Regulations for Scholarships and Fellowships

Award Holder's Guide B

Introduction | Regulations | Forms | Contact Us

Regulations

General Regulations
Value and Duration of Award
Acceptance and Refusal of Award
Start Date
Change of Start Date
Activation of Payment
Deferment of Award
Interruption of Award
Reinstatement of Award
Payment of Instalments
Research Allowance
Change of Program of Study/Research Project/Degree
Change of University/Place of Tenure
Other Sources of Income (employment and other awards)
Annual Progress Reports
Termination of Award
Degree Completion
Final Report
Taxation and Legal Issues


General Regulations

All award holders must:

Doctoral fellowship holders must:

  • have been unconditionally accepted into a recognized doctoral degree program in a field supported by SSHRC;
  • be registered full-time or be restricted to part-time registration due to a disability, and progressing satisfactorily in a doctoral degree program at a recognized university;
  • not be registered simultaneously in any other degree program; and
  • not hold or accept a tenure-track or tenured faculty position or any other full-time employment.

Postdoctoral fellowship holders must:

  • be engaged in full-time research at a recognized research institution, or, due to the restrictions imposed by a disability, be engaged in part-time research at such an institution; and
  • not hold or accept a tenure-track or tenured faculty position or any other full-time employment.

In addition:

  • the date of degree completion refers to the date on which you have met all requirements for your degree, including successful defence and submission of the corrected copy of your thesis; and
  • your award may be cancelled without notice if you violate the conditions under which it was granted.

Value and Duration of Award

The value and duration of your award are detailed in your Notice of Award.

Doctoral fellowship holders: The value and duration of your award will be adjusted to take into account a change in your registration status (e.g., early completion of your degree, termination of your doctoral degree program, full- or part-time employment, etc.).

Postdoctoral fellowship holders: The value and duration of your award will be adjusted to take into account acceptance of employment that is above and beyond the teaching of one course as permitted under the terms of this program.

Support for part-time graduate studies: Awards are available for part-time study, but only to students who are restricted to part-time registration status for reasons of disability. However, this is not automatic: award holders must submit their request for part-time status to SSHRC for approval. SSHRC will notify you whether you can hold your award while registered part-time. If approved, the award will have the same total value as the full-time award, but spread over a longer period of time. All other regulations will apply.

For purposes of holding an award part-time, disability is defined as "a functional limitation resulting from a physical, sensory or mental impairment, which, for an indefinite period, affects the ability of the student to perform the activities necessary to participate fully in his or her learning."

If you intend to hold your award on a part-time basis because a disability prevents you from pursuing a full-time program of studies, you must have Form 12 - Medical Certification to Hold a SSHRC Award on a Part-time Basis for Reasons of Disability (PDF document, 61KB) completed by the qualified health professional most familiar with your situation. He or she must either mail the form directly to SSHRC or return it to you in a sealed envelope to be forwarded to us. This form will be treated as confidential and will be used only by SSHRC staff and only to assess your eligibility to hold an award while registered part-time. In addition, your university must submit to SSHRC a letter supporting your request to hold the award while registered part-time.


Acceptance and Refusal of Award

You must notify SSHRC of your decision to accept or refuse the award within four weeks of the date on the Notice of Award.

To accept the award, send SSHRC an email or fax (613-943-1329), specifying the start date of your award and, if you know it, the university and department of tenure.

To refuse the award, send SSHRC an email or fax (613-943-1329) specifying your reasons for refusal (e.g., employment, acceptance of another award).

SSHRC will cancel any award not accepted by the above deadline.

Notification by telephone is not acceptable.

You must notify SSHRC of your acceptance/refusal as specified above—even if you plan to request a deferment of your award. See Deferment of Award).

To initiate payment of your award, see Activation of Payment.


Top

Start Date

If you anticipate that you will not be able to complete all requirements of your previous degree by December 31, you must decline the award. However, you may apply again in the following competition as long as you remain eligible.

The date of degree completion refers to the date on which you have met all requirements for your degree, including successful defence and submission of the corrected copy of your thesis.

Doctoral fellowship holders: If you have already begun the program of studies for which you were awarded funding, you must take up your award on the first day of the May or September academic term following the announcement of the results.

If you have not yet begun the program of studies for which you were awarded funding, you may take up your award on the first day of the May, September or January academic term following the announcement of the results.

Note: A change in the start date from that indicated on your Notice of Award may affect your eligibility for the award or the award value and duration. Please consult SSHRC accordingly.

