Impact Awards
Applicant Instructions

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Nomination process


Persons with one or more disabilities seeking information on adaptive measures or accommodations to address barriers to accessibility at SSHRC, should consult the Accessibility in Programs and Services webpage.

Note: If you experience technical difficulties, contact the helpdesk as early as possible in the nomination process.

Nomination package

Every nomination package must include all the components listed below, except those in the optional section 4, Career interruptions and special circumstances. The jury will not assess any material additional to that requested here.

All documents, except for the SSHRC CVs and letters of support, must:

1. Institutional nomination process

Maximum one page

Institutions submitting more than one Impact Award nomination in a given year can include the same nomination process page for each nomination package, as applicable. SSHRC is committed to excellence in research and research training. Achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to advance knowledge and understanding, and to respond to local, national and global challenges.

Describe how equity, diversity and inclusion have been considered in:

These descriptions will be used for program monitoring purposes only and will not be shared with the jury.

2. Institutional nomination letter and rationale

Maximum three pages

This section presents the nomination and describes the program of research, research activities and achievements relevant to the Impact Award for which the candidate is being nominated. It should include:

3. Information supporting the nomination

This section should provide further information supporting the nomination. Include, as appropriate, a detailed list of research contributions, outcomes and other activities mentioned in general terms in the nomination letter. When referring to SSHRC-funded initiatives, cite all relevant SSHRC file numbers.

Supporting information should be grouped into the following categories, as applicable:

Page limits for this section are:

4. Career interruptions and special circumstances (if applicable)

Maximum one page

Note: This section is not mandatory.

Career interruptions occur when researchers are taken away from their research work for an extended period of time for health, administrative, family, COVID-19 pandemic or other reasons.

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

SSHRC asks its Impact Awards jury to consider career interruptions and special circumstances that may have affected nominees’ record of research achievements. In doing so, jury members will be able to more accurately estimate the productivity of each researcher, independent of any career interruptions or special circumstances.

5. SSHRC CVs and consent forms

Nomination packages must include:

Note: You can use electronic signatures on consent forms. The jury will not consider information additional to the SSHRC CV, such as lists of publications or teaching history. This information should be included in section 3. Information supporting the nomination.

6. Letters of support from three referees

Maximum two pages each

Three letters of support must be provided for the nominee. Referees must be established authorities in the fields and, except for the Talent Award category as specified below, cannot be from the same institution as the nominee. In addition, they cannot be individuals who are or were co-applicants in the initiative(s) forming the basis of the nomination. Referees cannot be individuals who are or who could be perceived as being in a conflict of interest with the nomination.

Note: For the Talent Award category only, referees (including supervisors) can be affiliated with the nominee’s current institution.

Letters of support with multiple signatories will not be accepted.

Letters of support must:

For accessibility, we encourage the use of:

Referees must send their letters to the nominating institution, not to SSHRC. Institutions can include letters with an electronic signature in their nomination packages.

Referee best practices for limiting unconscious bias and guidelines for writing letters of support

SSHRC is committed to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion to ensure equitable access across its programs.

Limiting unconscious bias

SSHRC strongly encourages the use of inclusive language (e.g., “the nominee” or “they” instead of “he/she”). Letters of support should be free of words or sentences that reflect prejudiced, stereotyped or discriminatory language of particular people or groups or their institution.

Inclusive language has been shown to decrease unconscious bias during the evaluation process. Nominating institutions should refer letter writers to the Canada Research Chairs Program’s limiting unconscious bias guidelines and the tri-agency (SSHRC, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research) unconscious bias in peer review training module.

For more information, see Women and Gender Equality Canada’s unconscious bias resources.

Considerations when writing letters of support

Institutions must ensure any person drafting a letter of support considers the following best practices and considerations:

Under the Privacy Act, the content of letters of support is accessible to nominees on request. The text of the letters will be made accessible to the nominee, except for any comments made about other individuals and their identities, and any information provided in the letter that could identify the referee. The information referees supply is for adjudication purposes; it is subsequently retained in the nominee’s file and protected by the Privacy Act.

Nomination submission

Incomplete nominations will not be accepted.

Submit your nomination package using the secure submission form for the SSHRC Impact Awards.

Self-identification data collection in support of equity, diversity and inclusion

After the nomination submission, nominees will be contacted by email to submit a self-identification questionnaire via a secure online platform.

Completing the self-identification form is mandatory, but each category offers the option for “I prefer not to answer.”

The collection of self-identification data is driven by the Government of Canada’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in the federal research enterprise. Self-identification information is collected, used, disclosed, retained and disposed of in accordance with the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act.

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