Connection Program

Funding Opportunities
Future Challenge Areas
Related Initiatives
Opportunities for Applicant Collaboration
Multi-Agency Research Funding Collaboration


The goal of the Connection program is to realize the potential of social sciences and humanities research for intellectual, cultural, social and economic influence, benefit and impact on and beyond the campus by supporting specific activities and tools that facilitate the flow and exchange of research knowledge.


Knowledge mobilization in the social sciences and humanities facilitates the multidirectional flow of research knowledge across academia and society as a whole, in order to inform Canadian and international research, debate, decisions and actions. Those who stand to benefit from publicly funded research results in the social sciences and humanities—diverse groups of researchers, policy-makers, business leaders, community groups, educators and the media—should, ideally, have the knowledge they need, when they need it, in useful forms.

The Connection program aims to support knowledge mobilization activities—such as networking, disseminating, exchanging and co-creating research-based knowledge—as an important element of publicly engaged scholarship, and as a means of strengthening research agendas. SSHRC also recognizes that rapidly evolving information and communications technologies provide new opportunities to engage a variety of audiences with an interest and/or involvement in social sciences and humanities scholarship.


The objectives of the Connection program are to:

  • 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.

Funding Opportunities

For the most up-to-date information, please consult SSHRC’s complete list of funding opportunities.

The funding opportunities in this program are intended to complement, rather than replace, activities funded through the Talent and Insight programs. Proposals for research on the “topic” or “science” of knowledge mobilization or related areas, such as knowledge translation or knowledge and technology transfer, are welcome at SSHRC, and should be directed to the Insight program.

Please note that SSHRC is committed to providing a range of adjudication options appropriate to its individual funding opportunities.

The following funding opportunities are available under the Connection program:

For Individuals or Teams

SSHRC provides funding for research and related activities carried out by individual scholars, teams of researchers, and their collaborators, including those from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

  • Connection Grants support workshops, colloquiums, conferences, forums, summer institutes or other events or 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.

    These grants are typically valued at $7,000 to $50,000 over one year, with higher amounts considered on an exceptional basis.

For Formal Partnerships

SSHRC provides funding for research, research training and knowledge mobilization initiatives involving a formal partnered approach. Formal partnerships can be among postsecondary institutions, or between the academic and public, private and/or not-for-profit sectors. They can be disciplinary or interdisciplinary, and can include both Canadian and international partners.

Funding in this area supports a wide range of partnerships, including industry-academic partnership initiatives. For the purpose of formal partnerships, “industry” refers to private sector organizations, or groups of private sector organizations connected by a common interest.

  • Partnership Development Grants provide support to foster new research and/or related activities with new or existing partners; and to design and test new partnership approaches for research and/or related activities.

    These grants are valued at $75,000 to $200,000 over one to three years.

  • Community and College Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) is a pilot initiative that connects the talent, facilities and capabilities of Canada’s colleges and polytechnics with the research needs of local community organizations.

    CCSIF are valued at up to $200,000 over one to three years. Applicants can also request funding of 20 per cent in addition to the grant amount requested, to offset overhead costs, administrative costs, reduction in course load for full-time faculty staff, and some salary support for part-time college faculty staff.
  • Partnership Grants provide support to new or existing formal partnerships for initiatives that advance research, research training and/or knowledge mobilization in the social sciences and humanities.

    These grants are valued at $500,000 to $2.5 million over four to seven years.

Infrastructure and Tools Funding

Insight Grant and Partnership Grant applicants requiring infrastructure funding to support their research activities may be eligible for support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) John R. Evans Leaders Fund. SSHRC and the CFI will jointly review proposals submitted through SSHRC to the John R. Evans Leaders Fund.

For more information, please visit the CFI website, or contact the CFI liaison officer at your institution.

Insight Grant and Partnership Grant applicants requiring funding to support research and research-related tools may also be eligible for SSHRC support. Please consult SSHRC’s Guidelines for Support of Tools for Research and Related Activities.

SSHRC Impact Awards

SSHRC Impact Awards recognize outstanding researchers and celebrate their achievements in research, research training, knowledge mobilization and outreach activities funded partially or completely by SSHRC.

SSHRC-eligible postsecondary institutions are invited to put forward nominations for all SSHRC Impact Award categories: Talent, Insight, Connection, Partnership and the Gold Medal. Each institution may submit only one nomination for each award in a given year, for a maximum of five SSHRC Impact Award nominations annually.

Valued at $50,000 to $100,000, Impact Awards span from one to five years, depending on the prize.

Future Challenge Areas

SSHRC invites all applicants to review the six future challenge areas and subquestions, and to consider addressing one or more of these areas in their research proposal. However, this will not be an evaluation criterion for merit review. SSHRC will monitor research capacity in these areas, and will develop and implement strategies, including a range of outreach and knowledge mobilization activities, that enhance the contribution of social sciences and humanities across the six challenge areas.

In keeping with its tradition and mandate, SSHRC will continue to invest in humanities and social sciences research addressing a broad range of topics, while also promoting and investing in the future challenge areas.

Related Initiatives

SSHRC partners with other organizations to offer several joint initiatives that complement SSHRC’s Talent, Insight and Connection programs:

  • Automotive Partnership Canada (APC) will provide $145 million in research funding over five years to support significant collaborative research and development activities that will benefit the entire Canadian automotive industry. This initiative is a partnership between the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the National Research Council, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, SSHRC and the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program. Interested applicants and companies should start by contacting APC's Project Office in Mississauga, Ontario.
  • The Canadian Initiative on Social Statistics Research Data Centres Program is a strategic joint initiative of SSHRC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Statistics Canada to promote research and training in the application of social statistics.
  • The College and Community Innovation Program is managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and SSHRC. The program increases the capacity of colleges to transform the results of research and development into economic activities.
  • As part of the Kanishka Project, Public Safety Canada is investing up to $3.7 million to support, in full or in part, with SSHRC, research and related activities addressing issues related to terrorism and counter-terrorism.

Opportunities for Applicant Collaboration

SSHRC collaborates directly with other organizations to foster links with social sciences and humanities students and researchers whose work is related to the organizations’ priorities. These organizations are interested in working with potential applicants toward submitting an application to a SSHRC funding opportunity competition.

Interested applicants should contact the organizations directly to discuss the details of such arrangements:

Multi-Agency Research Funding Collaboration

SSHRC is also working with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation to enhance co-ordination of the agencies’ programs, activities and policies. For more information, please consult Multi-Agency Research Funding Collaboration.