Frequently Asked Questions—SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships
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Is my proposed research eligible for SSHRC funding?
Review the subject matter eligibility guidelines (particularly related to health and psychology research) to ensure you are applying to the appropriate agency. If you are still unsure after reviewing the guidelines, you can submit a one-page summary of your program of work to firstname.lastname@example.org and SSHRC staff will provide a preliminary assessment of its eligibility. Your summary should provide an outline of your research question, context, objectives, methodology and contribution to the advancement of knowledge, and a short justification of why your application is eligible at SSHRC. Note, however, that a final decision on eligibility can only be made following submission of a full proposal.
Where can I find information on how SSHRC supports Indigenous research and postdoctoral researchers?
SSHRC is committed to supporting and promoting research by and with Indigenous peoples—in Canada and abroad—as well as Indigenous students and postdoctoral researchers seeking to advance careers in the social sciences and humanities. See Indigenous Research and Indigenous Talent Measures for more information.
Is it possible to hold a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship if I have already held a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship?
If you have previously held a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, you are not eligible to apply for a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship. However, having previously held a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship does not make you ineligible to apply for a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship. See other eligibility restrictions on the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships website for more information.
With which institution should I affiliate?
Choose the institution that is best suited for your research and your academic career. Both the appropriateness of the institution and the supervisor will be taken into account in the evaluation of your application.
The Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes is a great resource, where you can explore the possibility of organizing a residency with one of the consortium’s centres or institutes. Consortium member residencies can help SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship holders strengthen their research, and can provide them with new research training and career development opportunities.
Can I apply if I wish to hold my SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the same university that awarded my PhD?
Yes, you can apply to hold your fellowship at the same university that awarded your PhD. You are asked to justify your choice of tenure location within your program of work, based on the fellowship’s purpose and its related activities.
How do I affiliate with an institution?
Research, contact and negotiate with your proposed supervisor and institution before completing your SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship application. This can be done by telephone, email, visits, etc.
Can I affiliate with two institutions or have more than one supervisor?
Yes. You can propose affiliating with more than one organization and having more than one supervisor.
If you propose to affiliate with more than one organization, indicate this in your program of work, and justify your choice for each host institution. You must clearly identify your primary place of affiliation, and outline how your work at the secondary location(s) of tenure will intersect with and enhance your research at the primary location of tenure.
The supervisor and the department head (or designate) at the primary location of tenure should complete, respectively, the research appraisal and the Institutional Nomination and Commitment form. Research appraisals and Institutional Nomination and Commitment forms from secondary host institutions are not required and will not be accepted.
If you intend to be supervised by more than one person at the same institution, you must select one supervisor who will be responsible for completing the research appraisal form.
Will I need to reside near the institution with which I am affiliated?
SSHRC does not have a residency requirement; however, keep in mind that among the goals of the fellowship are the development and expansion of personal research networks and the broadening of teaching experience. Your relationship with your institution and supervisor should be consistent with the needs of your project and the goals of the fellowship. Consider consulting the institution of affiliation, as it might have residency requirements.
What constitutes a “completed” PhD?
A completed doctoral degree means that you have met all requirements for the degree, including the successful defence and submission of the corrected copy of your doctoral dissertation. The date of completion is the date on which all degree requirements were completed, not the date of graduation.
Should you be awarded a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship, you must, before activating your award, submit official documentation from the university at which you completed your PhD, confirming that you have completed all the degree requirements for your doctoral degree.
Can I submit an application if I am missing one of my appraisal letters?
No. All third-party components must be completed and submitted prior to the deadline date before you can submit your application. We suggest verifying that your referees have submitted their letters (and that the letters, therefore, have been uploaded to your application) to ensure your application is complete in advance of the deadline for submission.
Note: Under no circumstances will SSHRC accept any applications or components after the deadline.
What constitutes a teaching appointment, and what type of letter does SSHRC need from my university about my appointment?
If you are currently teaching any courses at a university, you must upload a letter from a university official confirming that you do not hold a tenure or tenure-track position, that is, a permanent faculty position or a faculty position leading to permanency.
We will also accept a scanned copy of your contract. Neither the letter nor the contract will be shared with committee members.
Should I list my conference presentation as a refereed or non-refereed contribution?
It can be listed as a refereed contribution only if it meets the criteria for being refereed. Refereed contributions have gone through the merit review process before publication or presentation. A refereed work has been assessed in its entirety (i.e., has not been assessed merely on the basis of an abstract or extract).
My proposal involves Indigenous research and my research contributions fall outside those listed in the existing categories. Where should I list them?
In the context of Indigenous research as defined by SSHRC, and as per the Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research, you can list other contributions within existing categories or use additional categories.
What should I include in the explanation required for the diversity considerations in research design module?
Refer to the Guide to Including Diversity Considerations in Research Design for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Award Applicants. This guide outlines expectations and provides definitions, examples, guiding questions and resources for incorporating diversity considerations in your research design.
Can I include a publication in my bibliography and citations if it has been accepted for publication, but has not yet been published?
Yes. You can list accepted publications along with their intended publication date. Do not list publications that have been submitted but have not yet been accepted for publication.
What do I put in the “Funded research” section?
The “Funded research” section is intended for grants and funding specifically for research, as opposed to general awards, such as scholarships. It is not uncommon for emerging researchers to leave this section blank.
Scholarships, including SSHRC-funded scholarships such as the SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship, should be listed in the “Credentials” section.
Do I need to send SSHRC my transcripts?
No. Applications to the SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships funding opportunity do not require transcripts.
Does SSHRC offer other funding opportunities that could be of interest to postdoctoral researchers?
To see a complete list of funding opportunities available to postdoctoral researchers, go to the Funding search tool and select “Postdoctoral researcher” under Applicants in the filter options.
If, for any reason, I am unable to submit my application by the deadline, can I submit it at a later time?
No. Under no circumstances will any applications be accepted after the deadline.
Note: SSHRC strongly encourages applicants to submit applications in advance of the deadline date. Typically, there is a very high volume of users in the online system on the last day, which can create delays and put timely submission at risk. Applicants requiring assistance while preparing their application are encouraged to contact SSHRC’s Research Training Portfolio at email@example.com well in advance of the application deadline.
My application is complete! Why can’t I submit?
A complete application includes all of the required components (including two letters of appraisal, a research appraisal and a completed Institutional Nomination and Commitment form). If your referees have not completed and uploaded these components, you will not be able to submit. It is your responsibility to encourage your referees to complete their letters well in advance of the deadline, and to ensure that all required application components (including all attachments and letters) have been submitted.
SSHRC’s online application system will not accept applications if it does not recognize the information as valid. Preview and verify each of your pages and address the issues identified by the application system. Note that the application system will only accept writing in the “Other” field if you have selected “Other” from the drop-down list.
I clicked submit and now my status reads “forwarded.” Is it submitted?
Yes, both “received” and “forwarded” statuses confirm that the application has been properly submitted.
Can I update my application after I have submitted it?
Once submitted, applications cannot be updated. We do, however, encourage you to update your personal contact information as needed, by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who evaluates the applications?
SSHRC program staff will screen your application for eligibility. Members of a multidisciplinary and bilingual selection committee of academics will evaluate eligible applications in an independent merit review process.
On what criteria will my application be evaluated?
Your application will be evaluated using the funding opportunity's evaluation criteria.
How will proposals involving Indigenous research be evaluated?
All applications are evaluated using the funding opportunity's evaluation criteria. In addition, committee members will consult and follow SSHRC’s Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research during their evaluation of proposals involving Indigenous research.
Can I receive feedback from the committee about my score?
In view of the large number of applications, feedback is not provided. Committee members are not asked to provide written appraisals of individual applications, nor is a record kept of consensus judgments about the strengths or weaknesses of individual applications.
For more information about SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships, contact:
Research Training Portfolio
Toll free: 1-855-275-2861
For help with technical questions, contact the Helpdesk:
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