Indigenous Not-for-Profit Organizations Applying for Institutional Eligibility

In response to the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) Report in 2015, and in particular the Call to Action number 65, SSHRC is exploring ways to make it easier for Indigenous not-for-profit organizations with a research mandate to apply for institutional eligibility. SSHRC is doing so by easing the requirements and expanding the length of the eligibility period to manage SSHRC grant funding.

While SSHRC will continue to engage with Indigenous communities to further streamline the application process, Indigenous not-for-profit organizations can now apply for institutional eligibility for a five-year period to manage multiple Partnership Development Grants, Partnership Grants, and/or Connection Grants, instead of re-applying with each grant application.

When institutional eligibility is required

Indigenous not-for-profit organizations wanting to administer the funds of more than one Partnership Development Grant, Partnership Grant and/or Connection Grant at the same time should apply for institutional eligibility using the process described below.

Is your organization eligible to apply?

SSHRC’s mandate is to promote and support research in the social sciences and humanities. As such, only Indigenous not-for-profit organizations in Canada with a research mandate can become eligible to manage SSHRC funds.

SSHRC strongly encourages Indigenous not-for-profit organizations interested in obtaining eligibility to contact SSHRC for further information about the institutional eligibility process and requirements.

Which Indigenous not-for-profit organizations are not eligible to apply?

Under SSHRC’s current institutional eligibility policies, federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government departments, for-profit organizations and foreign institutions are not eligible to administer SSHRC grants and awards.

As such, SSHRC cannot grant institutional eligibility to band councils, Indigenous governments or governance bodies, or for-profit corporations at this time.

Applying for institutional eligibility will not affect an Indigenous not-for-profit organization’s participation in current or future SSHRC-funded projects as an applicant, co-applicant, collaborator or partner.

Organizations unable to satisfy all the criteria for institutional eligibility can continue to participate in SSHRC-funded projects by making arrangements with an eligible institution.

Indigenous not-for-profit organizations may still apply for grant-specific provisional and/or restricted eligibility should they not wish to administer more than one grant.

Research Support Fund

Organizations granted institutional eligibility through this process are not eligible for funding from the Research Support Fund.

How to apply

An Indigenous not-for-profit organization can apply for eligibility to administer SSHRC grants and awards by submitting to SSHRC a written request by email or mail, which is signed by the organization’s head or delegate, along with all required documentation.

However, to streamline the application process, SSHRC has modified some requirements. In place of the Background Information sections 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5 and 2.6 of the Institutional Eligibility Requirements, Indigenous not-for-profit organizations may now submit the following documentation:

  1. a short history of the organization (maximum one page); and
  2. a research statement that includes, as applicable:
    1. a description of the organization’s current research;
    2. the number of staff conducting research, and a brief description of their duties and projects;
    3. copies of any published research results (e.g., community newspaper articles, pamphlets, web materials, journal articles); and
    4. the most recent copies of the organization’s annual reports, polices, strategies or research plans, if available.

Note on timeline: All applications for institutional eligibility with SSHRC normally take three to four months to process from the time that SSHRC has received all documentation. As such, SSHRC highly recommends that organizations submit a completed institutional eligibility application four months prior to the funding opportunity deadline to which they intend to apply.

An Indigenous not-for-profit organization becomes eligible to administer grants and awards once SSHRC receives a copy of the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions signed by both SSHRC’s president and the head of the Indigenous not-for-profit organization.

How will SSHRC receive feedback from Indigenous not-for-profit organizations?

SSHRC will solicit feedback from all groups that apply for institutional eligibility through this process via an online survey. SSHRC will send the survey to all organizations at the end of the application process. SSHRC also welcomes oral or written feedback from all participants at all stages of the process.

Administrative Guidelines

Each organization must appoint a research administrator who is responsible for reviewing grant applications for SSHRC funding from applicants affiliated with their institution, approving them as appropriate, and forwarding them to SSHRC.

It is the research administrator’s responsibility to ensure that the application is forwarded to SSHRC by the application deadline. In forwarding an application to SSHRC, the research administrator confirms that the organization will take responsibility for the administration of SSHRC funds, if the application receives funding.

The research administrator is defined as an authorized official designated by the organization, who:

  • has the authority to bind the organization to the general conditions governing grants and awards, as outlined in the Agreement;
  • has financial signing authority;
  • holds an official, paid position with the organization; and
  • does not intend to be involved in the application as an applicant/project director, co-applicant or collaborator.

Contact Information

SSHRC recommends potential applicants contact SSHRC staff via email for help with this new application process. Send any questions to:

Tel: 613-947-8639

SSHRC Institutional Eligibility
125 Zaida Eddy Private, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1R 0E3