Postdoctoral fellowship holders: You can take up your award on the first of any month between May 1 of the year in which the fellowship is awarded and January 1 of the subsequent year.


Change of Start Date

If you intend to change your start date, you must immediately contact SSHRC's Research Training Portfolio to request a new start date.

Doctoral fellowship holders: A change in the start date from that indicated on your Notice of Award may affect your eligibility for the award or the award value and duration. Please consult SSHRC accordingly.

Postdoctoral fellowship holders: Before you can take up your award, you must confirm that you have successfully completed your doctoral degree by submitting to SSHRC's Research Training Portfolio an official letter from your university. The date of degree completion refers to the date on which you have met all requirements for your degree, including successful defence and submission of the corrected copy of your thesis.


Activation of Payment

(for new awards and awards transferred to another university only)

To activate payment of your award, please complete Form 1—Request for First Instalment (PDF document, 46KB) and submit it to SSHRC no earlier than one month prior to the start date of your award. Failure to submit the necessary documentation by the scheduled start date of the award could result in your award being cancelled. No payment will be made until SSHRC has received the required documentation.

Your award payment will be activated based on the information contained on Form 1—Request for First Annual Instalment (PDF document, 46KB), provided you have met all general award conditions applicable to all recipients, as well as any specific conditions indicated on your Notice of Award.

If any of the information that you provided to SSHRC changes prior to your start date, contact SSHRC immediately. This will reduce the likelihood of a delay in the payment of your award.

If you wish to transfer to a different university / place of tenure, see Change of University / Place of Tenure.

If you hold full-time employment, see Other Sources of Income.

Postdoctoral fellowship holders: Before you can take up your award, you must confirm that you have successfully completed your degree by submitting to SSHRC's Research Training Portfolio an official letter from your university. The date of degree completion refers to the date on which you have met all requirements for your degree, including successful defence and submission of the corrected copy of your thesis.
Top

Deferment of Award

Before commencing your award, you may defer it for up to three years, but only for reasons of maternity, child rearing, illness, or health-related family responsibilities. You may only defer your award for a maximum of one year at a time. Updated documentation will be required for each period of deferment.

You may not defer your award in order to take up another award, to accept or hold employment, or to pursue studies other than those for which you received funding.

You must complete Form 6—Request for Deferment or Interruption of Award (PDF document, 25KB) and send it to SSHRC as soon as possible, but no later than one month after the scheduled start date of the award. Supporting documentation (e.g., birth, adoption or medical certificate) confirming the reason for deferment must also be included with the request.

Even though you intend to defer your award, you must submit confirmation to SSHRC that you have completed—by December 31 of the year of the original award—all requirements of your previous degree (if not already submitted with your application), or your award will be cancelled.

Doctoral fellowship holders: If you are currently registered in the program for which funding was awarded, you must obtain an authorized leave of absence from your university. SSHRC will not approve a deferment if it is in conflict with your university's policies.


Interruption of Award

You may interrupt your award to take:

  • unpaid leave for reasons of maternity, child rearing, illness, or health-related family responsibilities;
  • paid parental leave; or
  • leave for relevant work experience (for doctoral fellowship holders only).

You must obtain prior approval from SSHRC for any interruption of your award.

For approved interruptions, SSHRC will suspend payment of your award for the duration of the interruption and will resume payment when all the conditions of your award are met (generally, on your return to full-time studies/research).

You may not interrupt your award in order to take up another award or to pursue studies of any kind.

Doctoral fellowship holders: Approval of all leaves is conditional upon your university permitting such leaves.

Postdoctoral fellowship holders: Approval of all leaves is conditional upon your supervisor supporting such leaves.

Unpaid Leave for Reasons of Maternity, Child Care, Illness, or Health-Related Family Responsibilities

You are eligible for an unpaid leave of absence of up to three years, in accordance with your university's policies, for reasons of maternity, child rearing, illness, or health-related family responsibilities only, provided your university permits such leaves.

You must obtain approval from your university prior to interrupting your award.

To request an interruption, you must complete and submit to SSHRC:

Paid Parental Leave

If you will be interrupting your award/studies/research within six months following a child's birth or adoption in order to be the primary caregiver for the child, you may request a paid parental leave supplement at your current stipend level for up to four months.

You may not receive this supplement while your award is being deferred.

You must obtain approval from your university prior to interrupting your award.

The maximum period of paid leave is four months, even in cases of multiple births or adoption of more than one child at the same time.

If both parents are supported by SSHRC, each parent may take a portion of the leave, for a combined maximum duration of four months.

In addition, you must certify in writing to SSHRC that:

  • you are not eligible for and will not receive, employment insurance or other maternity or parental benefits from other sources;
  • during the parental leave, you will not be engaged in your studies or research activities or employed in any capacity; and
  • you will be the primary caregiver of your child during the parental leave.

To request the paid parental leave, you must complete and submit to SSHRC:

You must submit a copy of the child's birth or adoption certificate to SSHRC as soon as possible after the birth or adoption of the child.

Leave for Relevant Work Experience
(for doctoral fellowship holders only)

You may interrupt your award to obtain relevant work experience. The interruption will not reduce the total amount of support available to you.

You must obtain approval from your university before you interrupt your award.

Doctoral fellowship holders registered in the 1st or 2nd year of a doctoral program: You are permitted one four-month interruption for work leave during this period.

Doctoral fellowship holders registered in the 3rd or 4th year of a doctoral program: You are permitted two four-month interruptions for work leave during this period.

No two periods of leave for work experience can be consecutive, i.e., you must be registered for no less than the equivalent of one full-time academic term between such leaves.

To request an interruption, you must complete and submit to SSHRC:

Vacation Leave

Your university's regulations apply with respect to vacation leave.


Top

Reinstatement of Award

To reinstate a deferred award, you must confirm the exact date on which you intend to reinstate your award by completing Form 1—Request for First Annual Instalment (PDF document, 46KB) and submitting it to SSHRC no earlier than one month prior to resuming your studies or research. Failure to submit the necessary documentation by the scheduled award reinstatement date could result in the award being cancelled. No payment will be made until SSHRC has received the required documentation.

To reinstate an interrupted award, you must confirm the exact date on which you intend to reinstate your award by completing the necessary documentation and submitting it to SSHRC no earlier than one month prior to resuming your studies or research. Failure to submit the necessary documentation by the scheduled award reinstatement date could result in your award being cancelled. No payment will be made until SSHRC has received the following required documentation.

If you are due to receive your first annual payment:

If you are due to receive your second annual payment:

If you are between payments:

Awards will be governed by the regulations applicable at the time of reinstatement.


Top

Payment of Instalments

You will receive your instalments (paid in the local currency) at the mailing address you provide on Form 1—Request for First Annual Instalment (PDF document, 46KB) and Form 2—Request for Second Annual Instalment (PDF document, 44KB).

For income tax purposes, you must provide your Social Insurance Number on Form 1.

The first instalment will be paid upon receipt of Form 1, provided all conditions attached to the award have been met. You must submit Form 2 to request the second instalment of your award.

If you are the recipient of a multi-year award, you must complete and submit Forms 1 and 2 every year to request the first and second instalments respectively for that given year.

For all years after the first year of your award, you must complete either Form 3A—Annual Progress Report (PDF document, 31KB) (for doctoral fellowship holders) or Form 3B—Annual Progress Report (PDF document, 26KB) (for postdoctoral fellowship holders), and submit it with Form 1—Request for First Annual Instalment (PDF document, 46KB).

Payment request forms should be sent to SSHRC one month prior to the payment date.

A prorated reduction will be made if you do not devote the full award period to your studies/research or if you do not complete the full period covered by the award.

SSHRC may cancel your award without further notice if a payment request is overdue by four months or more.

Payment Schedule

Awards are payable in two equal bi-annual instalments according to the schedule below.

Doctoral Fellowship Holders (tenure > 6 months)

For tenure beginning

Form 1 to be submitted and first instalment to be issued at the end of

Form 2 to be submitted and second instalment to be issued at the end of

May May October
September August February
January January June

Postdoctoral Fellowship Holders

For tenure beginning

Form 1 to be submitted and first instalment to be issued at the end of

Form 2 to be submitted and second instalment to be issued at the end of

May May October
June May October
July June November
August July February
September August February
October September February
November October February
December November May
January January June


Top

Research Allowance

Research Allowance
(Postdoctoral fellowship holders only)

The research allowance may only be used for direct costs involved in conducting the research and communicating research results.

If awarded, the research allowance will be paid in full with the first instalment of the award.

This is an accountable allowance, and a financial report (Form 11—Research Allowance Statement of Account [PDF document, 17KB]) must be submitted to SSHRC no later than three months after the end of the period of tenure.

Eligible expenses include:

  • salaries (including benefits) for undergraduate and/or graduate students, and salaries to others;
  • professional and technical services/contracts;
  • materials, supplies and other expenditures (includes the purchase of a computer and computer software);
  • travel (must be at the rates in force at the host institution); and
  • per diem (must be at the rates in force at the host institution).

Ineligible expenses include:

  • any costs incurred before an award is granted;
  • research leading to a degree;
  • research costs of research collaborators;
  • any research expenses related to work being carried out by the researcher under contract to a public or private agency or firm for their own purposes, with the exception of work commissioned by a non-government publisher;
  • activities with no significant research component (e.g., the conduct of public opinion polls that do not include analysis likely to produce new knowledge, the review of literature, the preparation of research proposals, the carrying out of projects that summarize the findings of other researchers but involve no original research);
  • fees for consultation with colleagues or for their participation in the research;
  • contingency allowances;
  • indirect costs (e.g., medical insurance) or administrative overhead;
  • the purchase or rental of standard office equipment such as desks, chairs, filing cabinets, photocopiers, facsimile machines and answering machines;
  • sales taxes to which an exemption or rebate applies;
  • child care expenses;
  • the cost of memberships in professional associations;
  • professional training or development, including computer and language training;
  • preparation of teaching materials;
  • curriculum development (e.g., preparation of course material, syllabus, etc., designed for a program of teaching) unless of demonstrated theoretical importance;
  • entertainment and hospitality costs;
  • severance pay; and
  • requests for translation (unless specifically for a research instrument, e.g., questionnaire, or for communication of research results).

Change of Program of Study/Research Project/Degree

Approval from SSHRC is required for a substantial change in the program of study or research, or in the degree sought.

To request approval for a change in your program of study or research, you must submit to SSHRC Form 5—Request for a Change of Program of Study or Research (PDF document, 41KB).

If you modify your research project to the extent that the new field of study is not one that SSHRC supports, you will no longer be eligible to hold the award and it will be cancelled.


Change of University/Place of Tenure

To change your university or place of tenure, you must obtain prior approval from SSHRC. Such requests should be made as soon as possible, preferably at least eight weeks prior to your start or transfer date.

Doctoral fellowship holders

To change your university before activation of the award:

To change your university after activation of the award:

  • you must send to SSHRC the duly completed Form 4—Request to Change University, Parts I and II (PDF document, 25KB), signed by the head of the department at the university to which you propose to transfer and by the head of the department from which you propose to transfer.

Note: A transfer will only be approved if credit for studies in your previous graduate degree program is granted by the new university.

Postdoctoral fellowship holders

To change your place of tenure before or after the start date of the award, you must send the following documentation to SSHRC:

  • a letter explaining your reasons for the change;
  • a letter of support from the proposed institution indicating the support that it will provide (office space, library privileges, email account, course to be taught, etc.); and
  • a letter from the new supervisor commenting on how your program of work relates to the research interests and strengths of the department or research group.

Should you want to change your place of tenure to the university from which you obtained your doctoral degree, you must also send to SSHRC:

  • a letter explaining what, if anything, has changed since the submission of your original application to make this university a more appropriate location to pursue your research and advance your career than the institution you originally selected.

Note: You may transfer to a foreign institution only if you earned your doctorate at a Canadian university.


Top

Other Sources of Income (employment and other awards)

You may not concurrently hold an award from SSHRC and another federal granting agency (CIHR or NSERC). You may, however, accept awards from other sources, regardless of value, e.g., foreign sources, Canadian provinces, private organizations, your university.

You may not hold full-time employment during any period of time in which you hold the SSHRC award.

If you held full-time employment at the time of application, you must provide your university with a letter from your employer attesting that you will be on an approved leave of absence during the period of tenure of your award. If you were a federal government employee, the letter must attest that you will be on an unpaid leave of absence during this period. Awards will not be paid unless these letters have been received.

Doctoral fellowship holders: SSHRC expects award holders to devote the majority of their time to the timely completion their degree program. SSHRC limits the number of hours of employment per 12-month period to 450.

Payment of the award during paid internships and co-op work terms that are a program requirement is permitted, provided you maintain full-time registration in your doctoral program. Should the internship preclude holding a fellowship, the fellowship stipend for the period of the internship must be relinquished and cannot be carried forward to a future date, since the duration of the internship will be included in the calculation of the number of eligible years of support.

