Knowledge Synthesis Grants

Envisioning Governance Systems that Work

December 2024 Competition

Overview
Value $30,000
Duration 1 year
Application deadlineFootnote * December 12, 2024 (8 p.m. eastern)
Results announced March 2025
Apply Web CV, application and instructions

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Webinar
Date Time (eastern) Language
June 25, 2024 10 a.m. Bilingual

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Description

SSHRC, in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), is pleased to launch a Knowledge Synthesis Grants competition to mobilize, examine and synthesize social sciences and humanities research on Envisioning Governance Systems that Work. The themes of this funding opportunity complement those of the three next upcoming Knowledge Synthesis Grants: The Changing Nature of Security and Conflict, The Arts Transformed, and Truth Under Fire in a Postfact World.

Envisioning Governance Systems that Work is one of the 16 global future challenges identified through SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative. These complex issues, identified in 2018 following an extensive foresight exercise, reflect key challenges that Canada and the world are likely to face over the coming decades. All the challenges cross multiple sectors, jurisdictions and research disciplines, and require broad collaboration to address. This Knowledge Synthesis Grants funding opportunity is informed and shaped by cross-sectoral and diverse perspectives, including of subject matter experts, policy leaders and community leaders.

In today's world, a growing number of crises, such as climate change, pandemics and the housing crisis, continue to expose the shortcomings of governance models built for another era. It is time to learn from the past and look at ways to make these governance systems work better. The complexity of these wicked problems calls for an innovative approach to governance that is proactive and collaborative, informed by a variety of evidence, perspectives and voices. This will likely require cross-sectoral engagement, involving non-state actors, such as communities, as well as involvement from different levels of government, at local, national and international levels.

In addition to responding to current crises, governance systems must also face the challenges of social acceleration in all aspects of contemporary societies. This includes the rapid development of new technologies, such as generative AI and blockchain technologies, which are evolving much faster than laws and regulations can be enacted. New and emerging technologies have immense potential to contribute to society in important ways, e.g., by improving access to information and communication, for a more transparent and informed democratic process. The same technologies can, however, undermine the electoral process if left unregulated, as demonstrated by the proliferation of deep fakes and AI-generated misinformation. This underscores the importance of robust, proactive and global digital governance.

Evolving forms of digital governance or internet governance, such as the European Union AI act, are already taking shape at national, regional and global levels. However, developing effective representative governance arrangements may be more complex due to the transnational nature of these new technologies. A truly effective and inclusive model of governance will need to include countries from both the Global North and Global South. International cooperation may prove challenging, given the current state of international relations, marked by a decline in multilateralism and a shift in power dynamics.

The shift in geopolitical influence that is affecting the international system is not solely determined by nation states, but also reflects the growing influence of a wide variety of non-state actors. For instance, the influence of technology companies such as Meta, Alphabet, Microsoft, Baidu or Alibaba extends beyond the content of their platform. Recent studies have shown that social media play a role in the polarization of society and decline in trust in government observed in many Western countries. Restoring trust in government and institutions will require a concerted effort by the private and public sectors, through a combination of regulation, cooperation and new modes of meaningful, equitable citizens’ engagement.

The COVID-19 pandemic recently demonstrated the importance of concerted and proactive efforts between the private and public sectors, as well as local communities and different levels of government, to improve preparedness for and response to public health emergencies. It underscored the importance of adopting an inclusive approach to reduce disparities in health outcomes among equity-seeking groups. The pandemic, as well as recent record-breaking forest fires and floods, also highlighted the need to rethink the division of powers and responsibilities, and ensure greater collaboration and coordination between the federal/national, provincial/territorial/regional and municipal levels of government.

Overall, these events and impacts on governance have also underscored the importance of considering First Nations, Metis and Inuit governance systems’ relationships with other orders of government—including federal, provincial or territorial, municipal and others—and the ways in which Indigenous self-determination can be meaningfully pursued and practiced within, and independently of, this broader context. 

Current and future governance challenges create opportunities to rethink our perception and understanding of governance structures, which can pave the way for models that integrate diverse perspectives, while also providing greater agency to marginalized individuals and communities excluded from, or facing barriers in, existing governance models.

