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Application instructions—Connection Grants

Note: For the purposes of these instructions, the terms “applicant” and “project director” are used to refer to individual applicants and the person acting on behalf of an institutional applicant.

Note: The terms “research” and “research activity” can be read throughout these instructions to refer to any Connection event or outreach activity, as research activities are not eligible under the Connection Grants. The term “partner organizations” can be read throughout to refer to “sponsoring organizations.”



Documents to read before applying


Helpful tips

Write your proposal in clear, plain language. Use non-technical terms that can be understood by a range of audiences with varied areas of expertise.

SSHRC advocates for the practices listed below when applicable in your application. In addition, costs related to these activities are eligible:

  • responsible research data management strategies;
  • open access publishing activities;
  • dissemination in both official languages;
  • promotion and support of official language minority communities; and
  • effective research training.

If you experience technical difficulties, contact the helpdesk as early as possible in the application process. The helpdesk has a higher volume of requests during peak periods (i.e., September 1 to December 1) and on deadline days.


Application process

Accommodations and accessibility

If you need help completing online application forms due to circumstances arising from a disability, contact your institution (scholarship liaison officer, research grant office or other applicant support office) as early in the application process as possible to investigate available supports. If your institution cannot provide help, or needs SSHRC to collaborate on a solution, contact SSHRC at accommodations-adaptation@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca. You can also contact SSHRC if you have questions or are seeking specific adaptation arrangements. You do not need to share your medical or sensitive personal information, and, to protect your privacy, should avoid doing so.

Frequently requested accommodations include, but are not limited to:

Applicant or project director responsibilities

By clicking “Submit,” the applicant or project director certifies that all information is accurate. They are also responsible for:

Research or financial administrator responsibilities

The applicant or project director cannot also be the research or financial administrator.

By clicking “Forward” (Forward to SSHRC), the research administrator or financial administrator (institutional approval) certifies that:

Electronic submission process and acknowledgement of receipt of applications

Applicants must allow enough time for their institution’s or organization’s internal approval process, as specified by the relevant authorities. SSHRC will acknowledge receipt of your electronic application form and will assign you an application number. Cite this number in all correspondence with us.

Applications remain available for download via the SSHRC online system for 30 days after the deadline, after which they are deleted.

Draft applications not accessed during a period of 12 months will be deleted.

Attaching a document

Many modules in your application will require you to attach a PDF document. You must follow the specified requirements for margins and font size, or your application will be deemed ineligible. An error message will appear if the file you are trying to attach does not meet the required specifications for page length and file size. Once you have attached the electronic file, we recommend you click “View attached file” to ensure you have the proper file and that your file is not corrupted.

Identification (mandatory)

Application title

Provide a short, descriptive title for your proposal in non-technical terms. Restrict use of acronyms (e.g., UN, NATO). Use uppercase for only the first word of the title, proper nouns and acronyms.

Your application title will automatically be included in the Activity details section.

Project type

Please see the Connection Grants funding opportunity description for information about the difference between an event and an outreach activity.

Select “Event” and/or “Outreach Activity” from the drop-down list. If you select “Outreach Activity,” you must specify the type of activity in the box provided. Events are capped at $25,000; if your event proposal requests more than this, your application will not be “Verified Successfully” and you won’t be able to submit it.

Learn more about the difference between an event and an outreach activity.

Event start and end dates

Please indicate the start and end date of the project.

Joint initiatives

See the funding search tool for a complete list of joint initiatives that may be relevant to your application.

If you want your project to be considered for one of these initiatives, select it from the drop-down list in the “Joint or special initiative” field in the Identification module.

Research-creation proposals

Before you select “Yes,” refer to the definition of research-creation for more information and examples of fields involving research-creation.

If you select “Yes,” refer to Research contributions and relevant experience and the Guidelines for Research-Creation Support Materials for instructions regarding creative outputs and support material.

Does your proposal involve Indigenous research, as defined by SSHRC?

Select “Yes” if you wish to signal to the adjudication committee that your application should be reviewed in the context of SSHRC’s definition of Indigenous research and its Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research.

Applicant or project director

The applicant or project director has primary responsibility for the project and assumes administrative responsibility for the grant. Carefully review the Eligibility requirements for Connection Grants before completing this module.


