Institutional Eligibility—SSHRC Guidelines and Requirements

An institution need apply for institutional eligibility only if a researcher from the institution is applying for a funding opportunity as an applicant. The types of institutions that may become eligible to administer SSHRC grants and awards are Canadian universities, colleges and not-for-profit organizations.

To obtain institutional eligibility, institutions must meet and maintain the requirements to administer grants and awards specific to the type of institutional eligibility they seek to hold. SSHRC has harmonized its institutional eligibility requirements with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Institutional eligibility is distinct from applicant eligibility for a particular funding opportunity. Applicant eligibility criteria specific to each funding opportunity are detailed in the descriptions for individual funding opportunities for the Talent, Insight, Connection and New Frontiers in Research Fund programs.


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Types of institutional eligibility

Type

Institutions

Applicable funding opportunities

Document signed

Criteria

When to contact SSHRC

Duration

Full institutional eligibility

Postsecondary institutions (universities and colleges)

All SSHRC grants and awards

Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions

All institutional eligibility requirements

As soon as possible

Renewed every 5 years

Indigenous not-for-profit eligibility*

Not-for-profit organizations that self-identify as Indigenous

Connection Grants

Partnership Development Grants

Partnership Grants

Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions

All institutional eligibility requirements with the option to submit a research statement in place of requirements 2.2-2.6 that includes, as applicable:

  • a description of the organization’s current research;
  • the number of staff conducting research and a brief description of their duties and projects;
  • copies of any published research results (e.g., community newspaper articles, pamphlets, web materials, journal articles); and
  • the most recent copies of the organization’s annual reports, policies, strategies or research plans, if available.

As soon as possible

5 years (SSHRC will be reviewing this category of eligibility based on feedback)

Provisional eligibility

Not-for-profit organizations

Partnership Development Grants

Partnership Grants

Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions

First-time: All institutional eligibility requirements

Indigenous not-for-profit organizations may submit a research statement in place of requirements 2.2-2.6.

5 business days before grant deadline

Length of grant

Re-application: A letter affirming ongoing compliance with all institutional eligibility requirements and two years’ audited financial statements (requirement 3.1).

Restricted eligibility

Not-for-profit organizations

Connection Grants

Aid to Scholarly Journals

Terms and Conditions for Not-for-Profit Organizations

First-time: 1.1-3.1 of the institutional eligibility requirements

Indigenous not-for-profit organizations may submit a research statement in place of requirements 2.2-2.6.

5 business days before grant deadline

Length of grant

Re-application: A letter affirming ongoing compliance with the institutional eligibility requirements and two years’ audited financial statements (requirement 3.1).

* Exceptions stated explicitly in funding opportunity descriptions.

All institutions seeking institutional eligibility must also complete and return an institutional contact form and research administrator form.


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Research administrator guidelines

When considering who at an institution should be in a research administrator role, consider that the master research administrator must:


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Frequently asked questions

When is institutional eligibility required?

All institutions administering funding from SSHRC must be deemed eligible. An institution becomes eligible to administer grants and awards once both SSHRC and the organization sign the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions or the Terms and Conditions for Not-for-Profit Organizations.

Is your institution already eligible?

Please consult the complete list of SSHRC eligible institutions to see if your institution already holds institutional eligibility.

Can your institution also become eligible at NSERC and/or CIHR?

If your institution wishes to become eligible to administer awards from more than one federal granting agency, your institution may request a joint review. Send the documentation to one of the agencies, specifying which agencies your institution wishes to apply to, and indicate that you authorize the agencies to share the documentation provided. A joint response will be issued once the review is complete. If your institution is already eligible at one of the agencies and wishes to apply to a different one, contact that agency to discuss the course of action and documents required.

Which types of institutions are ineligible for institutional eligibility?

Federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government departments (including Indigenous governments, governance bodies and band councils), for-profit organizations and corporations, and foreign institutions are not eligible to administer SSHRC grants and awards regardless of the type of institutional eligibility being sought.

An institution that is federated with, affiliated to or a constituent portion of another institution will not normally be accorded its own independent eligibility to administer grants and awards.

Are there other options available to apply for SSHRC funding?

Institutions may choose to work out an agreement with an already eligible institution to administer a grant on their behalf. In cases where an eligible institution agrees to submit an application on behalf of another institution, SSHRC does not require that a letter or an agreement be in place between the two organizations. SSHRC recommends that discussions take place between the institutions well in advance of the deadline to confirm:

  • that the eligible institution agrees to submit and, if successful, administer the grant according to SSHRC policies;
  • that the eligible institution agrees to allow the research project to be reviewed by its Research Ethics Board, in cases where the research involves human participants (if applicable); and
  • that the ineligible institution agrees that funds will be managed by the eligible institution in accordance with its own policies, including institutional policies related to compensation and procurement, as well as reimbursement of other project-related expenses.

Can institutional eligibility be revoked?

Institutional eligibility can be revoked if:

Institutions may re-apply for eligibility once sufficient assurance is provided that the issues have been resolved.


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Contact information

For more information, contact:

SSHRC Institutional Eligibility
Email: institutional.eligibility@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca
Tel.: 613-947-8639


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Related information

Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans

Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research

For questions on these policies, contact:

Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research
Email: secretariat@rcr.ethics.gc.ca
Tel.: 613-996-0072

Canadian Council on Animal Care

Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide