Government of Canada supports research partnerships across Canada

Federal investment at Brandon University to develop policy that better reflects realities of rural Canadians

August 27, 2014, Brandon, Manitoba – The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) was at the Brandon University today to announce an investment of $44 million to support social sciences and humanities researchers at postsecondary institutions across Canada. Administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Partnership Grants and Partnership Development Grants will support new research collaboration among private, public and not-for-profit sectors on issues that will advance our understanding of people and society.

Brandon University received one of 14 Partnership Grants for its Rural Policy Learning Commons initiative. Led by Dr. William Reimer, adjunct professor at Brandon University, this project involves multiple Canadian and international co-applicants, collaborators and academic, government and NGO partners. Together, international experts, scholars and policy-makers will aim to help improve the social and economic well-being of rural and northern regions in Canada. The project will employ distance learning activities, social media, publications, and a digital information hub to share information and strengthen collaboration between experts and communities, while training Canada’s next generation of researchers and leaders.

Another example of a SSHRC research project, Strengthening Rural Communities, has brought together university experts, business students and entrepreneurs. This Partnership Development Grant supports community development organizations and governments to develop new revenue streams, create marketing strategies, and transform traditional industries. From the creative economy and tourism to green energy and sustainable agriculture, this project is strengthening local economies, creating new jobs and building a new future for Canada’s rural communities.

Quick facts

  • Today’s announcement includes funding for 57 new Partnership Development Grants and 14 Partnership Grants.
  • Partnership and other SSHRC grants benefit rural communities in meaningful ways, including by contributing to all-important job creation and developing employable skills and talents among students and other collaborators.
  • SSHRC currently funds 233 multidisciplinary, intersectoral partnerships involving 50 postsecondary institutions across Canada and 1,352 partner organizations from 58 countries around the world.
  • SSHRC disburses nearly $340 million in funding annually to support over 8,400 research projects.


"Our Government is focused on creating jobs, prosperity and improving the quality of life of Canadians. We will continue to encourage industry-academic partnerships like the one at Brandon University in order to undertake research into public policy to better reflect the realities of rural Canadians in Manitoba and across the country."

Ed Holder
Minister of State (Science and Technology)

“Our Government’s investment at Brandon University will help address the challenges faced by rural Canadians in Manitoba and across the country. The Rural Development Institute will expand its focus into questions like employment, healthcare delivery and economic development in smaller rural communities to support the creation of better policy for rural Canadians.”

Larry Maguire
Member of Parliament (Brandon-Souris)

“SSHRC’s funding of research partnerships helps create and sustain a culture of innovation in Canada, and fosters stronger collaboration among academic, private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Supporting multisectoral research talent and expertise contributes to developing the next generation of leaders and to building a better future for Canada and the world.”

Chad Gaffield
President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

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Scott French
Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)
Tel: 613-943-6177

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Industry Canada
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Julia Gualtieri
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Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Tel: 613-944-4347