Partnership Engage Grants

The June 15 deadline for Partnership Engage Grants has been moved forward to May 22. This is a one-time change for the 2024-25 cycle. Going forward, the standard application deadlines will be in place.

2024-25 Competitions

Value $7,000 to $25,000
Duration 1 year
Application deadlineFootnote * May 22, 2024; September 15, 2024; December 15, 2024; March 15, 2025 (8 p.m. eastern)
Results announced At end of each funding cycle (August, November, February and May)
Apply Web CV, application and instructions

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Partnership Engage Grants are expected to respond to the objectives of the Research Partnerships program.

These grants provide short-term and timely support for partnered research activities that will inform decision-making at a single partner organization from the public, private or not-for-profit sector. The small-scale, stakeholder-driven partnerships supported through Partnership Engage Grants are meant to respond to immediate needs and time constraints facing organizations in non-academic sectors. In addressing an organization-specific need, challenge and/or opportunity, these partnerships let non-academic organizations and postsecondary researchers access each other’s unique knowledge, expertise and capabilities on topics of mutual interest.

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

For tools and resources to assist in the planning and implementation of your partnership, see SSHRC’s Partnerships Tool-Kit.

Types of partnerships

Following are some possible formal partnership approaches. Applicants are in no way limited to these approaches and are welcome to combine some of the features described below.

  • Cross-sector co-creation of knowledge and understanding: Partnerships to foster innovative research, training and the co-creation of new knowledge on critical issues of intellectual, social, economic and cultural significance.
  • Partnered knowledge mobilization: Partnerships designed to synthesize, apply and mobilize new and existing social sciences and humanities research knowledge in accessible ways to build institutional capacity and to increase the national and international impact and stature of Canadian research.

Joint initiatives

SSHRC collaborates with organizations from across the not-for-profit, private and public sectors to support and promote training, research and connection activities in the social sciences and humanities. SSHRC’s joint initiatives are designed to reflect its strategic objectives and mandate, inform decision-makers, and, in certain cases, address specific needs of its partners.

The following joint initiatives are associated with this funding opportunity:

Future Challenge Areas

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.

Value and duration

Partnership Engage Grants are valued at $7,000 to $25,000 for one year.

Salary research allowance

A salary research allowance can be requested for not-for-profit organizations involved in the partnership with an applicant, co-director or co-applicant on the team to release them from duties to their organization.


Subject matter

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, preparation of teaching materials, program evaluation, organization of a conference or workshop, digitization of a collection, or creation of a database are not eligible for funding under this funding opportunity.


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 postsecondary institution that holds institutional eligibility at the time of application. 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 status.

Applicants who have received a SSHRC grant of any type but have failed to submit an 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 researchers 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 researchers must confirm with their institution’s research grants officer that the institution can administer the funding if awarded.

Students are not eligible for applicant or co-applicant status on a Partnership Engage Grant.

Federal scientists who are affiliated with a Canadian postsecondary institution must demonstrate that their proposed research or research-related activity is not related to either the mandate of their employer or the normal duties for which they receive payment from that employer.

If the proposal falls within the mandate of the federal government and the research or research-related activity is performed in government facilities, funding can only be allocated for student salaries, stipends and travel costs.


Grant funds can be administered only 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 to begin the institutional eligibility application process, or if they have questions about institutional eligibility.


Individuals 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.
  • International: postsecondary institution.

Postdoctoral researchers who are affiliated with a postsecondary institution are eligible to be co-applicants.


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.

Partner organizations

Only one Canadian or international organization from the public, private or not-for-profit sector can be involved as a partner organization. Postsecondary institutions and scholarly associations are not eligible as partner organizations. Organizations collaborating with postsecondary institutions (e.g., a network) can be considered eligible as long as they are a separate entity from the postsecondary institution (i.e., a stand-alone organization in the not-for-profit, private or public sector). The partner organization must be at arm’s length (independent) from the academic institution and the applicant. A partner organization is not at arm’s length if the applicant:

  • has an ownership position in the partner organization;
  • is employed by the partner organization in any role, whether salaried or not; or
  • is related (i.e., connected by blood relationship, marriage or common-law partnership or adoption) to a person who controls, or who is a member of a governing board that controls, the partner organization.

The partner organization must be under the effective day-to-day management control of someone other than the postsecondary institution, applicant, co-applicant(s) or other participant with financial authority on the grant (in a private sector organization this precludes these individuals from holding key executive positions, such as president, CEO, chief scientific officer or vice-president R&D).

While cash and/or in-kind contributions are not mandatory, partner organizations are expected to support the activities of the partnership through these contributions. 

Researchers involved in formal partnerships that have more than one partner organization are encouraged to apply for Partnership Development Grants or Partnership Grants.

Multiple applications and holding multiple awards

Individuals can apply, as an applicant, for only one Partnership Engage Grant per calendar year. Current Partnership Engage Grant holders can submit a new application for the same type of grant, but only after their grant’s end date (end date on their original Notice of Award). Grant holders can do so whether or not they intend to ask for or use an extension year in order to finish work associated with the currently held grant.

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 when they receive their Notice of Award.

Application process

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.

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

Once the 8 p.m. (eastern) application deadline has passed, the application server will be offline for two business days and unable to accept applications. After this time, the server will come back online, ready to accept applications for the next competition deadline. During the hiatus, the server will retain the information for applications still in progress.

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.

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 can 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 (60%):
    • the research’s relevance to needs, challenges and/or opportunities facing the partner organization;
    • originality, significance and expected contribution to knowledge and, more specifically, to the partner organization;
    • appropriateness of the literature review;
    • appropriateness of the methods and theoretical approach;
    • 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 the partner organization and beyond.
  2. Feasibility—The plan to achieve excellence (20%):
    • probability that the objectives will be met within the timeline proposed;
    • involvement of the partner organization in the design and conduct of the research and/or related activities;
    • appropriateness of the requested budget and justification of proposed costs;
    • indications of other planned resources, including leveraging of cash and in-kind support from the host institution and/or from the partner organization; and
    • quality and appropriateness of the knowledge mobilization plans, including effective dissemination, exchange and engagement with the partner organization and other stakeholders within and/or beyond the research community.
  3. Capability—The expertise to succeed (20%):
    • quality, quantity and significance of past experience and published and/or creative outputs of the applicant and any co-applicants relative to their roles in the partnership and to the stage of their career;
    • evidence of other 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
    • evidence of past contributions to the training and mentoring of students, postdoctoral researchers and highly qualified personnel.

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 (via the SSHRC Extranet for Applicants) and institutions (via the Grants and Scholarships Administration Portal).

All applicants will be provided, in addition to SSHRC’s notice of decision, a summary of the merit review committee’s evaluation of their proposal, where applicable.

Regulations, policies and related information

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 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, which, as of April 1, 2021, replaced SSHRC’s Research Data Archiving policy for all active grants.

On January 16, 2024, the Government of Canada published its Policy on Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern (STRAC), which applies to this funding opportunity. Grant applications that involve conducting research and related activities that aim to advance a sensitive technology research area will not be funded if any of the researchers involved in activities supported by the grant are affiliated with, or in receipt of funding or in-kind support from, a university, research institute or laboratory connected to military, national defence or state security entities that could pose a risk to Canada's national security. Read the tri-agency guidance on the STRAC policy to understand how this may impact your application.

Specific rules for the use of grant funds

  • SSHRC grant funds cannot be used to provide salaries or stipends to applicants, co-applicants or collaborators, regardless of an individual’s eligibility to apply for grants.
  • SSHRC grant funds cannot be used to provide salaries or stipends to the grantee or to other individuals whose status would make them eligible to apply for grants from the agency.
  • SSHRC grant funds cannot be used for course release time to allow an individual to engage in research.
  • Tri-agency grant funds cannot be used to remunerate team members (applicant, co-applicant or collaborator). This includes postdoctoral researchers serving in any of these capacities.

Guidelines and related support material

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

Contact information

For more information:

Toll free: 1-855-275-2861

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