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Institutional Eligibility—Guidelines and Requirements

An institution only needs to apply for institutional eligibility if a researcher from that 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 are detailed in the descriptions for individual funding opportunities under the Talent, Insight, Connection and New Frontiers in Research Fund programs.

Types of institutional eligibility

Along with the criteria below, all institutions seeking institutional eligibility must also complete and return an institutional contact form and research administrator form.

Full institutional eligibility

Institutions:
Postsecondary institutions (universities and colleges)
Applicable funding opportunities:
All SSHRC grants and awards
Document signed:
Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions
Criteria:
All institutional eligibility requirements
When to contact SSHRC:
As soon as possible
Duration:
Renewed every five years

Indigenous not-for-profit eligibility

Institutions:
Not-for-profit organizations that self-identify as Indigenous
Applicable funding opportunities:

Connection Grants

Partnership Development Grants

Partnership Grants

Knowledge Synthesis Grants

Document signed:
Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions
Criteria:

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.
When to contact SSHRC:
As soon as possible
Duration:
Five years (SSHRC will be reviewing this category of eligibility based on feedback)

Provisional eligibility

Institutions:
Not-for-profit organizations
Applicable funding opportunities:

Partnership Development Grants

Partnership Grants

Document signed:
Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions
Criteria:

First-time: All institutional eligibility requirements

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

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

When to contact SSHRC:
Five business days before grant deadline
Duration:
Length of grant

Restricted eligibility

Institutions:
Not-for-profit organizations
Applicable funding opportunities:

Connection Grants

Aid to Scholarly Journals

Document signed:
Terms and Conditions for Not-for-Profit Organizations
Criteria:

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.

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

When to contact SSHRC:
Five business days before grant deadline
Duration:
Length of grant

Research administrator guidelines

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

Frequently asked questions

When is institutional eligibility required?

All institutions administering SSHRC funding 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?

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 or affiliated with 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:

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.

Contact information

For more information, contact:

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

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 Guide on Financial Administration

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