SSHRC, CIHR, UKRI-AHRC and UKRI-ESRC have partnered on this funding opportunity to support research that will foster a deeper understanding of the state of knowledge about the global challenge of Envisioning Governance Systems that Work. This competition includes two streams:

  • Stream 1 will be reserved for applications submitted by an applicant affiliated with an eligible Canadian institution. CIHR may fund up to three projects in this stream and SSHRC may fund up to 17.
  • Stream 2 will be reserved for applications jointly submitted by two applicants, one based in Canada and the other in the United Kingdom, who are affiliated with eligible institutions in their respective countries. SSHRC, UKRI-AHRC and UKRI-ESRC may jointly fund up to 27 projects.

The resulting knowledge syntheses will identify roles the academic, public, private and not-for-profit sectors could play in promoting more inclusive, equitable societies, and could inform development of effective tools and technologies, robust policies, and sustainable practices needed to support the path toward a diverse and inclusive future for all.

Knowledge Synthesis Grants

Knowledge Synthesis Grants support researchers in producing knowledge synthesis reports and evidence briefs that:

  • support the use of evidence in decision-making and the application of best practices; and
  • assist in developing future research agendas.

Applicants must address the following three objectives in their proposals:

  1. State of knowledge, strengths and gaps
    • critically assess the state of knowledge of the future challenge theme under consideration from a variety of sources, as appropriate;
    • identify knowledge strengths and gaps within the theme;
    • acknowledge Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies when appropriate; and,
    • identify the most promising policies and practices related to the theme.
  2. Research data
    • assess the quality, accuracy and rigour (i.e., methodological approaches) of current work in the field; and
    • identify strengths and gaps in the quantitative and qualitative data available.
  3. Knowledge mobilization
    • engage cross-sectoral stakeholders (academic, public, private and not-for-profit sectors) and/or First Nations, Inuit and Métis rights holders throughout the project to mobilize knowledge related to promising policies and practices; and
    • use effective knowledge mobilization methods to facilitate the sharing of research findings with cross-sectoral stakeholders and Indigenous rights holders.

Researchers can include international comparisons and case studies in their proposal, but must show how the research has the potential to inform policy issues in Canada (Stream 1) or Canada and/or the UK (Stream 2).

This Knowledge Synthesis Grants funding opportunity is guided by the following questions:

  1. Drawing on domestic, international and/or cross-sectoral evidence, what can researchers tell us about these issues?
  2. How might the findings guide public policy, practice and research agendas for Canada (Stream 1) or Canada and/or the UK (Stream 2) in the immediate and long term?

Expected outcomes

Knowledge syntheses are comprehensive analyses of literature and other forms of knowledge on a particular question or issue. All types of knowledge synthesis approaches, tools and protocols, such as scoping reviews, systematic reviews and narrative syntheses, are encouraged under this funding opportunity. Synthesized results can include qualitative, quantitative or multimethod research.

Knowledge Synthesis Grants are not intended to support original research. Rather, they are intended to support the synthesis of existing research knowledge and identify knowledge gaps. This call is particularly focused on the state of research produced over the past 10 years.

In support of these objectives, Knowledge Synthesis Grants will help identify roles that the academic, public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including Indigenous rights holders, can play in developing and implementing robust policies, best practices and tools.

Successful applicants will be required to:

  • complete a synthesis report (maximum 40 pages) and two-page evidence brief within eight months of receiving the grant;
  • participate in a virtual kick-off webinar (tentatively scheduled for May 2025);
  • participate in a virtual knowledge mobilization forum 10 months after the grant has been awarded (tentatively scheduled for January 2026) to share research findings with community practitioners and knowledge users in various sectors. Further details about the forum will be shared with successful applicants when finalized.
  • use a headset with an integrated boom microphone or an approved table-top microphone (eligible expense in the requested budget) to participate at each knowledge mobilization event. See more information; and
  • provide the names of individuals or organizations of potential knowledge users to be invited to the knowledge mobilization forum (two to three names or organizations).

Successful applicants will receive guidelines for completing their synthesis report and two-page evidence brief. Researchers are expected to make their synthesis reports publicly available—such as through their web page or through an institutional repository—and to include the link in their evidence brief. SSHRC and CIHR (Stream 1) and SSHRC,UKRI-AHRC and UKRI-ESRC (Stream 2) will make all evidence briefs publicly available on their websites, as appropriate. See examples of final reports and evidence briefs produced through recent Knowledge Synthesis Grants funding opportunities for additional guidance.

Themes

The questions below illustrate some of the many interconnected issues that encompass the global challenge of Envisioning Governance Systems that Work. The questions and subthemes presented are intended to provide guidance to applicants and are not a comprehensive or exhaustive list; proposals on other issues relevant to this future challenge area are welcome.

Involvement and inclusion in governance structures

  • What opportunities and challenges do digital technologies create for the transformation and greater openness of Canadian and UK governments? How does this affect the collaboration between government and the public, and what are the implications for government accountability and coherence? What are the implications for marginalized communities and/or for rural and remote communities? How can communities be engaged in co-creation of governance around these issues?
  • To what extent does the polarization in society correlate with barriers in existing governance models that prevent the inclusion of unheard or underheard voices?
  • How are issues of gender or sexuality relevant to recent governance issues, such as the impact of advocacy of traditional conceptions on political movements, parties and governments?
  • How might we assess the significance of Canada’s feminist foreign policy?

International governance

  • What changes in global governance might help address current stresses in the global order?
  • What measures can be taken to improve outer space treaties and international governance, given the rapidly changing activities and expanding technologies in outer space?

Health governance

  • What would be the implications of the creation of a governance body to coordinate the use of health data by both the public and private sectors, as proposed in the pan-Canadian health data strategy? How will the health data Ssrategy impact health inequities among underserved groups? How can the health data strategy integrate the question of Indigenous self-governance and data sovereignty? Equivalent issues might arise in the UK's Data Saves Lives strategy, and comparative work across the two is welcome.
  • What governance changes might improve Canada’s and the UK’s performance in the next pandemic? Is the creation of a specialized body a good strategy? What characteristics should relevant governing bodies have so they are better prepared for the next pandemic?
  • How can governance models be designed that support practical, ethical responses to emergencies, such as pandemics, while protecting human rights?

Digital governance and democracy

  • How is the development of novel technologies such as AI impacting issues of governance, and vice versa?
  • How can the electoral and democratic process adapt to recent changes in digital technologies, including the rise of cyberthreat activity targeting national elections, the growing influence of AI transforming access to information about candidates and means of communication with elected representatives, or new forms of digitalized democratic expression, such as e-voting?
  • How can the right balance be struck between free expression and regulation of online harms in the governance of digital platforms? Globally, how can this balance be achieved in internet governance, taking into account the growing strength of digital authoritarianism?

Finance governance

  • What are the benefits and risks of creating central bank digital currencies to adapt to changes introduced by blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies, in relation to central banks’ control over the monetary system?
  • To what extent could governance mechanisms for sustainable finance and financial inclusion activities be further improved?

Systems of governance

  • What implications may arise from any significant future constitutional changes or changes to systems of governance in the UK and/or Canada?
  • What is the role and what are the functions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis governments or representatives within the governance landscape of Canada, provinces and territories, and municipalities? What key pathways or processes may be used to support the full implementation of Indigenous Peoples’ right to self-determination and self-government, in keeping with Canada’s commitments under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and other key, rights-based considerations?
  • Considering the central role played by municipalities in recent crises (pandemic, opioid crisis, wildfires, housing crisis, etc.), how could the relationship between the federal, provincial, municipal and Indigenous levels of government be improved, and their roles and responsibilities be better defined? To what extent would this enable local communities to have a stronger voice in the context of these broader issues, such as in the formation and adaptation of alternative governance models?
  • In the UK, how are levels of governance and responsibilities between national, regional and local governments working, and how could they be improved (including, e.g., consideration of the role of citizen assemblies)?

Housing and infrastructure governance

  • To what extent does a place-based approach within housing governance models, incorporating cultural, ecological and economic knowledge into community development and stewardship, support the health, well-being and self-determination of Indigenous communities? What role can co-creation of housing policy play in enhancing the agency of affected communities?
  • What governance models for coordinated housing and infrastructure planning exist in Canada or elsewhere, and what is known about what works effectively and under what conditions to ensure technical viability, management of financial risk, adaptiveness and timeliness of services, social acceptance, etc.?
  • Given rapidly changing population dynamics in specific localities in a country like Canada, along with growing health inequities related to housing, what governance models are better equipped to respond to changing infrastructure or housing needs?
  • What are the implications of the emergence of nighttime governance bodies in cities in dealing with issues ranging from increased nighttime security surveillance to neighbourhood gentrification that threatens after-dark cultural and community activities?

Past and future models of governance

  • How will regulatory arrangements best respond to complexity and uncertainty? What roles should legislators, regulators, courts, non-state forms of governance, and the general public play? What are the advantages or disadvantages of a shift towards “agile” regulation?
  • From a historical perspective, how has governance innovation progressed in the past, and what are the pitfalls to avoid as we move forward?
  • How can a historic analysis of policy development in specific areas inform best practise for how we develop governance models and policy today?

The call for proposals invites applications from researchers in any discipline that can inform and contribute to the objectives of this funding opportunity. Future challenges cross multiple sectors and research disciplines and require broad collaboration to address them: applicants are encouraged to submit proposals that feature multidisciplinary research teams.

SSHRC welcomes applications involving Indigenous research, as well as those involving research-creation. All researchers are encouraged to consider the themes through an intersectional lens to yield a better understanding of how this challenge can affect different people, communities and populations in a variety of environments. Knowledge syntheses related to First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities should be participatory and collaborative, prioritizing research completed by Indigenous communities and Indigenous-led organizations, and grounded in Indigenous worldviews and approaches to research. For guidance and resources, see the SSHRC Indigenous Research webpage.

Stream 1:

SSHRC may fund up to 17 projects and CIHR may fund up to three projects. Projects funded by CIHR must address governance questions that directly or indirectly impact population health and/or social inequities in health, such as governance of public health systems, healthy cities and global health. Applications should include considerations for policy-makers in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Stream 2:

SSHRC, along with UKRI-AHRC and UKRI-ESRC, may fund up to 27 projects. The Envisioning Governance Structures that Work Knowledge Synthesis Grants funding opportunity aligns well with the ESRC and AHRC’s strategic priorities around contemporary challenges. The projects’ outcomes will enhance understanding of the complex relationship between society and effective governance systems, particularly in relation to decision making for collective actions, and the role of individual and collective agency in decision-making processes. They will also provide insights into the challenges of governance, and how issues such as trust and accountability influence responses to threats to international security, political instability, population health and economic recession; and the dissatisfaction, divisions and tensions that these can cause.

The majority of the UK component must fall within UKRI-AHRC’s remit and/or UKRI-ESRC’s remit.

Value and duration

Knowledge Synthesis Grants are valued at $30,000 for one year.

Knowledge mobilization activities (i.e., conference presentations and outreach activities) can take place throughout the year. All synthesis reports and evidence briefs must be completed before the virtual forum.

By applying for this funding opportunity, successful applicants consent to SSHRC and its partners sharing the resulting synthesis reports and evidence briefs with other interested organizations and individuals. This does not in any way limit how researchers may otherwise publish or use the results of their research.

Stream 1:

Up to 20 grants of up to C$30,000 per project may be awarded. SSHRC may fund up to 17 projects and CIHR may fund up to three. The projects funded by CIHR must address governance questions that directly or indirectly impact population health and/or social inequities in health, such as governance of public health systems, healthy cities, and global health.

Stream 2:

Up to 27 grants may be awarded, of up to C$30,000 in total per project (~£17,528 , subject to the Bank of Canada exchange rate). Applicants should use the Bank of Canada exchange rate based on the day the application is submitted. For projects selected for funding, each country’s applicant or team will receive a grant from their respective country’s funder for their portion of the project.

The international teams should include balanced budget requests for both portions of the project with their application, directed to SSHRC, UKRI-AHRC and/or UKRI-ESRC, respectively. Budgets cannot exceed a maximum 60/40% or 40/60% split across the two agencies (e.g., C$18,000/£10,517 or £7,011/C$12,000).

The Canadian researchers’ portion of the project will be funded by SSHRC based on the funding request they submitted through the itemized budget.

The UK researchers’ portion of the project will be funded by UKRI-AHRC and/or UKRI-ESRC based on the funding request submitted through the itemized budget. All UK costs will be funded at 80% of the full economic cost. Ensure the full economic cost, as outlined in the UK budget form and the SSHRC budget form combined, does not exceed C$30,000. The UK budget form can be downloaded from the instructions page. For more details on eligible costs, see the UKRI-AHRC research funding guide and UKRI-ESRC research funding guide.

Eligibility

Subject matter

Stream 1 and Stream 2 (applicants affiliated with a Canadian institution):

Most SSHRC funding is awarded through open competitions. Proposals can involve any disciplines, thematic areas, approaches or subject areas eligible for SSHRC funding. See the guidelines on subject matter eligibility for more information.

Projects whose primary objective is curriculum development are not eligible for funding under this funding opportunity.

Stream 2 (applicants affiliated with a UK institution):

The majority of the UK component must fall within UKRI-AHRC’s remit and/or UKRI-ESRC’s remit.

Applicants

Stream 1:

Applications can be submitted by an individual researcher or a team of researchers (consisting of one applicant and one or more co-applicants and/or collaborators).

Applicants must be affiliated with a Canadian institution that holds institutional eligibility before funding can be released. Researchers who maintain an affiliation with a Canadian institution that holds institutional eligibility, but whose primary affiliation is with a non-Canadian postsecondary institution, are not eligible for applicant status.

Applicants who have received a SSHRC grant of any type but have failed to submit an end of grant or achievement 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 fellows are eligible to be applicants if they have formally established an affiliation with an eligible institution at the time of application and maintain this affiliation for the duration of the grant period. Before applying, postdoctoral researchers must confirm with their institution’s research grants officer that the institution can administer the funding if awarded.

Students enrolled in a program of study are not eligible to apply.

Stream 2:

Applications must include two applicants (principal investigators), with one based in Canada and one in the UK. In your application, identify one of these individuals as the project co-ordinator. In the application form, ensure the Canadian principal investigator is the primary applicant. The UK primary applicant should be included in the UK budget form.

Applicants affiliated with a Canadian institution:

Applicants must be affiliated with a Canadian institution that holds institutional eligibility before funding can be released. Researchers who maintain an affiliation with a Canadian institution that holds institutional eligibility, but whose primary affiliation is with a non-Canadian postsecondary institution, are not eligible for applicant status.

Applicants who have received a SSHRC grant of any type but have failed to submit an end of grant or achievement 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 fellows are eligible to be applicants if they have formally established an affiliation with an eligible institution at the time of application and maintain such an affiliation for the duration of the grant period. Before applying, postdoctoral fellows must confirm with their institution’s research grants officer that the institution can administer the funding if awarded.

Students enrolled in a program of study are not eligible to apply.

Applicants affiliated with a UK institution:

To be eligible to apply for this funding opportunity, you must be at an eligible research organization. This is any UK higher education institution that receives grant funding from one of the UK higher education funding bodies, or a UKRI-recognized research institute or organization. See UKRI’s Check If You Are Eligible for Research Funding guide for more.

Standard UKRI-AHRC and UKRI-ESRC eligibility criteria (see Section 2 of AHRC’s research funding guide and Section 3 of the UKRI-ESRC research funding guide for the UKRI Funding Service) will apply to this call for named UK investigators and research organizations. Studentships will not be funded by UKRI-AHRC or UKRI-ESRC through this opportunity.

Institutions

Stream 1:

Grant funds can only be administered by an eligible Canadian postsecondary institution. Institutions proposing to administer a grant awarded under this funding opportunity must hold or obtain institutional eligibility.

Institutions must contact SSHRC to begin the institutional eligibility application process or if they have questions about institutional eligibility.

Stream 2:

This is an international competition and will only accept international, collaborative research projects. Proposed projects must involve a minimum of two researchers, one of whom is affiliated with an eligible institution in Canada, the other with an eligible institution in the UK. These institutions must be eligible to administer SSHRC and UKRI-AHRC and/or UKRI-ESRC funding, respectively.

Co-applicants

Individuals listed as co-applicants must meet the same eligibility criteria as those described under the Applicants section.

Individuals (including postdoctoral fellows) are eligible to be co-applicants 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; or
  • international postsecondary institution.

Collaborators

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 participate only as collaborators.

Multiple applications and holding multiple awards

Stream 1 and Stream 2 (applicants affiliated with a Canadian institution):

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

Stream 2 (applicants affiliated with a UK institution):

See UKRI-AHRC’s research funding guide (Submitting more than one application to the same scheme) and UKRI-ESRC’s research funding guide for the UKRI Funding Service for more information.

Monitoring

Stream 1 and Stream 2 (applicants affiliated with a Canadian institution):

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 when they receive their Notice of Award.

Stream 2 (applicants affiliated with a UK institution):

Award holders in the UK are required to submit outputs, outcomes and impacts that arise from UKRI-AHRC and/or UKRI-ESRC’s funding through the Research system. More details on Research are available on the UKRI website.

Application process

Stream 1 and Stream 2:

Applicants must complete the application form in accordance with accompanying instructions (Stream 1 or Stream 2). 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.

For Stream 1, applicants must complete and attach the SSHRC budget form. For Stream 2, applicants must complete and attach both the SSHRC and UKRI-AHRC or UKRI-ESRC budget forms.

Applicants needing help while preparing their application should communicate with SSHRC and UKRI-AHRC and/or UKRI-ESRC well in advance of the application deadline.

Merit review

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

The goal of SSHRC and its partners is to support syntheses covering a range of Envisioning Governance Systems that Work themes. In addition to using the evaluation criteria below, and in keeping with established Knowledge Synthesis Grant practices, SSHRC and its partners will consider the overall coverage of themes among recommended applications to ensure that the synthesis reports address a broad distribution of topics. Grants may not necessarily be allocated evenly across themes. However, more than one grant could be allocated to a single theme where there are value-added differences in approach and coverage.

Knowledge Synthesis Grants are not intended to support original research. Rather, they are intended to support the synthesis of existing research knowledge and identify knowledge gaps.

SSHRC’s Guidelines for the Merit Review of Indigenous Research are relevant for researchers (applicants) 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 help committee members interpret 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 can be applied to a particular research proposal. The guidelines may also be useful 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%):
    • expected contribution to the funding opportunity’s stated objectives;
    • significance of the applicant’s chosen topic or area(s) for synthesis, based on the issues identified in this call for proposals;
    • potential influence and impact in informing policy and practice in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors; and
    • identification of research gaps that might be addressed by a forward-looking research agenda in the chosen area(s).
  2. Feasibility—The plan to achieve excellence (30%):
    • ability to meet the objectives of the funding opportunity;
    • appropriateness of the methodology or approach and of the work plan, including timelines for the design and conduct of the activity;
    • quality and appropriateness of knowledge mobilization plans, including effective dissemination, exchange and engagement with stakeholders within and/or beyond the research community, where applicable; and
    • appropriateness of the requested budget.
  3. Capability—The expertise to succeed (30%):
    • qualifications of the applicant/team to carry out the proposed project (such as expertise in the research area, synthesis methods, information retrieval and Indigenous research); and
    • evidence of other knowledge mobilization activities (such as films, performances, commissioned reports, knowledge syntheses, experience collaborating/interacting with stakeholders, and contributions to public debate and the media) and of impacts on policy and practice.

Scoring table

Merit review 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

SSHRC makes competition results available to applicants through the SSHRC Extranet for Applicants and to institutions through the Grants and Scholarships Administration Portal.

Regulations, policies and related information

Stream 1 and Stream 2 (applicants affiliated with a Canadian institution):

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

All applicants affiliated with a Canadian institution and grant holders must comply with the regulations governing grant applications and with the regulations set out in the Tri-Agency Guide on Financial Administration.

Grant holders must also comply with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications (see the Open Access overview for more information) and the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy that replaced SSHRC’s Research Data Archiving policy on April 1, 2021, for all active grants.

Stream 2 (UK Applicants):

All applicants affiliated with a UK institution must comply with the latest edition of the UKRI-AHRC research funding guide and/or the UKRI-ESRC research funding guide.

Specific rules for the use of grant funds

  • Tri-agency grant funds cannot be used to remunerate team members (applicants, co-applicants or collaborators). This includes postdoctoral fellows serving in any of these capacities.
  • Funds cannot be used for collaborators’ research costs. However, collaborators’ travel and subsistence expenses related to research planning, the exchange of information with the grantee, and the dissemination of research results are eligible.
  • UKRI-AHRC and/or UKRI-ESRC applicants: applicants should consult Section 3 of the UKRI-AHRC research funding guide for guidance on eligible expenses, including salaries, and/or Section 5 of the UKRI-ESRC research funding guide for the UKRI Funding Service.
  • Consultation fees are eligible as expert and/or professional and technical services that contribute directly to the proposed research so long as the service is not being provided by a team member or other persons whose status would make them eligible to apply for a SSHRC grant.
  • A headset with an integrated boom microphone or an approved table-top microphone will be needed to participate in knowledge mobilization activities. Expenses related to the purchase of a suitable headset or microphone are eligible expenses in the requested budget. See more information.
  • See the application instructions for more details.

Guidelines and related support material

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

Applicants to Stream 2 should also consult the guidelines below.

All applicants for UKRI-AHRC and/or UKRI-ESRC funding should consult the following guidelines and support material while preparing their application:

Applicants may also wish to consult How to do effective knowledge exchange for further guidance.

Contact information

For more information, contact:

Stream 1 and Stream 2—Applicants affiliated with a Canadian institution
Email: KSG-SSC@sshrc-crsh.gc.ca
Toll-free: 1-855-275-2861

Stream 2—Applicants affiliated with a United Kingdom institution
Email: Ksgongovernance@esrc.ukri.org

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