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Northern Communities: Towards Social and Economic Prosperity–Special Call

Research Development Initiatives

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

Regulations Governing Grant Applications

Application deadlines Value Duration Results announced Apply

November 26, 2008

Up to $80,000 1 year

March 2009

Application form not available

Web CV and instructions

Value and Duration
Evaluation and Adjudication
Administrative Regulations
More Information


Developing high-quality inter-disciplinary research in topics related to the social and economic prosperity of northern communities depends on establishing and promoting the conditions necessary for the generation of knowledge through experimentation in new methods, approaches and ideas. This includes innovative ways of analyzing, structuring, integrating and transferring knowledge. Such development requires theoretical and methodological experimentation in the early stages of the research process. Accordingly, the Research Development Initiatives (RDI) program supports research that both assesses and elicits the changing directions of research and the evolution of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. The program provides short-term support that enables grant holders to develop their research to a point where they are able to submit fully developed proposals to other programs with the aim of producing and effectively disseminating advanced research findings.

In order to foster inter-disciplinary research on topics related to the social and economic prosperity of northern communities, the Research Development Initiatives program for this special call will offer support to individual researchers in the social sciences or humanities, or to teams composed of researchers (from natural sciences, engineering, health, humanities and social sciences) led by a principal investigator with a record of research achievements in the social sciences or humanities. The special call especially encourages the team approach to the extent that it will allow the intellectual conduct of projects to benefit from the variety of disciplinary and multi-disciplinary expertise of a number of investigators. Furthermore, for this RDI program, topics and questions must demonstrably relate to the general purpose, scope and objectives of the Northern Communities: Towards Social and Economic Prosperity special call.


The overall objective of this RDI program is to support original research in its initial, developmental stages to the point where the research results are sufficiently advanced to enable the submission of proposals to other research support programs in order to conduct more advanced inter-disciplinary research. Projects are expected to develop new knowledge, specifically with respect to issues addressed in SSHRc's Northern Communities special call.

The projects are also expected to:

  • develop new research questions;
  • explore conceptual and methodological perspectives and directions; and
  • critically analyze and assess research (including its achievements, impacts, strengths and state of development).



SSHRC invites proposals that meet the program's overall objective of supporting innovative research in its initial stages that will lead to the development of mature research projects. Proposals should not be full-fledged, stand-alone projects that aim at advanced research results, as this type of research is already supported by SSHRc's Standard Research Grants and other programs. Nor are RDI grants intended to support ongoing programs of research. Applicants must clearly distinguish their RDI project from previous or ongoing research. The proposal should address and develop a distinct, delimited research issue, present clearly defined plans for the research, and propose a budget that is fully justified by those plans.

The program supports research activities that can lead to the development of innovative programs of research. These activities may include, but are not limited to, case studies, pilot projects, critical analyses, research collaboration and new ways of producing, structuring, and mobilizing knowledge. Please note that SSHRC has a separate funding program for workshops and conferences, the Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences in Canada program. This RDI program also encourages developmental activities that promote inter-, cross- and multi-disciplinary research.

Value and Duration

The maximum value of this RDI grant is $80,000 over one year. 

This is a one-time call for proposals.




Applicants may be individual researchers or groups of researchers affiliated with Canadian universities or other postsecondary institutions, as well as scholarly associations in the humanities and social sciences. Foreign researchers not affiliated with a Canadian postsecondary institution are eligible to apply as co-applicants.

Researchers from other organizations, as well as the organizations themselves, are also eligible to apply, provided that the proposed research requires significant involvement of researchers affiliated with Canadian postsecondary institutions.

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

An inter-disciplinary selection committee with broad expertise will assess and adjudicate all RDI proposals according to the following criteria:

  • Relevance to the objectives of SSHRc's Northern Communities special call;
  • Significance, originality and inter-disciplinarity of the proposed research;
  • Quality of the plans for the proposed research;
  • Individual and collective qualifications for carrying out the proposed inter-disciplinary research;
  • Feasibility of the proposed research activities to meet this program’s objectives;
  • Appropriate and effective involvement and integration of northern communities, organizations and individuals; and
  • Appropriateness of the budget requested.

All applicants will receive, together with Council's notice of decision, a summary of the adjudication committee's comments.


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 Northern Communities: Towards Social and Economic Prosperity are subject to final approval by the Treasury Board of Canada.

More Information

For more information, please contact:

Jacques Critchley
Senior Program Officer
Strategic Programs and Joint Initiatives Division
Tel: 613-992-5145
Fax: 613-947-0223