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Date published: March 20, 2020

Talent Program

Goal
Context
Objectives
Funding opportunities
Related initiatives



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Goal

The goal of the Talent program is to support students and postdoctoral researchers in order to develop the next generation of researchers and leaders across society, both within academia and across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.


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Context

The Talent program promotes the acquisition of research skills, and assists in the training of highly qualified personnel in the social sciences and humanities. In this way, SSHRC fosters the development of talented and creative people who will become leaders across campuses and communities, and thereby contribute to Canada’s success in the globalized 21st century.


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Objectives

The objectives of the Talent program are to:

  • support the development of the best or most promising highly qualified personnel with social sciences and humanities research and professional skills;
  • support the best or most promising social sciences and humanities students and postdoctoral researchers selected through an adjudication process;
  • support students and scholars in gaining exposure to international social sciences and humanities scholarship; and
  • mobilize social sciences and humanities knowledge that has the potential to lead to intellectual, cultural, social and economic influence, benefit and impact.

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Funding opportunities

For the most up-to-date information on all funding opportunities, please consult the Funding page. Please note that SSHRC is committed to providing a range of adjudication options appropriate to its individual funding opportunities.

All applicants are invited to consider addressing in their research proposal one or more of the 16 future global challenges recently identified under SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future.

SSHRC, in alignment with its Indigenous Research Statement of Principles, also welcomes applications involving Indigenous research. Interested applicants are invited to visit SSHRC’s Connecting with Society—Indigenous Research web page for more information.

For master’s students

For doctoral students

For postdoctoral researchers

  • SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships provide support for individuals undertaking full-time research following the successful completion of their doctoral studies.
  • Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships provide support for Canadian and international researchers who have recently completed a PhD-equivalent or health professional degree.

For formal partnerships

SSHRC provides funding for research, research training and knowledge mobilization carried out by new and existing formal partnerships.

  • Partnership Grants are institutional grants of four to seven years in duration that provide support to new or existing formal partnerships. As part of the Talent program, Partnered Research Training Initiatives seek to support the creation of innovative approaches that enrich the research training experience for registered students and postdoctoral researchers, while facilitating their transition to academic or non-academic workplace settings.

SSHRC Impact Awards

SSHRC Impact Awards recognize outstanding researchers and students by celebrating their achievements in research, research training, knowledge mobilization and outreach activities funded partially or completely by SSHRC. Postsecondary institutions eligible to administer SSHRC funding are invited to put forward nominations for the following awards: the Gold Medal, the Talent Award, the Insight Award, the Connection Award and the Partnership Award.


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Related initiatives

SSHRC offers a number of supplements that provide additional support for scholarship and fellowship award holders. SSHRC also partners with other organizations to offer several joint initiatives and opportunities for collaboration that complement SSHRC’s Talent, Insight and Connection programs, as well as to foster links with social sciences and humanities students and researchers whose work is related to the organizations’ priorities. For a complete list of initiatives available through SSHRC’s funding opportunities, please consult the Funding page.

Unless otherwise indicated, there is no separate application process for most of the initiatives and supplements listed below. However, candidates must indicate that they wish to be considered for an initiative or a supplement in the application form of the funding opportunity that interests them. They must also explain why they wish to be considered, as indicated in the application instructions.

Related initiatives for Canada Graduate Scholarships—master’s and doctoral award holders

Canada Graduate Scholarships—Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements

Canada Graduate Scholarships—Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements provide additional support for research experiences outside of Canada to active award holders of Joseph-Armand Bombardier or Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships. Please note this supplement has a separate application process.

Canada Graduate Scholarship to Honour Nelson Mandela

While they would not receive additional funding, select recipients of a Canada Graduate Scholarship (master’s and doctoral) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and SSHRC may be considered for the honour of having their scholarship named a “Canada Graduate Scholarship to Honour Nelson Mandela,” should SSHRC deem their application to be aligned with at least one of five themes championed by Mandela: national unity; democracy, freedom and human rights; leadership; children’s participation in society; and children’s health.

Supplements for doctoral award applicants

Aileen D. Ross Fellowship

A $10,000 supplement is awarded yearly to a SSHRC doctoral award recipient conducting poverty-related research in sociology.

Queen’s Fellowship

A $10,000 supplement is awarded yearly to a SSHRC doctoral award recipient entering a program in Canadian studies at a Canadian postsecondary institution. At the time of application, candidates are considered eligible if they intend to enrol in or are registered in the first year of such a program.

Supplements for SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship applicants

Jules and Gabrielle Léger Fellowship

A $10,000 supplement is awarded yearly to a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient conducting research on the historical and contemporary contribution of the Crown to the life of the country.

Bora Laskin National Fellowship in Human Rights Research

A $10,000 supplement is awarded yearly to a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship recipient conducting research in the field of human rights.

