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Departmental Performance Report 2012-13

Details on Transfer Payment Programs


Name of Transfer Payment Program: Grants and Scholarships (voted)

Start Date: 1978

End Date: No end date

Description: This transfer payment program consists of grants and scholarships awarded for research, talent development and research dissemination activities in the social sciences and humanities.

Strategic outcome: 1.0 Canada is a world leader in social sciences and humanities research and research training

Results Achieved:

Program 1.1 Talent: attraction, retention and development of students and researchers in the social sciences and humanities

The scholarships, fellowships and research chairs offered under the Talent program are key to attracting, retaining and developing students and researchers in the social sciences and humanities. The 2011-12 SSHRC Scholarships and Fellowships Survey revealed that the majority of former SSHRC award recipients perceived the opportunities offered by the SSHRC award as the most important influence on their research and career path. The survey assessed the career progression of a cohort of SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) master’s scholars and SSHRC doctoral and postdoctoral fellowship recipients, to compare trends in employment. The survey included CGS master’s scholars who received their award in 2004, SSHRC doctoral recipients from 2000 to 2002, and SSHRC postdoctoral recipients from 2002 to 2004. The majority of SSHRC doctoral and postdoctoral fellowship recipients were employed at the time of the survey. At 47 per cent, the rate of employment for the CGS master’s recipients was about half that of the other two groups; however, almost 45 per cent of the CGS master’s recipients were not employed because they were pursuing doctoral or postdoctoral studies. Nearly 92 per cent of SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship recipients and about 85 per cent of SSHRC doctoral fellowship recipients had found employment at a university or college. CGS master’s recipients were more diversely employed—in universities (41 per cent), the public sector (25 per cent), the private sector (15 per cent) and the not-for-profit sector (13 per cent).

The Canada Research Chairs Program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world’s top countries in research and development and, more specifically, to attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds. The Tenth-Year Evaluation of the Canada Research Chairs Program (2010) concluded that, overall, the Canada Research Chairs Program “is a very well-regarded and effective tool for Canadian universities to attract and retain leading researchers.” Analysis of trends over the last five years suggests that Canadian universities are increasingly using their allocation of chairs in the social sciences and humanities as a tool to retain research leaders at their university (from approximately 40 per cent in 2008 to 75 per cent in 2012). Chairholders in the humanities and social sciences are also being recognized and celebrated nationally and internationally for their advancements. A 2011 qualitative and quantitative analysis of the annual reports produced by social sciences and humanities chairholders highlighted that they won a wide range of prizes, including the Boyd McCandless Award, the Humboldt Research Award, the Killam Award and the National Achievement Award.

Program 1.2 Insight: new knowledge in the social sciences and humanities

The Insight program aims to support and foster excellence in social sciences and humanities research intended to deepen, widen and increase our collective understanding of individuals and societies, as well as to inform the search for solutions to societal challenges. Researchers funded by SSHRC are building knowledge and understanding of complex and important topics in the humanities and social sciences, producing an average of 16 research contributions per project. The majority of these contributions are conference papers (24.5 per cent of research contributions), peer-reviewed articles in research journals (22.2 per cent), and books and book chapters (12.5 per cent). SSHRC-funded researchers are also present in the media, radio and television broadcasts, public lectures, and websites. The work of researchers funded through the Insight program is recognized nationally and internationally. A good number of funded research projects have been cited for recognition or prizes, as reported in the table above, and the researchers themselves have won various awards for their books and articles, as well as prestigious prizes such as the Killam Prize offered by the Canada Council for the Arts for academic research and scholarly achievement.

SSHRC supports many mechanisms for formal partnerships (with financial and/or in-kind contributions from partners) involving partners from the academic, public, private and not-for-profit sectors within Canada and internationally. For every dollar requested through SSHRC, Partnership Grant holders are, on average, leveraging up to $0.61 in cash and in-kind partner contributions. Furthermore, Partnership Development Grant holders are leveraging up to $1.07 through partner contributions.

SSHRC partners with other organizations to offer several joint initiatives, such as Automotive Partnership Canada, a collaboration that also involves NSERC, the National Research Council, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, SSHRC and the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Program. SSHRC awarded its first partnership grant under Automotive Partnership Canada in 2012-13. The Kanishka Project, launched in 2012-13, is a collaboration with Public Safety Canada on global security. Currently, two proposals are being reviewed by Public Safety.

Program 1.3 Connection: mobilization of social sciences and humanities knowledge

Under the Connection program, SSHRC’s support for knowledge mobilization activities enhances access to, and maximizes the impact of, publicly funded research in the social sciences and humanities. To this end, SSHRC continued its integration of knowledge mobilization activities across its suite of programs, so that Canadian and international policy-makers, business and community leaders, educators, media representatives, and countless others benefit from SSHRC-funded activities. Activities include the publication of scholarly journals and books; organization of and participation in events to discuss, compare and plan research activities; the honouring and recognizing of researchers, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows whose contributions to research have enriched Canadian society; and the development of large-scale, virtual research networks that bring together partners from academia, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations.

The evaluation of SSHRC’s knowledge mobilization, completed in 2013, concluded that “for the social sciences, SSHRC has achieved its strategic objectives for knowledge mobilization …. The social science community is now on the upslope of the adoption curve.” The evaluation also revealed that SSHRC’s knowledge mobilization funding opportunities were very successful in creating partnerships and networks, and that a large array of organization types are involved as contributors, including aboriginal associations, museums, not-for-profit organizations, private business enterprises and different levels of government. In 2012-13, Connection Grant holders leveraged, on average, $0.77 in cash and in-kind contributions from other sources for every dollar awarded by SSHRC.

SSHRC committed to launching new funding opportunities in 2012-13. In December 2012, SSHRC started offering institutional Connection Grants, through which institutions may submit an application to conduct connection activities in order to attain strategic objectives relevant to the institution’s mission and mandate. As a result, Connection Grant applicants may now be institutions, individuals or teams.

Programs: 1.1 Talent: attraction, retention and development of students and researchers in the social sciences and humanities
1.2 Insight: new knowledge in the social sciences and humanities
1.3 Connection: mobilization of social sciences and humanities knowledge
:
($ millions)
  2010-11
Actual
Spending
2011-12
Actual
Spending
2012-13
Planned
Spending
2012-13
Total
Authorities
2012-13
Actual
Spending
Variance
Talent—Total grants 90.4 92.5 97 94.6 90.7 -6.3
Insight—Total grants 127.4 127.6 125.7 133.3 135.0 9.3
Connection—Total grants 19.3 22.5 17.8 15.5 17.7 -0.1
Total contributions
Total other types of transfer payments
Total program 237.1 242.6 240.5 243.4 243.4 2.9

Comments on variances:  Differences in planned and actual spending relates to approximately 10 per cent of Canada Research Chairs not being filled at any given point, due to normal turnover of incumbents, and include changes announced in Budget 2012.

Audits completed or planned:

Evaluations completed or planned:

  • SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships Program Evaluation, completed in April 2012
  • SSHRC Prizes and Special Fellowships Evaluation, completed in September 2012
  • SSHRC Knowledge Mobilization Evaluation, completed in August 2013
  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships Evaluation, expected completion date in 2014-15
  • Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships Program Evaluation, expected completion date in 2014-15
  • Individual, Team and Partnership Grants Evaluation, expected completion date in 2014-15
  • SSHRC Institutional Research Capacity Grants Evaluation, expected completion date in 2014-15
  • Canada Research Chairs Program Evaluation, expected completion date in 2015-16
  • SSHRC Research-Based Knowledge Culture Program Evaluation, expected completion date in 2016-17

Engagement of applicants and recipients: A variety of engagement initiatives (webinars, site visits, telephone, email, online forums) have been used as part of the regular competition cycle, in order to give applicants and recipients opportunities to seek and receive information and to provide feedback on service delivery.


Name of Transfer Payment Program: Canada Graduate Scholarships (voted)

Start Date: 2003

End Date: No end date

Description: This transfer payment program supports doctoral students and master’s students in the social sciences and humanities.

Strategic Outcome: 1.0 Canada is a world leader in social sciences and humanities research and research training

Results Achieved: In 2012-13, SSHRC awarded 1,300 master’s scholarships and 430 doctoral scholarships through the Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS funding opportunities. The last evaluation of the CGS program, in 2009, found that both the possibility of receiving a scholarship and actually receiving a scholarship were, for 70 per cent of scholarship recipients at both the master’s and doctoral levels, important incentives for enrolling in graduate studies. The 2011-12 SSHRC Scholarships and Fellowships survey looked at the SSHRC CGS master’s cohort from 2004 and revealed that over 97 per cent of respondents completed their graduate degree or research program, and that the median time to completion was just under two years. CGS master’s respondents also reported satisfaction with different facets of their program: 77 per cent were satisfied with their overall experience in the program; 78 per cent were satisfied with the opportunity to conduct research during their program; and 75 per cent were satisfied with the quality of the teaching in their program. The next evaluation of the CGS program will be completed in 2013-14.

Program: 1.1 Talent: attraction, retention and development of students and researchers in the social sciences and humanities
($ millions)
  2010-11
Actual
Spending
2011-12
Actual
Spending
2012-13
Planned
Spending
2012-13
Total
Authorities
2012-13
Actual
Spending
Variance
Total grants 75 72.5 69.0 69.0 68.9 -0.1
Total contributions
Total other types of transfer payments
Total program 75 72.5 69.0 69.0 68.9 -0.1

Comments on variances: Not applicable.

Audits completed or planned: Audit of Canada Graduate Scholarships Program, expected completion date in 2015-16

Evaluations completed or planned: Canada Graduate Scholarships Evaluation, expected completion date in 2013-14

Engagement of applicants and recipients: A variety of engagement initiatives (webinars, site visits, telephone, email, online forums) have been used as part of the regular competition cycle, in order to give applicants and recipients opportunities to seek and receive information and to provide feedback on service delivery.


Name of Transfer Payment Program: Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (voted)

Start Date: 2008

End Date: No end date

Description: SSHRC’s portion of this tri-agency class grant transfer payment program provides financial support to Canadian and international students who have achieved outstanding success in their studies and will pursue a doctoral program at a Canadian university in an area of the social sciences and humanities.

Strategic Outcome: 1.0 Canada is a world leader in social sciences and humanities research and research training

Results Achieved: The Vanier CGS program was launched in 2008 to strengthen Canada’s ability to attract and retain world-class doctoral students in the social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, engineering and health. In 2012-13, SSHRC awarded 50 new Vanier scholarships in the social sciences and humanities; 17 of these scholarships, tenable at Canadian universities, were awarded to foreign citizens. Vanier scholars demonstrate leadership skills and a high standard of scholarly achievement in graduate studies.

 

Program: 1.1 Talent: attraction, retention and development of students and researchers in the social sciences and humanities
($ millions)
  2010-11
Actual
Spending
2011-12
Actual
Spending
2012-13
Planned
Spending
2012-13
Total
Authorities
2012-13
Actual
Spending
Variance
Total grants 5.5 8.2 8.3 8.3 8.3 0
Total contributions
Total other types of transfer payments
Total program 5.5 8.2 8.3 8.3 8.3 0

Comments on variances: Not applicable.

Audits completed or planned: No audit was conducted or planned during the reporting year.

Evaluations completed or planned: Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships Evaluation, expected completion date in 2013-14

Engagement of applicants and recipients: A variety of engagement initiatives (webinars, site visits, telephone, email, online forums) have been used as part of the regular competition cycle, in order to give applicants and recipients opportunities to seek and receive information and to provide feedback on service delivery.


Name of Transfer Payment Program: Indirect Costs of Research (voted)

Start Date: 2003

End Date: No end date

Description: This transfer payment program supports a portion of the indirect costs associated with the conduct of academic research in institutions that receive research grant funds from any of the three federal research granting agencies. Grants are awarded to eligible institutions using a progressive funding formula based on the average revenues from research grants received from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and SSHRC.

Strategic outcome: 2.0 Canada has the institutional capacity to enable research and research-related activities in social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering and health

Results achieved: Indirect Costs grants to postsecondary institutions equalled $332.1 million in 2012-13, providing vital support to the academic research environment in Canada. The Indirect Costs Program provides support in five categories, and institutions have flexibility in deciding how to use their grants. In 2011-12, institutions allocated 34 per cent of the grants to research facilities, 18 per cent to research resources, 34 per cent to management and administration, 9 per cent to regulatory requirements and accreditation, and 5 per cent to intellectual property management. In their annual outcomes report, 85 per cent of institutions cited the program as an important factor in gaining new sources of funding. The impact of the grants was both direct, through supporting research administration and grant writing, and indirect, by helping to maintain the infrastructure necessary to support new initiatives.

Program: 2.1 Indirect Costs of Research
($ millions)
  2010–11
Actual
Spending
2011-12
Actual
Spending
2012-13
Planned
Spending
2012-13
Total
Authorities
2012-13
Actual
Spending
Variance
Total grants 329.3 331.7 332.4 331.7 331.6 -0.8
Total contributions
Total other types of transfer payments
Total program 329.3 331.7 332.4 331.7 331.6 -0.8

Comments on variances: Not applicable.

