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Standard Research Grants

Warning This funding opportunity is no longer offered. For information on currently offered SSHRC funding opportunities, see Funding

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October 2010 Competition

This funding opportunity is no longer offered. For information on currently offered SSHRC funding opportunities, see Funding.

Objectives
Description
Value and Duration
Eligibility
Evaluation and Adjudication
Administrative Regulations
Related Funding Opportunities
More Information


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Objectives

The broad purpose of the Standard Research Grants program is to support research and develop excellence in research activities in the social sciences and humanities.

The specific objectives of the program are to:

  • support high-quality independent programs of research, as proposed by scholars and judged by their peers;
  • provide opportunities for the training of future researchers;
  • contribute to the development or elaboration of new theoretical or methodological approaches to research;
  • maintain and develop vigorous disciplinary research activities;
  • foster and develop vigorous collaborative, multidisciplinary research activities among researchers in the social sciences and humanities; and
  • assist the communication of research results both within and beyond the academic community.

Description

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 three-year grants, based on peer-review judgment of the probable significance of the contribution to knowledge in the social sciences and humanities.

Research tools

A program of research may include the creation of a research tool. Adjudication committees may recommend support for research tools to the extent that they are judged to be a priority for advancing research in the field and that they will be widely accessible to the research community.

Eligible research tools may include:

  • bibliographies, indices and catalogues of research collections;
  • concordances and dictionaries (refer to SSHRC Research Data Archiving Policy);
  • materials that facilitate access to archival holdings or collections such as repository guides, inventories of a group of manuscripts or of a body of archives, inventories or documentary materials, thematic guides to archival materials, records surveys and special indices;
  • scholarly editions; and
  • data series.

SSHRC does not provide funds for these activities:

  • the cataloguing or description of original holdings of any federal agency;
  • the conversion of bibliographic records into machine-readable formats;
  • document conservation;
  • records management; or
  • the arrangement of documents.

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Value and Duration

Standard Research Grants are available for three-year programs of research. The value of these grants is up to a maximum of $100,000 per year, but not totalling 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). The value of individual awards varies; the average value of a three-year Standard Research Grant in the last competition was $81,382.

Note: The fiscal period for standard research grants is April 1st to March 31st. Grants are normally awarded for three years and must be taken up in the first fiscal year for which they are awarded.


Eligibility

Applicants

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

There are three other categories of eligible participants:

  • research collaborator;
  • student assistant; and
  • other assistants and support staff.

All applicants and participants must meet the eligibility criteria specific to their category. Applicants and co-applicants must be affiliated with an eligible Canadian postsecondary institution.

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 co-applicant status within the Standard Research Grants program.

Please note that SSHRC does not cover expenses that research collaborators incur in the conduct of research or research-related activity.

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 Standard 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 by July 15; and
  • maintains such an affiliation for the duration of the grant period.

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

Successful applicants may submit only one application as a principal applicant within any three-year period. Successful applicants who have their grant extended (beyond the one-year automatic extension) or their payments deferred are not eligible to apply in the third year of the grant's cycle. Researchers applying for programs of research of less than three years must explain why a shorter period is appropriate.

Under normal circumstances, if an applicant submits a request for one- or two-year funding and is granted an award, he or she is not eligible to apply again as a principal investigator until the next three-year cycle (e.g., if the original application for funding was submitted for the competition deadline of October 15, 2010, the applicant would not be eligible to submit a new application until the competition deadline of October 15, 2013). If, however, the applicant believes there are exceptional and substantive scholarly reasons for re-applying within the three-year cycle, he or she may submit an application; this application must include a justification for those exceptional circumstances. SSHRC, in consultation with the adjudication committee, will then judge whether adequate justification has been presented to merit acceptance in the current competition.

If an applicant submits a request for three-year funding, but on the scholarly recommendation of the adjudication committee is granted an award for one or two years only, the applicant is automatically eligible to re-apply within the three-year period (e.g., if a two-year grant is scheduled to terminate in March 2011, then another application may be submitted for the October 2010 competition deadline).

Note: SSHRC Standard Research Grant recipients must provide a Final Research Report by September 30 following the end of the granting period. In cases where a one-year automatic extension has been used for a grant, the Final Research Report should be submitted by September 30 following the extension period.

Institutions

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 before funds will be released.


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Evaluation and Adjudication

Peer-review process

Standard research grant applications are adjudicated, and available funds are awarded, through a competitive process. Research grants adjudication committees made up of scholars from the research community evaluate and rank all applications. Applicants are invited to indicate on the application form which adjudication committee they consider most appropriate to adjudicate their proposal. SSHRC, however, reserves the right to reassign applications to the adjudication committee it deems most appropriate to ensure proper review. Committee membership is also made available to assist applicants in their choice of committee.

In addition, if the number of applications to any one committee exceeds workable limits, SSHRC may split that committee or have it work in subcommittees. SSHRC will assign applications to the committee it considers best able to assess it.

Please note that applicants cannot appeal decisions made by SSHRC regarding committee assignment. Please contact the program officer responsible for your committee should you wish to discuss your committee selection.

Notification of Intent (NOI) to Apply for a Standard Research Grant

Since the 2007-08 Standard Research Grants competition, SSHRC has invited researchers to submit a short form entitled Notification of Intent to Apply (NOI). While submitting this form is not mandatory, we strongly encourage applicants to complete and submit it before the August 16, 2010, deadline. This step will allow SSHRC to initiate some aspects of the competition process (e.g., selecting appropriate external assessors) before the actual application deadline.

For team applications, the applicant must complete the NOI on behalf of the team.

Please note that the NOI is not used in adjudicating the formal application. Applicants and teams are therefore permitted to change their proposal between the NOI and formal stage.

Standard Research Grants: Adjudication Committees

2011 Standard Research Grant Adjudication Committee members
2010 Standard Research Grant Adjudication Committee members

Classics, ancient and medieval studies, religious studies, classical archaeology

01

History

02

Fine arts: history and philosophy of art, architecture, theatre, music, film, dance

03

Linguistics, applied linguistics and translation

05

Economics

07

Sociology and demography

08

Geography, urban planning and environmental studies

09

Psychology

Please note that the SSHRC guidelines for research in psychology have changed. Further information can be found in SSHRC's guidelines for selecting a funding agency.

Please contact your program officer for more information.

10

Education 1: Curriculum; arts, civic, environmental, geography, history, mathematics and science education; second language education; reading and writing; moral, values and religious education (for additional disciplines, see committees 17 and 28)

12

Interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies
Is this the committee best suited to evaluate your research proposal?

15

Anthropology and archaeology

16

Education 2: Educational administration; adult, continuing, community and vocational education; history, philosophy, sociology and theory of education; higher education; comparative and distance education; educational technology (for additional disciplines, see committees 12 and 28)

17

Literature 1: English (from the Mediaeval to the Victorian period), French, German, Slavic

18

Literature 2: American, modern and contemporary literatures in English, English Canadian, First Nations, French Canadian & Quebec, romance, other languages and literatures

19

Human resources management, organizational studies, industrial relations, management (for additional disciplines, see Committees 22 and 29)

21

Accounting, finance, management science, production and operations management (for other disciplines, see committees 21 and 29)

22

Law, socio-legal studies and criminology

23

Political science 1: International relations; global politics; strategic and security studies; international political economy; international institutions and international organization; foreign policy; development studies; and comparative politics (developing countries and industrialized countries)

24

Philosophy

25

Communication, cultural studies and women's studies

26

Education 3: Early childhood and exceptional education; educational psychology; physical and health education; measurement and evaluation; pedagogy; teaching methods and teacher education (for additional disciplines, see committees 12 and 17)

28

Business: Marketing, international business, management of information systems, business policy (for additional disciplines, see committees 21 and 22)

29

Social work, library/information science, career guidance
30

Political science 2: Public administration; Canadian politics; public policy; political theory; political thought; political parties; election studies; provincial and federal politics and intergovernmental relations; political behaviour; political sociology; local and urban politics; and methodology

31

Evaluation

Two external written assessments from national and international experts are normally obtained for each application before it is adjudicated at the committee meeting. The adjudication committees consider, but are not bound by, the judgments of the external assessors. The committees decide which proposals to recommend to SSHRC for funding.

External assessors and adjudication committees are asked to examine proposals on the basis of specific evaluation criteria pertaining to the record of research achievement of the applicant(s) and to the proposed program of research.

Applicants should know that committees may choose not to recommend an application for funding based on their evaluation of any one particular criterion.

Scoring

Applicants are evaluated within either the regular scholar or new scholar category. The adjudication committee assigns a score (based on committee consensus) of 1 to 6 for both the record of research achievement and the proposed program of research. A minimum score of 3.0 out of 6 is required on each of these two components for an application to qualify for a grant. For applicants adjudicated in the regular scholar category, the score on the record of research achievement accounts for 60 per cent of the overall score, and the score on the program of research accounts for 40 per cent of the overall score.

For applicants adjudicated in the new scholar category, the record of research achievement and the program of research are weighted in the overall score such that either a 60/40 or 40/60 ratio will apply, depending on which will produce the more favourable overall score. For example, if a new scholar receives a higher score on the program of research compared to the record of research achievement, 60 per cent of the overall score will derive from the score on the program of research, and 40 per cent from the score on the record of research achievement.

Applications from research teams receive a single score for the team's record of research achievement. This score reflects the committee's assessment of the research achievements of each of the team members in relation to the importance of their respective roles in the research (as described in the application). The status of the principal investigator determines the relative weight assigned to the overall scores for record of research achievement and program of research.

Record of Research Achievement

The record of research achievement refers to the tangible contributions made by the applicant(s) to the advancement, development and dissemination of knowledge in the social sciences and humanities. The focus of the evaluation is on the most recent six-year period of activity. In evaluating regular scholars, the committee will also take into account the five most significant research contributions (as identified by the applicant) from any period of an applicant's career.

External assessors and adjudication committees evaluate the record of research achievement using the following criteria:

  1. quality and significance of published work (taking into consideration the quality of the chosen publication venues);
  2. originality of previous research and its impact on the discipline or field;
  3. quantity of research activity relative to the stage of the applicant's career;
  4. demonstrated importance of other scholarly activities and contributions;
  5. recentness of output (taking into account the nature of the applicant's career pattern and previous non-research responsibilities);
  6. importance and relevance of dissemination of research results directed to non-academic audiences (as appropriate);
  7. significance of any previous research supported by SSHRC or any other agency;
  8. where applicable, the contribution to the training of future researchers; and
  9. where appropriate, efforts made to develop research partnerships with civil society organizations and government departments.

Adjudication committees score the record of research achievement using the following grid:

Score Range

Regular Scholar

New Scholar

 

5.0- 6.0

Excellent: Recognized nationally and perhaps internationally for the excellent quality and substantial impact of his or her publications within the discipline or beyond. Has a distinguished publication record, and has published both consistently and recently. Where applicable, the researcher has produced significant publications resulting from previous funding; has made significant contribution to training of future researchers; and, where appropriate, has disseminated results beyond academia.

Excellent: Recognized for the originality and quality of the research and publications within the discipline or beyond. Has demonstrated significant recent productivity. Where applicable, has made good contributions to training of future researchers; and, where appropriate, has disseminated results beyond academia.

4.0-4.9

Very good: Recognized for the quality and impact of publications within the discipline or beyond. Has published both consistently and recently. One or more of the following elements could have been better demonstrated: where applicable, publications resulting from previous funding; good contribution to the training of future researchers; and, where appropriate, dissemination of results beyond academia.

Very good: Research and publications are considered to be fairly original and of very good quality. Has demonstrated good recent productivity. One or both of the following elements could have been better demonstrated: where applicable, some contribution to training of future researchers; and, where appropriate, dissemination of results beyond academia.

3.0-3.9

Good: Has made some impact within the discipline or beyond. Has published regularly and fairly recently. The committee may have concerns regarding one or more of the following elements: where applicable, publications resulting from previous funding; contribution to the training of future researchers; and, where appropriate, dissemination of results beyond academia.

Good: Has demonstrated competence to conduct research. Has made some progress toward establishing a track record. The committee may have concerns regarding one or both of the following elements: where applicable, contribution to training of future researchers; and, where appropriate, dissemination of results beyond academia.

Below 3.0

Modest: Does not appear to have made an impact within the discipline or beyond. Does not appear to have published regularly or recently. Fails to demonstrate experience in one or more of the following areas: where applicable, publications resulting from previous funding; contribution to the training of future researchers; and, where appropriate, dissemination of results beyond academia.

Modest: Has not yet demonstrated the capacity to successfully carry out the research proposed. Has yet to make demonstrable progress towards establishing a track record. Fails to demonstrate experience in one or both of the following areas: where applicable, contribution to training of future researchers; and, where appropriate, dissemination of results beyond academia.

Particular emphasis will be placed on the applicant's overall contribution to research, measured against the stage of his or her research career. Circumstances that can be shown to have justifiably impeded the applicant's development of research achievements will also be taken into consideration. Allowances will be made for applicants who have not had the opportunity to supervise graduate students because their university does not offer graduate-level programs in their disciplines or fields.

Program of Research

Programs of research are shaped by broad objectives for the advancement of knowledge and may comprise one or more projects undertaken over a three-year period or longer. SSHRC does not, therefore, expect researchers to submit, in the limited space allowed, detailed descriptions of their research methods, as these may change during the course of the research.

External assessors and adjudication committees evaluate the proposed program of research using the following criteria:

  1. degree of originality and expected contribution to the advancement of knowledge;
  2. scholarly, intellectual, social and cultural significance of the research;
  3. appropriateness of the theoretical approach or framework;
  4. appropriateness and expected effectiveness of the research strategies or methodologies;
  5. feasibility of successfully completing the program of research, and appropriateness of the schedule of research, given the applicant's and/or research team's resources and commitments;
  6. suitability and expected effectiveness of plans to communicate research results both within and, as appropriate, beyond the academic community;
  7. where appropriate, the nature and extent of research training; and
  8. contribution to interdisciplinary research (for committee 15 only).

Adjudication committees score the proposed program of research using the following grid:


Score Range

Characteristics of the Program of Research

5.0-6.0

Strongly recommended for funding: Highly original, at the forefront of the field. The theoretical/conceptual approach or framework is focused, fully explained and well developed; the literature review is reasonably complete, up-to-date and linked to the program of research; and the methodology is well described and will lead to meaningful results. The training, where applicable, and dissemination components are very good.

4.0-4.9

Recommended for funding: Original, meets quality standards and will contribute to the development of the field. One or more of the following elements should have been better developed: literature review, theoretical/conceptual approach or framework and/or methodology. The training, where applicable, and dissemination components are good.

3.0-3.9

Fund if funds are available: A good research proposal but lacks at least one compelling element. The committee has concerns regarding one or more of the following elements: originality/novelty, literature review, theoretical/conceptual approach or framework and/or methodology.

Below 3.0

Not recommended for funding: Low probability of significant contribution to the field. Serious shortcomings in one or more of the following elements: originality/novelty, literature review, theoretical/conceptual approach or framework, and/or methodology.

Note: If the adjudication committee determines that the principal investigator is not responsible for, or equipped to exercise, the leadership of the research team, the committee may lower the score assigned for program of research.

Proposals for the Creation of Research Tools

Proposals for the creation of research tools are assessed according to the evaluation criteria specified for all Standard Research Grant applications, as described above. Adjudication committees may recommend support for research tools to the extent that they are judged to be a priority for advancing research in the field and that they will be widely accessible to the research community.

 


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Administrative Regulations

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.

 


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Related Funding Opportunities

SSHRC Aurora Prize

Each of the Standard Research Grants adjudication committees nominates its top-ranked candidate in the new scholar category for the SSHRC Aurora Prize.

Sport Participation Research Initiative Grants

This program offers grants for policy-relevant research in, or related to, Canadians’ participation in sport. Sport Canada has funding available for those Standard Research Grant applications that propose programs of research relevant to its policy priorities and that the Standard Research Grants adjudication committee has recommended for funding, but which, due to budgetary constraints, did not receive a regular Standard Research Grant.

Interested applicants must select "Sport Participation Research Initiative" from the appropriate drop-down list on their Standard Research Grant application form.

Canada Foundation for Innovation Infrastructure Funding

Applicants for Standard Research Grants may also be able to secure infrastructure funding to support their research from the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) Leaders Opportunity Fund . The deadline for infrastructure requests is October 15, 2010. Please direct all enquiries concerning this program to the CFI.

Interested applicants must select "Canada Foundation for Innovation Leaders Opportunity Fund" from the appropriate drop-down list on their Standard Research Grant application form.


More Information

For more information about the Standard Research Grants program, please contact the program officer who works with the committee most closely connected to your own research interests.