Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences

Warning This funding opportunity is no longer offered. For information on currently offered SSHRC funding opportunities, see Funding

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

May and November 2011 Competitions

Value and Duration
Evaluation and Adjudication
Announcement of Results
Administrative Regulations
More Information


The broad purpose of this funding opportunity is to support workshops held in and outside of Canada, and conferences held in Canada.

The funding opportunity’s specific objectives are to:

  • advance research and scholarship on issues of intellectual, cultural and social importance by facilitating direct interaction among researchers and students, both from Canada and abroad;
  • promote research development, linkages and knowledge mobilization among disciplines and across institutions, sectors, linguistic groups and regions; and
  • enhance the visibility and profile of social sciences and humanities research.



Grants are available to help defray the costs of organizing workshops inside and outside of Canada and conferences in Canada. Please consult the definitions for the meaning of the terms workshop, conference and workshop participant.

Eligible expenses have been updated to be in harmony with the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide and are detailed in the application instructions.


Value and Duration

The value and period of tenure of a workshop grant is up to $25,000 for a workshop held within 12 months following the announcement of competition results.

The values and periods of tenure of conference grants are:

  • up to $25,000 for a conference of up to 200 participants that is held within 12 months following the announcement of competition results;
  • up to $35,000 for a conference of 201 to 400 participants that is held within 12 months following the announcement of competition results; and
  • up to $50,000 for a conference of more than 400 participants that is held within the 12 months following the announcement of competition results.

There are two competitions each year. For successful applicants, the actual amount awarded depends on the merit of the application, the demonstrated financial need and the appropriateness of the proposed budget. Grant amounts are also subject to the recommendations of the adjudication committee and SSHRC's available funding.

All grant holders must submit an activity report within 90 days of their event.

When a grant includes an allocation for the publication of proceedings, SSHRC requires that these be published within two years of the date of the event.



The applicant must:

  • be a researcher or postdoctoral fellow;
  • be a member of the workshop or conference’s organizing committee;
  • be affiliated with a Canadian postsecondary institution that has agreed to administer the grant. An institution that proposes to administer any grant awarded under this funding opportunity must meet the requirements for managing SSHRC funds and must hold institutional eligibility, having signed the Tri-Council Memorandum of Understanding on Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards (please consult the list of eligible institutions); and
  • not be under SSHRC sanction for financial or research misconduct.

Researchers may be SSHRC grant holders and still apply to this funding opportunity, but must ensure that their event deals with different objectives from those outlined in an earlier application. Please refer to the Regulations Governing Grant Applications for further information.

All events must:

  • take place within 12 months of SSHRC’s announcement of competition results; and
  • not request duplicate support through another SSHRC funding opportunity for an event having the same objectives.

Workshops must have a well-defined research theme in the social sciences or humanities; be invitational, with no registration fees required; and produce a concrete deliverable.

Conferences must have one or more defined themes relevant to scholarly research issues in the social sciences or humanities; be held in Canada; and be open to all interested and qualified researchers, i.e., involve a call for papers (though it is recognized that keynote speakers may be invited). Conferences must charge registration fees and must not be an association’s annual meeting.

Important notes regarding applications

There are two distinct applications forms: one for conferences and one for workshops. Proposals that submit the incorrect form will be deemed ineligible.

It is in the interest of the applicant to submit an application at the most mature stage of planning possible, to allow the committee to fully assess the proposed event. Projects that are presented with insufficient information risk being considered ineligible for adjudication.

Conferences coinciding with an association’s annual meeting

These are eligible only if the organizers demonstrate: a) that the conference is a distinct, independent and self-contained event and b) that it addresses an audience different from or broader than that of the annual meeting. This funding opportunity is not intended to pay costs covered by the association’s membership fees. Events should not make participation or presentations conditional on membership to a given organization, as this contradicts the objectives of this funding opportunity.

Student-led events

Student-led workshops and conferences are eligible provided they meet the funding opportunity’s objectives, involve both students and researchers, and are endorsed by a faculty member who must submit the application.


Applications for a specific workshop or conference may be submitted only once. Resubmissions are automatically disqualified.


Evaluation and Adjudication

Applications are adjudicated by a multidisciplinary committee and available funds are awarded, by competition, on the basis of the criteria set out below.

The committee’s recommendations are subject to final approval by SSHRC.

Evaluation Criteria for Workshops

1. Quality of the proposed workshop and its likely contribution to research and scholarship in Canada, specifically:

  • the significance and timeliness of the research issue or issues to be addressed; and
  • the planned workshop’s likely contribution to advancing understanding of the research issue(s) it addresses in Canada and internationally.

2. Value of the planned deliverables and dissemination vehicles, specifically:

  • pertinence of the vehicles chosen to disseminate results; and
  • if applicable, whether the plans for publication are realistic.

3. Soundness of the organization and quality of the program, specifically:

  • the quality and experience of the organizing committee (including relevant experience in publishing edited proceedings, books, and using web-based modes of dissemination); and
  • appropriateness of program's design to meet workshop objectives.

4. Suitability of the participants, specifically:

  • the quality and suitability of the participants (including students) in relation to the workshop topic; and
  • persuasiveness of the justification for invited participants.

5. Budget:

  • justification of the proposed budget—its appropriateness, comprehensiveness and clarity, including prospective balancing of expenditures and revenues;
  • extent to which the applicant is pursuing all potential sources of support; and
  • extent to which reliance on SSHRC funds is justified.

Evaluation Criteria for Conferences

1. Quality of the conference and its contribution to research and scholarship in Canada, specifically:

  • significance and timeliness of the conference’s theme or themes;
  • appropriateness and quality of the conference’s scope and program in relation to its theme or themes;
  • extent to which the conference is likely to advance research and scholarship in Canada and internationally; and
  • degree to which the conference has attracted significant participation from researchers in the relevant disciplines or fields.

2. Soundness of the organization and appropriateness of the presenters:

  • the quality and experience of the organizing committee, including relevant experience in publishing books, edited workshop or conference proceedings and books, and using Web-based modes of dissemination;
  • breadth and suitability of the community targeted by the call for papers (i.e., open call for participation, bilingual call for papers);
  • nature and scope of involvement of Canadian researchers;
  • availability of opportunities for Canadian researchers to foster relationships with their counterparts from abroad; and
  • calibre of the speakers.

3. Communication and dissemination:

  • realistic plans for publishing proceedings; and
  • adequacy of other means proposed for disseminating the research presented at the conference, including means for reaching a broader public.

4. Participation of Canadian students:

  • the extent to which the conference’s plans provide for the active and intellectual involvement of graduate or, where appropriate, undergraduate students, whether as presenters or as members of the organizing committee;
  • the range of institutions from which student participants will be drawn;
  • the extent to which there are events within the conference that specifically target students; and
  • justification, if relevant, for the lack of student participation.

5. Budget:

  • justification of the proposed budget—its appropriateness, comprehensiveness and clarity with respect to both revenues and expenditures;
  • adequacy of funding provisions for Canadian student presenters;
  • adequacy of evidence to support the attendance forecast;
  • extent to which the applicant is pursuing all potential sources of support; and
  • persuasiveness of the rationale for the level of registration fees relative to the overall conference budget.


Announcement of Results

Approximately two weeks following adjudication, results are sent to the research office at the candidate's postsecondary institution. Detailed correspondence from SSHRC, including comments from evaluators, will follow in another six weeks time.


Administrative Regulations

All applicants and grant holders must comply with the Regulations Governing Grant Applications and with the regulations set out in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide. The Grant Holder's Guide provides further practical information on using your funds.

More Information

Please address questions concerning the Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences funding opportunity to:

Stephanie Robertson
Program Officer
Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences in Canada
350 Albert Street
P.O. Box 1610
Ottawa, ON  K1P 6G4

Tel.: 613-947-2102