Public Outreach Grants: Workshops and Conferences

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November 2011 Competition

Value and Duration
Evaluation and Adjudication
Administrative Regulations and Related Information
Contact Information


Knowledge mobilization is a core priority for SSHRC, one aimed at facilitating and enabling the movement of knowledge in the social sciences and humanities to and from various sectors of society in order to inform Canadian and international debate, decisions and actions.

SSHRC actively supports connecting, disseminating, exchanging and co-creating knowledge to meet the needs of society. The aim is to ensure that people who stand to benefit from research results (e.g., policy-makers, business leaders, community leaders, educators, and members of the media, as well as academics in various fields) have the knowledge they need, when they need it, in useful forms.


Public Outreach Grants are designed to mobilize and/or leverage existing and ongoing research in the social sciences and humanities for a range of audiences beyond academia. Through this funding opportunity, SSHRC encourages researchers to find effective ways to disseminate, transfer, exchange, synthesize and broker research results to wider audiences.

Funding is available for knowledge mobilization events in the open category or any of SSHRC's priority areas:



The Public Outreach Grants: Workshops and Conferences funding opportunity supports knowledge mobilization events directed primarily to non-academic audiences. This includes:

  • Workshops: Smaller, invitational, interactive events that link researcher(s) and target audience(s). Applicants are encouraged to produce a concrete deliverable where appropriate (synthesis, report, policy document, etc.).
  • Conferences: Larger, possibly interactive, open events that link target audience(s) and researcher(s). Applicants are encouraged to produce a concrete deliverable where appropriate (synthesis, report, policy document, etc.).
  • Innovation forums: A new initiative from SSHRC, innovation forums are brainstorming events that: a) are short, small in scope and intensive; b) include participants from both academic and non-academic sectors; and c) use interactive, facilitated formats organized around setting new research agendas and/or developing new research questions or methodologies. 
  • Summer institutes: Drawn from the Image, Text, Sound and Technology funding opportunity, a summer institute is an intensive, short, interactive event that facilitates the mobilization of cutting-edge digital media technologies and skills to researchers, students and other audiences where appropriate.

Public Outreach Grants are not intended to support traditional means of dissemination to the research community (such as academic conferences). SSHRC does, however, support such efforts through funding opportunities such as Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences. Applicants cannot submit an application to the Public Outreach Grants: Workshops and Conferences funding opportunity and the Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences funding opportunity in the same calendar year.

Target audiences for all events and activities should include, but are not limited to:

  • policy-makers;
  • organizations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors;
  • communities of interest (geographic or virtual);
  • other areas of Canada beyond the scope of the original research;
  • students at all levels (i.e., primary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities);
  • the general public; and
  • international audiences.

Applicants are encouraged to describe how the proposed knowledge mobilization activities are expected to increase the capacity of selected audiences to understand and use research results.


Value and Duration

Applicants must situate their proposals within one of three funding levels: under $50,000, $50,000 to $100,000, and over $100,000. There is no maximum value for the last category; however, applicants should ensure their plans can be implemented in one year. The applications will be adjudicated according to merit and the adjudication criteria outlined below. The level of funding requested should be justified in detail and appropriate to the activities undertaken by the proposed project.

Public Outreach Grants will be tenable for one year only, with the possibility of one one-year extension. Grant holders must apply to the Public Outreach Grants program officer for any extensions. This is a one-time call for proposals.




Applications may be submitted by eligible institutions or individual researchers or teams of researchers affiliated with Canadian postsecondary institutions.

Institutional Eligibility

Institutions that propose to administer any grant awarded under this program must meet the requirements for managing SSHRC funds and must hold or obtain institutional eligibility.


Evaluation and Adjudication

A multidisciplinary peer review committee of researchers and experts from the public, private and/or not-for-profit sectors will assess applications.

The committee will adjudicate proposals according to the following criteria:

1. Challenge: The aim and importance of the endeavour (45%)

  • clarity of the stated objectives and defined scope;
  • evidence of the quality and significance of the event’s theme, scope and potential contribution, including the degree to which the event has attracted appropriate participants;
  • quality of training and mentoring to be provided to students, emerging scholars and other highly qualified personnel, and opportunities for them to contribute;
  • likelihood of influence and impact within and/or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community; and
  • quality of the knowledge mobilization plans, including effective dissemination, exchange and plans to engage within and/or beyond the research community, where appropriate.

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

  • feasibility of meeting the objectives of the Public Outreach Grants: Workshops and Conferences funding opportunity, and, where appropriate, thematic priority objectives;
  • strategies and timelines for the design and conduct of the workshop, conference, summer institute or innovation forum; and
  • appropriateness of the requested budget, justification of proposed costs, and 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, where appropriate.

3. Capability: The expertise to succeed (25%)

  • quality, quantity and significance of past experience and published outputs relative to the stage of the applicant’s career, including relevant experience in the organization of  events;
  • evidence of other contributions through other possible publications (such as commissioned reports, etc.), professional practice, public discourses, public policies, products and services, development of talent, experience in collaboration, etc.; and
  • potential for future contributions.

Scoring table
Adjudication committee members assign a score for each of the three criteria based on the scoring table below. The appropriate percentage weighting is then applied.

Score Descriptor
5-6 Excellent
4-4.9 Very Good
3-3.9 Good
Below 3 Unacceptable

All applicants will receive, together with SSHRC’s notice of decision, a summary of the adjudication committee's comments.


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 Grant Holder’s Guide for Strategic Grants.

For descriptions of SSHRC terms, see Definitions of Terms.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact:

Bryde Kelly
Program Officer
Knowledge Mobilization and Program Integration Division
350 Albert Street
P.O. Box 1610
Ottawa, ON  K1P 6G4

Tel.: 613-947-2060
Fax: 613-992-7635