You may work as a research assistant (receiving an hourly wage).

Postdoctoral fellowship holders: You may teach the equivalent of one full course per year. No other employment is permitted.

Part-time award holders: No employment is permitted during tenure of the award without SSHRC's prior authorization.


Annual Progress Reports

You must submit to SSHRC Form 3A—Annual Progress Report (PDF document, 31KB) (for doctoral fellowship holders) or Form 3B—Annual Progress Report (PDF document, 26KB) (for postdoctoral fellowship holders) one month prior to the anniversary date (the anniversary of your award start date) of your award. Complete the Form in conjunction with your supervisor and department head.

This report must accompany your request for the payment of all first annual instalments due in future years. For example, doctoral fellowship holders who were awarded a four-year fellowship must submit three annual progress report forms one month prior to the anniversary date of their award. Postdoctoral fellowship holders are required to submit the form once, one month prior to the anniversary date of their award.

SSHRC may cancel the award if your progress is judged unsatisfactory.


Termination of Award

If you terminate your program of study or research for any reason prior to the end of your award tenure, you must complete Form 8—Termination of Award (PDF document, 38KB).

If you accept full-time employment, regardless of whether you have completed your degree or not, your award will be terminated as of the effective date of your contract of employment. You must submit a copy of the contract from your employer to SSHRC. The value of the award will be prorated, and any funds already paid that are intended for use beyond this date must be returned to SSHRC.

SSHRC will contact you to reclaim any overpayment of your award.

Also see Final Report.

Doctoral fellowship holders: If you have submitted your thesis, you are still eligible to receive your payments until you have successfully defended the thesis, provided you have not accepted full-time employment and are still registered full-time in the graduate studies program for which funding was awarded.

If you fulfill all degree requirements (i.e., successful defence and submission of the corrected copy of the thesis) prior to the termination date of the award, SSHRC is to be advised by a university official of the actual date on which the requirements were completed. In such cases, SSHRC requires reimbursement of the award overpayment, since the value of the award is prorated according to the number of months of tenure.


Top

Degree Completion

Doctoral fellowship holders: Award holders must use Form 9—Notice of Receipt of Degree (PDF document, 51KB) to inform SSHRC once they have obtained their degree.


Final Report

No later than three months after the end of the period of your award tenure you must submit to SSHRC a completed Form 10A—Final Report (PDF document, 17KB) (for doctoral fellowship holders only) or Form 10B—Final Report (PDF document, 17KB) (for postdoctoral fellowship holders only).

The submission of this report is a condition of the award.


Taxation and Legal Issues

Taxation

You are not permitted to defer an instalment to the next taxation year.

Postdoctoral Fellowships are subject to Canadian income tax (composed of federal and provincial income tax), the amount of which varies according to individual circumstances (such as province of residence, eligible deductions, and so on).

Individual students may be exempted of federal and provincial income tax attributed to their award. Please see "Line 323 - Tuition, education, and textbook amounts" published by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for the applicable conditions.

SSHRC cannot offer advice on income tax matters to individual students and fellows, given the uniqueness of each award recipient's personal financial situation. Consequently, you are encouraged to seek advice from the CRA or from a qualified income tax specialist. For more information on income tax related to scholarships and fellowships, please see Income Tax Folio – S1-F2-C3: Scholarships, Research Grants and Other Education Assistance, published by the CRA.

Please note that since SSHRC does not make deductions at source, each fellow is responsible for payment of necessary income tax to the CRA.

At the end of February, SSHRC will issue a statement of income (T4A form) for the previous year, which fellows must include with their income tax declaration sent to the CRA. Please note that travel reimbursement counts as income and will appear on the T4A form.

Fellows who prefer to have their T4A form sent to a different address than the one specified in the application should send a request to fellowships@SSHRC.ca so we may process the information before we produce the T4A production.

Please note that the date appearing on the instalment cheque determines the year in which the amount of the instalment must be declared as income for tax purposes, regardless of the date on which the cheque was received.

Insurance

SSHRC cannot assume liability for accidents, illnesses, or losses that may occur during the tenure of an award. You are responsible for ensuring that you have appropriate insurance.

Foreign Immigration and Taxation Regulations

If you hold or intend to hold your award at an institution outside of Canada, you must contact the appropriate agencies for immigration and taxation regulations. SSHRC cannot advise award holders on such matters.

We encourage you to read the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act as they pertain to application information.