Government of Canada helping to pave the way for social sciences and humanities research

Nearly 3,000 graduate students, scholars and researchers to benefit from investment to propel their careers  

January 30, 2019 – Kingston, ON – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

Social sciences and humanities research plays an important role in building a healthier, stronger and more prosperous Canada. To create a thriving economy powered by homegrown discoveries and innovations, and for Canada to be world-renowned as a research leader, we need to continue to invest in talented graduate students, scholars and researchers.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced that the Government of Canada is investing $141 million to support nearly 3,000 of Canada’s most talented scholars, including early-career researchers, across the country. These exceptional leaders will tackle a wide array of research topics that impact Canadians today like never before, including youth priorities in the North, climate change, energy, big data and many other pressing issues.

Also announced today were the 18 recipients of this year’s Canada Graduate Scholarships to Honour Nelson Mandela. In addition, to boost support for early-career researchers, overall postdoctoral funding has increased to $7 million over the next five years.

The Minister joined some of today’s recipients at Queen's University, which is receiving over $4.6 million to support 92 researchers. These researchers include Lee Airton, whose research is helping educate K-12 teachers about welcoming gender and sexual diversity in the classroom, and Christine Moon, whose research focuses on the role that medical assistance plays at the end of life for Korean-Canadians. 


“Social sciences and humanities research is at the heart of understanding the challenges and opportunities facing our communities and our people. Nurturing young talent in these disciplines is one of the best ways to build a healthier, stronger and more prosperous Canada.”

—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“Researchers in the social sciences and humanities community play a key role in all innovation. We are facing serious global challenges related to climate change, increased migration, inequality, faltering economies, health, food and water insecurity, and cyber security. The work of Canadian social sciences and humanities graduate students, scholars and researchers is contributing to addressing these problems for a brighter future.”

—Ted Hewitt, President, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

“With the support of these funds, over 90 faculty and students across disciplines at Queen’s will contribute evidence-based research to issues of importance to Canadians and global citizens – from gender expression to assisted dying. The strength of our social sciences and humanities research in this country positions Canada as an international leader in facilitating dialogue, informing policy, and providing concrete solutions to global challenges.”

—Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University 

Quick Facts

  • Queen’s University is one of 79 universities to benefit from the $141 million to support close to 3,000 researchers at institutions across Canada.  
  • A total of close to 2,300 social sciences and humanities students and scholars at the master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral levels will benefit from today’s announcement.
  • In addition, 677 researchers and their teams received Insight Development Grants. This number represents a 74 percent increase from last year.
  • The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRCTalent and Insight  programs support postsecondary-based research and research training in the humanities and social sciences.
  • The Canada Graduate Scholarships are awarded by the three granting agencies – SSHRC, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
  • The Canada Graduate Scholarships to Honour Nelson Mandela were launched in 2014 to honour the life and legacy of the anti-apartheid leader and first South African president elected in a fully representative democratic election.

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Daniele Medlej
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science and Sport
Tel.: 343-291-4204

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Tel.: 343-291-1777

Alioune Camara
Media Relations Advisor
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Tel.: 613-992-8930