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Gender-based analysis plus

General information
Governance structures

Plans, strategies, and frameworks

SSHRC continues to integrate GBA+ into its broader equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) initiatives. SSHRC’s EDI work in 2020–21 will be guided primarily by the Tri-agency EDI Action Plan, a priority of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC). This plan was developed and adopted in 2018 by the three federal research granting agencies—which are SSHRC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)—and the plan’s implementation continues (see Planned initiatives).

In addition, the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS), a division of SSHRC that administers tri-agency programs on behalf of CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC, will be drafting and implementing its follow-up to the first EDI Action Plan (EDIAP 1.0) for the Canada Research Chairs Program (CRCP). EDIAP 2.0 will build on recent EDI progress accomplished by the CRCP and participating universities through EDIAP 1.0, which was launched in May 2017. EDIAP 2.0 will outline how TIPS will implement the 2019 Addendum to the 2006 Canadian Human Rights Settlement Agreement pertaining to the CRCP. The Addendum requires participating institutions to, among other EDI measures:

  • set and meet population-based targets for the four designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minority groups);
  • develop institutional EDI action plans for the management of CRCP with an intersectional lens and in consideration of researchers from LGBTQ2+ communities; and
  • report publicly on progress toward EDI objectives and on the diversity of chairholders.

The Addendum also requires the program to:

  • review all program literature with an EDI lens;
  • submit the institutional EDI action plans to an external review by EDI experts; and
  • complete a GBA+ of the program, including a review of broader systemic issues within the academy that impact the program.

Governance structures and accountability mechanisms

The GBA+ responsibility centre is in SSHRC’s Corporate Strategy and Performance Division. Responsibility centre staff ensure leadership and management of EDI activities; manage SSHRC’s Coordination Group on EDI; contribute to the integration of GBA+ into Treasury Board submissions; and represent SSHRC on the Tri-agency EDI Policy Group, which coordinates implementation of the Tri-agency EDI Action Plan.

At the corporate level, the executive director, Corporate Strategy and Performance Division, is accountable for the regular reporting on EDI activities to internal governance committees.

For programs managed by TIPS, TIPS’ associate vice-president is accountable for reporting program and policy changes to the steering committee (composed of the presidents of the three federal granting agencies and of the Canada Foundation for Innovation; the deputy minister, Innovation, Science and Industry; and the deputy minister, Health Canada) and to the Management Committee (composed of vice-president-level agency representatives and assistant deputy ministers for the same organizations). As well, the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF), a TIPS program, reports to the CRCC and a NFRF Management Committee (composed of vice-president-level agency representatives; assistant deputy ministers of Health Canada and of Innovation, Science and Industry; the secretary general of the National Research Council; and the chief of staff to the Chief Science Advisor).

In addition, TIPS’ formal governance structure includes an external advisory committee composed of national and international experts in EDI in postsecondary research. This advisory committee is mandated to provide advice to the TIPS management and steering committees on measures to bolster the EDI of TIPS programs.

Monitoring and reporting

Since 2018, all program evaluations systematically include GBA+ analysis to better inform decision-making related to EDI. In addition, for the CRCP specifically, the 2010 and 2015 evaluations included a focus on EDI. The response to the 2015 evaluation led to the development and implementation of EDIAP 1.0.

The SSHRC GBA+ responsibility centre and SSHRC’s Coordination Group on EDI report annually to SSHRC’s management committees and senior officials on the progress made against key annual EDI activities and the Tri-agency EDI Action Plan. The responsibility centre also reports to SSHRC’s governing council.

In addition, SSHRC reports to the CRCC on progress in implementing the Tri-agency EDI Action Plan.

For TIPS, the steering and management committees are mandated with oversight for monitoring and reporting on progress toward implementing the CRCP EDI action plan, as well as EDI measures in all other TIPS programs except NFRF. NFRF reports to a NFRF management committee and the CRCC.

Human resources

9.0 full-time equivalents

Planned initiatives

The following major initiatives for 2020–21 are geared toward strengthening the equity performance of SSHRC’s suite of programs.

SSHRC promotes and supports postsecondary-based research (careers) and research training (education). As such, the initiatives outlined below support the following elements of the Gender Results Framework:

  • Pillar 1: Education and skills development
    • Goal: Equal opportunities and diversified paths in education and skills development
  • Pillar 2: Economic participation and prosperity
    • Goal: Equal and full participation in the economy

1. Tri-agency EDI Action Plan

The Tri-agency EDI Action Plan has three objectives: fair access to tri-agency research support; equitable participation in the research system; and data for evidence-informed decision-making. As implementation of the plan continues, specific activities and related targets will be based in part on GBA+ information from the agencies’ self-identification questionnaire for funding applicants and members of merit review committees, which was launched in 2018 (see more in Reporting capacity and data).

Examples of measures planned for 2020–21 that aim to advance gender equality and EDI more broadly, as part of SSHRC’s support for research and research training, include:

  • implementation of the requirement for merit review committee members to take training on unconscious bias in peer review;
  • continued implementation of measures that promote an EDI-informed understanding of research excellence;
  • continued EDI data collection, and additions and revisions to the EDI self-identification questionnaire; and
  • updating of the Departmental Results Framework demographic indicators to include all four designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minority groups).

Many activities in the action plan have their own specific indicators and targets (e.g., proportion of applicants and committee members who provide self-identification data, and proportion of committee members who complete bias awareness training). In general, elements of participation in SSHRC programs by specific population groups will be monitored, compared against comparator populations, and reported publicly through SSHRC’s online EDI dashboard.

The expected net impact on gender equality, and on equity and inclusion of underrepresented groups, is expected to be positive.

2. CRCP’s EDIAP 2.0

As described under Governance structures, TIPS will be drafting and implementing EDIAP 2.0 for the CRCP. This plan outlines the various measures and program changes that will be incorporated into the CRCP to ensure EDI is considered in both program and participating institutions’ management of their chairs. The goal is sustainable, strategic and systemic change that results in a program that mirrors the full range of diversity in the Canadian population.

EDIAP 2.0. will include a number of key measures, including:

  • setting and meeting population-level targets for chairholders by 2029;
  • collecting data to monitor participation of LGBTQ2+ researchers in the program, as well as implementing measures to ensure bolstered participation of LGBTQ2+ researchers in the program;
  • publicly reporting on the progress toward population-level diversity in the program; and
  • employing an intersectional lens in all EDI work, meaning that in addition to considering all equity-seeking groups individually, the program will also seek to support researchers who identify with more than one group.

The expected net impact on gender equality within the research community is expected to be positive.

Reporting capacity and data

In fall 2018, a new self-identification questionnaire for applicants was implemented. It has enabled GBA+ analysis on the basis of age range, gender, disability, and Indigenous and visible minority identity. These data are in addition to those SSHRC already collected prior to the new questionnaire, including on official language, academic discipline, and province and region of Canada.

In 2020–21, as part of the Tri-agency EDI Action Plan and the CRCP EDIAP 2.0, the questionnaire will be revised.

As a result, more complete and disaggregated microdata will be available for the following four programs of SSHRC’s Program Inventory:

  • Insight Research;
  • Research Training and Talent Development;
  • Research Partnerships; and
  • NFRF.

Public releases of aggregated individual program microdata in 2020–21 include:

  • a yearly update to SSHRC’s EDI Dashboard, launched in January 2020; and
  • data published on the individual websites for TIPS programs, where possible and in compliance with the federal Privacy Act.
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