Audits completed or planned: No audit was conducted or planned during the reporting year.

Evaluations completed or planned: Indirect Costs Program Evaluation, expected completion date in 2013-14

Engagement of applicants and recipients: A variety of engagement initiatives (webinars, site visits, telephone, email, online forums) have been used in order to give applicants and recipients opportunities to seek and receive information and to provide feedback on service delivery.


Name of Transfer Payment Program: Networks of Centres of Excellence (voted)

Start Date: 1997

End Date: No end date

Description: This federal class grant transfer payment program is administered jointly by the three federal research granting agencies in partnership with Industry Canada. It supports research in complex areas of critical importance to Canadian universities and hospitals working with the private and public sectors. The networks funded through this program are multidisciplinary and multisectoral partnerships that stimulate leading-edge, internationally competitive research in areas critical to Canadian economic and social development.

Strategic outcome: 1.0 Canada is a world leader in social sciences and humanities research and research training

Results achieved: The results of the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence competition, an initiative announced in Budget 2011 as part of the Government of Canada’s India engagement strategy, were released in November 2012. The India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (known as IC-IMPACTS) has been selected and will focus on research collaboration related to: safe drinking water, reliable infrastructure, and effective prevention and treatment of water-borne and infectious diseases.

Program: 1.3 Connection: mobilization of social sciences and humanities knowledge
($ millions)
  2010–11
Actual
Spending
2011-12
Actual
Spending
2012-13
Planned
Spending
2012-13
Total
Authorities
2012-13
Actual
Spending
Variance
Total grants 11.2 11.8 11.3 10.2 10.2 -1.1
Total contributions
Total other types of transfer payments
Total program 11.2 11.8 11.3 10.2 10.2 -1.1

Comments on variances: Not applicable.

Audits completed or planned: No audit was conducted or planned during the reporting year.

Evaluations completed or planned: Networks of Centres of Excellence Evaluation, expected completion date in 2014-15

Engagement of applicants and recipients: A variety of engagement initiatives (webinars, site visits, telephone, email, online forums) have been used as part of each competition cycle, in order to give applicants and recipients opportunities to seek and receive information and to provide feedback on service delivery.

Name of Transfer Payment Program: Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (voted)

Start Date: 2007-08

End Date: No end date

Description: SSHRC’s portion of the tri-agency class grant Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program supports the operation of commercialization and/or research centres that bring together people, services and infrastructure to maximize the benefits of the government’s investments in skills and research, and to encourage greater private sector investment in science and technology, in areas of the social sciences and humanities.

Strategic outcome: 1.0 Canada is a world leader in social sciences and humanities research and research training

Results achieved: An evaluation of the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program was completed in 2012-13. It found that the CECR program has enhanced research and commercialization capacity, strengthened domestic collaboration, and attracted investment from partners by leveraging $1.50 for every $1 of CECR grants funds. A key program strength is the level of industry involvement in the program. In the most successful centres, the quality of the leadership and the strength of the centre’s governance are also seen as key ingredients of their success. These centres’ customer focus, commercial relevance and focused organizational objectives and strategy were also noted as critical success factors. Building on the evaluation, the program has clarified its commercialization focus, to encourage applications from business-oriented centres that can demonstrate a clear path to sustainability by the end of their grant period. A recently launched competition includes management, business and finance as priority areas.

Program: 1.3 Connection: mobilization of social sciences and humanities knowledge
($ millions)
  2010-11
Actual
Spending
2011-12
Actual
Spending
2012-13
Planned
Spending
2012-13
Total
Authorities
2012-13
Actual
Spending
Variance
Total grants 2.6 3 0 6.9 5.5 5.5
Total contributions
Total other types of transfer payments
Total program 2.6 3 0 6.9 5.5 5.5

Comments on variances: The variance between planned and actual spending relates to program cycle where funding amounts are determined post-competition and appropriated through the Supplementary Estimates during the year.

Audits completed or planned: No audit was conducted or planned during the reporting year.

Evaluations completed or planned: Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research Evaluation, completed in June 2012

Engagement of applicants and recipients: A variety of engagement initiatives (webinars, site visits, telephone, email, online forums) have been used as part of each competition cycle, in order to give applicants and recipients opportunities to seek and receive information and to provide feedback on service delivery.