the social sciences and humanities research skills and knowledge that are key to Canada’s success as a country and a society, and supports training for the next generation of Canadian leaders across the research, public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

SSHRC suggests that the terms “innovation,” “leadership” and “prosperity” can be broadly defined from a variety of approaches and perspectives. Definitions include, but are not limited to, the following:

Innovation is a new or better way of adding value. It is not limited exclusively to products, but includes improved processes, policies, standards and models. Innovation is recognized as a great economic and social driver contributing to national prosperity (as indicated in Innovation and Business Strategy: Why Canada Falls Short ). It also contributes to the overall well-being of a society. Emerging models, such as social innovation, that emphasize new forms of collaboration and ways of working that result in innovative ways of addressing pressing economic, social and cultural challenges are also applicable within this theme.

Leadership has been an ongoing subject of study since ancient times. It is connected to and influences societal, institutional and organizational performance. Furthermore, it encompasses emerging models of leadership, especially those involving teams working “organically,” and, often, connected digitally.

Prosperity underscores our standard and quality of life, and is directly connected to strengthening Canada’s ability to harness the power of knowledge, and to create a prosperous and resilient economy and a just society.

Expected Outcomes

Within the Innovation, Leadership and Prosperity priority area, SSHRC is investing in supporting research of the highest quality, as well as opportunities to mobilize knowledge and develop the next generation of researchers and leaders.

Research and related activities undertaken through the Innovation, Leadership and Prosperity priority area are expected to lead to:

  • bold and transformational research partnerships with the academic, public and private sectors, as well as philanthropic foundations, that co-create knowledge addressing complex and pressing issues in the areas of innovation, leadership and prosperity;
  • long-term research capacity and expertise in the area of innovation, leadership and prosperity to ensure that Canada has a critical mass of leading scholars, especially new scholars, to inform and build a robust society; and/or
  • new and existing knowledge in the area of innovation, leadership and prosperity mobilized and exchanged between the academic, government, private, and/or not-for-profit sectors, as well as with other granting councils (Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council).

Funding Opportunities

Applicants whose proposals are relevant to this priority area are invited to indicate this in their applications.

Current opportunities are: