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SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships
Applicant Instructions

SSHRC recommends clearing your browser cache to ensure the most up-to-date instructions are consulted. Verify the date modified at the bottom of this webpage to ensure these instructions are for the latest funding cycle.

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Documents to read before applying

We suggest that you consult this web document and Help with Online Forms while you are completing your online application. You can refer to this document by clicking “Instructions” at any time within a screen.

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 and deadline

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 accessibility-accessibilite@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 responsibilities

Applicants must complete and verify the online SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships application form and their SSHRC web-based curriculum vitae (SSHRC web CV).

Applicants must click “Preview” and “Verify” for each page of their application as they complete it, and well ahead of the deadline. SSHRC’s online system will not accept applications that contain unverified sections. If applicants make changes to a page, they must click “Verify” again for that page to confirm that SSHRC’s online system will accept the new information when they submit their application. The criteria for final verification of the application as a whole can be stricter than for individual modules. Applicants might, therefore, need to adjust previously validated sections of the application. Note that validation confirms only that mandatory sections (including uploads and letters) have been completed; it does not validate application content.

In addition to verifying content, it is the applicant’s responsibility to:

You can view and print the complete application, including the PDF attachments (uploads) and the SSHRC web CV, but you must submit your application electronically to SSHRC before 8 p.m. eastern, September 13, 2023. If a deadline falls on a weekend or a public holiday observed in Ontario, the online application system will remain open until 8 p.m. (eastern) on the next business day.

SSHRC’s online system will not accept incomplete applications. At 8 p.m. on the deadline day, the “Submit” button will disappear, and no further changes or submissions will be possible.

If your personal contact information changes after you have submitted your application, email fellowships@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca to update it.

Notes:

  • SSHRC strongly encourages applicants to submit applications ahead of the deadline date. Typically, the online system handles a very high volume of users on the last day, which could create delays and put timely submission at risk.
  • Applicants requiring assistance while preparing their application are encouraged to communicate with SSHRC’s Research Training Portfolio at fellowships@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca well in advance of the application deadline.
  • Under no circumstances will applications be accepted after the deadline.

Follow these steps:

  1. Review the funding opportunity’s Merit Review section and address the evaluation criteria when completing the application form and SSHRC online CV.
  2. Upload all mandatory PDF documents required for your application.
  3. Provide application contributors with your program of work, related documents and the evaluation criteria well in advance of the application deadline.
  4. Ensure that both referees have submitted their Letter of Appraisal form so that the status reads “Referee form completed.”
  5. Ensure that your proposed supervisor has submitted the Research Appraisal form so that the status reads “Referee form completed.”
  6. Ensure the department head has read SSHRC’s Guidelines for Effective Research Training and submitted the Institutional Nomination and Commitment form (status on Referee module reads “Referee form completed”).
  7. Verify and correct the data until the Verification Report indicates successful verification.
  8. Click “Submit.”

Note: Once the application has been submitted, its status will first be updated to “Received,” before being set to “Forwarded.” Both statuses confirm that the application has been properly submitted.

Attaching a document

Many modules in your application will require you to attach a PDF file. 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 it is not corrupted.

Acknowledgement of receipt of applications

After SSHRC receives your verified and completed application form, the data provided in your application and CVs are transferred to SSHRC’s corporate database. SSHRC will acknowledge receipt of your electronic application form once it has been processed, and will assign you an application number. Cite this number in all correspondence with us.

The email acknowledging receipt will be sent to your primary email address as entered in the CV, and will arrive four to six weeks after the deadline date. If you do not receive an email from the Research Training Portfolio six weeks after the deadline date, contact us at fellowships@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca.


Application profile

Application title
Provide a short, descriptive title for your program of work in nontechnical terms. Restrict use of acronyms (e.g., UN, NATO, etc.). Use upper case only for the first word of the title, proper nouns and acronyms. Your application title will automatically be included in the “Activity details” screen.

Preferred merit review committee
Based on the subject and discipline(s) of your program of work, choose a committee using the “List…” button.

The disciplines represented by each committee are as follows:

Committee 1 (7561)

Fine arts, literature (all types)

Committee 2 (7562)

Classical archaeology, classics, classical and dead languages, history, mediaeval studies, philosophy, religious studies

Committee 3 (7563)

Anthropology, archaeology (except classical archaeology), criminology, folklore, sociology

Committee 4 (7564)

Education, linguistics, psychology, social work

Committee 5 (7565)

Economics, industrial relations, law, management, business, administrative studies, political science

Committee 6 (7566)

Archival science, communications and media studies, demography, environmental studies, geography, library and information science, urban and regional studies

If your main discipline is women’s studies, choose the committee based on the aspect of women’s studies you are working in. For example, if your research involves women’s literature, you should choose Committee 1.

If your main discipline is interdisciplinary studies, choose the committee based on the most prevalent discipline among those related to your research. Committee membership is composed of experts in the disciplines listed for each committee; however, SSHRC cannot guarantee expertise in each discipline listed. When selecting a committee, therefore, select the committee that lists areas most relevant to your research proposal and career trajectory. All decisions regarding committee selection rest with the applicant.

Supplement
If you wish to be considered for a supplemental award and meet the eligibility criteria, select the supplement from the drop-down menu. For each supplement selected, provide a maximum one-page justification. Successful candidates will be notified.

Joint or special initiative
If you wish to be considered for a joint or special initiative, and meet the eligibility criteria, select the initiative from the drop-down menu. For each initiative selected, provide a maximum one-page justification or other required information or form, as applicable. Successful candidates will be notified in the months following the competition results.

Note: By indicating you wish to be considered for a supplement and/or a joint or special initiative, you are agreeing to SSHRC sharing information with the partner organization.

Does your proposal involve Indigenous research, as defined by SSHRC?
SSHRC is committed to supporting and promoting research by and with Indigenous peoples. As such, SSHRC’s Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research are provided to merit reviewers to help build understanding of Indigenous research and research-related activities, and to assist committee members in interpreting SSHRC’s specific evaluation criteria in the context of Indigenous research. Concerted efforts are made to include experts in Indigenous research in postdoctoral merit review committees.

Review SSHRC's Indigenous Research Statement of Principles and its Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research. Applications that meet SSHRC’s definition of Indigenous research will be reviewed in the context of these guidelines. Select “Yes” to signal to the multi-disciplinary merit review committee members that your application should be reviewed according to these guidelines.

Do you hold a teaching appointment?
Indicate whether or not you hold a teaching appointment of any kind. If “Yes,” you must attach a PDF of a letter to your application package (see the Teaching appointment letter section of the application form).

Applicant
The information listed in this section has been automatically transferred from your SSHRC web CV. Use the “Current position” screen in the SSHRC web CV to make any necessary changes to your current place of employment or institutional affiliation. If you wish to have a different affiliation on record for this application, use this section to enter it.


Teaching appointment letter (if applicable)

If you answered “no” to the question “Do you hold a teaching appointment?,” you do not need to attach a letter in this module.

If you answered “Yes” to the question “Do you hold a teaching appointment?,” you must attach a PDF of a letter from a university official confirming that you do not hold a tenure or tenure-track position. SSHRC will also accept a scanned copy of your contract. This document will not be shared with merit review committee members.


Program of work

Maximum four pages

Attach a PDF copy of your program of work. Write your proposal in clear, plain language. Avoid discipline-specific jargon, acronyms and highly technical terms when writing your program of work. Your application will be reviewed by members of a multidisciplinary merit review committee, not all of whom will be familiar with your area of research.

Prepare your program of work as follows:


Bibliography and citations

Maximum 10 pages

Attach a PDF file of:

SSHRC recognizes and allows the use of different referencing styles.


Diversity considerations in research design module

Once you’ve answered yes or no to the question “Do diversity considerations apply to your proposed research design?”, use the text box provided (maximum 1,700 characters) to indicate how diversity considerations are applicable or not to your research proposal.

Before completing this module, read the Guide to Including Diversity Considerations in Research Design for Doctoral and Postdoctoral Award Applicants.

Note: Although mandatory, this module is not subject to merit review and is not shared with committee members.


Program information

Support requested

Number of months of support requested
Indicate the number of months of support sought through this application. Fellowship tenures can be requested for 12 or 24 months. Early terminations are permitted. Extensions are not available.

Expected start date of the award
Indicate when you expect to start your award. The award can begin on the first of any month between May 2024 and January 2025.

Note: You cannot start your award until after you have successfully completed all the degree requirements for your doctoral degree, including the successful defence and submission of the corrected copy of your doctoral dissertation. These requirements must be completed by December 31, 2024, at the latest.

Languages

Specify the language(s) required to carry out your proposed program of work. Indicate your current proficiency in each.


Tenure location

Identify the organization and department/division where you plan to hold the award by clicking the “List…” button. If your organization and department/division are not listed, select “Other/Unknown” from the list and type the information into the box provided.

Applicants who wish to hold their award at a Canadian institution eligible to administer SSHRC funds will be paid through their host institution. Applicants should contact the proposed location of tenure in advance of submitting their application to determine the specifics of the institutional support offered by their host institution.

You can propose to affiliate with more than one organization. If applicable, identify the secondary location of tenure by clicking the “List…” button in the section “Secondary tenure location” and selecting the appropriate organization and department/division. If your organization and department/division are not listed, select “Other/Unknown” from the list and type the information in the box provided. Secondary locations of tenure can include, for example, academic, not-for-profit or community/cultural organizations, as well as organizations from the private sector.

In the “Tenure location” and the “Secondary tenure location” sections of the application form, you can list up to two places of affiliation. If you propose to affiliate with more than one organization, indicate it in your program of work and justify your choice for each host institution. Both the appropriateness of the institution and the supervisor will be taken into account in the evaluation of your application.

Note: If you earned your PhD at a foreign university, you can only hold the award at a Canadian university. If you earned your PhD at a Canadian university, you can hold the award at either a Canadian or a foreign university.


Areas of study

The information provided in this section refers to your research/study.

Ethics
State whether or not your proposed research/study involves human beings as research subjects. If it does, select “Yes” and consult the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans and submit your proposal to the research ethics board of the institution where you will undertake your graduate or postdoctoral studies. Note that you need not submit your proposal to the research ethics board prior to submitting your application.

Keywords
List keywords, separated by semicolons, that best describe your proposed research/study.

Select appropriate entries under each of the sections below using the “List…” button. Duplicate entries are not permitted.

Disciplines
Indicate and rank up to three disciplines relevant to your research/study, with Entry 1 the most relevant and Entry 3 as the least relevant.

For entries 2 and 3, if an applicable discipline is not listed, you can select an entry such as “Other (relevant discipline)” (e.g., Other Psychology, Other Anthropology, Other Sociology) from the list, and provide the information in the box provided.

You can choose “Other (relevant discipline)” only once. For instance, you cannot choose “Other Psychology” in Entry 2 and choose it again in Entry 3. Also, you can choose “Other” (with an explanation) only once.

Example:

Entry 1

Sociology

Entry 2

Other Psychology

Entry 3

“Other”

Areas of research
Indicate and rank up to two areas of research related to your research/study, with Entry 1 the most important and Entry 2 the least important.

Temporal period
If applicable, indicate the historical period covered by your research/study.

Geographical regions
If applicable, indicate and rank up to two geographical regions covered by or related to your research/study, with Entry 1 the most important and Entry 2 the least important.

Countries
If applicable, indicate and rank up to five countries covered by or related to your research/study, with Entry 1 the most important and Entry 5 the least important.


Referees

Instructions for requesting support letters

Enter the family name, given name and email address of each referee. These fields will be used to auto-populate the referee form.

After the data are saved, the system will automatically generate an email to each person, inviting them to provide a letter of appraisal.

Inform your referees that they will receive an email with the subject line “Invitation to evaluate an application—Invitation à évaluer une demande.” It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that each invited person verifies and completes the form in advance of the application deadline.

Status Definition
Email sent—Referee form not yet created The referee has not yet accepted the invitation. If the referee has deleted the system-generated invitation email by error, click “Resend email” to send the same invitation to the referee again.
Referee unable to complete the form The referee has declined the invitation, which will be confirmed by a system-generated email that notifies you. You must remove the person from the application by clicking “Clear entry.” You can then add a new referee.
Referee form created The referee has accepted the invitation. Referees who have accepted will be able to view an electronic version of your application form to inform their letter of reference.
Referee form completed The referee has submitted the form. The referee’s letter will be attached to your application only after your application has been submitted.

Your application cannot be successfully verified until each referee’s form has been completed, verified and submitted by the referee.

Note: You will not be able to view the appraisals at the time you complete and submit your application.

It is your responsibility to ensure that all required application components have been submitted (including all attachments and letters). The system does not accept incomplete applications.

Notify your referees in advance that they will be receiving an invitation, as firewalls and/or spam filters might limit their ability to receive the official system email inviting them to complete a referee form.

Make sure you give your referees enough time to complete and submit their support letter so that your application can be submitted in advance of the deadline date. Typically, the online system handles a very high volume of users on the last day, which could create delays and put timely submission at risk.

Letters of appraisal
Provide information about the two referees who will each complete a Letter of Appraisal form:

Letter writers will receive an email that allows them to access the Letters of Appraisal form.

Research appraisal
Provide information about the research (proposed) supervisor at the organization where you plan to hold the award.

If you propose to affiliate with more than one institution, ask the supervisor at the primary location of tenure to complete the research appraisal. Research appraisals from supervisors at secondary host institutions are not required and will not be accepted.

Proposed supervisors will receive an email that allows them to access the Research Appraisal form.

Institutional nomination and commitment
Provide information about the department head or designate at the proposed institution of affiliation.

If you propose to affiliate with more than one institution, the department head or designate at the primary location of tenure should complete the Institutional nomination and commitment form. Secondary host institutions do not have to complete this form.

The designated person at the proposed institution of affiliation will receive an email that allows them to access the Institutional Nomination and Commitment form.

Note: If the department head and the research supervisor are the same person, they should provide the information requested for the Institutional nomination and commitment form as well as that requested for the Research Appraisal form.


Allowable inclusions (if applicable)

Maximum one page

If applicable, attach a PDF document indicating your allowable inclusions.

SSHRC asks its merit review committees to take into consideration special circumstances that could have affected applicants’ research, professional career, record of academic or research achievement, or completion of degrees. Relevant circumstances might include administrative responsibilities, maternity/parental leave, child-rearing, illness, disability, cultural or community responsibilities, socio-economic context, health-related family responsibilities, trauma and loss, or the COVID-19 pandemic. Specify the dates for any delays or interruptions.

As part of SSHRC’s Indigenous Talent Measures, Indigenous applicants are encouraged to use the “Allowable inclusions” section of their application form to describe special circumstances that could have had an impact on their academic or career paths.

All information provided to SSHRC is subject to the Privacy Act. Applicants are reminded that the information included in the “Allowable inclusions” section of their application will be shared with merit review committee members for consideration as part of their application. SSHRC merit reviewers cannot share this information outside of the merit review process, which is subject to the Tri-Agency Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy. For more information, see the principles for SSHRC merit review.

Note: Applicants who completed their doctorate between September 2017 and September 2020 must describe in this section the career interruptions or delays experienced since completion of their doctorate.

Applicants who completed their doctorate after September 2020 can also choose to describe relevant career interruptions or delays should they wish to do so.


Research contributions

Maximum two pages

Attach a PDF of your research contributions, grouped according to the categories listed below. List more recent contributions first.

1. Research contributions

For each item, provide details as follows:

Include all relevant information in the application package. Do not refer members to URLs or other publications for supplemental information, except in relation to examples of your achievements in research-creation.

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.

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.

Nonrefereed 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. Do not list contributions not yet submitted.

Creative outputs

Examples of creative outputs may include exhibitions, performances, publications, presentations, and film, video and audio recordings. Applicants who work in research-creation may include website links to provide samples of work that illustrate their qualifications. Refer to the Guidelines for Research-Creation Support Materials before including links in their application package.

2. Other research contributions

Describe any other contributions to research and the advancement of knowledge, 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

From this list, choose your three most significant contributions, and describe to the merit review committee the significance in terms of influence on the direction of thought and activity within the target community and in terms of significance to, and use by, other researchers and knowledge users.

4. Relevant experience

Describe your previous experience relevant to the topic and objectives you are investigating in the application. For each experience, include:

Examples of relevant experience can include:

Note: Contributions in the context of Indigenous research can be listed within these or additional categories, in line with the Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research.


Supplement justification (if applicable)

Provide a maximum one-page justification per supplement selected in the “Application profile” section.

Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights Research

Jules and Gabrielle Léger Fellowship


Specific requirements for joint or special initiatives (if applicable)

Provide a maximum one-page justification per initiative selected in the “Application profile” section. Different requirements apply to the Mitacs Elevate Fellowships and Alice Wilson Award initiatives. Refer to the instructions specific to each initiative.

Note: By indicating you wish to be considered for a supplement and/or a joint or special initiative, you are agreeing to SSHRC sharing information with the partner organization.

Department of National Defence MINDS Scholarship Initiative

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation—SSHRC Housing Research Training Awards Program

Initiative for Digital Citizen Research
Through the Initiative for Digital Citizen Research, Canadian Heritage and SSHRC are partnering to offer postdoctoral fellowship supplements, valued at $10,000, to individuals who are conducting research related to online disinformation and its impact in the Canadian context. Comparative approaches to these themes that are inclusive of, but extend beyond, the Canadian context are also eligible for supplementary funding.

To be considered for funding under this initiative, applicants must:

To be offered a postdoctoral fellowship supplement under this initiative, applicants must first be successful in the SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships competition, and they must be affiliated with a SSHRC eligible Canadian postsecondary institution during their award tenure.

Sport Participation Research Initiative

Mitacs Training

Mitacs Elevate Fellowships

Alice Wilson Award


Contact information

For help with technical difficulties, contact the helpdesk:

If you have additional questions, contact:

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships
Toll-free: 1-855-275-2861
Email: fellowships@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca


Date modified: