The Storytellers - Contest Details


You’ve got three minutes (or 300 words) to tell us why a research project matters.

Ready? You’re up.

“I was surprised and overwhelmed by the response. I did not expect that what I imagined to be a niche, theoretical topic would be so broadly and enthusiastically received.”

Tanya Elchuk, 2015 Final 5 Storyteller


The Top 25 Storytellers will receive a $3,000 prize, national promotion of their work and a spot in an exclusive research communications master class, preparing them to deliver their presentations before a live audience as part of the Storytellers Showcase at Congress 2016.

“This has been an amazing journey of personal growth, fulfilment and opportunity.”

Simon Lisaingo, 2015 Final 5 Storyteller

“[The Congress events] introduced me to…25 of the most passionate, engaged and grounded researchers I have ever met.”

Bryan Gallagher, 2015 Final 5 Storyteller


Selected by our team of judges at Congress, the Final 5 Storytellers will be featured at the prestigious 2016 SSHRC Impact Awards ceremony.

“Having research sit on a dusty bookshelf is the worst thing that could happen. If we want to make true social change through our research, we need to spread the word and get people talking about it!”

Robin MacEwan, 2014 Final 5 Storyteller

Grab our attention, be creative, push the boundaries: use a podcast, video, infographic—or surprise us with something new.

The contest is now closed.

Thanks to all who entered. Who will be our next Top 25? Stay tuned…

Submission period:

Contestants can submit entries as of January 5, 2016 at 10 a.m. (eastern), until the contest closes on January 29, 2016 at 5 p.m. (eastern).


At the time of entry, you must be a Canadian resident, 19 years of age or older, enrolled at a Canadian postsecondary institution, and in compliance with the contest rules and regulations.

Submission requirements:

Your submission must be an original work—video, audio, text or info-graphic—featuring research funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and carried out at the institution at which you are enrolled at the time of submission.

Your submission must not exceed three (3) minutes in length for video or audio, or 300 words for text or info-graphic.

See complete contest rules and regulations


In Phase 1: Pitch, the top 25 submissions will receive a cash prize of $3,000.

In Phase 2: Share, those Top 25 finalists will join us at the 2016 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Calgary, to attend a special communications master class and deliver a live presentation at the Storytellers Showcase. At this showcase event, our judges will select the Final 5 winners, who will receive an expense-paid trip for their presentations to be featured at the 2016 SSHRC Impact Awards event.

The chances of winning a prize in Phase 1: Pitch are dependent on the total number and quality of eligible submissions received before the Phase 1 closing date of January 29, 2016 at 5 p.m. (eastern).

The chances of winning in Phase 2: Share will be no less than one-in-five.

See complete contest rules and regulations

Step 1: Pitch

Each year, SSHRC challenges postsecondary students to show Canadians how social sciences and humanities research is affecting our lives, our world and our future prosperity.

The results are clever, inventive, funny, moving, inspirational and educational.

Send us your pitch—in three minutes or 300 words—telling us about a great SSHRC-funded project happening at your school.

The project can be yours or it can be a professor’s (get their permission first!), but your pitch needs to be creative, compelling and clear.

This is research for a better life.

Submission period: January 5, 2016 to January 29, 2016

Step 2: Develop

An expert panel of communications professionals will pick the 25 best entries.

These Top 25 Storytellers will each receive a cash prize of $3,000, a spot in our exclusive research communications master class at Congress 2015 (registration and three nights’ accommodation included), national promotion of their project and the chance to present their work at the Storytellers Showcase.

The master class workshop features mentoring and training from experienced communications professionals, as well as specialized group sessions to help the Top 25 polish their presentations.

At the Storytellers Showcase, as part of Congress 2016, the Top 25 will take the stage and deliver their pitches in front of a live audience.

Step 3: Share

Share your research story with the world.

Selected by our jury at Congress, the Final Five Storytellers will be brought in from across Canada to give featured presentations at the prestigious 2016 SSHRC Impact Awards ceremony.

Get started:

Contestants can submit their entries online via the SSHRC website starting January 5, 2016 at 10 a.m. (eastern), until the contest closes on January 29, 2016 at 5 p.m. (eastern). Meanwhile, here are some resources to get you started:


Watch the montage of last year’s Top 25 Storytellers.

Check out our YouTube channel for previous years' entries and Final Five presentations.

Check out the Storytellers gallery.

Check out Take Five with the Final Five, candid interviews with last year’s top entrants.

Imagining Canada’s Future:
Asking tomorrow’s questions, today

SSHRC thanks the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences for its generous support and participation in this exciting initiative.

Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences