Update: SSHRC Online System

We are pleased to announce the application system is now back online for all active funding opportunities except for the SSHRC Doctoral Awards. In accordance with the Service Standards for SSHRC Online Systems, the deadline for the Insight Grants competition has been extended to Wednesday, October 4, 2023, 8:00 p.m. (eastern).

The SSHRC Doctoral Awards competition portal continues to be offline until system updates can be made. We anticipate the Doctoral Awards competition portal will be live on October 5. We apologize for the inconvenience, and thank you for your patience.

[ Updated: 2023-09-28 ]


Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Quarterly Financial Report for the Quarter Ended September 30, 2021

Statement outlining results, risks and significant changes in operations, personnel and programs


Table of Contents

This Quarterly Financial Report (QFR) has been prepared by management as required by section 65.1 of the Financial Administration Act (FAA), and in the form and manner prescribed by the Treasury Board. It should be read in conjunction with the 2021-22 Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates (A). This report has not been subject to an external audit or review.

1.1 Authority, mandate and programs

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) was established in 1977 by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Act, and is a departmental corporation named in Schedule II of the FAA. SSHRC is a funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary research and training in the social sciences and humanities to enhance the economic, social and cultural development of Canada, its communities and regions. Social sciences and humanities research builds knowledge about people in the past and present, with a view toward creating a better future.

Further information on the SSHRC mandate and program activities can be found in Part II of the Main Estimates.

1.2 Basis of presentation

Management prepared this quarterly report using an expenditure basis of accounting. The accompanying Statement of Authorities includes SSHRC’s spending authorities granted by Parliament and those used by the agency, consistent with the Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates (A) for fiscal 2021-22. This quarterly report has been prepared using a special-purpose financial reporting framework designed to meet financial information needs with respect to the use of spending authorities.

The authority of Parliament is required before the Government of Canada can spend monies. Approvals are given in the form of annually approved limits through appropriation acts or through legislation in the form of statutory spending authority for specific purposes.

SSHRC uses the full accrual method of accounting to prepare and present its annual financial statements that are part of the departmental results reporting process. However, the spending authorities voted by Parliament remain on an expenditure basis.


This section highlights the significant items that contributed to the change in resources available for the fiscal year, as well as the actual year-to-date expenditures compared with the previous fiscal year.

The following graph provides a comparison of budgetary authorities available for the full fiscal year and budgetary expenditures by quarter for fiscal 2021-22 and fiscal 2020-21.

Figure 1 Comparison of budgetary authorities and year-to-date expenditures (thousands of dollars)

Description of figure

Comparison of budgetary authorities and year-to-date expenditures (thousands of dollars)

This stacked bar graph shows SSHRC’s budgetary expenditures compared to the budgetary authorities by quarter for the current and prior fiscal year.

The x-axis shows the fiscal years in question: 2021-22 and 2020-21.

The y-axis shows the amounts in thousands of dollars from zero to $1,400,000.

SSHRC’s budgetary authorities and expenditures in fiscal year 2021-22 were as follows:

  • Budgetary authorities: $1,007,007
  • Authorities used during the quarter ended September 30, 2021: $372,844 (37%)
  • Authorities used during the quarter ended June 30, 2021: $89,102 (9%)

SSHRC’s budgetary authorities and expenditures in fiscal year 2020-21 were as follows:

  • Budgetary authorities: $1,237,065
  • Authorities used during the quarter ended September 30, 2020: $657,820 (53%)
  • Authorities used during the quarter ended June 30, 2020: $57,626 (5%)

2.1 Significant changes to budgetary authorities

As of September 30, 2021, SSHRC’s total available authorities for fiscal 2021-22 amounted to $1.0 billion. This represents an overall decrease of $230.0 million (18.6%) from the comparative period of the previous year. The major changes in SSHRC’s budgetary authorities between the current and previous fiscal years include:

  • a decrease of $500.7 million in statutory funding received in 2020-21 from the Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act (PHENCPA) for Research placements and ongoing academic activities as well as for the Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF).
  • an increase of $243.0 million due to the exceptional withholding of 3/12ths of the supply of Main Estimates in Q1 2020-21, with full supply being approved in December 2020 as a result of the implementation of COVID-19 measures. The full supply was approved during the first quarter in 2021-22;
  • an increase of $12.5 million from Budget 2018 to the Research Support Fund, supporting researchers with the necessary space at postsecondary institutions to undertake research and to improve accountability and reporting for the program;
  • an increase of $11.7 million from Budget 2018 supporting investigator-led discovery research in the social sciences and humanities; and
  • an increase of $3.0 million from Budget 2019 to increase the number of scholarship awards through the Canada Graduate Scholarships program and expanding the paid parental leave coverage.

2.2 Significant changes to authorities used

Year-to-date spending

The following table provides a comparison of cumulative spending by vote for the current and previous fiscal years.


Year-to-date spending
Year-to-date budgetary expenditures used at quarter-end (millions of dollars) 2021-22 2020-21 Variance

Vote 1—Operating expenditures

 

Personnel (includes contributions to EBP)

16.2 14.9 1.3

Non-personnel

2.5 2.2 0.3

Vote 5—Grants and scholarships

443.3 698.3 (255.0)

Total budgetary expenditures

462.0 715.4 (253.4)

Total budgetary expenditures amounted to $462.0 million at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2021-22, compared to $715.4 million reported in the same period in the previous fiscal year.

Grants and scholarships

At the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2021-22, the grant and scholarship expenses decreased by $255.0 million, compared to what was reported in the same period of the previous fiscal year. The decrease is mainly due to the statutory funding received in 2020-21 from Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act (PHENCPA) for Research placements and ongoing academic activities, as well as for the Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) and the timing of other payments.

Operating expenditures

Personnel expenditures (includes contributions to employee benefit plans (EBP)) have increased by $1.3 million compared to the same period of the previous year, due mainly to operational requirements of new initiatives implemented by SSHRC during the current fiscal year, in the context of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and Indigenous research, and to increased resources to support the growth of existing tri-agency programs such as the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF).

Total non-personnel expenditures as of the second quarter of fiscal 2021-22 are largely in line with the comparative period of the previous year. In addition to a slight increase in communications-related expenses in the context of the initiatives mentioned in the previous paragraph, there was an increase in acquisition of machinery and equipment expenditures related to the Workplace Renewal project launched during 2020-21 in partnership with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).


Figure 2 Authorities used based on elapsed time

Description of figure

Fiscal Year 2021-22: Authorities used based on elapsed time

This bar graph shows SSHRC’s spending trend, in percentage of elapsed time, in fiscal year 2021-22.

The x-axis shows the percentages from zero to 100% in increments of 20%.

SSHRC’s authorities based on elapsed time in fiscal year 2021-22 were as follows:

  • Percentage of year elapsed: 50%
  • Combined authorities (Vote 1 and Vote 5): 46%
  • Vote 5–Grants and scholarships: 46%
  • Vote 1–Operating expenditures (including employee benefit premium): 48%

Total authorities used at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2021-22 ($462.0 million) represent 46% of total available authorities ($1.0 billion).

Quarterly spending

The total authorities used during the second quarter of fiscal year 2021-22 amounted to $372.8 million (37.0% of the total available authorities; 37.5% of total authorities for grant and scholarship programs; and 24.5% of total authorities for operating expenditures and employee benefits).


Year-to-date spending
Budgetary expenditures used during the second quarter (millions of dollars) 2021-22 2020-21 Variance

Vote 1—Operating expenditures

 

Personnel (includes contributions to EBP)

8.1 7.4 0.7

Non-personnel

1.5 1.3 0.2

Vote 5—Grants and scholarships

363.2 649.1 (285.9)

Total budgetary expenditures

372.8 657.8 (285.0)
Grants and scholarships

Transfer payments represent 96% of SSHRC’s available authorities. Variations occur in transfer payment expenditures between quarters due to the nature of program cycles. During the second quarter of fiscal year 2021-22, SSHRC’s transfer payment expenditures have decreased by $285.9 million compared with the same quarter of the previous fiscal year.

The decrease is mainly due to spending of $272.1 million received from the Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act, during 2020-21, to support students and youth affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and to support research institutes and universities.

Operating expenditures

Personnel expenditures (includes contributions to EBP) for the second quarter of fiscal 2021-22 have increased by $0.7 million compared to the comparative period of fiscal 2020-21. This increase is mainly due to operational requirements of new initiatives implemented by SSHRC in the context of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and Indigenous research, and to increased resources to support the growth of existing tri-agency programs such as the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF).

Total non-personnel expenditures for the second quarter of fiscal 2021-22 have remained in line with expenses incurred during the same period of the previous fiscal year. There was a slight increase in communication costs for SSHRC initiatives and a slight increase in the acquisition of equipment for the Workplace Renewal project.

Through the corporate risk identification exercise, SSHRC annually identifies and assesses corporate-level risks and develops response measures to minimize their likelihood and/or impact. Senior management closely follows the risks below to ensure they are continuously mitigated and that the residual risk level is acceptable. This monitoring will include assessments of SSHRC’s operating environment given the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strategic risk 1—Ability to manage resources

SSHRC’s ability to deliver results is influenced by internal and external elements and opportunities, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the remote-first work context, and emerging government priorities and policies. To ensure strong oversight of SSHRC’s achievement of results, SSHRC relies on key planning documents, such as its strategic plan and Departmental Results Framework, and its corporate governance structure.

Strategic risk 2—Ability to manage change

Planned activities in support of SSHRC objectives are vulnerable to the management of change, including the cumulative impact of multiple changes. SSHRC has a number of key activities for fiscal 2021-22 that involve new technologies, organizational changes, new collaborations, new program directions and external factors affecting the organization. To ensure successful completion and minimize unintended impacts on other projects and on operations, SSHRC continues to implement mandatory training, the People Strategy, the Performance Management Program, the Corporate Communications strategy, which includes an employee communications plan, and other strategies to help ensure the appropriate development of employees in a changing work environment.

