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Connection Grants

Value Events: $7,000 to $25,000
Outreach activities: $7,000 to $50,000; higher amounts may be considered if well justified
Duration 1 year
Application deadlineFootnote * November 1, February 1, May 1, August 1 (8 p.m. eastern)
Results announced At the end of each funding cycle (January, March, June, September) see table below
Apply Web CV, application and instructions

Connection Grants are expected to respond to the objectives of the Connection program.

These grants support events and outreach activities geared toward short-term, targeted knowledge mobilization initiatives. These events and activities represent opportunities to exchange knowledge and to engage on research issues of value to those participating. Events and outreach activities funded by a Connection Grant may often serve as a first step toward more comprehensive and longer-term projects.

Connection Grants support workshops, colloquiums, conferences, forums, summer institutes, or other events or outreach activities that facilitate:

  • disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary exchanges in the social sciences and humanities;
  • scholarly exchanges between those working in the social sciences and humanities and those working in other research fields;
  • intersectoral exchanges between academic researchers in the social sciences and humanities and researchers and practitioners from the public, private and/or not-for-profit sectors; and/or
  • international research collaboration and scholarly exchanges with researchers, students and non-academic partners from other countries.

Note: Grant funding may be administered only by an eligible Canadian institution. However, the intellectual leadership and governance for Connection Grant activities may come from within the research community and/or from within the public, private and/or not-for-profit sectors.

SSHRC welcomes applications involving Indigenous research, as well as those involving research-creation.

Related initiatives

SSHRC and its partner organizations offer several initiatives that complement funding opportunities. Please consult SSHRC’s Funding search tool to learn more about specific joint initiatives.

Research Data Management Capacity Building Initiative

Research data management has become a key part of research excellence, and social sciences and humanities scholarship increasingly creates, and makes use of, digital research data. Properly managed, these data make it possible for researchers to ask new questions, pursue novel research, test new hypotheses and apply innovative methodologies.

As part of the Connection Grants funding opportunity, SSHRC will fund at least 10 meritorious proposals per competition to help the Canadian social sciences and humanities research community strengthen its capacity for data management. To apply under this initiative, applicants must submit their proposals to the November 2020, February 2021, May 2021 or August 2021 Connection Grants competition. This Research Data Management Capacity Building Initiative offers the research community (e.g., disciplinary and professional associations; institutions; and individual researchers) Connection Grants to support the development, adoption and dissemination of research data management standards, practices, tools and skills appropriate to their field.

Applications to this initiative will be subject to the same evaluation criteria and scoring scheme common to all other Connection Grants. However, applicants must demonstrate how their project addresses the initiative’s specific goals (see the initiative’s full description).

SSHRC invites all applicants to review Imagining Canada’s Future’s 16 future global challenges and to consider addressing one or more of these areas in their research proposal. This is not an evaluation criterion for merit review and does not offer additional or dedicated research funds for this funding opportunity.

Connection Grants supporting events are valued at $7,000 to $25,000 over one year.

Connection Grants supporting outreach activities are valued at $7,000 to $50,000 over one year. SSHRC is willing to consider amounts higher than $50,000, although such applications must satisfactorily justify the need for the higher amount, as well as provide evidence the entire award can be managed within the one-year timeframe.

Applicants must request a minimum of $7,000.

Matching funds

SSHRC will not fund the full cost of any Connection project. Additional support in the form of eligible cash and/or in-kind contributions (excluding registration fees) equivalent to a minimum of 50 per cent of the amount requested from SSHRC must come from sponsoring organizations. For example, an applicant asking SSHRC for $10,000 in funding will have to demonstrate additional support equal to at least $5,000. SSHRC will consider only eligible funds stemming from sponsoring organizations in its calculations of matching funds; individual contributions will not be considered in the calculation of matching funds.

Applicants must demonstrate their ability to secure at least the minimum matching funding, by including letters of support from sponsoring organizations that clearly confirm the amounts and types of contributions the organizations are providing for the proposed event or activity (see SSHRC’s Guidelines for Cash and In-Kind Contributions for more details).

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

Applicants may draw on complementary funding from SSHRC research grants and/or other research funding agencies, but must make clear in their 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 per cent requirement for matching funds.

Salary research allowance

Applicants and co-applicants from eligible not-for-profit organizations may request a salary research allowance to release them from duties to their organization in order to participate in the knowledge mobilization events and activities only.

Subject matter

Most SSHRC funding is awarded through open competitions. Proposals may involve any disciplines, thematic areas, approaches or subject areas eligible for SSHRC funding. Please see Subject Matter Eligibility for more information.

Projects whose primary objective is to conduct research activities (e.g., literature reviews, field work, data collection, interviews) or to develop stand-alone volumes are not eligible for funding under this funding opportunity.

Proposed events and outreach activities

  • All activities must take place within 12 months of the start date indicated on the notice of decision (see table below).
  • Proposed events and outreach activities must produce timely and concrete deliverables, such as conference proceedings or other knowledge products developed for traditional formats and/or employing digital and/or multimedia formats (unless specifically intended to create new, longer-term linkages or to initiate collaboration).
  • Proposed events and outreach activities may be one-time encounters or catalysts designed to lead to longer-term partnerships and/or sustained programs of scholarly research.


Events are short-term activities that are usually completed in a week or less (e.g., a two-day conference or a one-week workshop). The bulk of the activities will happen within this short period. As part of the overall proposal, applicants may request support for longer-term activities directly related to the event (e.g., developing proceedings, publications or reports, or other forms of knowledge synthesis).

Proposed events may be:

  • face-to-face or involve virtual interaction;
  • discipline-specific, or cross-disciplinary and/or cross-sectoral; and
  • open- or closed-invitation.

Outreach activities

Proposed outreach activities must be designed to engage a broader public in social sciences and humanities knowledge through one or a combination of the following: knowledge dissemination, transfer, brokering, translation, synthesis, exchange, networking or co-creation beyond what would typically be achieved through an event. Proposed activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • adaptation (including translation, for example, into French, English or Indigenous languages) of texts or presentations for the purpose of broader knowledge mobilization to different audiences;
  • development of policy briefs, knowledge syntheses and scoping reviews;
  • development of articles for print or online publication in newspapers or weekly or monthly magazines—whether specialized or general interest;
  • virtual networking;
  • media events (such as television/radio presentations);
  • summer schools/institutes;
  • speaker series;
  • public debates;
  • artistic exhibits, performances or festivals;
  • development/use of interactive technologies, audio-visual products or software; and/or
  • development/use of educational aids, instruments or equipment.

Projects may occur in Canada or abroad. If a proposed project is to occur abroad, the applicant must justify the project’s potential to mobilize Canadian research on an international stage, and why the project must happen outside Canada.

Connection Grants are intended to support applicants and project directors who are running a knowledge mobilization event or outreach activity. Applicants must provide evidence that they are playing an active and significant role in the organization and delivery of the event or outreach activity.

Ineligible activities

Although applicants can apply for Connection Grants to support eligible events and outreach activities organized by academic associations, the following association activities are not eligible for Connection Grant funding:

  • annual general meetings or any other activity directly related to an association’s business meetings;
  • book launches or similar report dissemination;
  • receptions for association members; and
  • any activities normally paid for by the association’s operating fees.

Participants and audiences

Participants or audiences, in Canada and abroad, for both events and outreach activities, may include, among others, any of the following:

  • academic researchers;
  • non-academic researchers;
  • policy-makers;
  • professional practitioners;
  • representatives from organizations in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors;
  • representatives from community-based, local or regional non-academic organizations; and/or
  • students at all levels.


Applications may be submitted by institutions or by individual applicants and teams (consisting of one applicant or project director and one or more co-applicants and/or collaborators).

Institutional Connection Grant applications must be submitted by an eligible Canadian institution to conduct an event or outreach activity, or series thereof, in order to attain strategic objectives relevant to the institution’s mission and mandate. The project director must be affiliated with the host institution (the applicant), prepare the application on behalf of the host institution and be responsible for the overall leadership of the project. The term “institution” from hereon in this description refers to both postsecondary institutions and not‑for‑profit organizations.

Individual Connection Grant applicants (except postdoctoral researchers) must be affiliated with an eligible Canadian postsecondary institution at the time of application to conduct an event or outreach activity, or series thereof, that primarily falls within the applicants’ domain of expertise and that will, ultimately, allow them to make a significant contribution to their field of research. In the case of a team approach, all team members must meet the eligibility criteria specific to their role.

See Institutions below for more information on institutional eligibility requirements and processes for Connection Grants.

Researchers who maintain an affiliation with a Canadian postsecondary institution, but whose primary affiliation is with a non-Canadian postsecondary institution, are not eligible for applicant or project director status.

Applicants or project directors who have received a SSHRC grant of any type but have failed to submit an end of grant report by the deadline specified in their Notice of Award are not eligible to apply for another SSHRC grant until they have submitted the report.

Postdoctoral researchers are eligible to be applicants if they have formally established an affiliation with an eligible institution within three months of the grant start date, and maintain such an affiliation for the duration of the grant period.

Students enrolled in a program of study are not eligible to apply. However, Connection Grant proposals led by students may be submitted, provided the proposals involve both students and researchers and are submitted on behalf of the student by a faculty member at an eligible Canadian postsecondary institution. Students may be collaborators, but not co-applicants. Students who are collaborators on a project team cannot be paid a stipend or wage by the grant.


Grant funds may only be administered by an eligible Canadian institution. Institutions proposing to administer a grant awarded under this funding opportunity must hold or obtain institutional eligibility. Please see SSHRC’s list of eligible institutions.

All not-for-profit organizations that require institutional eligibility must begin the institutional eligibility application process at least five business days prior to the application deadline.

Indigenous not-for-profit organizations wanting to administer multiple Connection Grants going forward are encouraged to begin the institutional eligibility application process at least two months prior to the relevant funding opportunity’s application deadline.

Institutions may contact Corporate Strategy and Performance to begin the institutional eligibility application process, or if they have questions about institutional eligibility.


An individual (including postdoctoral researchers) is eligible to be a co-applicant if they are formally affiliated with any of the following:

  • Canadian: Eligible postsecondary institution; not-for-profit organization; philanthropic foundation; think tank; or municipal, territorial or provincial government.
  • International: Postsecondary institution.


Any individual who makes a significant contribution to the project is eligible to be a collaborator. Collaborators do not need to be affiliated with an eligible Canadian postsecondary institution.

Individuals from the private sector or federal government can only participate as collaborators.

Multiple applications and holding multiple awards

Individuals may apply, as an applicant, for only one Connection Grant per calendar year. An applicant may not apply for or hold more than one Connection Grant for the same event or outreach activity.

Applicants or project directors on an active SSHRC Connection Grant cannot be the applicant or project director for another individual or institutional Connection Grant.

Please see SSHRC’s regulations regarding multiple applications and holding multiple awards for more information.


Grant holders will be expected to report on the use of grant funds, on funded activities undertaken during the grant period, and on outcomes. Successful applicants will be informed of reporting requirements upon receiving their Notice of Award.

Applicants must complete the application form in accordance with accompanying instructions. Applications must be submitted electronically by an authorized research grants officer, or equivalent, from the applicant’s institution, or by a representative of the not-for-profit organization who has financial signing authority and is not participating in the project.

Eligible postdoctoral researchers not currently affiliated with a SSHRC eligible institution may submit their applications directly to SSHRC.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications well in advance of the start date of the proposed event or outreach activity. Applicants should submit their application by the deadline corresponding to the decision date most appropriate to their project’s needs, keeping in mind SSHRC cannot award a grant retroactively for an event or outreach activity that has taken place prior to the final funding decision. All funded activities must take place within one year of the start date indicated on the notice of decision.

Applicants needing help while preparing their application should communicate with SSHRC well in advance of the application deadline.

SSHRC makes Connection Grant funding decisions through a merit review process during four funding cycles per year, according to the following schedule:

Deadline Decision Date
November 1, 8:00 p.m. (eastern) January 8
February 1, 8:00 p.m. (eastern) March 31
May 1, 8:00 p.m. (eastern) June 30
August 1, 8:00 p.m. (eastern) September 30

Once the 8:00 p.m. (eastern) application deadline has passed, the application server will be offline for 48 hours and unable to accept applications. The server will come back online thereafter, ready to accept applications for the next competition deadline.

Applications are adjudicated, and available funds awarded, through a merit review process. SSHRC bases funding decisions on the recommendations of the adjudication committee and on the funds available. Committee discussions are guided by the principle of minimum essential funding.

SSHRC’s Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research are relevant for researchers (applicants and project directors) and students preparing SSHRC applications related to Indigenous research. SSHRC provides these guidelines 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. SSHRC relies on a community of merit reviewers with experience and expertise in Indigenous research to judge the extent to which the guidelines may be applied to a particular research proposal. The guidelines may also be of use to external assessors, postsecondary institutions and partner organizations that support Indigenous research.

Evaluation criteria and scoring

The following criteria and scoring scheme are used to evaluate the applications:

  1. Challenge—The aim and importance of the endeavour (40%):
    • relevance of the proposal to the objectives of the Connection program;
    • expected contribution to the preservation of, access to and/or mobilization of research knowledge;
    • quality of the proposed project and appropriateness of the approach;
    • quality and significance of the research being mobilized;
    • quality of training and mentoring to be provided to students, emerging scholars and other highly qualified personnel, and opportunities for them to contribute; and
    • potential for the project results to have influence and impact within and/or beyond the social sciences and humanities research community.
  2. Feasibility—The plan to achieve excellence (30%):
    • appropriateness of the proposed timeline and probability that the objectives will be met;
    • appropriateness of the requested budget and justification of proposed costs; and
    • indications of other planned resources including leveraging of cash and in-kind support from other sources.
  3. Capability—The expertise to succeed (30%):
    • quality, quantity and significance of past experience and published and/or creative outputs of the applicant / project director and any co-applicants relative to their roles in the event or activity and to the stage of their career;
    • evidence of past knowledge mobilization activities (e.g., films, performances, commissioned reports, knowledge syntheses, experience in collaboration / other interactions with stakeholders, contributions to public debate and the media) and of impacts on professional practice, social services and policies, etc.; and
    • quality and quantity of past contributions to the training and mentoring of students, postdoctoral researchers and other highly qualified personnel.

Scoring table

Adjudication committee members assign a score for each of the three criteria above, based on the following scoring table. The appropriate weighting is then applied to arrive at a final score. Applications must receive a score of 3.0 or higher for each of the three criteria to be recommended for funding.

Score Descriptor
5-6 Very good to excellent
4-4.9 Good to very good
3-3.9 Satisfactory to good
Below 3 Unsatisfactory

Communication of results

Research offices will be informed of their applicants’ competition results via SSHRC’s secure site. Applicants / project directors from not-for-profit organizations will receive their competition results by email.

SSHRC reserves the right to determine the eligibility of applications, based on the information therein. SSHRC also reserves the right to interpret the regulations and policies governing its funding opportunities.

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.

Grant holders must also comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications. See the Open Access overview for more information. SSHRC also encourages researchers to manage, in accordance with both community standards and best practices (including SSHRC’s Research Data Archiving Policy), data arising from their research.

Guidelines and related support material

All applicants for SSHRC funding should consult the following guidelines while preparing their applications:

For more information, contact:

Tel.: 613-943-1007

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