Partnerships Strategy

SSHRC partnerships bring together the specialized capabilities and resources of researchers, community organizations, the private sector and governments, to create and mobilize knowledge in the social sciences and humanities.

The SSHRC commitment
Objectives and core principles
Types of partnerships
More information


Building on 30 years of support for research collaboration in the social sciences and humanities, SSHRC outlined its commitment to facilitating and supporting partnerships in its 2007 strategic plan, Framing Our Direction. In June 2008, SSHRC’s governing council endorsed an updated partnership strategy that focuses on increasing knowledge co-creation and mobilization between researchers and collaborators across disciplines and across sectors (public, private, not-for-profit), nationally and internationally. This strategy also builds upon the Government of Canada’s Science and Technology Strategy.

The SSHRC commitment

SSHRC is committed to supporting partnerships that create knowledge, share understanding and produce the insight Canada needs to successfully meet the challenges of the 21st century.

SSHRC fulfills this commitment by:

  • providing opportunities for researchers, institutions and collaborators to develop partnerships themselves through a number of funding programs;
  • fostering national, international and cross-sector linkages for research, graduate research training and knowledge mobilization;
  • providing new and exciting opportunities for training the next generation of social science and humanities researchers in Canada; and
  • helping to lever financial and in-kind support with other agencies and organizations that seek to build knowledge and understanding on social, economic and cultural issues.

Objectives and core principles

SSHRC recognizes that partnerships are an important way of doing business, for itself and for the research community and partners it serves. By building partnerships with like-minded organizations and funding partnerships among scholars and across the academic, public, private and not-for-profit sectors, SSHRC helps:

  • to address pressing social challenges while nurturing emerging areas of inquiry; and
  • to increase the intellectual, social and economic influence and impact of research.

In meeting these objectives, SSHRC adheres to a set of core principles:

  • reciprocity, trust, respect and commitment, as the foundation for any partnership;
  • collaborative and equitable leadership and governance to ensure balance and added value in knowledge co-creation;
  • complementary objectives and purpose between partners—the partnership must be mutually beneficial; and
  • adaptability and flexibility in the design and delivery of adjudication and associated policy initiatives.

Types of partnerships

SSHRC partnerships bring people and groups together to carry out research, scholarship and training in the social sciences and humanities, and to share with all sectors of society the knowledge created through these activities. These partnership activities include the following:

  • Researcher-initiated partnerships (funding opportunities): SSHRC directly funds research, research training or knowledge mobilization collaborations through an independent peer review process.
  • Joint initiatives: SSHRC partners with another organization in order to co-fund research, research training or knowledge mobilization on a subject of common concern. SSHRC’s Guidelines for Joint Initiatives outline the parameters for establishing such initiatives.
  • Hybrid partnerships: These combine support for researcher-initiated partnerships with an inter-organizational joint funding model.
  • Matchmaking and brokering: SSHRC collaborates with other organizations at the policy and communications level to bolster the central role of the social sciences and humanities across the landscape of research support. These collaborations take many forms, including providing guidance, oversight and collaboration with respect to the place of the social sciences and humanities within:

More information

For more information about SSHRC partnerships, please contact:

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