Applicant (or lead organization for institutional grants)

Names and initials

This information has automatically been transferred from your account. To change your family name or first name, you must contact webgrant@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca. To change your initials, you must return to the “My Account” section of your portfolio to update the information.

Organization

The organization has automatically been transferred from the “current position” screen of your CV. To have a different affiliation on record for this application, click “List…” and make the necessary selection.

Administering organization (individual grants) or lead organization (institutional grants)

Only an eligible Canadian institution or organization can administer grant funds. Institutions or not-for-profit organizations interested in administering SSHRC individual or institutional grants must meet the Institutional Eligibility Requirements for the administration of grants and awards, which is independent of the application process. Unless you have contacted SSHRC to begin this process, your organization will not be added to the list of eligible institutions and you will not be able to complete your application.


Activity details (mandatory)

Ethics

State whether or not your proposal involves human beings as research subjects. If it does, select “Yes” and consult the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans—TCPS 2 (2018) and submit your proposal to your organization’s research ethics board.

Impact assessment

The Impact Assessment Form (Appendix A) must be completed and submitted with grant applications ONLY if at least one of the following situations applies to your research or research-related activities, as per the Impact Assessment Act, 2019 (IAA):

  1. any phase of the proposed research takes place on federal lands, other than lands under the administration and control of the Commissioner of Yukon, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut, as interpreted in section 2 of the IAA;Footnote *
  2. any phase of the proposed research takes place in a country other than Canada;Footnote *
  3. the grant funds permit a designated project (listed in the Physical Activities Regulations) to be carried out in whole or in part; or
  4. any phase of the proposed research depends on a designated project (listed in the Physical Activities Regulations) being led or carried out by an organization other than SSHRC.

If none of these situations apply to your proposed research activities, then the Impact Assessment Form is not required.

Keywords

List keywords, separated by semicolons, that best describe your proposal.

Disciplines, areas of research, temporal periods, geographical regions and countries

Indicate and rank each entry relevant to your proposal, with Entry 1 as the most relevant and the last entry the least relevant.

Participants

The categories of “co-applicant” and “collaborator” accord with financial regulations outlined in the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration, so applicants or project directors are encouraged to discuss roles and involvement in the team at the outset and to be clear about whether participants will have access to research funds prior to inviting them in a particular role.

Participant invitation process:

It is the responsibility of each invited person to complete, verify and submit their “Accept Invitation” form and provide their “Research contributions and relevant experience” attachment (if applicable).

Note : Your application will not be “Verified Successfully” if all participants you invited have not successfully completed and verified their invitation.


Status Definition

Invitation not yet accepted

Participant (co-applicant or collaborator) has not accepted the invitation.
OR
If the participant deleted the system-generated invitation email by error, as the applicant you can click “Resend email,” and the same invitation will be sent again.
OR
If the participant has declined the invitation, you must remove the person from the application by clicking “Clear entry.”

Invitation accepted but not yet verified

Co-applicant has accepted the invitation and a copy of their CV was attached to their “Accept Invitation form” on creation. The “Accept Invitation” form is incomplete. Click “View CV” to preview the co-applicant’s CV and form.

OR

Collaborator has accepted the invitation and the “Accept Invitation form” was created. Click “View form” to preview the collaborator’s form.

Invitation accepted and verified

Co-applicant’s “Accept Invitation form” has been completed and verified. Click “View CV” to preview the co-applicant’s CV and form.

OR

Collaborator’s “Accept Invitation form” has been completed and verified. Click “View form” to preview the collaborator’s form.

SSHRC CV

Co-applicants affiliated with a postsecondary institution must submit a full SSHRC CV.

Co-applicants from a non-academic organization have the option of submitting a full SSHRC CV or only completing the following mandatory fields:

Collaborators are not required to submit their SSHRC CV.

Research contributions and relevant experience attachment

In addition to meeting the CV requirements above, co-applicants must also provide PDF attachments describing their research contributions and relevant experience. Co-applicants affiliated with a non-academic organization are not required to submit research contributions, but must include relevant experience.

A copy of the co-applicant’s CV will be attached to the “Accept Invitation form” on creation. As the applicant or project director, you will then be able to view each co-applicant’s CV as applicable.

The Co-applicant Instructions outline the sections that may be included in the Research contributions and relevant experience attachment. Co-applicants may choose to devote more space to certain sections depending on the nature of their past contributions and experience (for example, non-academic participants may choose to have a larger Relevant experience section).


Event presenters

If applicable, list the names of up to 15 key presenters. Presenters are defined by SSHRC as individuals who will make an active contribution to the project objectives and/or the production of any concrete deliverable(s). For each presenter, indicate whether you are requesting SSHRC funding in support of their involvement, and select the type of presenter (Presenter or Student presenter) from the drop-down list.

When appropriate, the list of event presenters should include students as well as a combination of established and emerging scholars.

After the data are saved, the system will automatically display the information alphabetically by family name on this screen.

As necessary, provide the information requested using the “List…” button. If the appropriate information is not listed, select “Other” and type the information in the box provided.

For each presenter, you must provide the following information:


Letters of support from sponsoring organizations (mandatory)

SSHRC will not fund the full cost of any Connection project. Additional support in the form of cash and/or in-kind contributions (excluding registration fees) equivalent to a minimum of 50% of the amount requested from SSHRC must come from sponsoring organizations, not individuals (see SSHRC’s Guidelines for Cash and In-Kind Contributions for more details). For example, an applicant / project director asking SSHRC for $10,000 in Connection Grant funding will have to provide additional support equal to at least $5,000.

Letters of support from each organization listed in your application as a sponsoring organization and contributing toward the required minimum of 50% in matching cash and/or in-kind contributions.

Only those contributions identified in letters of support that originate from sponsoring organizations and that are signed by someone with signing authority for the organization will count toward the required 50% matching funds. Amounts appearing in letters of support from individuals will not be used in this calculation.

If overall support totals less than the required 50% in matching contributions, the application may be deemed ineligible.

Each letter of support must:

Failure to provide a letter of support that meets the above criteria may result in the letter being removed from consideration in the calculation of the matching funds requirement. Failure to meet the minimum matching funds requirement could render the application ineligible.


Summary of proposal (mandatory)

Maximum one page

Provide a clear summary of your proposal indicating the challenges or issues to be addressed.


Expected outcomes (mandatory)

The project’s expected outcomes are essential for the adjudication of the proposal and are part of the Challenge evaluation criterion. Elaborate on the potential benefits and/or outcomes of your proposed project. You will be able to share how your outcomes have evolved in follow-up achievement reports.

Outcomes

Connection project outcomes include:

Project outcomes are facilitated by effective knowledge mobilization. They permeate daily life in the form of new thinking and behaviour, which leads to improvements in our economic, social, cultural and intellectual well-being.

For “Scholarly benefits,” “Social benefits” and “Audiences,” indicate and rank selections in order of importance. If the information is not listed, select “Other” from the list and type the information in the box provided.

Expected outcomes summary

Describe the potential benefits and outcomes (e.g., evolution, effects, potential learning and implications) that could emerge from the proposed project as a result of knowledge mobilization activities.


Description of Connection project (mandatory)

Maximum five pages

You must attach a PDF copy of your Description of Connection project. Before writing your proposal, consult the evaluation criteria in the funding opportunity description. Write your proposal in clear, plain language. Avoid jargon, acronyms and highly technical terms.

Include:

SSHRC encourages applicants to, if applicable, discuss how project results will be managed, including collection, preservation and sharing.

Contingency plans related to the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on your research project may be described in this section, if appropriate. This is not mandatory, but it may assist the merit review committee in assessing the feasibility of your proposal if your research plans are significantly disrupted, e.g., if international travel is not possible.

Open access and data management

Grant holders must follow the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. To the extent possible, and in keeping with this policy and SSHRC’s endorsement of open access forms of knowledge dissemination, grant holders should make their research results openly available, through, for example, open access publications, websites, publicly accessible databases and/or institutional repositories. To learn more, consult the Open Access overview.


Training and mentoring (mandatory)

Maximum one page

It is expected that students, emerging scholars (e.g., postdoctoral researchers and other scholars in similar situations) and/or other highly qualified personnel (e.g., practitioners, subject matter experts, Indigenous Elders) will meaningfully participate in the proposed initiative(s). Attach a PDF document that clearly describes the specific roles and responsibilities of students, emerging scholars and/or other highly qualified personnel, indicating the work they will be undertaking.

Consult the Guidelines for Effective Research Training in preparing this section of the application. These guidelines will also be provided to reviewers.

Include:


List of references or bibliography (mandatory)

Maximum two pages

Lists all references cited or works referred to in your proposal. SSHRC recognizes and allows the use of different referencing styles.


Research-creation support material (if applicable)

Maximum one page

If in the Identification screen you have self-identified yours as a research-creation project, you can include a website link to provide samples of work that best illustrate the qualifications of the team and/or the nature of the proposed research-creation.

When including a website link, follow these instructions:

SSHRC assumes no responsibility in cases where links provided are broken or the server is unavailable during the adjudication period. Reasonable efforts will be made to view or listen to support material; however, due to technical challenges, SSHRC cannot guarantee that the samples will be accessed. Consider that reviewers will have very limited time per application to view, read or listen to samples of work.

See SSHRC’s Guidelines for Research-Creation Support Materials for more information.


Funds requested from SSHRC (mandatory)

Demonstrate your ability to secure at least the minimum matching funding by including letters of support from sponsoring organizations. See the instructions for the Letters of support from sponsoring organizations for more details.

You can draw on complementary funding from SSHRC research grants and/or other research funding agencies, but must make clear in your budget proposal that there is no duplication of financial support for the same budget expenses.

While SSHRC funds may be used in this complementary way, these funds cannot be counted toward the 50% requirement for matching funds.

Estimate the costs you are asking SSHRC to fund. All budget costs must conform to the rates and regulations of the applicant’s or project director’s institution or not-for-profit organization and take into account the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration’s principles governing the appropriate use of funds. All costs must be justified in terms of the needs of the project, including costs for organizing and integrating team activities and for communicating results to audiences, stakeholders and the public. The budget will be adjudicated according to the appropriateness of the requested budget, and to the justification of other planned resources (e.g., time, human and financial), including cash and in-kind support already or to be secured from partner organizations.

Note: SSHRC provides the following guidelines to committee members regarding the adjudication of the budget subcriteria of the overall Feasibility score:



Enter amounts rounded to the nearest dollar without any spaces or commas (e.g., 2000). For blank entries, leave in the “0” value.

Personnel costs

For each of the categories below, enter the number of students and non-students you plan to hire, whether as salaried employees or as recipients of stipends.

Student and non-student salaries and benefits

For each applicable category, enter the number of students and non-students to be hired. Specify the total amount to be paid. When students are paid by wage, the amounts should follow the institution’s collective agreement or policy.

Student stipends

You may request stipends for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. Stipends must be justified in terms of the project objectives. The work performed by stipend recipients should be an integral part of the project. Stipend rates are set by the institution concerned.

Other—Salary research allowances

Salary research allowances are an eligible expense. These stipends cover up to 50% of the cost of temporarily replacing an employee from a Canadian not-for-profit organization who will be devoting their time as a co-investigator on a SSHRC-funded research project. The request for a salary research allowance must be justified in the proposal.

Salary research allowances can be used only by not-for-profit organizations that have co-applicants listed on their Notice of Award. Researchers holding an academic position at a postsecondary institution and government employees are not eligible for salary research allowances.

Note that a salary research allowance is not a salary for the project director or co-applicant, but is paid to the Canadian not-for-profit organization to offset the costs of replacing its employee.

For further information, see SSHRC’s Salary Research Allowances policy.

Travel and subsistence costs

Enter, by budget year, the total amounts requested for travel abroad and within Canada for both the research team and student personnel. Travel and subsistence costs must be based on rates approved by the institution or organization that will administer the funds.

Other expenses

Professional or technical services

Consulting fees for professional and technical services are eligible expenditures only if the budget justification demonstrates that expert advice is needed.

If a grant is awarded and you have planned to contract consultants for amounts in excess of $25,000, two independent cost estimates will be required by your host institution/organization.

Supplies

You can include other supply items (e.g., software, stationery, postage and telephone calls) only if they directly relate to the project and are not provided by the administering institution to their research personnel or by the employer.

Non-disposable equipment—computer hardware

Purchase or rental of computers and associated hardware is allowable only if these are not provided by the administering institution to their research personnel or by the employer.

Other non-disposable equipment

Purchase or rental of equipment (e.g., audio or video equipment) is allowable only if these are not provided by the administering institution to their research personnel or by the employer.

Other expenses

Specify other research and/or related expenses not already included.

Honoraria for Canadian faculty members are not an eligible expense.


Budget justification (mandatory)

Maximum two pages

Using the categories listed on the Funds requested from SSHRC page, explain how you will use the funds in each budget category to achieve the project objectives. For example, under the Student and non-student salaries and benefits categories, explain why these people need to be hired to meet the project’s objectives. Applicants are reminded of SSHRC’s mandate to provide training opportunities for students, emerging scholars and other highly qualified personnel, as applicable. Budget costs for research assistants, associates or project support personnel who are not students must be fully justified in terms of the needs of the project. Justify any funds that appear in the category “Other.”

SSHRC will not fund the full cost of any Connection project. Additional support in the form of cash and/or in-kind contributions (excluding registration fees) equivalent to a minimum of 50% of the amount requested from SSHRC must come from other sources. You must outline the overall cost of your event or outreach activity and clearly indicate which portion will be paid with SSHRC’s grant. SSHRC suggests including a table showing a cost breakdown of both the funds requested from SSHRC and the matching contributions.

Clearly describe how the budget requested from SSHRC and any sponsoring organizations’ contributions will complement each other and benefit the objectives of the Connection project.

Ensure that your budget requests are in accordance with the level of funding that is essential to complete the proposed program of activities. The adjudication committee may deem your application less competitive if it finds that you are requesting nonessential funding. Committees will use the principle of minimum essential funding to guide their discussions of project budgets.

Note: In reviewing the funding you have requested, committee members take into account the quality of your overall financial planning, your justification of the proposed expenditures, and the cash and in-kind contributions you have secured. Committees will recommend budget reductions in cases where they determine that budget requests are linked to ineligible activities.


Funds from other sources

List all contributors (e.g., host institution or organization, individuals, not-for-profit organizations, philanthropic foundations and private-sector organizations) that are providing cash and/or in-kind contributions for the proposal. Indicate whether or not these funds have been confirmed.

Only contributions confirmed by a letter of support from a sponsoring organization will be counted toward the 50% requirement for matching funds.

If a funding source is not listed, select “Other” using the “List…” button. Type in the source name and amount and identify the contribution type.

If you have received more than one contribution of the same type from a single funding source (i.e., cash or in-kind) and with the same confirmation status, you must combine these into one entry (e.g., two confirmed $20,000 cash contributions from a university become one confirmed $40,000 cash contribution). Enter amounts rounded off to the nearest dollar—in Canadian currency—without spaces or commas (e.g., 40000). For blank entries, leave in the “0” value.

When you save the data, five new blank entry lines will be added to the screen to allow you to enter additional funding entries, if necessary.


Impact assessment—Appendix A (if applicable)

If you have selected “Yes” to at least one of the questions in the Impact assessment section on the Activity details screen, you must complete the “Impact Assessment Form” (Appendix A) and upload it to the Impact assessment page.

If none of these situations apply to your proposed research activities, then the Impact Assessment Form (Appendix A) is not needed.


Exclusion of potential reviewers (if applicable)

Maximum one page

List potential reviewers who, in your opinion, would be unlikely to provide an impartial review. Provide a justification for excluding potential reviewers (e.g., experts with whom you or members of your research team have had serious disputes). While SSHRC cannot be bound by this information, it will be taken into consideration in the selection of reviewers.

This information will not be provided to external reviewers or members of the adjudication committee. Any exclusion should be renewed with any subsequent applications, if still relevant.


Research contributions and relevant experience (mandatory)

Maximum five pages

Applicants and project directors must attach Research contributions and relevant experience. You have five pages in total to address the sections below, as applicable. You may choose to devote more space to certain sections depending on the nature of your past contributions and experience (for example, non-academic applicants or project directors may choose to have a larger “Relevant experience” section).

The attachment should be presented in this order, as applicable:

  1. Relevant research contributions over the last six years
  2. Other research contributions
  3. Most significant career research contributions
  4. Career interruptions and special circumstances
  5. Contributions to training
  6. Relevant experience

Not-for-profit organizations are not required to submit research contributions, but must include relevant experience.

1. Relevant research contributions over the last six years

Outline your research contributions within six years of the application deadline date. In the case of those candidates claiming career interruptions (see 4. below), you may include publications drawn from your most recent periods of research activity to an overall total of six years.

Provide details, as appropriate, about the contributions you listed, as follows:

Group your contributions by category in the following order, as applicable, listing your most recent contributions first.

Refereed contributions

Examples include books (where applicable, subdivide according to those that are single-authored, co-authored and edited works), monographs, book chapters, articles in scholarly refereed journals and conference proceedings.

Be aware that a “refereed work” involves its assessment:

Other refereed contributions

Examples include papers presented at scholarly meetings or conferences and articles in professional or trade journals.

Non-refereed contributions

Examples include book reviews, published reviews of work, research reports, policy papers and public lectures.

Forthcoming contributions

Indicate one of the following statuses: “Submitted,” “Revised and submitted,” “Accepted” or “In press.” Provide the name of the journal or book publisher and the number of pages. Contributions not yet submitted should not be listed.

Creative outputs

Examples of creative outputs may include exhibitions, performances, publications, presentations, and film, video and audio recordings. List your most recent and significant achievements grouped by category. Creative outputs will be evaluated according to established disciplinary standards and creative and/or artistic merit.

If applicable, you can include a website link. SSHRC cannot guarantee that links will be accessed.

2. Other research contributions

Describe any other contributions to research and the advancement of knowledge within the last six years, including your research contributions to non-academic audiences (e.g., public, policy-makers, private sector and not-for-profit organizations).

3. Most significant career research contributions

List and rank up to five of your most significant contributions over your entire career. The six-year rule does not apply to this section. Therefore, contributions listed here may differ from those listed in other sections of your CV. Ensure that you explain briefly the significance of the contributions listed.

4. Career interruptions and special circumstances

Career interruptions occur when researchers are taken away from their research work for an extended period of time for health, administrative, family, COVID-19 or other reasons. In these cases, as explained above in the Relevant research contributions over the last six years section, explain the interruption(s) and ask that an overall total of six years of research activity be considered by the adjudicating committee.

Special circumstances involve slowdowns in research productivity created by health (and/or disability-related), administrative, family, cultural or community responsibilities, socio-economic context, COVID-19 or other reasons (i.e., the researcher was not completely taken away from research work). Applicants from small institutions may indicate their teaching load in this section if the change in workload impacted their research output.

Indigenous applicants can use the “Special circumstances” section of their application form to describe special circumstances that may have had an impact on their academic or career paths.

SSHRC asks its adjudication committees to consider career interruptions and special circumstances that may have affected candidates’ record of research achievements. In doing so, adjudication committee members will be able to more accurately estimate the productivity of each researcher, independent of any career interruptions or special circumstances in the last six years. Previous productivity is one element that may predict the success of the proposed project.

All information provided to SSHRC is subject to the Privacy Act. Applicants are reminded that the information included in this section of their application will be shared with both external assessors and adjudication committee members for consideration as part of their application. For more information, see merit review. All SSHRC merit reviewers are subject to the Tri-Agency Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy, and are prohibited from sharing this information outside of the merit review process.

5. Contributions to training

Provide the following information on students you have helped train within the last six years.

6. Relevant experience

In the Relevant experience section, non-academics and academics can describe their experience in engaging in and/or leading a Connection Grant-type event or outreach activity (e.g., event or knowledge dissemination, transfer, synthesis, exchange and/or mobilization activities), and any previous experience related to the objectives of the Connection application. Justify how this experience will aid you in the proposed activity.

Examples of relevant experience include: working within or with communities and/or organizations (e.g., not-for-profit, public and private sector organizations), non-academic career information, or voluntary work.

Include:


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