International Research Call on the Future of Canada-UK Trade Relations

February 05, 2018, Ottawa, Ontario – The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in the United Kingdom have launched an international competition to assess the state of research knowledge on Canada-UK trade relationships.

This unique competition will foster international research collaboration and, through the synthesis of existing knowledge, identify research strengths and gaps around Canada-UK trade relations. The resulting findings on diverse issues related to trade between Canada and the UK—such as inclusion, labour and environment, trade barriers, and technological and digital transformations—will deepen understanding needed for future trading relationships, and support evidence-based decision-making and policy development.

This international competition focuses exclusively on collaborative research projects. Proposed projects must involve at least two researchers, one affiliated with a postsecondary institution in Canada, the other with a UK-based university or approved, independent research organization.

As many as 20 projects will be funded, valued at up to C$30,000 each. Proposals for Knowledge Synthesis Grants on understanding the future of Canada-UK trade relations may involve any disciplines and approaches or subject areas eligible for ESRC and SSHRC funding.

SSHRC and the ESRC will organize two workshops to convene award holders and key stakeholders from across the business, community and government sectors. The first workshop will take place in July 2018, in Ottawa, Canada. In December 2018, a second workshop will be held in London, UK, timed with the release of the knowledge synthesis reports. The key aim of the workshops is to share results from the knowledge synthesis reports, and to contribute evidence for decision-making and policy development.

The deadline to apply for these grants is March 28, 2018. Learn more about the competition and the application process.


“The international research collaboration between the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Economic and Social Research Council strongly supports our government’s goal of expanding and enhancing Canada-UK relations, notably in science and innovation. This competition will help foster global research excellence, while mobilizing scholarly talent in areas such as inclusion, labour and the environment, and trade barriers.”

—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

“The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council is delighted to partner with the ESRC on this important and timely knowledge synthesis competition. The dynamic research landscape to which SSHRC contributes is seeing increased international collaboration, with greater access to new ideas, talent and opportunities for researchers and students. The complexity of a globalized society highlights the important role the social sciences and humanities must play to build a better future for Canada and the world.”

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

“I’m delighted that the Economic and Social Research Council is partnering with SSHRC on this important knowledge synthesis competition. With trade playing such a pivotal role in UK prosperity, this is an opportunity to build the evidence base on which to make future trade decisions with rigorous research. This competition will inform us about what rigorous social science research we have, and what’s needed when it comes to the UK-Canada trade relationship.”

—Professor Jennifer Rubin, Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council, and ESRC’s Executive Chair Designate within UK Research and Innovation

Quick Facts

  • SSHRC is a federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and talent development in the humanities and social sciences.
  • The ESRC is the UK’s largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. It supports the development and training of the UK’s future social scientists and also funds major studies that provide the infrastructure for research. ESRC-funded research informs policy-makers and practitioners and helps make businesses, voluntary bodies and other organizations more effective.
  • This international funding opportunity supports the goals of SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative, and aligns with the future challenge area, “What knowledge will Canada need to thrive in an interconnected, evolving global landscape?”
  • This opportunity supports the goals of the ESRC’s portfolio of international programs. The ESRC aims to explore new collaborative activities with SSHRC as part of ESRC’s international strategy.

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Julia Gualtieri
Media Relations Advisor
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Tel.: 613-325-2656

Mark Gardner
Press Manager
Economic and Social Research Council
Tel.: 01793 413 122