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Details on transfer payment programs of $5 million or more 

General information
Name of transfer payment program Grants and Scholarships (voted)
Start date 1978
End date Ongoing
Type of transfer payment Grant
Type of appropriation Appropriated annually through the Estimates
Fiscal year for terms and conditions 2011–12
Strategic Outcome Canada is a world leader in social sciences and humanities research and research training
Link to the department’s Program Alignment Architecture Program 1.1: Talent: attraction, retention and development of students and researchers in the social sciences and humanities
Sub-program 1.1.1: Canada Research Chairs
Sub-program 1.1.4: Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships
Sub-program 1.1.5: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships
Program 1.2: Insight: new knowledge in the social sciences and humanities
Sub-program 1.2.1: Individual, team and partnership research grants
Sub-program 1.2.2: Institutional research capacity grants
Program 1.3: Connection: mobilization of social sciences and humanities knowledge
Sub-program 1.3.1: Individual, team and partnership knowledge mobilization grants
Sub-program 1.3.2: Research-based knowledge culture
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. This transfer payment program does not have repayable contributions.
Results achieved Program 1.1 Talent
Talent funding constituted 45 per cent of SSHRC’s grant expenditures in 2017–18 under Strategic Outcome 1. Results achieved in 2017–18 include the following:
  • SSHRC prepared an Indigenous Research and Reconciliation Action Plan, based on internal, interagency, interdepartmental and stakeholder consultations in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. In response to Call to Action 65 to establish a national research program, SSHRC identified actions and began planning, including for enhancing its Talent funding opportunities.
  • The Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat, on behalf of SSHRC, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), launched the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan in May 2017 as part of the management response to the Canada Research Chairs Program 15th-Year Evaluation. The action plan includes a number of key measures to increase the accountability and transparency of institutions’ management of their chair allocations.
Program 1.2 Insight
In 2017–18, SSHRC invested 47 per cent of its grants budget under Strategic Outcome 1 in funding opportunities under its Insight program. Results achieved in 2017–18 include the following:
  • SSHRC worked collaboratively with NSERC and CIHR to support the development of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) work plan to address priorities that included the improvement of support to international, multidisciplinary, risky and rapid-response research.
  • In recognition of the needs of the research community for more varied funding mechanisms, SSHRC developed Stream A Insight Grants for smaller grants of shorter duration. SSHRC also delivered two rounds of the new Partnership Engage Grants providing small-scale grants on a rapid turnaround to help researchers build collaborations with organizations in various sectors.
Program 1.3 Connection
In 2017–18, Connection program funding constituted 8 per cent of SSHRC’s grant expenditures under Strategic Outcome 1. Results achieved in 2017–18 include the following:
  • SSHRC saw a strong growth in demand for social sciences and humanities expertise and expanded outreach and engagement with government departments and related partners to inform decision-making and shed light on emerging issues.
  • SSHRC organized two major symposiums in 2017. The forum on Knowledge Systems, Experiences and Aspirations of Indigenous Peoples was held in September and the forum on Globalized Society was held in November.
  • SSHRC also developed the 2018–21 Implementation Plan for the next stage of the Imagining Canada’s Future initiative, which seeks to identify and address emerging future challenges for Canada, in a global context.
Comments on variances The variance between planned and actual spending relates to normal turnover of Canada Research Chairs incumbents. Surplus funds were transferred to the Insight and Connection programs.
Audits completed or planned Not applicable
Evaluations completed or planned Evaluation of SSHRC’s Research-Based Knowledge Culture was completed in April 2017.
Evaluation of SSHRC’s Partnerships Grants was completed in August 2018.
Evaluation of College and Community Innovation is planned to be completed in September 2018.
Engagement of applicants and recipients A variety of engagement initiatives (webinars, site visits, telephone, email, online forums) are 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.
Performance information (dollars)
Type of transfer payment 2015–16
Actual spending

2016–17
Actual spending

2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending (authorities used)
Variance (2017–18 actual minus 2017–18 planned)
Total grants 257,179,544 278,818,798 275,602,916 276,501,533 276,498,522 895,606
Total contributions 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total program 257,179,544 278,818,798 275,602,916 276,501,533 276,498,522 895,606
General information
Name of transfer payment program Canada Graduate Scholarships (voted)
Start date 2003
End date Ongoing
Type of transfer payment Grant
Type of appropriation Appropriated annually through the Estimates
Fiscal year for terms and conditions 2008–09
Strategic Outcome Canada is a world leader in social sciences and humanities research and research training
Link to the department’s Program Alignment Architecture Program 1.1: Talent: attraction, retention and development of students and researchers in the social sciences and humanities
Sub-program 1.1.2: Canada Graduate Scholarships
Description SSHRC’s portion of this tri-agency transfer payment program provides financial support to Canadian doctoral students and master’s students in the social sciences and humanities. This transfer payment program does not have repayable contributions.
Results achieved
  • SSHRC awarded 1,268 master’s scholarships and 430 doctoral scholarships through the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships funding opportunity.
  • Initial consultations on harmonization of the doctoral award portion of the funding opportunity were held with stakeholders during the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies annual meeting in November 2017. CIHR is leading the establishment of a focus group on this harmonization and the tri-agencies approved the group’s terms of reference in January 2018.
  • SSHRC led the harmonization of the Michael Smith Foreign Studies Supplement, which was based on an assessment of design elements and an environmental scan. Various elements of this funding opportunity were harmonized across the agencies for the April 2018 competition launch.
  • The updated Tri-Agency Research Training Award Holder’s Guide was published in January 2018 with a number of new harmonized post-award policies including updates to and consolidation of various post-award forms.
  • In response to the Canada Graduate Scholarships evaluation, work began on a three-year communications strategy with a focus on program branding.
Comments on variances The variance between planned and actual spending relates to:
  • unused allocations of the master’s award portion by universities that do not have alternate candidates;
  • interruptions for paid parental leaves for award holders;
  • limit of 2,600 awards (master’s and doctoral) that can be held simultaneously as stated in terms and conditions; and
  • future-year impact if more awards were offered.
These figures do not include operating expenses.
Audits completed or planned Not applicable
Evaluations completed or planned Evaluation of the Canada Graduate Scholarships was completed in 2016.
Engagement of applicants and recipients A variety of engagement initiatives (webinars, site visits, telephone, email, online forums) are 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.
Performance information (dollars)
Type of transfer payment 2015–16
Actual spending
2016–17
Actual spending
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending (authorities used)
Variance (2017–18 actual minus 2017–18 planned)
Total grants 68,689,226 68,262,198 68,983,500 68,983,500 68,820,804 (162,696)
Total contributions 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total program 68,689,226 68,262,198 68,983,500 68,983,500 68,820,804 (162,696)
General information
Name of transfer payment program Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships (voted)
Start date 2008
End date Ongoing
Type of transfer payment Grant
Type of appropriation Appropriated annually through the Estimates
Fiscal year for terms and conditions 2008–09
Strategic Outcome Canada is a world leader in social sciences and humanities research and research training
Link to the department’s Program Alignment Architecture Program 1.1: Talent: attraction, retention and development of students and researchers in the social sciences and humanities
Sub-program 1.1.3: Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
Description SSHRC’s portion of this tri-agency 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. This transfer payment program does not have repayable contributions.
Results achieved The Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships program attracts and retains world-class doctoral students and helps establish Canada as a global centre of excellence in research and higher learning. SSHRC funded 56 new Vanier scholars in 2017–18, for a success rate of 31.0 per cent.
Comments on variances The variance is not material. It represents less than 1 per cent (0.8 per cent) of actual spending.
Audits completed or planned Not applicable
Evaluations completed or planned Not applicable
Engagement of applicants and recipients A variety of engagement initiatives (webinars, site visits, telephone, email, online forums) are 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.
Performance information (dollars)
Type of transfer payment 2015–16
Actual spending
2016–17
Actual spending
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending (authorities used)
Variance (2017–18 actual minus 2017–18 planned)
Total grants 8,300,000 8,231,943 8,300,000 8,300,000 8,234,722 (65,278)
Total contributions 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total program 8,300,000 8,231,943 8,300,000 8,300,000 8,234,722 (65,278)
General information
Name of transfer payment program Canada First Research Excellence Fund (voted)
Start date 2014
End date Ongoing
Type of transfer payment Grant
Type of appropriation Appropriated annually through the Estimates
Fiscal year for terms and conditions 2014–15
Strategic Outcome Canada has the institutional capacity to enable research and research-related activities in social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering and health
Link to the department’s Program Alignment Architecture Program 2.2: Canada First Research Excellence Fund
Description These grants support Canada’s postsecondary institutions in their efforts to become global research leaders. It helps Canadian universities, colleges and polytechnics compete with the best in the world for talent and partnership opportunities, to make breakthrough discoveries, and to excel globally in research areas that will create long-term economic advantages for Canada.
Results achieved
  • The 13 initiatives funded in the second competition were implemented as follows. Start-up visits were taken with five of the initiatives, with the remaining eight planned for early 2018–19. During these visits, institutions have indicated to staff that the award facilitates interdisciplinary and high-impact research and that partnerships with industry and collaborations with national and international researchers have been developed. Commercialization of research discoveries has been accelerated and knowledge mobilization has occurred. This institutional feedback regarding the program will be validated in the next evaluation of the program.
  • As a requirement of the program, annual reports were submitted from all five initiatives funded in the first competition, which included self-identification data of all team members. SSHRC is currently analyzing these reports.
Comments on variances Not applicable
Audits completed or planned Not applicable
Evaluations completed or planned Not applicable
Engagement of applicants and recipients A variety of engagement initiatives (webinars, site visits, telephone, email, online forums) are 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.
Performance information (dollars)
Type of transfer payment 2015–16
Actual spending
2016–17
Actual spending
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending (authorities used)
Variance (2017–18 actual minus 2017–18 planned)
Total grants 1,912,756 7,398,817 12,927,180 12,927,180 12,927,180 0
Total contributions 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total program 1,912,756 7,398,817 12,927,180 12,927,180 12,927,180 0
General information
Name of transfer payment program Research Support Fund (voted)
Start date 2003
End date Ongoing
Type of transfer payment Grant
Type of appropriation Appropriated annually through the Estimates
Fiscal year for terms and conditions 2014–15
Strategic Outcome Canada has the institutional capacity to enable research and research-related activities in social sciences and humanities, natural sciences and engineering and health
Link to the department’s Program Alignment Architecture Program 2.1: Indirect costs of research
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 CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC. This transfer payment program does not have repayable contributions.
Results achieved
  • Grants to postsecondary institutions from the Research Support Fund equalled $369.3 million in 2017–18. This funding provided vital support to help offset part of the indirect costs that institutions incur when managing the research funded by the three federal research funding agencies. In 2017–18, the program constituted 96.6 per cent of SSHRC’s grant expenditures under Strategic Outcome 2.
  • In January 2018, SSHRC initiated planning for the next program evaluation of the Research Support Fund. By the end of March 2018, the evaluation’s design report was largely completed, which included timelines for the final program evaluation reporting stage in 2018–19.
  • Institutions that receive a grant that is greater than $25,000 are required to submit an annual outcomes report. The 2016–17 version of the Research Support Fund grant outcomes report was received from 96 recipient postsecondary institutions in July 2017.
  • All 96 institutions met the public accountability and transparency requirements instituted in 2015. These requirements ensure the program remains accountable to stakeholders and the Canadian public regarding who receives support and how funds are used to meet the program’s objectives.
Comments on variances The variance between planned and actual spending relates to transfers to the Royal Military College and institutions that did not submit their 2017–18 grant application form.
Audits completed or planned Not applicable
Evaluations completed or planned Not applicable
Engagement of applicants and recipients A variety of engagement initiatives (webinars, site visits, telephone, email, online forums) are 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.
Performance information (dollars)
Type of transfer payment

2015–16
Actual spending

2016–17
Actual spending
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending (authorities used)
Variance (2017–18 actual minus 2017–18 planned)

Total grants

340,434,112

368,440,841

369,403,000

368,516,134

368,456,473

(946,527)

Total contributions

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total other types of transfer payments

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total program

340,434,112

368,440,841

369,403,000

368,516,134

368,456,473

(946,527)

General information
Name of transfer payment program Networks of Centres of Excellence (voted)
Start date 1997
End date Ongoing
Type of transfer payment Grant
Type of appropriation Appropriated annually through the Estimates
Fiscal year for terms and conditions 2008–09
Strategic Outcome Canada is a world leader in social sciences and humanities research and research training
Link to the department’s Program Alignment Architecture Program 1.3: Connection: mobilization of social sciences and humanities knowledge Sub-program 1.3.3: Networks of Centres of Excellence
Description This transfer payment program is administered jointly by the three federal research granting agencies in partnership with Innovation, Science and Economic Development 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.
Results achieved
  • The Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program currently supports nine networks, as well as five Knowledge Mobilization Initiative networks, two International Knowledge Translation Platforms and one India-Canada research centre of excellence.
  • An NCE competition was launched in August 2017 with a total budget of $75 million over five years. This competition was open to both new and established networks. The competition resulted in 69 letters of intent and 11 were invited to submit a full application. The results of the competition will be available in fall 2018, with funding to start in March 2019.
  • An NCE-Knowledge Mobilization Initiative competition was launched in January 2018 with a total budget of $4.8 million over four years to fund up to three knowledge mobilization networks. The competition resulted in 40 letters of intent and 10 were invited to submit a full application. The results of the competition will be available in fall 2018, with funding to start in March 2019.
  • The India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability was extended for a three-year term (2018–21) with total funding of $8.28 million. The NCE-Knowledge Mobilization Renewal competition resulted in continued funding for two ongoing knowledge mobilization networks: SERENE-RISC (cybersecurity) and CellCAN (regenerative medicine and cell therapy,) totalling $1.6 million.
Comments on variances Not applicable
Audits completed or planned Not applicable
Evaluations completed or planned Not applicable
Engagement of applicants and recipients A variety of engagement initiatives (webinars, site visits, telephone, email, online forums) are 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.
Performance information (dollars)
Type of transfer payment 2015–16
Actual spending
2016–17
Actual spending
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending (authorities used)
Variance (2017–18 actual minus 2017–18 planned)
Total grants 8,911,000 8,911,000 8,770,000 8,770,000 8,770,000 0
Total contributions 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total program 8,911,000 8,911,000 8,770,000 8,770,000 8,770,000 0
General information
Name of transfer payment program Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research
Start date 2007
End date Ongoing
Type of transfer payment Grant
Type of appropriation Appropriated annually through the Estimates
Fiscal year for terms and conditions 2012–13
Strategic Outcome Canada is a world leader in social sciences and humanities research and research training
Link to the department’s Program Alignment Architecture Program 1.3: Connection: mobilization of social sciences and humanities knowledge
Sub-program 1.3.3: Networks of Centres of Excellence
Description This transfer payment program supports 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. This transfer payment program does not have repayable contributions.
Results achieved The Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research program currently supports 14 centres. The private sector advisory board is still conducting its performance monitoring activities of active centres as part of its regular activities.
Comments on variances The variance between planned and actual spending relates to the program cycle, where funding amounts are determined post-competition and appropriated through the Supplementary Estimates during the year.
Audits completed or planned Not applicable
Evaluations completed or planned Evaluation of Centres of Excellences for Commercialization and Research was completed in September 2017.
Engagement of applicants and recipients A variety of engagement initiatives (webinars, site visits, telephone, email, online forums) are 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.
Performance information (dollars)
Type of transfer payment 2015–16
Actual spending
2016–17
Actual spending
2017–18
Planned spending
2017–18
Total authorities available for use
2017–18
Actual spending (authorities used)
Variance (2017–18 actual minus 2017–18 planned)
Total grants 6,719,789 5,711,093 4,634,100 4,945,629 4,945,629 311,529
Total contributions 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total other types of transfer payments 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total program 6,719,789 5,711,093 4,634,100 4,945,629 4,945,629 311,529