Alice Wilson Award

A $1,000 award is offered yearly by the Royal Society of Canada to three women of outstanding academic qualifications in the arts and humanities, social sciences or science who are entering a career in scholarship or research at the postdoctoral level. The recipients are chosen from the current year’s female winners of postdoctoral fellowships from the three granting agencies—the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and SSHRC.

Joint initiatives and opportunities for collaboration

Department of National Defence MINDS Scholarships Initiative

As part of a joint initiative with SSHRC, the Department of National Defence is offering research training awards and supplements at the master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral levels to social sciences and humanities students and researchers whose work is related to the Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) Policy Challenges, as well as Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged.

Eligible candidates seeking master’s-level funding must apply through the Canada Graduate Scholarships—Master’s (CGS-M) Program. There are two streams of funding for CGS M award holders under this initiative:

  • MINDS Master’s Scholarships for Indigenous Students: Candidates in the CGS-M Program competition who self-identify as Indigenous and whose research is related to the MINDS Policy Challenges and/or key defence policy themes are eligible to apply for a master’s award through this initiative.
  • MINDS Scholarship Initiative Supplements: All candidates in the CGS M Program competition whose research is related to the MINDS Policy Challenges and/or key defence policy themes are eligible to apply for supplemental funding under this initiative.

Note: To be offered a MINDS Master’s Scholarship for Indigenous Students or a MINDS Scholarship Initiative Supplement, candidates must first be successful in the CGS M Program competition.

Eligible candidates seeking doctoral-level funding must apply through the SSHRC Doctoral Awards funding opportunity.

Eligible candidates seeking postdoctoral-level funding must apply through the SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships funding opportunity.

All candidates will be asked to submit a justification to be considered for these awards and supplements. Additional information is available on the MINDS Scholarship Initiative web page.

Centre for International Governance Innovation—International Law Research Program

SSHRC partners with the International Law Research Program of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) to support postdoctoral social sciences and humanities research and related activities, in the areas of international economic, intellectual property, environmental and/or Indigenous law. Doctoral students completing their SJD/PhD in law, and those who have completed such a degree in the last two years, may be eligible to be considered for these fellowships. Each fellowship is valued at up to $80,500 per year, to a maximum of 24 months. For more information, please visit the CIGI website. To be considered for the CIGI funding opportunity, applicants must make a selection from the appropriate drop-down menu in their application form. They must also explain why their research should be considered for the CIGI International Law Research Program.

Sport Participation Research Initiative

The Sport Participation Research Initiative is a joint initiative between SSHRC and the Department of Canadian Heritage that provides additional support for policy-relevant research about participation in sport in Canada through doctoral and postdoctoral award supplements.

Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes

SSHRC invites SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship holders and applicants to connect with the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes to explore the possibility of organizing a residency with one of the consortium’s centres or institutes. Consortium member residencies can help SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship holders strengthen their research, and can provide them with new research training and career development opportunities.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation-SSHRC Housing Research Training Awards Program

As part of a joint initiative, SSHRC and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) are partnering to offer postdoctoral fellowships to individuals conducting humanities and social sciences research in areas related to housing. Each fellowship is valued at $45,000 per year and is tenable for up to 24 months. Further information can be found on the CMHC National Housing Strategy website. Candidates must apply through SSHRC’s Postdoctoral Fellowship funding opportunity and select the CMHC-SSHRC Housing Research Training Awards Program from the drop-down menu in their application form. They will also be required to provide a justification as to why their research should be considered for these awards.

Mitacs Elevate Fellowships

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship applicants working with Canadian business and/or eligible not-for-profit organizations are invited to apply for a Mitacs Elevate Fellowship. Eligible candidates must make the proper selection from the drop-down menu in their SSHRC application form. They are also required to complete an abridged Mitacs Elevate application form and upload it along with their SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship application materials. To access the Elevate application form, please contact a Mitacs business development representative.

Mitacs Elevate Research Management Training Initiative

As part of a joint initiative and partnership with Mitacs, SSHRC is offering exclusive access and additional travel support to SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship holders who wish to participate in the Mitacs Elevate Research Management Training Initiative. This program consists of in-person and online networking and training activities focusing on developing skills in leadership and management, communication and relationship building, and personal and professional management over a two-year period. To be considered for this training opportunity, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship candidates must make the appropriate selection from the drop-down menu in their application form. They are also required to submit a brief expression of interest indicating how participation in this initiative aligns with, and might enhance, their professional development goals. Candidates do not need to apply for the Mitacs Elevate Fellowship to be considered for the Mitacs research management training initiative, as the initiative is separate and distinct from the fellowship.

Multi-agency Research Funding Collaboration

SSHRC also continues to work with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation to enhance co-ordination of the agencies’ programs, activities and policies. For more information, please consult Multi-agency Research Funding Collaboration.