COVID-19 Update

COVID-19: Impact on SSHRC programs, experts database and perspectives from our community.


Imagining Canada’s Future

Imagining Canada's Future

More than ever, society is looking to the social sciences and humanities to help understand and mitigate global challenges in the face of change. SSHRC’s Imagining Canada’s Future initiative mobilizes social sciences and humanities research to address emerging economic, societal and knowledge needs for Canada, and help guide decision-making across all sectors towards a better future.


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Imagining Canada’s Future Ideas Lab: Canada and the Circular Economy

The Imagining Canada’s Future (ICF) Ideas Lab is an exciting, new two-year pilot program designed to encourage innovative research partnerships and projects. By breaking down methodological barriers and empowering participants to explore new approaches to research, the ICF Ideas Lab will aid knowledge sharing and provide foundations for future interdisciplinary projects.

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Future Challenge Areas

Future Challenge Areas: 2018-21

SSHRC partnered with Policy Horizons Canada on a comprehensive horizon scanning exercise to identify 16 future global challenges that may have a major impact on Canada in the next decade. These global challenges, such as living within the Earth’s carrying capacity, working in a digital economy, the evolving bio-age, or the erosion of culture and history, have the potential to shape society in significant ways. All the challenges cross multiple sectors and research disciplines and require broad collaboration to address.

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Future Challenge Areas: 2014-18

Following an extensive foresight exercise that began in 2012, six key future challenges were addressed throughout 2014-18. Each included a range of possible—yet, not exclusive—issues and subquestions that explore the complexity of the respective issue.

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How can you contribute to Canada’s future?

SSHRC invites all applicants to review the 16 future challenges and to consider addressing one or more of them in the research proposals they submit to funding opportunities under SSHRC’s TalentInsight or Connection programs.

Knowledge Synthesis Grants

SSHRC will hold Knowledge Synthesis Grants funding opportunities to address a number of these future challenges. Further information on these funding opportunities and other activities will be made available throughout the year. Learn more about the future challenge areas, check out latest news or connect with the Future Challenges Directorate

Evidence briefs

Knowledge Synthesis Grant holders produce two-page briefs to summarize their findings and highlight the policy relevance of their projects. The briefs help grant holders engage with policy-makers and potential partners in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

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Collaborate with SSHRC

Engaging with our community and stakeholders enables excellence in research and talent, and in partnerships that inform decision-making across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. As such, SSHRC invites leaders from these sectors to consider whether one or more of the global challenges might offer an opportunity for collaborations.

For more information on collaborating with SSHRC, contact the Future Challenges Areas Division.

To explore how to connect your organization, department, or business with SSHRC-funded research experts from across Canada, consult SSHRC’s Awards Search Engine

See some of SSHRC’s recent collaborations


The future of knowledge mobilization

SSHRC has partnered with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and its Network of UNESCO Chairs, as well as Research Impact Canada, to examine promising practices in knowledge mobilization, inclusive knowledge dissemination, and knowledge engagement. Thought leadership papers address how knowledge mobilization can help us confront formidable future challenges (PDF, 12.4 MB) and how the active engagement of Canadian research institutions in these practices can support research impact in Canada and the world.

International Policy Ideas Challenge 2020

Global Affairs Canada and SSHRC invite Canadian graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and early career researchers to submit their best ideas and solutions for Canada's international policy challenges.

Living Within the Earth’s Carrying Capacity

SSHRC, with support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, has launched this Knowledge Synthesis Grants competition aimed at examining ways to adapt to living within the Earth’s carrying capacity, which is considered one of humanity’s most important challenges.