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Canadian Environmental Issues-Special Call

Research Grants

Notices for Applicants
Important change regarding Research Time Stipends
Important information regarding eligibility of subject matter

Regulations Governing Grant Applications

Next application deadline Value Duration Results announced Apply

November 7, 2008

Up to $100,000 per year, but not totaling more than $250,000 in a three-year period. Up to 3 years March 2009 Web CV, application and instructions

Value and Duration
Evaluation and Adjudication
Administrative Regulations
More Information


The broad purpose of the Research Grants program for the Canadian Environmental Issues special call is to support research and develop excellence in research activities about pressing Canadian environmental issues.

The specific objectives of the program are to:

  • support high-quality independent programs of research on Canadian environmental issues, as proposed by scholars and judged by their peers;
  • provide opportunities to train future researchers and highly qualified personnel;
  • contribute to the development or elaboration of new theoretical or methodological approaches to research; and
  • mobilize research results, both within and beyond the academic community.



A program of research is defined as a sustained research enterprise that includes one or more projects or other components, and which is shaped by broad objectives for the advancement of knowledge. It might be undertaken primarily by one investigator and be encompassed within a single research career, or it could mobilize a team of researchers during a specific period. In pursuit of the overall objectives, specific approaches and methods are advanced, adopted and modified as the research proceeds and as findings are made and reported. SSHRC supports new and ongoing programs of research through grants, based on peer-review judgment of the probable significance of the contribution to knowledge as set out in the Canadian Environmental Issues special call.

Please note that, in addition to the special calls, regular funding will continue for all disciplines within the Standard Research Grants program. Researchers may apply for both Standard Research Grants and funding opportunities of the Canadian Environmental Issues special call, but must ensure that their applications deal with different research objectives.


Value and Duration

These Research Grants are available for programs of research for up to three years. The value of these grants is up to a maximum of $100,000 per year, but not totaling more than $250,000 in a three-year period. A minimum budget of $7,000 in at least one of the three years, is required (except in the cases of researchers at Canadian postsecondary institutions not receiving a SSHRC Institutional Grant).

This is a one-time call for proposals.




Applications for these Research Grants may be submitted by an individual researcher or a team of researchers (one applicant/principal investigator plus one or more co-applicants/co-investigators and/or collaborators). For Research Grants, there are two categories of eligible applicants:

  1. Applicant/principal investigator; and
  2. Co-applicant/co-investigator.

There are three other categories of eligible participants:

  1. Research collaborator;
  2. Student assistant; and
  3. Other assistants and support staff.

All applicants and participants must meet the eligibility criteria specific to their category.

SSHRC encourages researchers not affiliated with a postsecondary institution to participate as collaborators.

Postdoctoral applicants must establish an affiliation with an eligible postsecondary institution (i.e., have their application signed by the institution) by April 15 following the competition deadline. Successful applicants lacking such an affiliation by April 15 will not be funded.

Students enrolled in a program of study are not eligible to apply. However, a PhD candidate, whether holding a faculty position or not, is eligible to receive a Research Grant if he or she:

  • has met all requirements for the PhD by April 1 of the year in which the grant is awarded;
  • has established a formal affiliation with a Canadian postsecondary institution; and
  • maintains such an affiliation for the duration of the grant period.

SSHRC cannot release grant funds without formal confirmation that the applicant has fulfilled all the requirements for the degree.

Applicants who received a SSHRC research grant but failed to submit a final research report by the specified deadline (September 30 following the year of extension) are not eligible to apply for another grant until they have submitted the report.

Institutional Eligibility

Institutions that propose to administer any grant awarded under this program must meet the requirements for managing SSHRC funds and must hold or obtain institutional eligibility.


Evaluation and Adjudication

Peer review process

Applications are adjudicated, and available funds are awarded, through a competitive process. A multi-disciplinary peer adjudication committee evaluates and ranks all applications.

Evaluation criteria

The adjudication committee will examine proposals on the basis of the following five criteria:

  1. Significance: Proposals must convincingly illustrate how the research results will likely contribute to practical solutions for pressing Canadian environmental issues;
  2. Research plan: Strength and feasibility of the proposed program of research, including clarity of research questions, strength of theoretical or reflective framework, specificity and viability of proposed methodologies, and measures in place for management of the project;
  3. Training plan: Value and feasibility of the proposed training for students;
  4. Qualifications: Academic qualifications of the applicant and (as applicable) other members of the research team for carrying out the proposed research and training, including strength of the overall track record in research and student training as these relate to the proposed program of research; and
  5. Knowledge mobilization: Value and feasibility of plans to mobilize research results and other research knowledge within the academy, and/or non-academic communities, and/or across Canada and internationally.

The committee's application of the five criteria will take into account the stage the applicant and any team members have reached in their careers. The committee will also take into consideration circumstances that the applicant demonstrates have justifiably impeded his or her achievements in research. Allowances will be made for applicants from smaller institutions who are not in a position to supervise graduate students.

The adjudication committee will rank each application on the basis of its assessment of the strength of the proposal in relation to the other applications in the competition.


Administrative Regulations

All applicants and grant holders must comply with the Regulations Governing Grant Applications and with the regulations set out in the Grant Holder’s Guide.

Note: SSHRC's plans for Canadian Environmental Issues special call special call funding are subject to final approval by the Treasury Board of Canada.

More Information

For more information, please contact:

Mathieu Ravignat
Senior Program Officer
Strategic Grants and Joint Initiatives Division
350 Albert Street
P.O. Box 1610
Ottawa, ON  K1P 6G4

Tel.: 613-947-3724
Fax: 613-947-0223