New dashboard enhances transparency on research funding to underrepresented groups

SSHRC is pleased to release a new, interactive dashboard, which presents two years of data from applicants to all SSHRC funding programs on their age, gender, and whether they identify as belonging to one or more of the four designated groups.

A more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating excellent, innovative and impactful research. As such, in June 2018, SSHRC, in collaboration with other federal research granting agencies, implemented a harmonized process to collect self-identification data from researchers and trainees among the four Employment Equity Act’s designated groups: women, Indigenous peoples, members of visible minorities and persons with disabilities.

This data is based on a voluntary self-identification questionnaire initiated by SSHRC in June 2018 to monitor participation and success rates for SSHRC funding programs. In December 2018, SSHRC began to collect the same self-identification information from members of its merit review committees. Funding success rates and representation on review committees are important indicators of fair access to research support and equitable participation in the research system, respectively.

This data is available thanks to the strong participation of the research community in providing their self-identification data. Reliable and comparable data is essential to informing evidence-based policy solutions designed to increase equity, diversity and inclusion and to ensuring equitable access to research funds across the research ecosystem by identifying and addressing systemic barriers. SSHRC is committed to sharing aggregate data as widely as possible, while protecting the privacy of individuals who agree to self-identify.

The dashboard is the latest measure supporting SSHRC’s ongoing commitment and action to strengthen equity, diversity and inclusion in research. Other recent agency-level measures include mandatory unconscious bias training in merit review for members of adjudication committees, mandatory gender-based analysis plus training for all SSHRC employees, and program enhancements, such as new approaches to address fairness and transparency in the nomination process for SSHRC’s annual Impact Awards.

These actions are complemented by significant equity, diversity and inclusion progress at the tri-agency level through Dimensions and flagship tri-agency programs, such as the Canada Research Chairs Program.

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