Connection Program

Funding Opportunities
Future Challenge Areas
Related Initiatives
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 mobilize research with 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 carried out by new and existing formal partnerships that demonstrate mutual co-operation and sharing of intellectual leadership. SSHRC recognizes that these partnerships can take a variety of forms and be at various phases of development (e.g., engaging in initial collaboration, designing and testing new partnership approaches, expansion of an already established partnership, etc.). Successful collaborations could end as specific opportunities or serve as catalysts to longer-term partnerships. As the value and duration of SSHRC’s partnership funding opportunities vary greatly, potential applicants should strongly consider these elements when deciding which one is most appropriate to their research and research-related needs.

  • Partnership Engage Grants provide short-term and timely support to partnerships between a postsecondary-based researcher and a single partner organization from the public, private or non-profit sector.

    These grants are valued at $7,000 to $25,000 over one year.

  • 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.

  • 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.

SSHRC Impact Awards

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

Postsecondary institutions eligible to administer SSHRC funding are invited to put forward nominations for the following awards: the Gold Medal ($100,000); the Talent Award ($50,000); the Insight Award ($50,000); the Connection Award ($50,000); and the Partnership Award ($50,000).

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 to enhance the contribution of the social sciences and humanities across the six challenge areas.

Related Initiatives

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

  • Societal Implications of Genomics Research is a joint initiative of SSHRC and Genome Canada. The initiative promotes social sciences and humanities research and related activities aimed at expanding understanding of the potential for new and emerging genomic innovations to profoundly affect society. Interested researchers should develop proposals related to this focus and submit their applications through funding opportunities offered under SSHRC’s Insight and Connection programs, or to relevant Knowledge Synthesis Grants competitions.
  • The Canadian Initiative on Social Statistics Research Data Centres Program is a joint initiative of SSHRC and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to promote research and training in the application of social statistics.

Opportunities for 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.

For example, the Belmont Forum co-ordinates funding across a number of research agencies around the world. The Forum helps secure support for research projects related to global environmental change. While not offering additional or dedicated research funds, SSHRC can assist interested Canadian researchers in developing proposals that involve international colleagues and partners. Researchers may then submit applications to funding opportunities offered under SSHRC’s Insight and Connection programs, or use their SSHRC grant to participate in a Belmont project.

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.