Strategic risk 3—Ability to manage reputation

Management of SSHRC’s reputation is a critical driver of SSHRC’s success. To ensure that challenges to SSHRC’s reputation caused by transformative changes in its operations, including implementing time-sensitive / high profile COVID-19 emergency funding, are effectively managed, SSHRC engages frequently with stakeholders and partners. It also collaborates closely with other federal research funding agencies to establish and maintain effective relationships and enable information sharing.

Strategic risk 4—Ability to continue business

SSHRC may not be able to ensure continuity of all business operations due to internal considerations, including the suite of legacy information management and information technology systems being unable to support new operations requiring new programs or substantive changes to existing programs, or due to external environmental considerations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent recovery period. SSHRC will ensure operational continuity and manage its engagements and reputation with stakeholders with an operational plan for legacy maintenance support, including a risk mitigation strategy that is appropriately prioritized and resourced. The agency will also introduce flexibility in program delivery, and with the ongoing monitoring and adjustments of funding application deadlines and adjudication timelines. 

Read more about SSHRC’s key risks for the current fiscal year in the 2021-22 Departmental Plan.

As announced as part of Budget 2021, SSHRC will administer $12 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to support community-based research conducted through the Race, Gender and Diversity Partnership Fund. This increased funding will specifically target community-based research to improve understanding of the causes of discrimination, and the impact of oppression; and to identify strategies to support justice, equality and accountability. Budget 2021 also included $250 million over four years, starting in 2021-22, for the federal research granting agencies to create the Canada Biomedical Research Fund, a tri-agency program to be administered by SSHRC on behalf of the three federal research funding agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, NSERC and SSHRC. The fund will enhance Canada’s foundational biomanufacturing excellence and pandemic readiness by developing the research and development and talent pipeline that drives downstream biomanufacturing capacity. It is a key component of the Government of Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy.

On July 5th, 2021, Dominique Osterrath joined our organization after her appointment as chief financial officer and vice-president, Common Administrative Services Directorate, for SSHRC and NSERC.



Approved by:



Original signed by

Ted Hewitt, PhD
President



Original signed by

Dominique Osterrath
Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer


Ottawa, Canada
November 29, 2021


Fiscal year 2021-22

Fiscal year 2021-22
(in thousands of dollars) Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2022Footnote * Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2021 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Vote 1—Operating expenditures 35,488 8,710 16,858
Vote 5—Grants and scholarships 967,689 363,221 443,258
Budgetary statutory authorities  

Contributions to the employee benefit plan

3,735 913 1,830

Spending of revenues pursuant to subsection 4 (2) of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Act

95 - -

Payments related to the Public Health Events of National Concern and income support

- - -
Total budgetary authorities 1,007,007 372,844 461,946


Fiscal year 2020-21

Fiscal year 2020-21
(in thousands of dollars) Total available for use for the year ending March 31, 2021Footnote * Used during the quarter ended September 30, 2020 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Vote 1—Operating expenditures 27,865 7,491 14,905
Vote 5—Grants and scholarships 704,670 376,954 426,232
Budgetary statutory authorities  

Contributions to the employee benefit plan

3,735 877 1,810

Spending of revenues pursuant to subsection 4 (2) of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Act

95 - -

Payments related to the Public Health Events of National Concern Payments Act and income support

500,700 272,498 272,498
Total budgetary authorities 1,237,065 657,820 715,445

Fiscal year 2021-22

Fiscal year 2021-22
(in thousands of dollars) Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2022 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2021 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Expenditures
Personnel 28,880 8,103 16,156
Transportation and communications 248 39 95
Information 916 179 326
Professional and special services 5,720 910 1,465
Rentals 1,328 171 379
Repair and maintenance 64 21 56
Utilities, materials and supplies 89 11 21
Acquisition of land, buildings and works - - -
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 2,073 169 170
Other subsidies and payments - 20 20
Transfer payments 967,689 363,221 443,258
Total budgetary expenditures 1,007,007 372,844 461,946


Fiscal year 2020-21

Fiscal year 2020-21
(in thousands of dollars) Planned expenditures for the year ending March 31, 2021 Expended during the quarter ended September 30, 2020 Year-to-date used at quarter-end
Expenditures
Personnel 23,130 7,448 14,885
Transportation and communications 1,317 39 56
Information 1,044 119 199
Professional and special services 4,890 982 1,532
Rentals 502 125 360
Repair and maintenance 57 7 12
Utilities, materials and supplies 55 11 16
Acquisition of land, buildings and works 127 - -
Acquisition of machinery and equipment 929 28 47
Other subsidies and payments 34 - (2)
Transfer payments 1,204,980 649,061 698,340
Total budgetary expenditures 1,237,065 657,820 715,445


Date modified: