Update on the renewal of SSHRC’s Talent program

Following recent consultations, SSHRC will begin implementing changes to its Talent program as the third wave in the renewal of its overall program architecture. SSHRC’s governing council has endorsed the planned changes and their implementation over a three-year period beginning in 2012.

Consultation Process
Key Changes
Support for Research Training
Proposed Timeline for Implementation
More Information

Consultation Process

In 2011, SSHRC sought feedback on key issues related to the renewal of its Talent program via an online discussion guide and form. More than 70 individuals and groups provided feedback through the form. SSHRC conducted a further 50 consultations with key stakeholders using a variety of other methods, including:

  • an open invitation to administrators, student liaison officers and deans at postsecondary institutions to participate in real-time discussions with SSHRC staff via videoconference, teleconference or webinar;
  • face-to-face meetings with representatives from associations with interests in graduate education;
  • discussions with representatives from provincial and federal governments, and from the private and not-for-profit sectors; and
  • an advisory group of representatives from stakeholder organizations, established to provide SSHRC management with strategic advice.

SSHRC wishes to thank all those who participated in the consultation activities. This feedback was instrumental in helping us frame our proposal for endorsement by SSHRC’s governing council.

SSHRC will continue to engage and consult with stakeholders during the Talent program renewal process, and to announce publicly and in a timely fashion significant changes to specific funding opportunities.

Key Changes

SSHRC’s governing council has endorsed the following changes, to be implemented over a three-year period.

Adopt a consistent approach to research training across the Talent, Insight and Connection programs

  • Establish criteria for assessing what constitutes “effective research training” and develop related guidelines for applicants and reviewers. The criteria could include, for example, the acquisition of research and research-related skills; an appreciation of global issues and the opportunity to obtain international exposure; and a training plan involving mentoring and institutional support.
  • Improve monitoring and reporting by means of a career survey and achievement reporting.

Expand partnership opportunities to support research training

  • Broaden the Partnership Grants funding opportunity to allow postsecondary institutions and employers from the private, public or not-for profit sectors to submit proposals focused on innovative approaches to research training. Activities proposed could include, for example, internships and co-op programs.
  • Explore options to expand support for research training through joint initiatives between SSHRC and other funding agencies.

Implement changes to those funding opportunities offering direct support to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers

Doctoral Funding

Postdoctoral Funding

  • Increase the value of SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships from $38,000 per year to $40,500 per year for two years, while removing the provision for a separate research allowance.
  • Require prospective host institutions to submit research training plans as part of the SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship application.
  • Adjust the SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship eligibility criteria to limit eligibility to applicants applying within two years of completion of the PhD (instead of the current three-year window), and to those who have not previously held a postdoctoral fellowship from any source.
  • Shift the SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships to the model of co-delivery with universities that is currently in use for Master's and doctoral awards.

Harmonize tri-agency funding opportunities

  • Simplify the application process for tri-agency funding opportunities by implementing a tri-agency, single-window application portal.
  • Integrate the Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement into the applications for the CGS Master’s Scholarships and CGS Doctoral Scholarships, eliminating the need for a separate application.
  • Implement block grants to universities for the CGS Master’s Scholarships. SSHRC will eliminate its own administrative review of CGS Master’s Scholarships applications, with selection and recruitment instead carried out by proposed host institutions.
  • Review the formula for calculating university quotas and allocations to ensure that these support the overall objectives of the Talent program.

Support for Research Training

Scholarships and Fellowships Grants
Undergraduate No direct funding available

Partnership Grants
Funding to allow postsecondary institutions and employers from the private, public or not-for profit sectors to submit proposals focused on research training (e.g., internships, co-op programs)

All SSHRC Grants
Researchers may include salaries or stipends for undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows as an eligible expense in grant proposals

Master's Funding for one year

  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master’s Scholarships (through block grants to universities)
Doctoral Funding for up to three years

  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships
  • Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarships
  • Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships
Postdoctoral Funding for up to two years

Proposed Timeline for Implementation

2012 2013 2014
Launch Talent option within Partnership Grants

Establish criteria for evaluating “effective research training” and apply consistently across all SSHRC programs

Implement changes to SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships (see Postdoctoral Funding above)

Simplify application process through implementation of a tri-agency, single-window application system

Implement changes to SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships (see Doctoral Funding above)

Introduce block grants to universities for Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master’s Scholarships

Integrate the Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements application into scholarships applications

More Information

Research Training Portfolio